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The Resort Hotels – Portofino Bay Hotel: Sal's Market Deli

What: Casual sandwiches and pizza
Where: Facing the Harbor Piazza
Hours: Varies with the seasons and occupancy level,
generally 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Price Range: $$
Reservations: None

Sal’s offers a casual atmosphere patterned on the famed Pecks of Milan but reminiscent of New York’s Little Italy, with its marble-topped cafe tables and arched ceiling. It’s a nice place to stop for a quick bite. Panini (grilled Italian sandwiches, $12) are served at the deli-like counter along with cold antipasto-style salads ($8 to $12).

At the back is a sort of pizza bar where you can order one of five styles of pizzas (small $11 to $12, large $13 to $14) and sit on a stool along a marble counter and watch it baking in the open-doored oven. A small pie can feed two people generously. This ain't Domino's, either. The pizza chefs here make their own dough, using a mixture of high-gluten flour for toughness and durum semolina for taste and a rich yellow color. The oven is a true pizza oven, with the base kept at a steady 600 degrees. The result is a crisper and firmer crust than you'll find over at the Trattoria or the Splendido Pizzeria. Sal's version of Pizza Americana, with a generous topping of mushrooms, sausage, and pepperoni, is especially good.

Tip: You can have your pizza made to go, a good thing to know if you are not staying in the hotel. If you like wine with your pizza, you can get it by the glass for $5 to $7. Sal's is also a good place to grab a cup of coffee. Espresso and cappuccino are available, as is regular coffee. For a stronger cup ask for a Caffe Americano, a shot of espresso with steaming hot water added. Carrying the Italian deli theme to its logical conclusion, Sal's sells Italian specialties such as extra virgin olive oil and dry pasta, but oddly only California wine .

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Universal Orlando 2011


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