Friday, January 18, 2008
No danger in this pizza
CHARLEROI, Pa. - Business owners in this borough fear the discovery last week of a body in a downtown trash bin is going to frighten people away from shopping in their stores. It’s kind of ironic because there really aren’t many places left to shop there anyway thanks to the collapse of the steel industry in the Pittsburgh region.
But in Charleroi’s defense, local and state police were quick to make an arrest in the brutal slaying of a woman who had just moved to town the day she was killed, allegedly by her boyfriend. Click here to read about the case.
And downtown Charleroi is not a Hell’s Kitchen or anything close to being infected with such blight as Aliquippa or Braddock, municipalities to the north and west along the Ohio River watershed.
In fact, Charleroi's downtown was placed in November 2007 on the National Registry of Historic Districts because its storefronts and mansions are representative of a boomtown from the late 1800s. There also are plenty of restaurants and offices along the main drag that keep a steady flow of people who earn legitimate paychecks on the sidewalks. And many of those happy feet are heading to a fantastic pizza parlor.
If you live in the area and haven’t discovered Salatino’s Pizzeria, make it your life’s goal to eat there the next time you have the munchies for a pepperoni pie. Owned by Michael Coury, the restaurant at 532 McKean Ave. has drawn great reviews by Internet junkies as well as members of the local media with beer bellies. Coury is one of the friendliest businessmen around, and especially in Charleroi, where he has been selling pizzas for three years. He sometimes even passes out free samples of his yummy homemade baklava, a sheet of which is usually on the counter. In three weeks, Coury will expand his hold on the Charleroi restaurant trade by opening a new jazz club, River Café, in the old Miller’s women’s clothing store a few doors down from his restaurant.
Here's hoping the place sings. This stretch of the Mon Valley is screaming for a classy place with good food, a friendly staff and live mellow music.