Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Sbarro helps you keep a resolution
This week I reached out for a Skinny Slice, a new low-cal, low-fat slice of pizza at our favorite mall pizza joint, Sbarro, with 1,000 restaurants from coast to coast and 'round the globe.
Everybody's looking for a way to eat pizza without taking a guilt trip to your neighborhood Italian restaurant or calling out for delivery. My usual trick is ordering like this: "Just put half the regular amount of cheese on the thinnest crust you got." I don't count "no cheese, please" or "just the toppings in a bowl" or "imitation everything" as pizza -- low cal, no cal or whatever.
Now Sbarro has taken the special request out of your hands. If you want a less-damaging slice of pie that's still pizza, have a Skinny Slice.
Here's the blueprint: roasted red and green bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions and a sprinkling of mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheeses on thin-crust pizza dough. Total calories per slice: 270.
Sbarro doesn't list fat grams, carbs, sodium and such on its website, but after destroying the evidence of fast food on a weekly basis for 16 years, I could work a carnival guessing the calories and fat grams of burgers, fried chicken, pizza and shakes. I'll ballpark the fat grams of a Skinny Slice at 10. Sodium: 800 mg. Carbs: 40 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 18 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3.99. Steep. That's heavy.
Sbarro developed the Skinny Slice to help its customers keep their New Year's resolutions -- remember those? Yes, the Skinny Slice has fewer calories than a regular slice of Sbarro's plain cheese pie, which packs 460 calories in the mall. And yes, the Skinny Slice has waaaay fewer calories than a slice of Sbarro's decadent pepperoni pie, which unloads 729 calories at the airport.
But here's the skinny on the Skinny Slice. The Skinny Slice isn't lower in calories just because of the veggie toppings and merely a "sprinkling" of cheese. I hate the word "sprinkling" in the drive-thru. "Sprinkling" usually means "try to find it."
The veggies and thin crust help, sure, but the Skinny Slice also is skinny because … well, it's skinny. It's narrower than a regular slice of Sbarro pizza. The friendly guy behind the counter at the Galleria told me: "We cut our regular pizzas into six slices. We cut the Skinny Slice pizza into eight slices. That's how it's skinny." Try about an inch narrower on the crust end.
Which is fine. Eating less is part of the skinny deal. But if you're accustomed to pizza dripping in red sauce and folding under the weight of gooey mozzarella and pepperoni the thickness of hockey pucks, this isn't the slice of life for you. The Skinny Slice is dainty. It's a stop-gap measure. You'll eat, for real, when you're home from shopping at the mall.
Ken Hoffman's syndicated column appears Wednesday.