By coincidence a friend wanted to have a lunch meeting in Inman Square today and suggested the S&S Deli. Obviously this meant that I needed to study both pizza and service levels. This is my official report.
We were seated quickly and the server came for our order as soon as he saw that we'd closed the menus. He did say "Is that all?" when we ordered only the pizzas and drinks, but I didn't find that so awful.
The room was very busy, and our server was moving fast and handling several tables. I wouldn't call him rude, just busy... and he was probably hoping not to have too many distractions from any individual table. So we didn't have a huge discussion with him, but also didn't want to.
I ordered the portobello pizza and my friend, broccoli.
The pizza and salads came out together (this has not happened before) and the server actually apologized to us. I've not often heard an apology at other restaurants (at any price point) where this has happened, and pizza and salad can be eaten together pretty well anyway.
So, I've called this crust "buttery." Friend didn't think so and I suppose he's right. There's a lot of cheese on there, and a generous amount of portobello mushroom, onions and other good stuff. That would account for the buttery mouth-feel. The crust has a lot of corn in it, and is less like a traditional rolled flour crust and has more of a pressed deep dish architecture that veers more toward cornbread than grandma's pizza crust. It's thick with nice rough edges. I also think they are made there... not as "uniform" as I had thought they were... and plenty of cheese is also a big equalizer in terms of appearance, I guess.
The caesar dressing is creamy, with a hint of something bitter that could be anchovy, though it's not dominant.. with shredded parm on top and decent croutons.
We were in and out in less than an hour, including lots of time spent talking rather than eating, both taking half a pizza for dinner or lunch tomorrow. Cost of two pizzas with caesar salads, bottomless iced tea, juice and coffee, $30 including 20% tip.
I did have flag the server to ask for an iced tea refill, but that was not really a big deal. The room was busy and service wasn't overly doting, but was perfectly efficient, prompt and polite. The tea came with a 1/4 chunk of lemon, not the decorative paper-thin slice that too many places favor, what with the incredibly high price of lemons (10 for $1 at haymarket last week) and all that. This is America, and tea needs lemon!
Overall I see nothing different or degraded from past visits and will certainly return to the S&S. I still think it's well-priced comfort food in big portions. And the room is still too bright.
In the image below: lunch as plated and presented, and detail of an individual slice.