Since when did making pizzas become a life and death struggle?
I’ll let new Dark Horse Tavern main man Bill Nigro answer that in a minute. But first let’s clear up the confusion about the whereabouts of Torres Pizza the past 10 years.
As one comments section gentleman noted, something called Torres has been available in Westport pretty much all along since the mid 1970s.
Trouble is, after Nigro got fed up hand making pizzas in 2002 he farmed Torres out to a concern who changed the recipe and hustled the pies less scrupulously.
“It never really went away,” Nigro explains. “But the guys that were making it just didn’t care and they tried to improve it and changed the recipe.”
Now that Nigro’s back running the Dark Horse he’s licensed Torres to someone else and the old ways are back.
Not that he’d be caught dead making pizza.
Not after spinning over a million pies in his quarter century at Torres. Or so he says.
That’s right, more than a million pizzas – I didn’t believe it either.
So let’s do the math…
“I made between 200 and 400 pizzas a day at least five days a week – usually six – for 25 years,” Nigro swears.
At the low end, 50 weeks a year for 25 years, that comes out to 1,250,000 pizzas – 2.5 million if we use the higher figure but still cap it at five days a week.
“Hearne, I told you several years ago that I made more than a million pizzas but you didn’t believe me then,” Nigro says. “Sonnuvabitch, you were the one who didn’t do the math right back then.”
Needless to say, choking outthat many pizzas rendered Nigro more than a little stir crazy. Not to mention, you know, fat.
“I lost 60 pounds after I stopped making pizzas,” Nigro says. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I wasn’t standing in the kitchen and grazing all day.”
So again, the real Torres is back.
Seven days a week 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. with a return to opening for lunch in the works.
What’s so special about the Real Deal?
“Back in the 80s I got Best Pizza in the Pitch for seven or eight years in a row,” Nigro says.
The wildest thing ever to go down in those hallowed days?
“The time that a guy that was roid raging came into the restaurant,” Nigro says. “He was cussing loudly and started to pick a fight with some of my customers and I had to get him out of the restaurant, so I got him to chase me out. I told him if he was so tough to step outside – he was going to fight these two guys in Torres.
“And as I walked outside I told my bartender to call the police and then took off running. He chased me for more than four blocks and he was still chasing me when a police car pulled up and I started running around the police car with him chasing me.
“The guy was like 6 foot 7 and 275 pounds of muscle – he gave me goosebumps. Then one of the policemen opened his door to stop him and he started fighting the two cops. Another police car pulled up and he was taking on all four of them. I watched him fighting those four big policemen. You should have seen them hitting him with their sticks, but he bloodied all four of them.”