Mario Cardenas admitted he was nervous when Barstool Sports founder and President Dave Portnoy came into his brand new, recently opened pizza joint called West Ave Pizzeria.

Cardenas had only been open for about a month, and the impromptu visit by Portnoy came on a day when they were dealing with some unforeseen issues.

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"We were dealing with a power outage that day," he explained. "But then I just saw him standing at the counter."

Thankfully, the staff was able to get things back up and running in time to make Portnoy's pie, which he devoured (one bite, everybody knows the rules) in front of the shop located at 99 West Ave, in Saratoga Springs.

Was Cardenas nervous?  You bet he was.  Who wouldn't be?

Portnoy's reviews are honest, sometimes a bit too honest, and they go very viral.  And while El Prez isn't looking to break any small business owner's stones, a positive review can certainly be a launching pad for a new place that few have even heard of.

When asked how Portnoy knew to even come to West Ave. Pizzeria for the review, he got a bit emotional.

"People told Dave to come here, and that means more to me than anything else," Cardenas explained.

"I've been in the business for 20 years, but this is my first time opening my own place.  We're brand new."

Portnoy spends weeks up in Saratoga every year, and if you follow him then you know the Spa City is one of his favorite places to be in the entire country.  Dave likes to bet his horses, and he loves his pizza, always making time to do frequent reviews.

Cardenas and family watched through the window as Portnoy - donning a Navy Saratoga Race Track hoodie - opened up the box and grabbed a gooey, floppy slice.

"Pizza like this that is doughy and cheesy, I generally like when I'm drunk," Portnoy said as he pulled up a slice, only to immediately drop it.

"It's very hot, but I can tell it's super fresh," he said before taking his first bite.

Then, the moment of truth. "It's good quality pizza...if you're in the area, you're never gonna complain about this!"


 

Cardenas was thrilled with the rating, but aside from that, he's genuinely appreciative of the love his new business has gotten from the community.  But having Portnoy stop by - who admittedly he's a big fan of -  meant the world to him

"There's no reason for him to come here, or anywhere for that matter, and do what he does for small businesses," Cardenas said of the Barstool founder.

"The guy truly is a hero!"

Dave Portnoy, President of Barstool Sports, takes a photo with family and staff at West Ave Pizza in Saratoga Springs following his viral pizza review.

 

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