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Monday, November 28, 2016

Winner!

Jonathan P. has won the $20 gift card to The Pizza Stop. JP, I'm sending you an email to get your address so I can get it out to you. Thanks to all who participated.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Pizza Stop, One More Time - And a Giveaway to Boot

When I started this blog in 2009, one of the first places I reviewed was The Pizza Stop in downtown Rochester. That was no accident, because The Pizza Stop was one of my favorite pizzerias. And it remains so.
Interestingly, that post, which I published on March 5, 2009, remains one of my most read posts of all time (oddly enough, the most-read is a post about a patent for a pepperoni-making machine).
As I wrote recently, I have decided to stop writing The Rochester NY Pizza Blog on a regular basis. There will, I think, be a few more posts in the future, but I wanted to do one last review, before I hang it up. So what better way to do it than to go back to The Pizza Stop?
This review actually encompasses two recent visits. A few weeks ago I picked up two pies at The Pizza Stop: a Chicken Spinoccoli, which is a white pizza, and a red pie with chicken, pepperoni and bacon. My wife and daughter made those selections, respectively. But I was happy with both.
On the second visit, I got back to basics, with a large pepperoni pie that I shared with two friends for lunch. I'll get to each in turn.
If I could only eat red or white pizza for the rest of my life, I'd choose red, hands down. That said, I like a good white pizza now and then, and this was very good indeed. The underside was crisp and charred, and the toppings were flavorful and well complemented each other. The mozzarella was melt-in-your-mouth smooth, and the other toppings, chicken, broccoli, spinach, extra virgin olive oil and garlic, made for an outstanding combination. I can't say I missed the tomato sauce.
My daughter selected the three-meat pie. I'll have to admit, it's gratifying that I haven't raised a tofu-eating vegan (just kidding!). But to be honest, while I am a full-fledged carnivore, I generally do not much like meat-heavy pizza. That said, this was tasty, not greasy, and well executed. The trio of meats that my daughter chose seemed odd to me at first, but the thick chunks of chicken held their own quite well against the spicy pepperoni and the smoky bacon. And I did grab a second slice before I was done.
On my more recent visit, I got a large pepperoni pie, pictured at top. Since I've written at length about The Pizza Stop's pizza in the past, I won't go on at length about it, other than to say that it was a fine example of The Pizza Stop's usual, reliable, classic New York style pizza. Well balanced and flavorful, with a thin, bready, crisp crust.
While I was waiting for my pie to come out of the oven, I had a chance for a brief conversation with owner Jim Staffieri. Business continues to be good -- no surprise there -- but fans should take note of The Pizza Stop's frozen stuffed pizzas, which are made in house and are currently available only in house. Eventually you may see these in your local supermarket, but for now you'll have to buy them at The Pizza Stop itself.
Having decided to take a respite from keeping up this blog on a regular schedule, I may find myself going back to The Pizza Stop more often than in the past. In fact, I expect to hit several of my old favorites more often than I used to, now than I don't feel the pressure to keep up with the newest pizzerias. And I may post about them, now and then, either here or on my Facebook page. But for now, let me sign off on my regular reviews by saying what I said in 2009. For its classic New York style pizza, The Pizza Stop remains one of my all-time favorites.
Anyone under the age of 40 (maybe 50) may be unlikely to get this cultural reference, but as Lt. Columbo used to say, "Just one more thing."  Jim graciously agreed to donate a $20 gift certificate for me to give away to a reader. So as in the past, all you have to do to enter to win is to shoot me an email at ROCPizzaGuy@gmail.com. Put "Pizza Stop" in the subject line. I'll need your name and mailing address too, which I will under no circumstances share with anyone else.
I usually run these for a week, but since we're coming up on Thanksgiving, I'll extend the deadline to Monday, November 28, at noon. I'll pick a winner shortly thereafter. Until then, eat good pizza!

The Pizza Stop, 131 State St., Rochester
(585) 546-7252

Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

That's All, Folks ... Sort Of

Where it all started - a labor of love
Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I've been posting less frequently, of late. There's a reason for that.
After a long period of reflection, contemplation and soul-searching, I've decided to stop writing The Rochester NY Pizza Blog. Well, sort of. Allow me to explain.
When I started this blog in 2009, it seemed like a fun way to document something I wanted to do anyway, which was to try every pizzeria in the Rochester area. And it's been that, for sure.
It's also been far more successful, in terms of readership, than I ever expected. When I started, I wanted to attract readers, certainly, but I was amazed by how many I eventually got. I was especially gratified to receive thanks from readers for helping them find good pizza around here. Even more than trying new pizzerias, communicating with my readers has been the most rewarding aspect of writing this blog.
But over time, the blog took on a life of its own. It was no longer simply a log of my pizza-related activities, that I did for fun, but an entity that needed to be maintained on a regular basis.
I've never lost my love of pizza. I love it as much as ever. But if writing the blog was always a labor of love, lately it's become more labor and less love.
Even as my enthusiasm for the blog itself dimmed, I remained determined not to let the blog slide into dormancy. I've seen too many blogs that started with a flurry of posts, and then petered out. So I always strived to keep posting regularly.
Eventually, I'd covered probably over 90% of the pizzerias in the Rochester area. But the beast I'd created had to be fed. So I started revisiting places. Searching out new pizzerias, always. Trying different types of pizza (Buffalo chicken, white, etc.). Traveling farther.
And I tried to go to restaurants that serve pizza. Weekday lunch dates with friends, and family dinner outings, began to be driven by whether the restaurant offered pizza.
I created a to-do list of places to go to. A new pizzeria opened in Webster? OK, have to go there. Haven't been to this place in three years? Add it to the list. It got to the point where I wasn't going to the places I loved anymore, because I felt as if I needed to get to places to write about.
So, for a while, it was fun. But the fun's diminished over the years, and I've reached the point -- in fact I reached it some time ago, I've just not acted on it until now -- where I've been putting more into the blog than I get out of it. And so I think it's time to call it quits.
Now let me be clear, I am not complaining, I'm not whining, and I'm not saying that this has been tough on me, or anything like that. It's been fun, I have no regrets, and I've been glad to write this blog. I'm just explaining why I'm ending it, now.
But, back to that "sort of" that I mentioned earlier.
The post you're reading right now is not the last blog post I will ever do. I still have one more review in mind, and I think you'll want to read it. I'd also like to do, if not a farewell address, an essay encapsulating some of my thoughts on what I've learned over the past seven-plus years. And there may be a few loose-ends kind of stuff. To name one example, I owe a book review to a publisher that sent me a free review copy of a book. And if the mood strikes me, I'm not ruling out an occasional review or other post in the future. I'm just not going to make any particular effort to keep posting on a regular basis, or to keep searching out and reviewing new places.
I do plan to keep the Facebook page going, at least to report on local and national pizza news. Openings and closings, interesting news items, that sort of thing. I intend to keep up with the pizza scene, for my own benefit, so if I see something of interest, I'll pass it along.
So I'm not going to get all weepy here and say goodbye. I'm not going away. I'll still have a web presence. But to be honest, it already feels like a weight off my shoulders not to feel as if I have to keep writing blog posts or reviewing every new pizzeria that comes along. I look forward to maintaining contact with my readers, and I urge you to send me any pizza news you have, recommendations, inquiries, and so on.


Buon appetito!

The Rochester Pizza Guy
ROCPizzaGuy@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/ROCPizzaGuy/