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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Woody's Deli, Le Roy

I needed to pick up a pizza recently for dinner, so I took the opportunity to stop at Woody's Deli in LeRoy.
For a small town (pop. 7641, as of 2010), LeRoy has a lot of pizza place, per capita.
I got a large pepperoni pie, with green peppers and onions on half. As is typical of some pies in this area, particularly to our west, it had been given a square cut.
The crust was on the thick side, with an almost grilled appearance underneath, but it was dry to the touch. The pan in which it was baked must've been ridged.
The crust was crisp underneath, and had a bready interior. There was a bit of surface oil, but that's all. The outer edge was well browned, with a good surface crunch.
The pie was covered with a well-balanced blend of toppings, including a mildly sweet tomato sauce, well melted mozzarella, and thin slices of pepperoni. The veggies were cooked enough to accentuate their flavor, but not overdone.
Woody's offers a basic list of pizza toppings, seven specialty pizzas, plus wings, hot and cold subs, tacos, burritos, and pretty much everything you would expect from a local deli. You can see their full menu online.

My overall impression was of a good example of a Rochester/WNY style pizza. A little thick, cheesy, bready, and well balanced. It made for a satisfying family meal.

Woody's Deli, 47 North St., LeRoy, NY 14482

(585) 768-8585

Mon. - Thu. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Fri. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sun. noon - 8 p.m.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Papa G's, Penfield

I saw an ad recently for a new pizzeria, Papa G’s, on Linden Avenue in Penfield. The site has been home to several pizza places over the years, including Bonafede’s and Gianna’s. I’ve also seen a reference to a place called Linden Hill Pizzeria & Deli at the same location, but if it ever existed, I wasn’t aware of it at the time. Most recently, this spot housed Lisa’s Quality Catering and Café, which I believe is still an ongoing enterprise, but which is now strictly a catering business. At any rate, I don’t think Lisa’s ever offered pizza. Point is, the site has seen a lot of businesses come and go.

Ordinarily, I’d have to wonder why somebody would plunge in where so many others have come and gone, but I’m not sure that all of those places literally failed. People can sell a business, retire, or otherwise move on, for all sorts of reasons. But if somebody else wants to go in and offer pizza, I’ll be there, eventually.

Sometimes, when a place changes hands, not much changes other than the name. Not so here. I reviewed Bonafede’s in 2010, and Gianna’s in 2011, and the pizza was qualitatively different both times.

That pattern continues to hold at Papa G’s. I got a single pepperoni slice (the only variety available during my lunchtime visit), and that was plenty for a satisfying lunch. The slice was quite thick, much more than at Bonafede’s or Gianna’s. The screen-marked underside was rather pale, but the interior had a pleasant, breadlike aroma, flavor and texture. The corncione had a good exterior crunch and that same bready interior. I liked it but I was wishing I'd asked for a cup of dipping sauce.

Topside, the crust was covered with a moderate layer of sauce. A few bits of dried herbs were visible, but this wasn’t a highly seasoned sauce. It had a good balance of saltiness and tomatoey sweetness.

Atop that lay the cheese, of mostly uniform thickness, with a few small pockets of sauce along the rim and near the tip. It was OK, but the texture wasn’t particularly smooth or “melty.” I can’t say for certain what it was, but I think a full-fat, whole-milk cheese would have improved things.

The pepperoni slices were thin and mildly spicy.

So, some pros (nice interior on the crust, toppings well balanced, sauce had a pleasant flavor) and a couple cons (pale bottom, cheese could’ve been better). But all in all, not a bad slice by any stretch, and an interesting contrast to the pizza that was served here by Papa G’s predecessors.

Papa G’s Catering & Café, 514 Linden Ave., Penfield (just off Rt. 441)

585-673-2949 (café) 585-203-2090 (catering)

Café open for lunch Mon. - Thu. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. (catering hours may differ, I don’t know)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Review: 365 Things to Do in Ithaca, NY

My wife and I just spent a weekend in Ithaca, for no particular reason other than to get away for a couple of days, so this gives me a good opportunity to review a book that I received recently from Schiffer Publishing365 Things to Do in Ithaca, New York.
Author Laurel Guy, who has lived in Ithaca since January 1981, has assembled a fun guide to things to do in and around Ithaca. To get to 365, she had to do a bit of stretching, geographically. For example, she includes the Erie Canal, Skaneateles, and Letchworth, all of which are quite some distance from Ithaca. So think of this more as a guide to the Finger Lakes, centered on Ithaca, or things to do in and within a reasonable drive around Ithaca.
But that's more than forgiveable, considering the wealth of information here. This is about as comprehensive a guide to Ithaca as you can get, in terms of places to see and things to do. Local parks, restaurants, events, artists' studios, historical sites ... pretty much everything Ithaca and the surrounding area have to offer. It was partly thanks to this book that I knew enough to be able to enjoy visiting the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and dining at Le Cafe Cent Dix.
I have a couple minor criticisms. One, the book is not organized into chapters. The 365 entries bounce from one thing to another, with no themes. But the index is well organized, so that helps.
I also would've appreciated a rough guide to the Ithaca area:  The Commons, Ithaca neighborhoods, and nearby towns. There is an area map at the end of the book, taking in most of the Finger Lakes, but a street map of downtown Ithaca would've been handy too.
Those quibbles aside, this is a keeper. During dinner at Cent Dix, our server told us that she occasionally goes to Rochester for nights out with friends. As I mentioned to my wife afterwards, it struck me funny that Ithaca residents go to Rochester to have fun, while we're going to Ithaca. But I have always enjoyed my visits there, and this book will remain a valuable resource for future trips. 

365 Things to Do in Ithaca New York
by Laurel Guy
192 pages
Schiffer Pub. (c) 2016