At some point both the bar and the pizzeria closed, as the surrounding neighborhood went downhill, and the bar itself became a trouble spot. In name at least, though, Bay Goodman Pizza has reemerged as "The Original Bay Goodman Famous New York Style Pizza," incongruously located near the corner of North Winton and Blossom Rd. on the city's eastern edge. As before, it adjoins a bar, Mickey Flynn's.
I stopped by recently for a lunchtime slice. Would the pizza be the same as I remembered?
The choices were plain cheese or pepperoni. I chose the latter.
The slice, which seemed pretty fresh out of the oven and had not been reheated, was covered with a generous helping of "cup & char" pepperoni slices, which were nicely crunchy along the edges.
Beneath that was a fairly thick layer of congealed cheese, more chewy than stringy, which adhered fairly well to the underlying crust, from which it was separated by a thin layer of sauce.
I would characterize the crust as medium thick. Perhaps a bit on the thin side of medium, by Rochester standards, but hardly what I would call New York-style thin. Maybe at one time this is what people around here thought of as NY-style pizza, but not today.
It was, I have to say, a bit on the greasy side as well. Some of that was undoubtedly from the pepperoni, but the healthy dose of cheese certainly had something to do with it too. Still, it wasn't so greasy or crunchy as to have obviously cooked in its own grease, and the crust, though lacking the exterior crispness of a good NY-style pizza, nevertheless retained a noticeable interior breadiness reminiscent of Italian bread. It also had a subtle but pleasant herbal flavor, and was flecked with what I'm guessing was oregano. The crackled underside bore a thin coating of flour and several large grease spots.
So was it as good as I remembered? I'm not sure. At first I didn't think so, but upon reflection, it was close enough to the original that it left me wondering if I'm simply remembering the old Bay Goodman through nostalgically tinted glasses.
Bay Goodman would not be among my choices for a regular pizza stop. It's thicker and greasier than I like, and a bit too heavy-handed on the cheese for my taste. Given the medium-thick, chewy crust and the substantial amount of cheese, it also would have benefited from a bit more sauce, of a heartier consistency, to balance out the other components.
I will say, though, that Bay Goodman is well positioned next to a bar, as I could see a bready, greasy slice or two hitting the spot at the end of the night, or as a sponge to slow down the effects of your drinks.
Speaking of the bar, I should mention that there is no seating in the pizzeria, and the bar doesn't open until sometime in the afternoon, so lunchtime orders are strictly to go. I didn't see any indication that they deliver, but I didn't ask. Various subs, sides and wings are available as well.
The bottom line? The "new" Bay Goodman is still turning out some pretty decent pizza, in a style that, at one time at least, typified pizza in these parts: medium crust, plenty of cheese, nice and bready. But things have changed over the years, rendering its sign a little inaccurate, in more ways than one. Perhaps it should now read, "The Original
NOTE: since this was posted, Bay Goodman has moved a few blocks north, to the corner of Winton and Browncroft. There is a second location on Titus Ave. in Irondequoit.