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Friday, April 24, 2009

Amico Pizza, East Ridge Road

Amico Pizza was started in 1962, which undoubtedly makes it one of the oldest pizzerias in Rochester. The original location was on Waring Road in NE Rochester and was founded by Sam Amico. A second location was opened in 1980 in Irondequoit on East Ridge Rd.
In 1995, Sam retired and his sons David and Chris took over, eventually consolidating their operations at the Irondequoit location. The business today is run by David Amico.
I love these family-run pizzerias, especially the ones that have been around for a long time, because they bring a commitment and passion to the business that I don't think you get from a basic franchise-type operation. This is also a great way to get a taste of history, as I imagine this pizza is probably not all that different from what Sam Amico was serving up 30+ years ago.
In this case, that means a fairly (maybe half-inch) thick pizza, cut into squares. The edges were baked to a golden brown, and the underside was more browned than charred. Though it lacked crispness, it was not at all greasy and had a pleasant bready aroma, flavor and texture reminiscent of soft-crust Italian bread.
The sauce, which was applied with a properly restrained hand, was slightly sweet, not tangy, with a hint of herbs. The cheese was uniformly applied, in fairly liberal fashion, which was appropriate given the relative thickness of the crust (remember, pizza is all about keeping the components in balance with each other).
Like many places, Amico will do thin or thick(er) pizza on request, but I've found you're usually better off getting a pizzeria's "standard" pizza, which tends to be what they do best. They also offer breakfast pizza "with advance notice" - I'm not sure how much notice they need - and a number of specialty pizzas, including one that I'd like to try: "The #1," which is described as "An Amico tradition since the beginning. Our homemade sauce covered with fresh ground Pecorino-Romano." Maybe next time. Besides pizza, they serve wings (my Buffalo wings were a tad on the sweet side), eggplant parm, a Friday fish fry, and a handful of sides.
While eating my pizza, I was trying to think of an adjective for it, and "straightforward" came to mind. This is not some nouveau "gourmet" pizza, nor is it an attempt at New York style, Chicago style, Sicilian, or anything other than what it is: a good, basic, honest Rochester pizza, the way it used to be - and still is, at Amico. I'll give it a B.
Amico Pizza, 859 E.Ridge Rd. 544-8380 Sun. 1 p.m. - 9 p.m., Tue. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 am - 11:30 p.m.
Pizza Guy Note:  for a review of Amico's pizza bianco (white pizza), go here.

11 comments:

  1. We got thin crust sausage one day, and "regular" peperoni the next week. I think the thin crust is better, so if you go back here again I recommend trying it.

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  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I will try it sometime.

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  3. dads best pizza
    by his daughter
    Carmella Amico

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  4. My wife and I are recent converts to Amico's... great pizza and great service. I went in there once to pick up my order, and the pizza had been overcooked before I got there. Dave was already in the process of cooking me up a second one as I walked in the door. Best of all he let me bring home both when I asked if I could try to salvage the overcooked one!

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  5. Sausage and Meatballs are homemade- recommend that you try sometime... Dave will also cater in advance special menu items for your events/ parties -- pasta, greens and beans. so delicious- Millie

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  6. Great recommendations! I must get back there soon.

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  7. Take it from someone who has been going to Amico's from the beginning in 1962. Ask for your pizza "thick" and thank me later...

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  8. I love Amico's we go there all the time....its delicious!! I recomend the #1 it is greated cheese, it tastes much better than there delicious mozzerella cheese pizza's. Drop by when you can....place an order first!! :)

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  9. Amico's has the best chicken wings they have great mild and hot they are the best in town. the chicken fingers are great for the kids too!!! Amazing Pizza store.....take it from someone who only buys from there.

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  10. LOVE THIER PIZZA FOREVER!!!

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  11. Best Pizza in the World!!!!!!
    Nothing like Amico's Pizza!
    I Recommend you go to Amico's Pizza.
    Great Customer Service.
    Amico's Pizza Rocks!!!!!!

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