Friday, May 8, 2009
Caraglio's, Dewey Ave.
Caraglio's has three area locations, the one I visited on Dewey Ave., on W. Ridge Rd. in Greece, and on Main St. in Hilton.
They're another "big slice" place, and unlike some pizzerias, Caraglio's big slice isn't just two slices that haven't been cut in half, it's a big slice, probably at least a foot along the side.
It's a thin slice, too, very thin. The dough didn't seem to have risen much at all, except along the edge, although even that was pretty thin.
The underside was soft, a pretty uniform light brown, and showed that it had been cooked on a screen. The cheese was rather browned on top.
Biting into it, I picked up a
toasted-cheese flavor, which I didn't mind, and the cheese, which was nearly as thick as the dough, had an almost crunchy texture. The crisp slices of cup 'n' char pepperoni added to the overall pleasing texture.
This was a very foldable, even floppy slice, and it was a good thing that it came partially wrapped in foil, which allowed me to eat it like a burrito or gyro.
The cheese layer easily separated from the dough, from which it was separated by a thin layer of tart, tangy sauce with a flavor reminiscent of Campbells’ tomato soup. I also picked up a bit of herbal flavor that I would guess was oregano. The slice as a whole was a little greasy, but not too much.
Caraglio's has a pretty wide menu, with specialty pizzas (including a "garbage pizza"), wings, subs, burgers, hots and sides. The Dewey location is for pickup and delivery only. You can also ask for thick crust if you're ordering a whole pie.
Although my expectations of "big slice" places are always low, this really wasn't bad. It was a cheese-dominated pizza, but it wasn't the heavy, gloppy, gooey cheese that a lot of places use, and I kind of liked the browned, toasted flavor and texture of the cheese.
At the same time, pizza like this makes me think how close some of these places are to making really good pizza. My favorite part of this pizza was the edge, the only part where I was able to pick up a bit of genuine breadiness in both flavor and texture. A bit more time for the dough to rise, baking on the floor of a really hot oven instead of on a screen, and then you might really have something great.
I know I've said that I don't want every pizza place to be the same, and that I like individuality. But I don't like trying to cut corners or emphasizing quantity over quality, and, frankly, a lot of megaslice joints turn out pizza that isn't all that distinctive. I'd rate Caraglio's a little better than most as far as that goes, and since they've been in business for a while, far be it from me to give them advice. But to me, this pizza was juuust tantalizingly good enough to make me think about how good it could have been. I'll give it a C+.
Caraglio's, 2882 Dewey Ave, Rochester 14616, 663-8390 Sun. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.