Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Carbone's, Dewey Ave.
Carbone's Pizzeria is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, which means they must be doing something right. They have three locations in the Rochester area, on Dewey Ave. and North Greece Road in Greece, and in Hilton, as well as a Buffalo-area location in Alden.
I made a lunchtime stop at the Dewey Ave. location, which is right across the street from Caraglio's.
This is not a "huge slice" place, but they do have pepperoni slices available at lunchtime, which right now go for $1.75 a slice or two slices plus a 20 oz. drink for $4.25. As I've said before, I don't love pepperoni, but if you want a slice pepperoni tends to move the fastest, so you can be pretty sure of a fresh one with the pepperoni.
This was a medium-to-thick slice, browned on the bottom and quite browned on top. The dough was pretty nondescript, with small air holes and not much flavor. It was a little greasy underneath, with a bit of greasy crunchiness along the edge.
Texturally, it was pretty chewy, both from the dough and the cheese, which was fairly thick, plus the cheese had been baked to the point that it became more chewy than stringy.
The sauce definitely took a back seat here, and provided more lubrication than flavor. I'm not saying I didn't like it, just that it was very much in the background, though I did pick up a bit of acidity, which was good, to cut through the fattiness of the cheese.
The pepperoni was, surprisingly, one of my favorite parts of this pizza. It was thick and flavorful, with a nice crunch. The slices weren't all entirely uniform, which also indicated that it had been sliced on the premises, not pre-sliced. Between the thick, browned cheese and the pepperoni, this was definitely a toppings-dominated pizza.
Carbone's has a pretty basic menu. No weird pizza toppings or gourmet pizzas here, unless you count white pizza, plus hot and cold subs, wings, fried sides, and salads. You can also order your pizza with "double dough" for an extra $0.75, but that would be way too much dough for me.
The Dewey location, at least, doesn't deliver, which is too bad but it also shows that they have a steady clientele of people who are willing to pick up. There was no seating, as far as I noticed.
So if you put me half way between Carbone's and Caraglio's across the street, what would I do? Well, get the hell out of the middle of the street, for one thing. But I'm honestly not sure which way I would go. Caraglio's has the thin crust, which I like, but Caraglio's crust was also a little too floppy for my taste, and I liked the toppings at Carbone's, even though it was a bit thick and too chewy/gummy. Like Caraglio's, then, Carbone's gets a C+ from me.