Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Head-to-head, Part I: Good Guys, Chili Ave.
There is an old parable, attributed to a 14th-century French priest, that goes as follows:
"Imagine a donkey equidistant between two barrels of hay. Now imagine that this donkey is a rationalist, someone who will do nothing if it is not in accord with the dictates of reason. He cannot reason why one mound of hay is superior to the other. He stays in the middle trying to decide which should be his supper. Since there is no reason to move to one or the other, in time, the donkey starves to death."
Now what, you may be wondering, does this have to do with pizza? Well, this. My intent here is to judge each pizzeria I try independently, without judging one against the other. But when two pizzerias are across the street from each other, it's hard not to compare them, as I did recently with Carbone's and Caraglio's on Dewey Avenue in Greece. I mean, if you were halfway between them, which one would you choose? Hopefully my experience will help you make that decision, should you ever find yourself in that predicament, so you don't end up like the donkey.
So now we come to two more such pizzerias, on Buffalo Road in Chili: Good Guys and Phil's. First up is Good Guys. It's in a strip plaza on the south side of Chili Avenue, about half a mile west of Paul Road.
By the pie, Good Guys offers thin or thick pizza, but like most places, its to-go slices are all thin. Very thin, to the point that they almost have to be eaten folded. My slice had literally just come out of the oven, which probably made it a little sloppier to eat, but this was clearly "folding" pizza.
The underside was browned here and there, with an odd, almost tortoiseshell-like surface, with crackly islands of raised brown spots separated by pale areas where the dough hadn't come into contact with the cooking surface.
The cheese was applied to a medium thickness, but when the slice was folded, it naturally made the cheese thicker and more of a dominating presence. It wasn't greasy, had a bit of crispness to it, and the edge was crunchy in texture and toasty in flavor.
The cheese seemed to be straight mozzarella. It was applied to a medium thickness, although when the slice was folded the cheese naturally doubled in thickness and took on a more dominant presence. It was pretty well browned and was fairly chewy and a little stringy (of course it was still hot, as I mentioned).
The sauce was a little on the thin side, enough to lend some lubrication and moisture, but definitely a back-seat player here.
The pepperoni was basic wide-and-thin stuff, and made the surface pretty greasy; you could hold this pizza by the edge and let a good amount of grease drip off.
Good Guys advertises a "large New York style cheese pizza" for pickup every day for $7.25, so I assume that is the same as the thin. Judged as a NY style pizza, it's not bad. It's not charred at all, but the overall flavor and texture weren't far off from your typical City slice.
If you're ordering a pie, Good Guys has a respectable range of toppings available (including "newly added cup-n-curl pepperoni"), and a handful of specialty pizzas, nothing too exotic. They also do wings, subs, wraps, quesadillas, salads, various sides/appetizers, and even a little seafood. Delivery or pickup only, open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 11 p.m. on weekends.
All in all, not a bad slice, though I was just a bit put off by the texture of the crust. Let's call it a B-.
Good Guys Pizza, 3313 Chili Ave. 889-2940
Sun. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Next up: Phil's Pizza.