Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Rush has just one pizza place, Montesano's, but it's not a bad one by any means. At lunchtime you can get two slices and a 12 oz. soft drink for $4, which is what I got.
I had two pepperoni slices, hot out of the oven. They were thin to medium, and had been baked on a screen. They were a little greasy underneath, but not too much, and the crust was fairly soft. The most noticeable thing visually was the well-browned cheese, which was much more well done than the crust.
The soft crust had a little breadiness to it, and was still hot on the inside from having been in the oven. For having been baked on a screen, it had just a bit of exterior crispness, which may be related to its just having come out of the oven, since the interior moisture hadn't yet had a chance to work its way out and soften the outside of the crust. The edge had a nice crunch to it, but a bit of a greasy feel, as if it had been brushed with oil before baking (which you may or may not like).
The sauce was certainly there - I could see it - but I couldn't really detect it much, except perhaps for a bit of garlic and maybe a very slight herbal flavor. I noticed that it was a much paler shade of red than on a most pizzas, almost like what some places call a "pink" sauce. I wondered if there was some butter in there, but I can't really explain it. It was a pretty mild tasting sauce, though, without much tomatoey acidity.
As I said, the cheese was quite browned. In fact, while the slices had some crispness, that came more from the cheese than the crust. It wasn't unpleasant, but it was unusual. The sparsely applied, wide and thin pepperoni was also a bit crisped along the edge.
I didn't notice any to-go menus at Montesano's and neglected to ask for one. There was a printed menu above the counter with the usual subs 'n' such, and it seemed to be a pretty popular lunchtime spot. Service was friendly. There is some indoor seating but not a lot.
This one is kind of a hard call. I liked the interior breadiness of the crust, and the cheese, though browned a bit more than I prefer, gave it a distinctive flavor and texture. On the other hand, the sauce was rather bland, and the crust, like just about every other screen-baked crust, lacked exterior crispness. For me, this pizza wasn't bad, it just lacked a certain "zing."
I wondered while eating it if perhaps I ate this one too soon out of the oven. As anybody who's baked bread knows, as tempting as it may be to slice into a loaf while it's still hot, bread needs a good hour or so to cool before reaching its optimum flavor and texture. Pizza shouldn't need that long, but it probably takes a little while for the various components to jell and deliver their maximum impact. If I'm in Rush again sometime - but not in a rush - I'll give it another shot. For now, I'll give Montesano's a C+.
Montesano's Italiano Kitchen, 2 Park Lane, Rush. 533-1150