Thursday, September 10, 2009
Galleria, East Main St., downtown
Galleria Pizza is in the Reynolds Arcade building on East Main St., a half block east of State Street, which puts it right at "Four Corners," in the heart of downtown Rochester.
Like the Pizza Stop a couple of blocks away, it's mostly a daytime spot, but Galleria also does breakfast, and with its wider menu, it's more of an all-around lunchtime destination, though pizza takes center stage.
Given its heavy lunchtime traffic, this is very much a slice joint, although they can do whole pies, many of which I suspect go to local offices. If you do stop by for a slice, you can get it to go or "for here," in which case it's brought out to you on a genuine dinner plate.
It's hard to say how thick my pepperoni slice was, since it was thickest in the middle, and thinner toward both the tip and the outer edge. The underside was buckled and cratered, and was well browned where it had come into contact with the cooking surface, but pale in the concave areas.
The underside was also very crunchy, but it was more of an oily crunch than a baked crunch. It comes down to the difference between dough that contains a lot of oil, or that's been in contact with oil during the baking process (which essentially fries the dough) and dough that develops a crunchy crust from the baking process itself, during which the natural sugars in the dough caramelize and the water inside the dough evaporates. This seemed to me like more of an oily crunch.
Atop the dough was a cooked-down, thick, herbal sauce, with lots of flaked herbs that were most noticeable toward the outer edge. The more-melted-than-browned mozzarella was applied moderately, more thickly in some places than others. The pie having sat out for a bit, the cheese had congealed, and was a tad oily. The thin and wide slices of pepperoni were OK but unremarkable.
The slice ended in a medium-thick lip, which was quite crunchy, and finally, here, I found some welcome bready flavor, unobscured by the sauce or cheese.
Galleria is a little unusual in that it has a daily schedule for specialty pizza slices and for strombolis. On Monday, for example, the pizza du jour (or di giorno) is chicken wing, and the stromboli sausage & sweet pepper. Tuesdays it's steak with boss sauce or chicken alfredo pizza and pepperoni & sausage stromboli, and so on. They also offer a pretty wide variety of specialty pizzas by the whole pie, but you need to give them 24 hours' notice for that. Another option is the "Little Foot Pizza," which consists of two 6" pieces of French bread with mozzarella and one topping.
Besides pizza, Galleria offers hot and cold subs, salads, wings, various sides, grilled items, and dinners that include pasta dishes, fried chicken, clam strips, and a Friday fish fry. The menu also touts "after 3pm Super Specials," which I take to mean whatever's left over from lunch that day.
This pizza was all right, I had no real problems with it, but it was nothing special either. Maybe the specialty slices are big sellers, but my pepperoni slice was just so-so, with a less than outstanding crust and an overall flavor and texture that really didn't wow me. Galleria does a steady business and must have its fans, but for me, Pizza Stop remains the place to go for a downtown slice. I'll give Galleria a C.
Galleria Pizza, 16 E. Main St., 262-2222
Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Closed Sundays.