Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Pudgie’s Pizza, Pasta & Subs got its start in Elmira in 1963, and began franchising around 1972. Today its shops stretch from Mansfield, Pa. to Rochester. The two Rochester Pudgie’s, on North Goodman St., and on Titus Ave. in Irondequoit, across from the House of Guitars, have been locally family owned and operated for the past three decades.
I actually stopped at the Goodman St. Pudgie’s a while back, but due to some obvious miscommunication between me and the counter person, I ended up with a “cheese stick” instead of a slice of pizza. So following that abortive attempt to try Pudgie’s pizza, I recently made it up to the Titus Ave. location, which is a "Pudgie's Express," meaning, I guess, that it's strictly takeout or delivery. The Irondequoit Pudgie's forms one apex of a pizza triangle, with Cam’s and Bay Goodman, which are across Titus Ave. from Pudgie's, about a block and a half apart.
I got one cheese and one pepperoni slice. They had a medium thick crust, with a browned, somewhat oily, cratered underside and a soft texture.
The slightly sweet sauce was applied pretty liberally. It had a “cooked” flavor and although it tasted to me as if it had come out of a jar, the flavor was pretty good nonetheless.
The cheese was lightly browned, and formed a solid, but thin layer across the top. The three slices of pepperoni were unremarkable.
Pudgie’s offers a pretty wide variety of pizza toppings, though no “specialty” pizzas as such. Besides their regular 12- and 16-inch pies, they also have 12x12 “deep dish Sicilian” pizza, and thin crust is also available on request. Non-pizza items include the aforementioned cheese sticks, strombolis and calzones, wings, hot subs, fried sides, and a Friday fish fry.
This was one of those pizzas that tasted fine, but fell short, for me, in the crust department. I’m just not a fan of crusts that have that soft, browned, slightly oily underside instead of a nice crisp exterior. So on the whole, it was all right, in a fast-food kind of way. And I will say that the slice that I saved for later made for good next-day refrigerator pizza, as the healthy coating of sauce kept the slice from drying out. Not bad, then, but it didn’t wow me, and I’ll give it a C+.
Pudgie’s Pizzeria Express, 696 Titus Ave., Irondequoit (takeout and delivery only) 544-1310
Tue. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Closed Sun. & Mon.
Other Rochester location (which offers eat-in facilities) at 1753 N. Goodman St., 266-6605
Pizza Guy Note, Aug. 26, 2010: the Irondequoit Pudgie's is no longer in business. The Goodman St. location remains open.