Friday, January 8, 2010
Portside Pizza, Fairport
Portside Pizza opened in 2009 in a former Piatza’s space at Packett’s Landing in Fairport. They offer oversize slices, one of which I tried recently.
As I often do, I got a plain cheese slice, so I wouldn’t be distracted by any other toppings. I did notice, however, that the pepperoni slices had been made with the smaller, cup and char variety of pepperoni.
My slice had a thin crust, with a fairly dense texture. The flavor and texture of the crust were more doughy than bready.
The underside was a uniform light brown, and bore light screen marks. The sauce and cheese were applied right up to the outer edge, which was not especially thick, but was puffy, with some big air holes where the dough had bubbled.
The sauce was very lightly applied, and was hard to detect on my palate. It seemed to get lost somewhere between the crust and the cheese. The cheese, a far more dominant player, was a bit tangy and had been moderately browned.
Portside has a pretty long list of pizza toppings, including four cheeses (feta, Romano, ricotta and blue), and fresh garlic, which is always a plus for me. They also have six specialty pizzas, ranging from the familiar (Buffalo chicken) to the interestingly named Wo-Wo (garlic base with roasted red peppers, red onion, green peppers, artichoke hearts, and Romano cheese). Also worthy of note, Portside offers gluten-free pizza as well.
Aside from pizza, there are the usual wings (six sauces available), hot and cold subs and sandwiches, salads, and appetizers. The “lighter side” of the menu includes soup, fruit salad, yogurt, granola and hummus.
I liked Portside; the service was friendly, the staff is young and enthusiastic, and their heart seems to be in the right place, meaning that I got the sense that they genuinely want their customers to be happy with the food and service. They also seem to be courting a younger clientele, not only with some of the health-conscious menu items, but also with innovations like a “text your order” option. They also have a fairly high internet profile, with a website, active Facebook page, and a separate coupon site.
But on the strength of this one visit, the pizza seemed to me to be a work in progress. It was OK, but I found the crust a little too dense and doughy, and it lacked a bit of balance due to the largely MIA sauce. I also would have liked a slightly crisper, toastier underside. But the flavor wasn’t bad overall, and it didn’t seem to have been carelessly or sloppily made. So while the pizza was pretty average, I’ll give them some points for trying hard, and for still being fairly new at the game, so I’ll give Portside a C+ for now.
Portside Pizza, 110 Packetts Landing, Fairport 425-0522
Tue. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sun. Noon - 6 p.m.
Pizza Guy note: as of December 2010, Portside Pizza is closed. Fat Jack's Pizza now occupies the space.