Sometimes you just stumble across a pizzeria that you hadn't known existed. Such was the case for me with Rhino's on Humboldt Street, which runs between Culver and Winton on Rochester's east side. I happened to see it a few weeks ago, on my way to get a haircut, so I stopped in for a quick slice.
When I saw the name, I wondered if this was related to the Rhino's in Webster, and yes, it is. Not sure how or why a Webster pizzeria decided to open a second location in this particular spot, but they have.
My slice was roughly similar to the one I got in Webster, but there were some differences. It had a medium thick crust, with a browned, slightly floury underside. Save for a bit of exterior crunch, the slice was more soft than crisp, and quite foldable. It was, I think, just a tad thicker than the one I got in Webster, and it also lacked the slight charring of the Webster slice.
This slice was a little on the saucy side, with a mildly flavored sauce. I detected some herbs in the background.
The cheese was, for lack of a better term, rather "clumped." I'm not sure if this was due to the type of cheese used, the way in which it was applied or baked, or some other factor, but instead of melting into a smooth, uniform layer, it had gathered or congealed into several spots, leaving some areas of the slice cheeseless. The wide slices of pepperoni were OK, but not especially crisp.
I liked the edge of the slice, which had bubbled up in a couple of spots. It had a nice, crisp, bready texture and flavor.
Unlike its Webster counterpart, the Humboldt Street Rhino's is a very small place, with almost no seating, and a bare-bones interior, making it mostly a pickup and delivery place. They offer a fairly standard lineup of pizza toppings, and three specialty pizzas (chicken fajita, buffalo wing, and steak & cheese).
Besides pizza, Rhino's serves wings, calzones, sides, salads, burgers, hots, and fish fry. The sub menu is quite extensive, with the "garbage sub" (hamburger patty, mac salad, french fries and if that's not enough, "your choice of toppings" on a sub roll) being a noteworthy recent addition.
This was not a bad slice of pizza, but I didn't like it quite as much as the one I had in Webster. The main difference was the crust, which lacked the crackly bite and toasty notes of the Webster version. Of course it's also possible that I was just hungrier on the former occasion, but even accounting for such subjective factors, I'm going to call this one "average," as Rochester pizza goes, and give it a C.
Rhino's Pizzeria, 391 Humboldt St. 288-7492
Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (Open Sunday afternoons during football season.)