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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pettinari's, Hilton

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Another day, another gas station/
convenience store, another slice of pizza.
Today finds us in Hilton, at Pettinari's, at the corner of Roosevelt Highway and Clarkson Parma Town Line Road. (Roosevelt Highway, a/k/a Route 18, is not much of a highway, by the way, just an ordinary looking two-lane road. But I digress.)
Pettinari's full name is Pettinari's Deli & Pizza, and it has a full pizza menu, thus qualifying it as a full-fledged pizzeria, not just a convenience store that pops a frozen pie in the microwave every morning and leaves it on the warming rack all day. So I made the trek there for a slice.
My pepperoni slice was screen baked, and nearly charred in spots, but mostly a medium shade of "golden" brown. It was rather thin, and foldable, though the crust cracked a bit when I folded it.
The exterior of the crust had a slightly oily feel on the fingertips, and I detected a faint aroma of cooking oil as well. That's a definite negative for me, as I like my pizza crust to smell like freshly baked bread or toast, not like french fries.
The dough was nicely risen though, and had some internal breadiness, especially along the outer edge.
(Digression #2: I suppose "outer edge" is a redunancy; aren't all edges "outer"? But you know what I mean. The edge of the pie, not the edges where it was sliced.)
Besides cooking oil, the other prominent aroma here was of garlic - garlic powder, if I'm not mistaken. Flavorwise, the sauce was herbal and garlicky. It was moderately applied, and topped with a thin but uniform layer of congealed mozzarella. Overall, the components were pretty well balanced.
Pettinari's menu describes its standard pizza as "New York style." I wouldn't say that, but it's a common misconception around here that thin pizza is the same as New York style.
Be that as it may, Pettinari's also offers white pizza, "garlic" pizza, and "Abruzzese" pizza. Had I read over the menu while I was there, I would've asked more about the latter two, particularly the Abruzzese. I know Abruzzo is a region of Italy, but I have no idea what an Abruzzese pizza would be, nor does the menu offer any clues.
Pizza toppings are limited to eight choices (half of which are animal products - this is not a vegetarian-friendly menu), and they also do calzones. You can also get wings, hot and cold subs, a "chicken stir fry" with cheese, mushrooms, peppers, onions and broccoli, and a variety of grilled and fried items as well, including calamari and ribs.
Getting back to the pizza, well, I liked it, but with reservations. There were a few flaws, starting with the underside, with its oily aroma and feel. The garlic-powder flavor was also a bit too strong for me. I like - no, I love - garlic, but garlic powder can have a harsh flavor, and this was a little harsh for me.
On the plus side, the dough, which I consider the most important component of any pizza, was pretty good. It had a grainy flavor, and despite the competing flavors of cooking oil and garlic powder, I could taste the wheat in the crust. The components were also in good balance with each other, and the sauce had a pleasing herbal flavor. So adding it all up, I come out with a B- for this one.
Pettinari's Deli & Pizza, Inc.
918 Roosevelt Hwy, Hilton 392-4450
8:00 am - 9:00 pm daily

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