Thursday, April 29, 2010
Pizza Stop: Sicilian and Stuffed Pizzas
Although my blogging activities have kept me from stopping in as often as I'd like, eventuall y I always end up back at Pizza Stop on State St. I stopped in the other day and, as much as I love their NY style slices, I decided in the interests of research to try something different, so I got a corner slice of their Sicilian pie, and a sausage-stuffed pizza.
The Sicilian slice had a very crunchy crust, but this wasn't a "fried" kind of crunch like you get with many sheet or pan pizzas. The underside wasn't greasy at all.
The dough was well risen and fairly light in texture, with lots of air holes inside. The browned cheese was moderately applied, a bit thicker perhaps than on the NY style pies, but in balance with the crust. The thick, tomatoey sauce tended to collect in the folds of dough on top, so that some bites were "saucier" than others.
There was a slight sheen of oil on the top of the crust, along the edge. The edge was particularly crunchy but not dry. All in all, a nice, well balanced slice of pizza.
Moving on to the stuffed pizza - I honestly don't know if I'd ever had stuffed pizza before this. I've certainly heard of it, seen it on menus, but it's not the sort of pizza that I'd be apt to try. Being mostly a thin-crust guy and a traditionalist, in theory it sounds like it should be the antithesis of what I think of as good pizza. A layer of dough on top of the pizza? What is this, some Chicagoan monstrosity? (Personally I think deep dish "pizza" is a joke that Chicagoans foist on unsuspecting tourists, while they go back and secretly eat their thin crust pies.)
But this looked kind of good, so I tried a slice, and lo and behold, it was good. Very good. (Admittedly, I was hungry, but even taking that into account, it was good.)
It had a crisp underside, which, like the Sicilian slice, had some crunch but no grease. It wasn't charred or toasty like Pizza Stop's NY style pizza, but instead well browned, in a mottled pattern, something like the bottom of a pancake.
The cheese was definitely on the heavy side here, but again in good balance; this is a pizza that needs a heavier hand with the cheese.
The meatball stuffing worked very well with the other components of this pizza. I was never much for meatballs on my pizza - they just seem too "heavy" for me, usually (though I have to admit, I do like the meatball parm pizza at, where else, Pizza Stop) - but here they blended in and complemented the other components, rather than weighing down or overwhelming the slice. It made for a very tasty, satisfying slice, certainly a bit more filling than the average cheese slice, but light enough to eat with one hand. This was not some enormous, lead-heavy pizza that had to be eaten with a knife and fork.
So Pizza Stop, which is deservedly known for its authentic, NY style, thin crust pizza, shows that it's not a one-trick pony, and that they can turn out some very good thicker variations as well. Probably nothing will ever make a full blown, thick-crust convert out of me, and on my next visit to Pizza Stop I'm pretty sure I'll be back to the thin crust, but their Sicilian and stuffed pizzas are not to be ignored. I don't imagine I could ever like them as much as Pizza Stop's NY style pies, but for what they are, I found them considerably better than average, so I think a B+ sounds about right.