Friday, May 21, 2010
Carmine's Family Restaurant
Way back in August 2009, I did a post on Carmine's Express in Gates. I got a lunchtime slice there, which at Carmine's Express means a rectangular, sheet-pizza slice, with a thick but airy crust and stringy, melted mozzarella.
Well, there's also a Carmine's Family Restaurant in Greece, which has a shared history with Carmine's Express, but the two are apparently no longer affiliated; the Carmine's Express website describes the owner of that establishment as "the former co-owner of Carmine's Family Restaurant."
All of which is background to why I wanted to check out Carmine's Family Restaurant. As I did at Carmine's Express, I got a single pepperoni slice at lunchtime.
Although sometimes, when two pizzerias, or pizzeria owners, go their separate ways, the pizzas become very different from each other, that was not the case here. My slice at Carmine's Family Restaurant was quite similar to the one I got at Carmine's Express.
Again, this was a sheet-pizza type of slice, and it, too, had a thick but light-textured, crunchy crust. The underside was lightly browned and reasonably non-greasy.
It was pretty saucy, and the sauce had a thick, cooked-down consistency and an acidic tomatoey flavor.
I hate to keep making comparisons, but as at Carmine's Express, this slice was topped with a layer of very melted mozzarella, which was soft and stringy. The thin-sliced pepperoni was just a bit crisp.
Carmine's Family Restaurant also offers conventional pizza pies, in 10", 14" and 16" sizes. I got a look at one of them, and it appeared to have a relatively thick crust, although the menu on the wall stated that thin crust, "New York Style" pizza was available on request. They were also advertising Philly cheese steak, Buffalo chicken, and "Chicago deep dish" pizzas.
Otherwise, the pizza menu is fairly modest, with thirteen toppings, and white (garlic) pizzas available as well. The rest of the menu includes calzones, wings, hot and cold subs, burgers, hot dogs, pasta dinners, salads and sides.
I will say that this appeared to be a popular lunchtime destination. They were quite busy on my visit, and a lot of people were eating pizza. Maybe it was the heavy customer traffic, or just unlucky timing on my part, but it took several minutes for my one slice to come up.
I gave Carmine's Express a C, and, even aside from considerations of consistency, that seems about right for Carmine's Family Restaurant too. This slice was all right, not really my idea of great pizza, but not bad either. If I'm eating thick crust, I'd actually like a little more heft or substance to the crust; a really light-textured crust is kind of like the pizza equivalent of sponge candy; it's good, but not quite as satisfying as I might like. Still, I'll give this one some points for not being greasy, like so many other pan-risen pizzas. So again, a C seems right on target.
Carmine's Family Restaurant, 671 Maiden Lane 663-0050
11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily