A couple of months ago, I did a post on Bertino's, which opened on Monroe Ave. where Rookies Express had been. I didn't especially care for my slice, and gave it a C-.
But at that time, Bertino's had just opened, and I know sometimes it takes a while for a place to get its act together, so I stopped back the other day to see if things had improved. I got a pepperoni slice.
The good news is, this was better than the cheese slice I had last time, which was overcooked on top and pale underneath, had no interior crust, and not enough sauce. The not-so-good news is, it's still not great pizza. But it was OK.
The crust on this one was medium thick, though rather thin toward the tip. The underside was brown, with a faint aroma of cooking oil. It was firm but not crisp, and the crust did have some interior air holes and a little breadiness.
Nicely, there was a noticeable amount of sauce on this one, particularly near the tip, where it probably pooled in the oven, due to the crust being thinner near the middle of the pizza. It had a slightly sweet flavor, with some herbal notes.
That was topped by a moderate layer of mozzarella. The cheese was again well browned, maybe a shade too much for my taste, though not as much as last time. On the plus side, the pepperoni was nice and crisp along the edges. The thin lip at the edge of the slice was a bit tough and chewy, and I was glad that it was so narrow.
So, some pluses and some minuses here. The crust - except for the edge - was decent, if a tad oily underneath. Even though this slice was pretty fresh, I think it might've benefited from a quick reheat on the oven floor, just to crisp it up a little. And there was enough sauce on this one to add some flavor and balance out the other components, particularly that browned, somewhat dried-out cheese. In fact, I'd say that the sauce is what really made this slice.
Not bad, then, not great, but OK, with no major flaws, and reasonably good flavor and texture overall. While not a quantum leap forward, it was enough of an improvement on both last time and Rookies Express to bump it over to the positive side of average, and I'll give it a C+.
Bertino's Pizza, Pasta & More, 649 Monroe Ave. 271-7000
Mon. & Tue. 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., Wed. - Fri. 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m., Sat. 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.