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Monday, August 23, 2010

Pizzeria Americana, Long Pond Road - Grandma's Pizza

Having recently done a post on Pizzeria Americana Ohana on Monroe Avenue, I decided that it was time to make a return visit to its erstwhile sister pizzeria on Long Pond Road in Greece. I say "erstwhile" because it's a word I don't get to use that often, but also because according to RocWiki, the two locations have been under separate ownership since 2007.
So, nearly a year and a half after my previous post on Kip's Pizzeria Americana, I returned there recently, primarily to try their version of "Grandma's" pizza. Prior to this, my only previous experience with this particular style of pizza was the Grandma's that I got from Joe's Brooklyn Pizza (although the Pizza Stop's meatball parm pizza is very similar, except for the addition of meatballs).
Kip's menu describes its Grandma's as consisting of "a thick crust with red sauce" and Romano cheese, topped with sausage, broccoli, and black olives." Contrary to that description, the crust on my pizza was not particularly thick, not that I'm complaining. The underside was crisp and nicely charred but not burnt, and the interior was bready.
Naturally, the sauce took center stage here. Yes, there is cheese, but since Romano has such a sharper flavor than mozzarella - and doesn't melt very well - it doesn't blanket the pizza, but is just added as more of a flavor accent.
The sauce on this was very tomatoey, with a slightly sweet, cooked-tomato flavor.
Next up, flavorwise, was the sausage, which was mild, with a pleasant, meaty flavor.
Despite its sharpness, the Romano stayed mostly in the background, as did the broccoli and olives. They were obviously visible, and I could taste them, but they came close to being overwhelmed by the sauce.
I also picked up a Margherita, which was pretty similar to the one I got at the Brighton location, except that Kip's used sliced rather than diced tomatoes, and the basil was not shredded as finely, nor was it as wilted from the heat of the oven as the Ohana Margherita. Again, this was not, as far as I know, a "classic" Margherita, which typically are topped with crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil, but the flavors of the components here blended well together, with a prominent garlic flavor and the tangy low-moisture mozzarella forming a base for the fresh tomatoes and basil. The crust was crisp and bready.
As evidence of their common heritage, Kip's and Ohana share a lot of similar menu items, and there are still more specialty pizzas I'd like to try here, such as the "Rosemary," with olive oil, garlic, oregano, mozzarella, potato and rosemary, or the Mediterranean, with basil pesto, pine nuts, spinach, fresh tomato, mozzarella dn feta cheese.
Speaking of the menu, though, for whatever reason, the menu I picked up at Kip's last year lists 29 specialty pizzas, while the one I got this last time only has 19. The Grandma's doesn't appear on the newer menu, nor does the Mediterranean, although it does show up on the online menu.
I hope that doesn't mean that they're trying to phase out the Grandma's, because it was good pizza. Not an everyday pizza, or for everybody, but if you're a lover of red sauce, and don't mind a (nearly) cheeseless pizza now and then, you should enjoy this. With that nicely baked, crisp crust as a base, this was good enough to rate an A- from me.
Kip's Pizzeria Americana, 516 Long Pond Rd. (Carriage Stop Plaza) 227-9913
Mon. - Wed. 3 p.m. - 10 p.m., Thu. 2 p.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. 2:30 p.m. - midnight, Sat. noon - midnight, Sun. noon - 10 p.m.

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