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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fullerino's, Byron

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Following in the footsteps of our pioneer forefathers, I've been pushing the western boundary of my pizza travels lately, in search of new discoveries. My latest venture took me to Byron, which sits about halfway between Brockport and Batavia.
The town of Byron is mostly agricultural, but at the crossroads of Routes 262 and 237, you'll find the essentials:  the fire hall, church, garage, tavern, and, yes, pizzeria. Fullerino's occupies the northeast corner of the intersection, with a taxidermy sign out near the curb and locals looking on from the porch of the 160-year-old Byron Hotel across the street.
I ordered a large pie from Fullerino's, half pepperoni. I was asked if I wanted regular or sweet sauce, and after a moment of indecision, went with regular, though I'm told that the sweet sauce - which I guess is regular sauce with added white and brown sugar - is pretty popular. Sweet sauce seems to be something of a local phenomenon, as I've also seen it (and tried it) at Ralph & Rosie's in nearby Bergen.
This pizza was based on a thin-to-medium crust, which had a dry, screen-baked bottom that was not as crisp as I would've liked. The crust was reasonably bready on the inside, with a narrow, crisp and crunchy edge.
On top, the cheese was well baked and browned, to the point of being a tad overdone on the cheese-only side (in fairness, I've found that ordering extra toppings like pepperoni on only half the pie generally results in browned cheese on the other half, since the half with the extra toppings requires a little more baking time). The cheese separated easily from the crust, although the pizza did spend maybe 20 to 30 minutes in the box (in an insulated pizza bag) before I got it home, so the cheese might've congealed and hardened a bit in that time.
Between the crust and the cheese lay the sauce, which had a thick consistency and a slightly salty, concentrated tomatoey flavor. The pepperoni was tasty, with a baconlike flavor and crisp edges.

Aside from the sweet-sauce option, Fullerino's pizza menu is pretty basic, with the only specialty pizzas being a white pizza and a "Lesonja" pizza, with no less than eight toppings. They also serve chicken wings (breading optional), hot and cold subs, fried seafood, calzones, sides, burgers, and salads. There's limited seating, and they do deliver.
This pizza wasn't bad, and although I wasn't blown away by it, I had no major complaints. I mentioned Ralph & Rosie's, and this did remind me a lot of the pizza I had from there. Like R&R's, this was maybe a cut above average, and I'll give it a C+.
Fullerino's, Corner Rt. 237 and Rt. 262, Byron. 548-2727
Store hours:  Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Delivery hours:  Wed. & Thu. 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 5 p.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

5 comments:

  1. This review is wrong on so many levels! How can you even begin to compare R&R's to Fullerinos???? You didn't try the sweet sauce from Fullerinos yet you did at R&R ? Also, you stuck it in an "oven bag" and drove to god knows where for 30mins ? Why didn't you just wait until the next day to eat it? I'm not understanding how you are evaluating these pizzarias when you are not comparing "apples to apples" and you are not trying the pie on site and oven fresh! It's like test driving a 1989 car with 180,000 for a new car review! POINTLESS!

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  2. First, calm down.
    OK. Now - each review is of the particular pizza that I had - NOT of the pizzeria as a whole - with full disclosure of the circumstances under which I had it. So the reader can take into account all the relevant factors, including whether I ate the pizza immediately or 30 minutes later. So no, I wouldn't say that this is like reviewing an old car and presenting it as a new-car review. That would be dishonest. I'm not being dishonest.
    And do you really think that 30 minutes in a box, in an insulated bag, does to a pizza what 20 years and 180,000 miles does to a typical car? I do my best to keep the pizza hot on the way home. The "oven bag" you refer to is the same type of insulated container that pizza delivery guys use. And if I have any sort of drive ahead of me, I always check the underside as soon as I get out to my car, before taking it home, to see if it's crisp, crunchy, soft, greasy, etc.
    As for this pizza, no, I didn't get the sweet sauce. So this is not a review of their pizza with sweet sauce; it's a review of their pizza with regular sauce. I presume they think that their regular sauce is pretty good, otherwise they wouldn't keep it on their menu. I did get sweet sauce at Ralph & Rosie's, but I am not trying to pick a winner between the two establishments. I simply pointed out some obvious similarities between their pizzas, irrespective of what type of sauce is on it.
    For the record, my Ralph & Rosie's pizza also spent some time in the delivery bag, and I also gave it a C+.
    But you have given me a good idea. I may do a series of reviews on day-old pizzas, to see how they hold up over time. Might be fun.

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  3. Well I think that a C+ is pretty generous, I travel about 4 months out of the year so I get to try different pizzerias around the country. Honestly for being in between Rochester and Buffalo you would think that they would have the best of both worlds…….DEAD WRONG…… I live about 25 minutes from this place so just in that radius there are a ton of pizza places. Any pizzeria that doesn’t make their own dough or sauces shouldn’t be above a D+. I could take you to 4 pizzerias in Buffalo that could take a dump on their pizza and it would still taste better. Also where’s the heart and soul, if you don’t take the time and effort to make your own stuff you just have an okay product nothing great and there is no room for improvement. If you don’t believe me go there on a Friday night place your order sit in the back and watch, the sauce comes from a can, the dough comes from a clear bag and the wing sauces are just poured from containers. If I wanted a cookie cutter pizza and wings I would have just got a DiGiorno & Wyngz from Wal-Mart and paid ¼ of the price. If you’re going to charge premium prices for your food it better be worth it not poured from a metal can WTF. And for the comment on Dec 31 you obviously have never traveled out of that area, if you think that there sweet sauce is amazing you don’t know much about taste anyone can add sugar to red sauce. And if that pizza is no good after 30 minutes in an oven bag it has to be a pretty crappy pizza the taste of the pizza should only get better as it sits and cools, the cheese, sauce and dough should all blend together so unless you have crappy products that don’t mingle you should still have a great product. So before you complain you should eat at more than 2 pizzerias and Pizza hut and Dominos don’t count, well they do taste better and are more consistent.

    -Dmitry

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  4. Dmitry,
    Thanks for your input, obviously you have some definite opinions about pizza and Fullerino's. And you can see that when you're a food blogger you get criticism from both sides.
    Just a few comments on some of your points - not to stereotype, and I think good pizza can be found anywhere, but IN GENERAL, you find better pizza in urban rather than rural areas. I can postulate various reasons why that is (bigger immigrant populations in cities, more competition, more - I hate to say it, but - "sophisticated" customers, foodwise), but that's been my experience. And I say that as somebody who grew up in the Southern Tier and lives in a fairly rural area now. So the "best of both worlds" concept sounds good, but in practice it rarely works that way.
    I get what you're saying about places that don't make their own dough and sauce, but I base my grades on the final product, so I can't go along with your "D+" idea. And most pizzerias' sauce starts with canned tomatoes, so where do you draw the line? But emotionally, I do tend to lean toward places that do it from scratch and put some passion into their pizza.
    Thanks again for your comments. Pizza can provoke strong opinions in people, clearly!

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