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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CJ's Pub & Grill, Spencerport

You don't find a lot of pizzerias in bowling alleys, but hey, why not? Bowling and pizza seem like pretty good partners. If you're going to eat while you bowl, better a slice of pizza than a hot sauce-coated chicken wing - you don't want to be picking up a bowling ball with grease on your fingers.
As the name implies, CJ's Pub & Grill, which opened earlier this year in the same building as Spencerport Bowl, is not just a pizzeria, but it does offer a full pizza menu. It's not the first place in Spencerport Bowl to offer pizza; Pizzeria Nove was there for a while, but closed in March 2009. CJ's is in a different space within the building, and unlike Pizzeria Nove, which was mostly a takeout place, CJ's is a full-fledged pub with a bar and tables.
I recently stopped at CJ's to pick up a large pie with green (sweet) peppers and onions. It had a pretty thin crust, the underside of which bore an unusual cross-hatch pattern, something like grill marks, but more widely separated than I would expect from an ordinary grill.
The crust was, well, kind of odd. It was slightly oily to the touch, with a chewy, somewhat dense, doughy texture. It didn't taste like raw dough, it just had the texture of raw dough, as if the dough hadn't risen very much. One big air bubble (visible in the top photo at about 1:00) and a few smaller but still prominent bubbles suggested that perhaps the dough hadn't risen much before going into the oven, where the heat briefly sent the yeast into overdrive.
On the plus side, the overall flavor wasn't bad. The crust was topped with a bright-tasting, tangy sauce, and a moderate layer of slightly browned cheese. In general, the components were well balanced. The diced, fresh peppers and onions were not added in abundance, but enough to provide flavor and a bit of crunch. The outer edge of the pie was formed into a thin, narrow lip.
CJ's menu is pretty basic, as far as pizza goes, with eleven toppings and no specialty pizzas. There's also a full range of bar food, as well as more substantial fare, including steaks, pasta, sandwiches, and salads. There's a kid's menu as well.
I might go back sometime, but probably not for the pizza. While this pizza had pretty good flavor, the crust really wasn't so hot. There's a lot of pizza competition in the immediate vicinity of CJ's, including Cam's, Leccese's, and a Pontillo's (which I haven't been to yet). If CJ's were trying to make a go of it as a pizzeria, I wouldn't be too optimistic. Judging from their Facebook page, though, the pub seems to have a fair number of fans, and it may do very well, but at this point pizza is not CJ's forte, I'm afraid. I'm giving this one a C-.
CJ's Pub & Grill, 45 Nichols St., Spencerport 14559. 585-352-5772
Not sure of the hours, but I believe it's open daily for lunch and dinner, and the bar stays open late.

1 comment:

  1. The CJ's Pub and Grill I go to in Spencerport Bowl has awesome pizza. Especially the specialty pizzas!

    ReplyDelete


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