Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Fat Jack's, Fairport - CLOSED
Last January, I reported on Portside Pizza in Fairport. I thought the slice I got there was OK but had a few flaws, and gave it a C+.
Well, Portside has exited the stage, and now enters Fat Jack's, which claims to be "Fairport's only home for true NY Style Pizza."
A bold claim, there, considering that Fat Jack's is new on the scene, and that Fairport already has some pretty decent NY style pizza at Pizza Chef. I was naturally eager, then, to put Fat Jack's to the test.
I got two slices, one cheese, one pepperoni. While slices aren't always representative of a pizzeria's best stuff, any true NY style pizzeria ought to be able to turn out good individual slices, like the ones you'll find at countless pizza joints in the Big Apple.
Visually, these slices bore some resemblance to what you'd get in the City, but there were noticeable differences too. They were thin, but of course there's more to New York style pizza than mere thinness.
The underside, for example. With rare exceptions, the slices I've gotten in New York have not been baked on a pizza screen. A NY-style slice should also be crisp and at least faintly charred underneath and along the outer edge.
The top side, too, didn't quite resemble genuine NYC pizza, as the cheese was rather browned. In my experience, a typical New York slice is charred underneath, but the cheese is simply melted, not browned.
I don't mean to get hung up on style, here - the bottom line, after all, is whether the pizza's good or not, not whether it meets some stylistic criteria - but I think it's fair to mention these things, since Fat Jack's chose to bill itself as a purveyor of "true NY style pizza."
That said, let's move on to the more important matter of how this pizza tasted. As I said, the crust was thin - very thin toward the tip - and there was some evidence in the outer lip of the dough having risen nicely, which gave it a pleasing chewiness. All in all, the crust had good texture and flavor, with the faintest hint of saltiness in the background, but it lacked exterior crispness.
The sauce was moderately applied, but certainly noticeable given the thinness of the crust. It had a thick texture, with a smattering of dried herbs visible, and I'm pretty sure I picked up some basil flavor. Not bad.
The cheese, as I mentioned, was a bit browned. It was OK, but not quite as smooth or creamy as I would've liked. The pepperoni had a nice peppery kick, and was reasonably crisp.
At this point, Fat Jack's has a relatively modest list of nine pizza toppings, and four specialty pizzas. They also do hot and cold subs, wings, salads and strombolis. It's pretty much a takeout place - sorry, I'm not sure if they deliver, but I'll try to find out.
I liked this pizza well enough to go back. It had good flavor, and the crust wasn't bad. I do take issue with Fat Jack's claim to serve authentic New York style pizza, though. I'd be pretty surprised if I got a slice like these from a pizza place in New York City. It may just be a matter of baking the pizza directly on the oven deck, which I think would make the crust crisper and cook the crust through before the cheese started to brown. But on the basis of these slices, this was better than average pizza, and I'll give them a B.
Fat Jack's Pizza, 110 Packetts Landing, Fairport
Sun. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., Fri. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.