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Monday, January 10, 2011

C & C Deli, Lyell Ave.

C & C Deli on Urbanspoon
If you've ever gone to or driven by the Wegmans on Lyell Avenue in Gates, you may have noticed the big "PIZZA" sign in front of the plaza across the street. That would be the C & C Deli. It is primarily a deli, not a pizzeria, so I wasn't in much of a hurry to check out their pizza, but I did stop by the other day for a slice.
The only slices available on my visit were pepperoni slices, each of which was a quarter of a pie, in a warming case. I got one slice.
The crust was thin, which made it all the more remarkable how heavy a slice this was. Some of that, I suppose, was just the sheer size of the slice, but the toppings were on the heavy side too.
A generous helping of tomato sauce gave this slice a distinctive flavor. It had a thick consistency and a cooked-tomato flavor, with what seemed to be a hint of sharp cheese in the background. I liked the flavor of this sauce, which would've been great over pasta.
Alas, the rest of the slice was less enjoyable. The underside had that "pancake" appearance, with bubbly, shallow white craters surrounded by a golden-brown surface. The exterior of the crust, and in fact the entire crust, were soft and nearly buckled under the weight of the toppings. The interior was spongy and bland.
Atop the sauce, the cheese was a little browned, and had melted together into a solid mass that easily separated from the crust. The slice also appeared to have been sprinkled with what I would guess was Romano, which gave it a bit of tanginess in the background. The pepperoni had a nice meaty flavor and was more chewy than crisp.
The outer edge of this slice was formed into a medium-thick lip, which had some crunch. Maybe it was just very skillfully made, but it was so uniform in appearance that it resembled one of those slices that you'd get from a convenience store, which are obviously made from preshaped, maybe frozen crusts.
C&C does serve full pies as well as slices, but only in one size ("large" on the menu - I didn't measure it, but I would've guessed this slice to be about 7 inches along the side). Among the 14 available toppings you'll find hot and mild sopressata, prosciutto and bacon. They also offer chicken wing, veggie, white, meat, and garlic specialty pizzas.
Some of those sound good, but I have a hard time getting past this crust. I could be wrong, but subjectively, this crust seemed to me to have a certain "premade" appearance and flavor, and as I said, the slice as a whole was all too reminiscent of convenience store pizza. The sauce was clearly the best thing about it, and I'd gladly buy a jar of it to take home. But it would be much better served over a plate of spaghetti than atop this rather lifeless crust.
On the plus side, C&C is a very good deli, with a nice selection of meats and imported foods. You could have a fine time here some afternoon, sitting at one of their handful of tables, working on a meaty sub and a draft beer, watching a European soccer game on TV to help pass the time, but I'm giving this slice of pizza a C-.
C&C Deli & Grill, 2310 Lyell Ave., 429-7827
Hours unknown

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