Friday, February 4, 2011
I used to see Shells' Pizzeria on Rt. 332 every time I'd go to Canandaigua, but I never stopped in. Dean's Pizzeria now occupies that spot, but on a recent Saturday I did have the chance to stop at Shells' in Macedon, where I happened to be for a family occasion.
When I told my wife I wanted to stop at Shells' for a slice of pizza she was a bit taken aback, thinking that I was talking about a gas station. But Shell's is a legitimate pizzeria, not a Shell station (is Shell gas still around, by the way? I never see them anymore).
Maybe 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon is not the best time to stop at any pizzeria for a slice, but all that was available were two sorry looking pepperoni slices sitting under a heat lamp.
My wife declined, but having come that far, I soldiered on and asked for one slice. As the employee was sliding my slice out, part of the slice near the tip detached and stayed behind on the warming rack, along with a large globule of cheese and one slice of pepperoni. Not that it looked especially appetizing, but I thought he might fetch that stray remnant and toss it in with the rest of the slice, or perhaps simply give me the other slice. But he didn't.
For a good 2/3 of the length of this slice, the thin crust was quite wet, as if the slice had been sitting in liquid. It wasn't greasy, more watery, so I'm not sure if the liquid came from the sauce, cheese, or some other source. Obviously that portion of the crust was quite soft and floppy, and it almost dissolved in my mouth when I took a bite.
Ironically, though, by pushing the toppings, and the water that had been contained within them, toward the center of the pie, those bubbles may have been this slice's one saving grace, as the outer-edge half of the slice was still dry underneath, and I was able to discern a glimmer of a potentially good crust. It had some internal breadiness, and even a bit of exterior crunch.
Shells' pizza menu lists 18 toppings, and nine specialty pizzas and calzones. There are also cold and hot subs, wraps, wings, finger foods, and salads. There's a small seating area.
As John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, "Of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'" I don't know if Whittier liked pizza, but his words are apt here, as this could've been a good pizza. And if I'd come on a different day, or at a different time of day, maybe I would've gotten a good slice. So no, I'm not judging Shells' based on only one slice, but I am judging the slice I was given, and frankly, I might've been better off going to a gas station for a slice of pizza. Despite what seemed like pretty good dough, this pizza suffered from poor preparation, preservation, and presentation, and for that I give it a D+.
Shell's Pizzeria, Rt. 31 (near 31F/350), Macedon. 315-986-3008.
Delivery available to Palmyra, Farmington, Gananda and Macedon ($10 minimum).