After too long a hiatus, I stopped into the Pizza Stop downtown the other day. I would typically get a couple of cheese slices, maybe pepperoni, but in the interests of research I decided to try something a little different. I got one white garlic slice, and one slice with Italian sausage and banana peppers.
The white garlic slice, which came from a freshly-baked pie (in other words, the slice was not reheated), had Pizza Stop's signature crisp underside, with a few small char spots dotted about. The surface was a tad oily, but that's normal for white pizza, and it wasn't overly so.
The flavor was, appropriately, more subtle than that of a typical red-sauce pizza, but no less tasty, with a blend of warm cheese, garlic, herbs and oil. I didn't spot any chunks of garlic, but the garlic flavor was unmistakable, though not harsh or overpowering. White pizza will never be my go-to pizza, but as white pizzas go, this was quite good.
I am more of a red-sauce guy, and I have a fondness for hot peppers, so I really liked the sausage and peppers slice. This featured chunks of Italian sausage mixed with slices of banana peppers. The peppers were the kind that come in a jar, but banana peppers are one of the few things that somehow seem to taste better canned than fresh. Something about that vinegar that gives them an added dimesion of flavor, I guess. The underside of this slice was also crisp, but more well-browned and less charred than the white pizza.
There's nothing particularly subtle about the flavors of Italian sausage and banana peppers, but this was really good. The toppings made this an almost "juicy" slice of pizza that definitely called for folding down the middle. Between the savory sausage, the vinegary kick and crunch of the peppers, the tomato-sauce and cheese base, and the crisp crust, it was like eating a hot, crunchy sub. A definite winner.
I've said on more than one occasion that for my taste, Pizza Stop makes the best pizza in town, particularly if you like thin-crust, New York style pizza. And it's been consistently good in all the years I've been going there. So while it hardly seems necessary to say yet again that it rates a solid "A" from me, it can't hurt to add these two varieties to the database. I'll continue to work my way through Pizza Stop's menu, and if I run across a clunker, I'll certainly report on that too. But that doesn't seem to likely to happen.
Pizza Stop, 123 State St., Rochester 14614 546-7252
Mon. - Thu. 10:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Fri. 10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.