Thursday, June 30, 2011
Spot, East Ave.
Spot Coffee on East Avenue reopened after a six-month-long hiatus during which it was remodeled inside. In addition to the physical changes, Spot also expanded its food menu to include "gourmet" pizza.
I'm never quite sure what to make of that self-aggrandizing "gourmet" label when it's attached to anything, and all too often it's an unintended warning that what you are about to eat is not nearly as good as its description would have you believe. But after recently trying one of Spot's new Margherita pizzas, I am pleased to report that this was not the case here. This was actually quite good.
Like the "gourmet" moniker, the menu's misspelling of the 19th-century Queen of Italy's name as "Margharita" did not fill me with confidence, but my doubts were quickly dispelled when I got my pie. It had a nicely charred crust, thin in the center, encircled by a wide, thick, bready cornicione. There was some exterior crispness along the edge, and the interior of the cornicione was airy but chewy, in a bready kind of way. My fingertips detected just the slightest hint of oil along the edge, but it wasn't at all greasy.
This pie was pretty saucy, topped with a thick sauce in which some dried herbs were visible, although the flavor was more sweet-tomatoey than herbal. I always hate to complain about being given too much of anything, but for me this ran close to an excessive amount of sauce for such a thin crust.
Atop the sauce, the melted fresh mozzarella was just slightly browned, but still soft and stretchy, not rubbery. A smattering of shredded basil added good flavor, and appeared to have been added at the end (as it should be), as it was still green and fresh-tasting.
Spot offers five other pizzas, but no a la carte pies, although I can't imagine why you couldn't get a plain cheese pizza or a pepperoni pizza (which would simply be Spot's "New Yorker" minus the mushrooms). And they've got sandwiches, salads, breakfast selections, baked goods, and of course plenty of coffee drinks.
After some initial uncertainty, then, this pizza was a pleasant surprise. The crust was very good, though a bit short of perfection, and the other components were also very enjoyable, though I thought the generous helping of sauce threw the pie slightly out of balance. Those minor quibbles prevent me from giving this one my highest grade, but this was good enough to rate an A- from me.
Spot Coffee,200 East Avenue Rochester 14604. 613-4600
Mon. - Fri. 6 a.m. - midnight; Sat. 7 a.m. - midnight; Sun. 7 a.m. - 11 p.m