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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wally's Pub, Canandaigua

Wally's Pub on Urbanspoon
Like anybody else in the Rochester area, I find myself in Canandaigua from time to time, but it's not an everyday thing, so on a recent foray into Canandaigua, I hit up two pizza places. The first was Pizano's, which I posted about recently.
But prior to going there, I discovered online that Wally's Pub, a bar just off Main Street, sells pizza to go, so after picking up my pizza from Pizano's, I swung by Wally's and grabbed a pepperoni pie.
(I did not, by the way, eat two pizzas in one sitting. I had a couple of slices of each - they were small slices - and saved the rest. Even I have my limits.)
This provided an interesting contrast to Pizano's, and showed how a dish as simple as pizza can vary so much from one place to another. Wally's crust might've been a tad thicker than Pizano's, with a more uniformly browned underside that was reasonably crisp. The dough had clearly been "docked," meaning punctured with small holes to prevent it from bubbling up in the oven. The crust also had a certain crunchiness that suggested perhaps the presence of oil or other shortening in the dough, though the crust itself wasn't noticeably oily.
The toppings were also markedly different, though not necessarily better or worse, than Pizano's. A uniform layer of melted mozzarella was almost gooey, in a good way. The abundant cheese meant that my leftovers benefited well from reheating (which led me to discover that putting frozen slices into a 400 degree toaster oven for about 8 minutes, followed by 30 seconds in the microwave, does a remarkably good job of bringing leftover pizza back to life. The oven crisped up the bottom, and the microwave melted the cheese quite nicely).
While I enjoyed the stringy mozzarella, the other toppings played prominent roles as well. The sauce, though not applied to excess, was nonetheless noticeable for its very tomatoey flavor. And the pepperoni was generously laid on, several slices thick in spots, as you can see in the third photo.
Aside from pizza, Wally's offers the usual selection of bar food (you can find their menu here), and from some online reviews that I've read, the Wally Burger is held in no little renown. Though not much to look at on the outside, Wally's is a pleasant spot, a classic neighborhood tavern with just enough room for its U-shaped bar, which on this occasion was about half full of locals enjoying lunch and some friendly conversation.
It's unfortunately rare to find bars around this area that serve pizza, and rarer still to find bars that serve good pizza. So Wally's was a pleasant surprise. There was nothing particularly subtle or sublime about this pizza - it was saucy, cheesy and meaty, with a serviceable crust - but it was good, solid pizza, with a lot of flavor and textural contrasts. The almost biscuitlike, crispy crunch of the crust, the well melted cheese, tomatoey sauce and abundant pepperoni combined to make a very distinctive pie that rates a B from me.
Wally's Pub, 16-18 Phoenix St., Canandaigua
(585) 394-2718
I'm not sure of the hours, but don't go by the listing on Facebook, which shows Wally's as closed on Mondays and opening late on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I called them one morning when the Facebook listing showed them being closed, and not only did someone (presumably the bartender) promptly answer, but when I told him I was just checking to see if they were open, he replied, with a tone of surprise, "Of course! We're always open." And according to the menu, the kitchen is likewise "always open," so if you're inclined to go, just go. They'll be open.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Those pizza's look great and I love pizza. The only problem is I live in South Florida and it's hard to find a good pizza. This is a commercial from the only place I go for a good by by me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y3mv8F2miw
    Great blog post by the way. The reader can feel the passion in your words.

    ReplyDelete


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