Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Linda's New York Pizzeria
Cam's Pizzeria, and despite my general skepticism about chains, they do a pretty good job of turning out good New York style pizza from their many locations in the Rochester area.
Some time ago, I learned that one of Cam's oldest locations, on Lyell Avenue, had become Linda's New York Pizzeria. I stopped in for a couple of lunchtime slices and was pleased with what I got.
My two pepperoni slices were thin - so thin, in fact, that they were translucent -and though they were more browned than charred underneath, they had a nice, crackly crust, with enough backbone to pass the fold test, meaning that the tip stood out, without flopping down, when the crust was folded and held horizontally. Despite its thinness, the crust also had a pleasing chewiness, although the thin cornicione along the edge was a little pale and not quite as satisfyingly breadlike as I might've liked.
The slices were topped with a thin layer of slightly sweet tomato sauce, with some flecks of dried herbs noticeable, and a thin layer of basic mozzarella, plus the aforementioned pepperoni. Given the thinness of the crust, the toppings were applied in good proportion; this crust was not meant to hold abundant, heavy toppings.
Besides a reasonable variety of slices, Linda's offers New York style pies in 12", 14", 16", and 20" sizes, as well as 16" x 16" Sicilian pizza and 17" x 25" sheets. The menu features about two dozen toppings, and six specialty pizzas, including a "New York deli" pie with ham, Swiss and mustard sauce, and a breakfast pizza, which is something of a specialty here - Linda's bills itself as "Rochester's original home of the breakfast pizza."
Linda's also serves wings, hot and cold subs, wraps, strombolis, calzones and sausage rolls, salads and several Italian dinners. There's a fair amount of seating, though the atmosphere is pretty stripped-down and basic.
On the website, Linda's features the slogan, "even better." I assume that means better than the Cam's that was here before. I'll withhold judgment on that, for now, but this was very good pizza. Aside from the cornicione, my only quibble would be with the cheese, which was OK, but not outstanding. It simply didn't have the melt-in-your-mouth smoothness that helps elevate a very good pizza to true greatness.
But again, very good pizza. I love a good thin crust, but not all thin crusts are good. There are a lot of things that can go wrong - too burnt, too flabby, too crackly - but this crust combined thinness with a crackly underside and a nice, breadlike chew. Not quite at the top of my list, but very good indeed, and it easily merits a B.
Linda's New York Pizzeria, 1219 Lyell Ave. 14606
Mon. - Thu. 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. - 10 p.m.