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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Coach, Webster

As I continue to make the rounds of places that aren't pizzerias but that sell pizza, I stopped not long ago at The Coach in Webster. As you might suspect from the name, it's a sports bar, and it's a fixture in Webster - it's operated as The Coach since 1991, but it can trace its roots back to 1812, as you can read about here.
Unless they specialize in pizza or I have some other reason to think otherwise beforehand, I'm never expecting much when I order pizza at a bar or restaurant. Too often you get something that looks as if it came from the warming tray at your local convenience store.
But I was pleasantly surprised by my personal-size pizza that I got at The Coach. I'm not saying that it blew me away or anything, but it was pretty decent pizza.
That's partly because they make their own dough here, so this isn't just some premade pizza shell with some toppings thrown on. And the crust was in fact pretty good. It was thin, overall, although a little uneven in thickness. The underside was a deep shade of golden brown, with some floury areas, and some surface crackling, which is a good sign. It had a fresh-bread aroma and appeared to have good gluten development inside. On the downside, it was a little unevenly baked, with some very dark areas along the edge in spots, but much lighter in others. And it didn't quite have the crustiness of the very best pizzas I've tried - the kind of exterior crispness that you find with a great loaf of hearth-baked bread. All in all, though, this wasn't bad at all.

The crust was topped with a thin coat of orange-red sauce, which had a mild, middle-of-the-road flavor. Above that was a relatively heavy layer of well melted, gloppy cheese covering the pie, except for one big bubbled-up area. I photographed the pizza while the pie was still hot, and the cheese naturally did tighten up a bit as it cooled. The pepperoni was pretty good, a little crisp along the edges, but a bit unevenly applied.
The Coach offers pizzas in two sizes, with your choice of red sauce or garlic white pizza, as well as ten toppings to choose from. And the menu includes all the bar-food staples like wings (8 sauces), burgers, hot sandwiches, and plenty of fried sides.
I'm giving this pizza a C, which might not sound all that great, but it's not meant as a putdown. There was plenty to like about it, but it was a bit generic, and it had some imperfections too (a little heavy on the cheese and a little light on the sauce; a little uneven in thickness, the doneness of the underside, and the distribution of the pepperoni). Nothing major, mind you, but when I tally up the mental score, I'd say this was, for this area, an average pizza. Quite acceptable, though, and definitely worth ordering if you go and you're in the mood for pizza.
The Coach Sports Bar, 19 West Main St., Webster

Mon - Sat: 10:30 am - 2:00 am
Sun: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

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