Over the weekend, I stopped at Charcoal Corral near Silver Lake. I've driven by this place, a little south of Perry off Route 39, many times and always wondered what it was all about.
Well, what it is, is an 18-hole mini-golf course, a fast-food restaurant and pizzeria, an ice cream parlor, a game arcade, and a drive-in theater. And on Friday and Saturday nights, they have giant inflatables for the kids.
Now obviously that's not going to appeal to everybody. But for a couple with a 10-year-old, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it was a nice enough way to spend a couple of hours.
We started off with a round of mini-golf, and though I'm no connoisseur, their course was one of the better ones I've played on. If you never play mini golf, you may be wondering how one can one be better than another, but what I mean is that the holes were well maintained, with some interesting angles - not just a bunch of 2x4 boxes - and the grounds were attractive, by mini-golf standards, with an Old West theme, running water, and real flowers. It's not Oak Hill, but it's nice.
Following the golf game (I won) we headed indoors for lunch. My wife and daughter ordered from the grill counter, while I made a beeline for the pizzeria, which is in a separate room.
I had three slice choices, cheese, pepperoni, and the pizza of the week, chicken-bacon-ranch. I went with a slice of pepperoni.
It was, not surprisingly, basic convenience-store-style pizza. I did see the counter guy stretching the dough by hand, so this wasn't a prebaked shell, but it wasn't particularly good.
The bottom was a little oily to the touch, with a pancake-like bottom. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great. The interior was OK, with some rising evident, but the crust was pretty much just a base for the toppings.
And the toppings weren't all that good either. Very basic tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella that had melted in place rather than spread together, suggesting that it wasn't the greatest cheese to begin with. The pepperoni was decent, thin sliced and medium spicy, and the whole thing was dusted with dried herbs.
Charcoal Corral does have a surprisingly lengthy menu, with subs, grilled items, salads, and wings. And the adjoining ice cream parlor has a lot of flavors of Perry's ice cream, including, on this occasion, the rarely-seen Fireball. I wasn't in the mood for ice cream, so I passed it up, but it's good, if you like hot cinnamon.
Before I wrap up, let me say that I wouldn't go out of my way to review a place like this, but this is a blog, after all, which means I post about pizza I've tried lately. And since I stopped here, and had pizza, I'm posting about it.
I did like Charcoal Corral generally. It's a nice spot for a family outing, or for a bite to eat - my daughter's sub and my wife's salad were both pretty good, the ice cream was fine, and like the golf course, the indoor areas were clean and well maintained. But the pizza rates a D, I'm afraid. Good enough to finish, but that's about it.
Charcoal Corral and Silver Lake Drive-In Theater, 7037 Chapman Ave., Perry, NY
585-237-3040 (Drive-In 585-237-3372)
Sun. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri. & Sat. till midnight