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Friday, February 28, 2014

Vincenzo's, Elmira

Now and then I have occasion to travel to the Southern Tier, and on a recent trip down that way I stopped at Vincenzo's in Elmira.
Elmira's an interesting place; did you know that it's the site of Mark Twain's grave and a Civil War cemetery and prison camp? (And while we're on the subject, a modern-day state prison, although you won't see that in many guidebooks.)
And some pizzerias worth checking out. I've found that as you work your way into New York's Southern Tier, you tend to run across more pizzerias serving NY-style pizza. Some more successfully than others, to be sure, but the style itself seems to be more prevalent down that way. I'm not sure if that's a simple matter of relative proximity to NYC or just the lack of an indigenous style.
One purveyor of NY style pizza is Vincenzo's. Actually they don't claim to serve NY style, but rather Neapolitan (thin crust) and Sicilian (thick crust) pizza. But their thin pizza is broadly in the NY style.
On my visit, they had about five or six sliced pies to choose from, including one Sicilian pizza. I got a thin cheese slice.
This was quite thin, with a pale but crackly bottom. It  was a little floury underneath, but not too bad.
The slice was topped with a salty/sweet tomato sauce, in pretty good proportion to the thin crust. The mozzarella was decent enough, but nothing special, and there was a good inch and a half along the edge with no cheese. Had the crust been outstanding, that would've been perfectly acceptable, but the crust was, like the slice in general, just OK.
Vincenzo's offers 20 pizza toppings, and 11 specialty pizzas. They also do hot and cold subs ("hoagies"), wings, pasta, salads, calzones, stromboli, and a few other munchies.
I haven't always graded out-of-town pizzerias, but to me this one's an obvious "C." It was all right, not bad, but nothing special. No big flaws but it could've been better, with a crisper crust and a better coating of good cheese. So a C it is.
Vincenzo's Pizzeria & Hoagies, 303 N. Main St., Elmira
607-846-6584, 607-215-7379
Mon. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sun. 4 - 9 p.m.

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