Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Colby's is a relatively recent addition to the wood-fired pizza scene, and quite new for its area, at the corner of Routes 251 and 15, just off the Rush exit on 390.
Colby's itself - full name, Colby's Ice Cream, Bake Shop & BBQ - has been around since 2011, but it was only late last year that they added a wood-fired oven and added pizza to the menu. I didn't get a chance to try their pizza before they closed for the winter, but they're open now for the season and I stopped in recently.
I noticed one quirk in the menu. I wanted a Margherita, which on the "Specialty Pizzas" part of the menu costs $9.99. It's described as topped with red sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil.
But under "Create Your Own Pizza," I could put together the same pie for $9.49. The sauce and cheese are covered by the basic price of $7.99, and the basil is an extra buck fifty. So that's what I did. I don't think there's any deliberate deception at work here, I think somebody just didn't do their math when they came up with these prices.
Not to digress too much, but another possibility is that the $9.99 "specialty" Margherita includes fresh, as opposed to processed, a/k/a aged mozzarella, whereas the basic create-your-own pie comes with processed mozzarella (if that's your cheese choice). But after a brief inquiry and consultation, nobody objected to my "creating" my own Margherita, with fresh mozzarella, for $9.49, so that's what I did. I know it's only fifty cents, but it was more a matter of my being curious than stingy.
My pie was rather enjoyable. Let's start with the crust.
The underside was dark brown in spots, but not really charred. It was dusted with corn meal, which gave it a bit of surface crunch. The slices were pliable but not soft.
The crust was thin, but not too thin to have some interior chew. A thicker cornicione had been formed along the edge. It was unevenly done, with some areas quite blackened and others lightly browned, or coated with sauce.
Speaking of which, the sauce was a basic red sauce, "traditional" (for this area), as it says on the menu. It was moderately applied, more heavily in some areas than others. I didn't mind that, as a bit of variation can be a good thing, as it gives you a slightly different experience with each bite. Some of that may also be attributable to the crust having bubbled a bit, which can cause the sauce to migrate as the pizza bakes.
The fresh mozzarella was not heavily applied - there were some pretty big bare spots - but there was enough to provide some balance and keep things interesting. And it was nicely baked, slightly melted, a little browned in spots, but not overcooked or rubbery.
I was quite pleased with the basil. It's such a simple ingredient, yet it's so easy to screw up. Put it on too early and it just turns brown and dry. Wait too long, and it's still OK, but never quite melds into the pizza as a whole.
This hit the mark. It was roughly torn, not chopped or shredded, and wilted but not burnt. Nicely done.
Colby's offers a fairly extensive pizza menu, with twenty toppings and seven specialty pizzas (most of which are in fact cheaper to order off the "specialty" menu). One thing that makes Colby's stand out from the crowd is that their barbequed meat - pork, turkey, beef or chicken - is available as a pizza topping. And having had Colby's barbeque in the past, I can vouch for it as very tasty indeed.
You can peruse Colby's menu here, and aside from the pizza I'll just say that they offer something to please most palates. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth, but I do have a weakness for ice cream, and the selection at Colby's is pretty tempting. There's ample seating, including a few picnic tables outside. It's a pleasant place for locals to gather, as well as a quick and convenient stop off 390.
Getting back to the pizza, it was well worth trying. Well balanced and tasty, with a good crust. I'll knock off a few points for the uneven baking, and personally I'd like to see a darker underside. It's easy to blacken the edge of a pizza by putting it close to the wood flame, but a charred underside requires a very hot oven deck. All in all, though, a nice job, and I'll give it a B.
Colby's Ice Cream, Bake Shop & BBQ
7272 W. Henrietta Rd., Rush
11 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily