Sometimes I take advantage of these hiking excursions to visit pizzerias. I've covered many of the pizzerias within, say, 50 miles south of Rochester, but there are a few more out there.
I just recently checked one more off my list: Rico's, in Bath, advertises New York style pizza, which always catches my attention.
Besides Bath, Rico's has locations in Horseheads and the original in Corning, which opened in 1985. You can read a little bit about their history here.
On my visit to the Bath location, there were four pies from which to choose slices: cheese, pepperoni, four-cheese, and "chicken wing." I got two slices, a cheese slice and a chicken wing slice. They were markedly different in size, as you can see. The cheese slice is on the right; a stray piece of pepperoni made its way onto the slice, which was fine by me.
New York style pizza? Well, the crust was appropriately thin, with a little crackling near the outer edge. They just about passed the "fold test," meaning that they could be held, folded, with just a little drooping at the tip of the larger cheese slice.
The undersides were more brown than charred, but were firm and reasonably crisp. The chicken-wing slice was a little softer and a touch oily, which is common to Buffalo chicken pizza. The cheese slice had a few floury spots, but not enough to mind.
These slices were well balanced, which refers not to their center of gravity but to the balance among the different components. The amount of cheese and sauce nicely balanced the crust. They were neither skimpy nor overloaded.
As for the toppings themselves, they were perfectly acceptable, if not particularly remarkable. The cheese was basic processed mozzarella, a little browned, and the sauce on the cheese slice was an equally standard, middle-of-the-road tomato sauce, though there was a very noticeable herb flavor; I couldn't tell if it came from the slice itself or from the addition of dried herbs. The flavor was reminiscent of rosemary, though I didn't see or feel any of the distinctive, needle-like rosemary leaves.
The Buffalo slice included chunks of breaded chicken under the cheese, and a Buffalo sauce that had just a bit of heat, as well as a hint of blue cheese. As Buffalo chicken slices go, it was OK, but a bit bland for the style.
In sum, this was a decent approximation of New York style pizza. It wouldn't quite make a transplanted New Yorker feel right at home - the crust was not quite there - but it wasn't bad.
Judged on its own terms, i.e., aside from whether how it measured up against its purported style, it was pretty enjoyable. It was reasonably crisp and well balanced, and the toppings were OK.
Rico's has a wide-ranging menu, which includes some interesting specialty pizzas, and a fairly extensive create-your-own pizza menu. Most notably, Rico's offers a choice of sauces: traditional red sauce, olive oil & garlic, Ranch sauce, BBQ sauce, basil pesto, and wing sauce (mild, medium, or hot). I'm mostly a traditionalist, where pizza's concerned, but more choice is always better, and I think that offering different sauces, as opposed to just different "dry" toppings is an idea whose time has come.
As in the past, I'm not assigning a letter grade to this pizza. I'd like to keep those limited to pizzerias in the general Rochester area. So let me just say that this was good, if not great, and that I would certainly consider getting pizza from here in the future, if I'm in the area.
371 W Morris St. (just off Exit 38 on I-86)
Bath, NY 14810
Mon-Thu 11 am - 11 pm
Fri/Sat 11 am - 1 am
Sun 11 am - 11 pm