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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Little Beans, Painted Post

On a reader's recommendation, I stopped recently at Little Beans Pizzeria in Painted Post.  I'd been to its sister restaurant, Jelly Beans, and liked it, so I was intrigued.
I got two slices, a plain cheese slice and a white slice with rosemary, garlic and sliced tomatoes.
I'll start with the good news. The white slice was delicious. It was bursting with flavor, with the herbs, cheese, garlic and tomatoes playing off each other beautifully.
My wife liked the plain cheese slice, but I found it a little bland. The sauce was visually apparent, but I didn't notice it much on my palate, and much of it seemed to have soaked in to the crust. The scattered cheese - which had settled in among the several bubbles in the crust - was good, as far as it went, but it was too scanty to add much interest. There was some background flavor of herbs, oregano I think being most prominent, but all in all I found this a rather boring slice.
And I say that as somebody who likes a good cheese slice. I often order plain cheese because it's a useful benchmark for a pizzeria's ability. This just didn't do it for me.
So one hit, one miss (although again my wife enjoyed the cheese slice, so we're getting into matters of personal preference here). But where I really had a problem was underneath.
The crust on both slices was soft and pale, particularly on the white slice. I like a crisp, charred crust, but I don't assert that pizza has to meet that description to be good. I've had good pan- and screen-baked pizza, and pizza in every shade from golden to blackened, that I've enjoyed.
But a pizza's underside shouldn't be pale. And these were. A few brown blotches here and there didn't save them. They were soft, flabby and doughy-tasting.
Now in fairness, I should mention that the server did offer to reheat the slices, which might have given them a crisper bottom. But he said that they had just come out of the oven within the past ten minutes, so I declined. In hindsight, that was a mistake. But if Little Beans is deliberately undercooking their slice pies, they should recommend reheating, rather than just asking. I'm also making a mental note to check from now on, especially at a place I'm not familiar with, to see whether the underside would benefit from a few more minutes in the oven.
So to the extent that this was my fault for not investigating these slices' doneness, I'll take the blame. And I also want to add that Little Beans' pepperoni pie looked especially tempting, and that I passed it up only because two slices were all that I wanted.
I rate these at a B for the white slice and a C for the cheese slice. The flavor of the former was enough to overcome the disappointing crust. The latter, to me, was just OK. I'm not going to add grade labels for this post, because I assume that when readers search my grade labels, they're generally looking for pizzerias nearer Rochester. Overall, these were interesting enough for a future revisit, but a little disappointing this time around.

Little Beans Pizzeria
315 South Hamilton Street

Painted Post, NY 14870



Fax: 607.377.5069

Mon - Fri: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sat - Sun: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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