Over the course of writing this blog, I've written a few posts about Checker Flag, a now-defunct pizzeria at 1481 Dewey Avenue in Rochester, at the corner of Ridgeway. Checker Flag was best known for its dollar slices, which weren't bad, for the price.
Now comes Five50º, named, I assume, after the oven temperature. As the full name -- Five50º Pizza and Chicken -- implies, it's not just, or even primarily, a pizzeria. Five50º serves a range of items, many of them fried.
There's nothing particularly remarkable about Five50º, but it gives me occasion to say a few words about - what shall I call them? - inner-city pizzerias.
This particular neighborhood is on the lower end of the income scale. And I've learned through experience that the pizza in economically poorer neighborhoods tends not to be as good as in more affluent areas. Its main virtues are that it's fast, cheap and hot.
Having said all that, the slice I got recently at Five50º was not bad. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad.
Just inside the front door is a heated display case, containing an array of items to go, many of which consisted of fried chicken parts, of one sort or another. And pizza, available by the slice.
I got a pepperoni slice. It was reasonably good, and for two bucks, I had no major complaints. The crust was thin-to-medium thick, and while the bottom was more brown than charred, it was firm, and wasn't oily or soggy. The well-formed edge was reasonably bready, and not just a throwaway "pizza bone."
As a whole, the slice was decent, with a blanket of well-melted, gooey cheese, a proportionate layer of slightly sweet tomato sauce, and thin-sliced pepperoni. All in all, it was one of the better-made examples of the kind of pizza you get at these to-go places. I don't mean to damn it with faint praise, but it was a reasonably good slice.
As I said, Five50º offers a range of items. Pizza comes in medium, large and sheet sizes, either red or white. They have seven meat toppings and seven vegetable toppings. They also do calzones, burgers, wings (seven sauces), hot and cold subs, fried chicken, and a few sides, as well as freshly baked cookies, and cheesecake.
As far as a rating's concerned, I think it's fair to say that this slice was, overall, of average quality. Nothing I'd go out of my way for, but it was OK, with a well-baked crust, nicely melted cheese, rounded out by a proportionate layer of sauce and decent pepperoni. So I'll give it a C.
Five50º Pizza and Chicken, 1481 Dewey Ave. (at Ridgeway)
Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - midnight, Sun. 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.