Smith Opera House. In addition to pizza, I love crosswords and word puzzles in general, and NY Times crossword editor (and NPR puzzlemaster) Will Shortz was the featured speaker at this event. I got to meet Will, and it was a very enjoyable evening, as he told us a bit about his background and then led the audience through several word games.
While it's not that far away, I don't get out to Geneva all that often, so naturally I had to take advantage of this trip to hit a couple of local pizzerias.
First up, and the sole subject of this blog post, was Uncle Joe's. I was predisposed to like this place from the start, given its location in an old building in a residential neighborhood. Read about its history here.
On my 5 p.m. visit, there were just two kinds of slices available, cheese or pepperoni. Both were thick and square cut, in trays in a display case at the front counter.
I ordered a cheese slice, which was given a brief rewarming in the oven. This was a big, hefty slice, and despite the minimal toppings, it would've been a meal in itself, except that I saved some for later, since I wanted to hit one more pizzeria.
The crust was thick, browned underneath, with one large burst bubble, and was reasonably dry to the touch - in other words, not overly oily. The bottom was firm, and the interior was OK. A little chewy, not especially breadlike, and a bit bland. The outer edge, or cornicione, was a little dry.
Topside, a scattered layer of melted mozzarella sat atop a coating of tomato sauce, which had a bright tomatoey flavor. Flavorwise, this was a pretty simple, if well made slice.
I did take note of the pepperoni slices, which were topped with cup and char pepperoni. Oddly, the pepperoni only seemed to cover half the slices; maybe it hadn't been carefully applied, or the pizza wasn't carefully sliced after coming out of the oven. But as both the cheese and pepperoni slices were the same price - $2.50 - I guess there wouldn't be much cause for complaint.
If you want an individual, made-to-order pizza, Uncle Joe's offers 10- and 14-inch pies, with 19 toppings. There aren't many specialty pizzas as such, but they do offer a white pizza with fresh garlic, a "poor man's" pie with red sauce, pepperoni and Romano (which ironically costs more than a regular cheese pie), and gluten-free pizza. They also do subs and sandwiches, fried haddock, pasta, soups and salads. Beer and wine are available as well, which you can enjoy in the dining room, just off the front counter area.
Not a bad slice of pizza, this, but not exceptional either. At the very least, it was better than the generic stuff offered by many places today, and all in all I liked it. I won't give it a label as such, but for the Rochester area, I'd put this in the roughly average category.
Uncle Joe's, 99 N. Genesee St., Geneva
Mon. 11 am - 10 pm, Tues. closed, Wed. & Thu. 11 am - 11 pm, Fri. 11 am - midnight, Sat. 4:30 - midnight, Sun. 4:30 - 10 pm