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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Brozzetti's, Johnson City

Though I've ceased writing this blog on anything like a regular basis, I figured I'd leave myself open to doing the occasional blog post, if I felt motivated to do so.
I do, now, after finally checking off a pizzeria that had been on my to-do list for a long time:  Brozzetti's, in Binghamton.
From what I've read, this is a Binghamton pizza institution, and a love-it-or-hate-it kind of place, among locals. So when I happened to be in the area with my wife, I took advantage of the opportunity to check out Brozzetti's.
I knew, going in, that Brozzetti's doesn't sell slices. The least you can get is a 10-slice pizza, which is what I got, and shared with my wife. Plain cheese.
I was afraid it was going to take a while -- there's no seating, so we would have had to wait in the car, or just stand around -- but they keep 10-slice pizzas, boxed, in a warmer, so we got ours right away (though we did have to eat it in the car).
What apparently makes Brozzetti's pizza so divisive is the crust, which is noticeably sweet.. Not, to my taste, overly sweet, but noticeably sweet nonetheless. The recipe is apparently a closely guarded secret.
The side of the box was emblazoned with a musical jingle, with lyrics including the phrase, "The Crispy Family Dough!" Well, I can't say this was crispy. The underside was a mottled brown -- typical of pan-baked pizza -- and the interior was soft and chewy, even a bit gummy on top. I'm guessing that was largely a result of the pizza sitting in the box for some time before I got it. Having said that, it wasn't bad. We did finish the pizza. And I suspect that a pizza fresh out of the oven would've had a crisper crust.
The cheese was another interesting feature of this pizza. Brozzetti's uses a blend of cheeses, which I assume is another one of their secrets. It seemed to me to be a combination of shredded mozzarella, crumbled ricotta, and a meltey processed cheese (possibly American cheese). I could easily be wrong about any or all of those, but that's my best guess.
The sauce was fairly ordinary, with a mild tomatoey flavor. All the components of the crust/sauce/cheese triad were in reasonably good balance with each other. The overall flavor was marked by the combination of the sweet crust and the cheese.
Brozzetti's offers a pretty wide variety of toppings and specialty pies, including a chicken spiedie pie. But I think I made the right choice in going for a basic cheese pie.
Love it or hate it? Honestly, most of the time when I hear that something is love it or hate it, I manage to fall in the middle. And so I do here. If I had to pick a handful of rest-of-your-life pizzas, this wouldn't be among them. But I have a special place in my heart, and my stomach, for unique, truly local pizza. I have to put Brozzetti's in that category.

Brozzetti's Pizza, 72 Baldwin St., Johnson City, NY 13790
(607) 797-9960

Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - midnight, Sun. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.


3 comments:

  1. Blech. Would likely be on my "hate" list.

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  2. I love the Rochester Pizza Guy. He has done more to change Rochester food than almost anyone I know.

    I used to live right around the corner from Brozetti's. I can tell you that I always agree with Pizza Guy's grading, and I agree here.

    I just had it again last summer, and can confirm that it remains the same as ever. We used to call it "sand pizza" because the texture of the cheese was sort of dry and crumbly. But not in a bad way at all, if that even makes sense. It's just a kind of pizza you take lightheartedly, because it's simple and sweet and means so well.

    Thing is, Brozetti's is just a very special local take on pizza. People used to say that the crust had peanut butter and all kinds of crazy things in it. It is sweet. It is light. It is simple and delightful, and ultimately unremarkable in all ways other than its simpleness and delightfulness. It's not earth-shattering at all, but it is a kind of "comfort pizza" that it's nice to know still exists in a world that has changed so much.

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    Replies
    1. I thank you very much for your comment. I don't think I've done as much as you give me credit for, but I'll take it. And I think we agree, sometimes a pizza that is not "great" is still worth celebrating for its uniqueness and tradition.

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