Rochester NY Pizza Blog Rochester restaurants LocalEats featured blog

Friday, April 3, 2009

Brandani's Pizza, W. Henrietta Rd.

Brandani's has been around for over 20 years now on West Henrietta Road in Brighton. They make what, to me, is a classic Rochester pie. And they have ice cream to boot.
Let's start where it all begins, the crust. Brandani's is thick - a good inch thick. At the edge, it's a full inch and a half.
I love thin-crust, New York style pizza, but this was a good crust. It was firm on the outside, and soft, bready and chewy on the inside, with a flavor reminiscent of a freshly baked, crusty baguette. The many interior air holes indicated that the dough had been allowed a long, slow rise, which makes for both great bread and a great pizza crust. The underside was a bit charred, with a dusting of flour, and not at all greasy.
The crust was clearly the star of the show, as it should be, but the toppings played a nice complemetary role. The cheese, which seemed to be all basic mozzarella, was distributed fairly evenly, in a moderate amount, enough to stand up to the thick crust but not too heavy or gloppy. The sauce was applied with a slightly more restrained hand, and had a straightforward, bright tomatoey flavor.
Brandani's offers a few "specialty pizzas," nothing too wild, unless you count the "pizza patate" with sliced potatoes and rosemary. They also have one of the widest selections of slices I've seen, with a bunch of sliced pies with different toppings ready to go at any given time. (Of course you can always just ask for a given topping to be added to a cheese slice but it won't be the same as if the topping has been baked with the pie from the start.)
Brandani's also has wings, which were pretty good - nice and meaty, with a slightly "barbecuey" flavor to their Buffalo sauce, and calzones, carnival-style fried dough and french fries.
And they have ice cream. I guess that's a seasonal thing because there didn't appear to be any on my visit, but that sounds like a good combination for a hot summer day, which shouldn't be too far away. There are a few booths and a couple picnic tables, although the parking lot doesn't look to me like the most inviting place to eat. They also deliver, and are closed Sundays.
I'm still a thin-crust guy. For one thing, you can eat more slices before you get full, plus I think you can get a better balance of crust, cheese, sauce and toppings with a thin crust. But make no mistake, this was good pizza, in what I think of as "Rochester style." It's built from a foundation of what is, basically, good bread dough, which is where all great pizza starts. It may not have converted me to thick crust, but I give it an A.
Brandani's Pizza, 2595 W. Henrietta Rd. 272-718o
Mon. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sun. 12 noon - 7 p.m.
Pizza Guy note:  for a more recent review, go here.


  1. Man, I love me some Brandani's. It's part of my ritual whenever I get my Sonata's oil changed at the Vision Hyundai next door.

  2. Brandani's is the best. I was really worried when the original couple sold to their nephew, but he and his wife have maintained the same quality and improved their business by accepting debit cards!

  3. I'm still waiting for those hot summer days, but I assume the ice cream side of it is open now too. Only if I were eating a Brandani's pizza I'm not sure if I could save room for ice cream.

  4. When my wife and I lived in Henrietta we used to get Brandani's and we really liked it. I'm a thin crust guy myself, but I did enjoy the crust. Since the crust is the foundation of the pizza, this is important as one cannot cover up for bad crust with toppings. The true test of a pizza is if you can eat it with nothing but cheese and sauce and it still tastes good.

    Anyways, very good pizza and I recommend it.