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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Carbone's, Dewey Ave.

Carbone's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon
Carbone's Pizzeria is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, which means they must be doing something right. They have three locations in the Rochester area, on Dewey Ave. and North Greece Road in Greece, and in Hilton, as well as a Buffalo-area location in Alden.
I made a lunchtime stop at the Dewey Ave. location, which is right across the street from Caraglio's.
This is not a "huge slice" place, but they do have pepperoni slices available at lunchtime, which right now go for $1.75 a slice or two slices plus a 20 oz. drink for $4.25. As I've said before, I don't love pepperoni, but if you want a slice pepperoni tends to move the fastest, so you can be pretty sure of a fresh one with the pepperoni.
This was a medium-to-thick slice, browned on the bottom and quite browned on top. The dough was pretty nondescript, with small air holes and not much flavor. It was a little greasy underneath, with a bit of greasy crunchiness along the edge.
Texturally, it was pretty chewy, both from the dough and the cheese, which was fairly thick, plus the cheese had been baked to the point that it became more chewy than stringy.
The sauce definitely took a back seat here, and provided more lubrication than flavor. I'm not saying I didn't like it, just that it was very much in the background, though I did pick up a bit of acidity, which was good, to cut through the fattiness of the cheese.
The pepperoni was, surprisingly, one of my favorite parts of this pizza. It was thick and flavorful, with a nice crunch. The slices weren't all entirely uniform, which also indicated that it had been sliced on the premises, not pre-sliced. Between the thick, browned cheese and the pepperoni, this was definitely a toppings-dominated pizza.
Carbone's has a pretty basic menu. No weird pizza toppings or gourmet pizzas here, unless you count white pizza, plus hot and cold subs, wings, fried sides, and salads. You can also order your pizza with "double dough" for an extra $0.75, but that would be way too much dough for me.
The Dewey location, at least, doesn't deliver, which is too bad but it also shows that they have a steady clientele of people who are willing to pick up. There was no seating, as far as I noticed.
So if you put me half way between Carbone's and Caraglio's across the street, what would I do? Well, get the hell out of the middle of the street, for one thing. But I'm honestly not sure which way I would go. Caraglio's has the thin crust, which I like, but Caraglio's crust was also a little too floppy for my taste, and I liked the toppings at Carbone's, even though it was a bit thick and too chewy/gummy. Like Caraglio's, then, Carbone's gets a C+ from me.


  1. Carbones is THE best pizza Rochester has ever had, and for the quality of the pricey ingredients, handcrafted sauce, and dough made from scratch, the price was generous. Find a better tasting pizza for less than the left nut you obviously lost years ago, I dare you.

  2. Ive been eating at Carbones for 15 years, and the Greece and Hilton stores have never messed up an order, or made a pizza that wasn't perfection, so revist and rejudge, because giving this pizzeria a C+ is like saying the holocaust wasn't a major event in history

  3. First, thank you for checking out my blog and for your comments.
    I really don’t think my comments were that critical. I never said they “messed up” my pizza. And I thnk my description of the crust, sauce, cheese, etc. was pretty accurate. I "only" gave it a C+ (which is still above average, after all) mostly because I wasn’t that crazy about the crust. It didn’t have the crisp exterior and bready interior that, to me, are essential to a great pizza.
    But I appreciate your love of Carbone’s and I can see how somebody whose tastes are a little different from mine could really dig it. As I said at the beginining, they must be doing something right to stay in business for 25 years.
    So while I think that comparing my review to Holocaust denial is a little extreme, I will try to get back there sometime. I’ll even order a whole pie next time, which is sometimes a better indicator of a pizzeria than just ordering a slice. There are some other places I want to get to first, but I will get back to Carbone's at some point.

  4. Had to look that one up. Thanks for the laugh.

  5. If you return to Carbone's (which I do suggest) I would definitely try another location rather than Dewey Ave. Sometimes different locations provide different quality for their customers.

  6. Hmm, OK. I'll probably hit the Hilton location sometime.

  7. Carbone's pizza was my favorite pizza about a year or two ago. I discovered it at a bingo hall my mom went to all the time. They always served it with pepperoni, so I would peel the pepperoni off and give it to my puppy. I don't eat animal bodies, so I don't eat pepperoni, but before I stopped eating animals at age nine, pepperoni was my favorite meat product. We always got the sheet pizza for my birthday because that's how they served it at the bingo hall. I think we got a regular pizza by mistake once and it wasn't the same. It wasn't until a year or so ago that I decided to order the pizza without pepperoni since people had just then pointed out that the pepperoni oil was still on it and it was essentially intolerable in comparison. I haven't had it since. I still love pizza and my favorite now is Captain Tony's. Best cheese pizza in the city that I've had and you can't beat the price.

  8. A for pizza, A++ for chicken wings and subs

  9. I love carbones and think a C +++ is a low rating for them...there crust is great and there sweet wings are probably the best wings in town. I have cousins in Canada that have us bring pizza and wings anytime we go visit from Carbones....that should speak for itself

  10. Well I don't rate the wings. And I do think Carbone's is about average for this area. You and your cousins may love it, which is great, but I think it's not hard to find similar pizza around here. Just my opinion, and thank you for yours.