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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Perri's, Lyell Ave.

Perri's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon
Perri's Pizzeria, which has been in business since 1992, has had a number of area locations over the years. Right now there's one on Lyell Ave. in Gates and one on Norton St. in Irondequoit. I checked out the one in Gates.
This is the self-proclaimed "home of the huge slice," and yes, the slices are huge. And at 3 bucks, they're cheap.
But are they good? Well, let's start with the crust. My cheese slice was on the medium side of thin, but got gradually thicker from the point to the outer edge. The underside was browned, not charred, and was not greasy. It was more soft than crisp, and folded easily. It bore some faint screen marks underneath, although it was briefly reheated on the oven floor. The edge was reminiscent of a soft, slightly oily, fresh-baked breadstick.
The crust was slightly undercooked in the center, meaning that it either hadn't spent enough time in the oven or was baked at too low a temperature to cook all the way through. But visually and texturally, it was clearly still doughy in the middle. And this was, as I said, a fairly thin slice.
The cheese was the dominant player. It was laid on in a thick layer of mozzarella, with a more soft-melted, rather than crisp-browned flavor and texture. The sauce was slightly sweet, but I had to taste it separately to know that, because it was almost undetectable under the cheese.
Perri's has a good-size menu, with 10 different specialty pizzas (Buffalo chicken pizza - which I just can't get into, even though I like chicken wings - seemed to be a big seller), several varieties of wings, subs, fried chicken, Philly-type steak sandwiches, "plates," and fish fry or shrimp dinners. It seemed to be a popular draw for local blue-collar workers, and the service was friendly.
Overall, this wasn't bad pizza, and it was a good deal. But I have a hard time getting past the raw-dough interior of my slice. I know lunchtime is busy and you've got to get those pizzas in and out of the oven fast, but with a hot enough oven that shouldn't be a problem, and you'll end up with better pizza to boot. If that's as hot as your oven gets, then tell your customers that good pizza takes a little time.
But who am I to complain? As I said, Perri's seemed to have a big and loyal clientele. From my perspective, though, this had the makings of a very good pizza, but fell short of its potential, and I can only give it a C. Not bad, but just average.
Perri's Pizzeria, 2000 Lyell Ave. 247-4040.
Pizza Guy note:  for a more recent review of a Perri's NY style pie, go here.

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