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Friday, January 22, 2010

Guida's, Elmgrove Rd.

Back in June, I did a post on Guida's on Empire Blvd. I liked it, but one cheese slice at lunchtime left me wanting to try a broader sampling of Guida’s extensive pizza menu. So not too long ago, I picked up a large “New York Thin Crust” pizza (half pepperoni, half red onions and fresh garlic) from the Guida’s on Elmgrove Road, just off the 531 expressway.
The first thing that struck me was how big the box was. I’d pictured a 16, maybe 18 inch round pizza. This was like a sheet pizza box.
When I got the pizza home and opened the box, I was almost relieved to see that the pizza did not quite fill the entire box. Its oblong shape led me to wonder if perhaps Guida’s had taken the same amount of dough that they would use for a large, round regular-crust pizza and stretched it out farther, necessitating the use of a bigger box. If so, then good for them for not simply using less dough for their thin-crust pizza.
The crust was indeed thin, but not ultrathin. It was somewhat charred underneath, though somewhat unevenly; the pepperoni side of the pizza was quite a bit darker underneath than the veggie side. The bottom was dry, with some cornmeal stuck to it.
In terms of texture, the crust was a little crisp, but not quite like a great New York pizza. I should point out, though, that many of my fondest memories of New York pizza are of slices that had gotten a fast rewarming in the oven, which tends to crisp up the crust very nicely. Tough to get that same level of crispness with a fresh pie that’s spent 15 minutes or so in a cardboard box.
The crust had some breadiness, which became more apparent toward the thicker edge. The narrow lip was pleasantly crunchy.
As far as the toppings are concerned, the sauce and cheese were consistent with what I’d had at the Empire Boulevard Guida’s. The sauce was thick and tomatoey, with some herbal overtones, and the cheese - all mozzarella, I believe - was baked just to the point of brownng, as I like it.
The thin pepperoni slices seemed very salty, though I heard no complaints from my six-year-old, who tends to eat her pizza from the top down - pepperoni first, then the cheese, and finally the crust.
The garlic and onions were terrific, though. The garlic had great flavor and aroma, and paired beautifully with the onions. Neither had the harsh flavor of the raw variety.
I don’t think there have been any significant changes to Guida’s since my June review, so I’ll refer you to that, and to their website for details concerning the menu, hours and such. I will mention their “Guida Bucks,” though - not sure of the exact details, but with my purchase I received a paper “Guida Buck,” ten of which will get you a free large pizza. Not bad.
Getting back to my pizza, well, I wouldn’t exactly call this a New York style pizza - that label gets tossed around a little too freely sometimes - but it was well balanced, well made, and tasty. This won’t be my last visit to Guida’s, I know that. As I did in June, I’ll rate this a B+.
Guida’s Pizzeria, 736 Elmgrove Rd. 426-6464
Mon. - Thu. 11a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. noon - 10 p.m.


  1. I tired a slice of meat lover's regular crust and a slice of pan risen sicilian pepperoni at the Ridge road location. "UUUUGE" difference in the crust and sauce. The pan risen crust was like fresh home made bread with a nice yeasty aftertaste. The sauce was sweet and a bit spicy. I thought it would be dry since they only used grated cheese on the Sicilian, but the bread was so moist, it made up for it. I can't believe I preferred it over the meat lover's regular crust. The regular crust was good, but lacked that yeasty, bready flavor and the sauce wasn't sweet. I want to go back and try a NYC thin crust. I doubt it can match the Sicilian. I think you have to order the Sicilian style an hour in advance if you want a whole pizza so they can let the dough rise properly. They just happened to have slices ready to go when I showed up.

  2. Thanks for the tip, I'll have to try their Sicilian sometime.