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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jim & Ralph's, NY style pie

Back in March, I did a post on a slice that I got at Jim & Ralph's on Elmgrove Road, which had recently started serving pizza. I found it a pleasant surprise coming from a restaurant that I had always thought of as more of a burgers-'n'-hots kind of place, and along with my "B" rating I said that Jim & Ralph's "warrants a return visit sometime for a full pie."
Well, I followed up and that, and went back for full pie. Alas, perhaps my expectations had been raised too much, but this time I was disappointed.
My pizza had a thin crust that was very soft - even the edge was soft. It reminded my of one of those soft breadsticks they give you at Olive Garden. Not bad, maybe, for a breadstick, but not what I'm looking for in my pizza.
Having said that, though, I didn't find the crust all that bready. It seemed rather lifeless, for lack of a better term, and the slices were rather floppy.
The underside bore some screen marks and was very unevenly cooked - it was quite dark in some areas, and very light in others. My guess is that there are hot spots in the oven, which means that the pizza needs to be moved around now and then while it's baking to ensure an evenly cooked crust.
The sauce on this pizza had a mild tomatoey flavor, and was moderately applied. The cheese was more heavily applied, and was melted and stringy. For my taste, it was a little too heavily applied for this thin a crust, and threatened to overwhelm the other components.
Overall, the pizza had a slightly salty flavor, and I thought I detected some garlic powder in the background as well.
I should also mention that the overall preparation seemed a bit sloppy. The pepperoni was somewhat unevenly distributed, as was the cheese. And when I opened the box I found that the cheese had slid around in one area. In fairness, I can't guarantee that that didn't happen after I took custody of the pizza box, but I did try to be careful, so I don't think so. Regardless, even aside from that this just didn't seem like an carefully prepared pizza. (Having said that, it is a relatively minor point, in my scheme of things. If it has good flavor and texture, I'll overlook a little sloppiness.)
I'll refer you to my prior post on Jim & Ralph's for other details about their menu, etc. As for this pizza, well, it tasted pretty good, but the crust was not the greatest, and the components just didn't seem to come together very well. It was OK, but not better than OK, so I'll give it a C. So in light of the prior review, on average, we're talking B-/C+ here, with some concerns about consistency. Or maybe it's just a better place to pick up a reheated slice than a full pie.
Jim & Ralph's, 904 Elmgrove Rd. 247-7220
Open daily 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

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