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Monday, January 31, 2011

Doughboys Out, East Ridge Pizza In

Today's "New Businesses" section of the D&C list East Ridge Pizza at 1963 E. Ridge Road. That was the address of Doughboys, which I reviewed in October 2009.I called Doughboys' number and got a "no longer in service" message. I'm not sure if East Ridge Pizza is open yet; I'll drive up that way sometime.
Update:  drove by - it's to be, if I remember correctly, "Mr. Lee's Pizza & Wings."  Lee Pak Lam is listed in the D&C as one of the owners. Sounds, um, interesting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hometown Pizza, Bloomfield

Hometown Pizza & Video on Urbanspoon
I wouldn't usually go this far to get a pizza, but I'd heard from a friend that Hometown Pizza in Bloomfield made some outstanding New York style pizza, so the other night I made the trek down to check it out.
I got a large cheese pie. It was very thin, so thin that the crust didn't have much of an interior. The slices were foldable, but not floppy (a good thing), and the screen-baked bottom was firm but not crisp (not such a good thing), except along the outer edge, where there was some crackling underneath. The flour-dusted edge had some crunch, and there was a fair amount of bubbling on top near the edge, particularly along one side, as this pizza appeared to have baked somewhat unevenly.
The pie was topped with a slightly sweet sauce, with some herbs (I'm pretty sure I picked up oregano) noticeable. The sauce had a good flavor, but it seemed a bit skimpy, even for this thin a crust. Atop that lay a thin layer of cheese, which was unremarkable, and again was browned a little more on one half of the pizza than the other.
Hometown's pizza menu offers 20 toppings, and a selection of "specialty" and "premium" pizzas. The former includes an "Italian flag" pizza with 1/3 red, 1/3 white, and 1/3 green (pesto) sauces, and the more expensive premium pizzas include a "dumpster plate" pizza and a sirloin steak pizza. They also serve calzones, strombolis, wings, hot and cold subs, and various other fried and grilled items.
Hometown isn't just a pizzeria, but also a video store, although with things like Netflix and movies on demand, I think they'd better not put too many eggs in the video basket. There's some seating, and a soft drink cooler in the back.
This was decent pizza, but not outstanding. The bottom could've been a little more crisp, and it could've used a little more sauce. But I will give it credit for being more firm than floppy, for some crispy crunch along the edge, and for a pretty good overall flavor. So, perhaps with some of my NY-style prejudices coming through, I'd say this was a little better than average in spite of its shortcomings, and this pizza rates a B- from me.
Hometown Pizza & Video, 10 Main St., Bloomfield 657-6190
Tue. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sun. noon- 9 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Delivery available 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. within a 5-mile radius, $8 minimum order. Delivery charge of $1 in village, $2 outside village.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cosimos Revisited

Last March, I reported on Cosimos Pizza in Marketplace Mall.  I was quite surprised by how good it was, considering my preconceptions of food-court pizza, and gave my two slices a B+.
Recently, I returned to Cosimos for a full pie. They only come in one size here, large (16 inch, I believe), and I got just a plain cheese pie.
I was again impressed. The crust on this pie was thin, but not at all floppy, and there was enough of an interior to allow for some internal chewy breadiness. The underside was firm and crisp, with some crackling near the outer edge. It was more dark brown than charred, but still crisp enough to have a nice crunch when biting into it, followed by a satisfying chewiness. The narrow, thin lip along the edge was also pleasingly bready.
The crust was topped with a moderate layer of tomato sauce, which had a mild, even bland, flavor. The cheese was also added in proportion, not in a thick, uniform blanket, but with small ponds of sauce poking through here and there. The cheese was well melted, and was smooth-textured but not stringy.
I can't say I had any genuine complaints about this pizza. For it to attain my idea of pizza perfection, it would've needed some high-heat charring underneath, with the toasty flavor and aroma that goes with that. I also would've appreciated a little more flavor from this sauce. I don't think a heavily seasoned sauce would be called for here, and I will say that the mild flavors of the sauce and cheese had the virtue of not getting in the way of the subtle breadiness of the crust.
But those quibbles aside, this was a very good, well-integrated pizza in the New York style. If you like a thick crust, heavy toppings, or bold flavors, it might not be your thing, but as one of the better NY style pizzas I've had around here, Cosimo's rates an A- from me.
Cosimos Pizza, Marketplace Mall (near West entrance to mall) 424-6444
Mall hours:  Sun. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Slave to Entertainment

Every year I buy one of those Entertainment® books with all the local coupons in it. By the end of the year I always swear I'll never buy another, but I always end up buying one anyway.
Why do I swear not to buy it anymore? Because I find myself making so many dining decisions based on what I have coupons for. It's like, "Well, I'd really like to go to Restaurant A, but it's not in the book. But I do have a BOGOF coupon for Restaurant B, so let's go there instead, even though the food's not as good." Maybe it's to mentally justify my purchasing of the book, but I feel obligated to use as many of the coupons I can before they expire in November.
Now I find myself doing it with pizza places. There are certain places I like, certain ones I want to try, but most of them aren't in the book. There are, however, other pizzerias that have 50% off coupons in the book. Fifty percent!
Now in fairness, there are some very good pizzerias in the book. But a lot of them aren't all that great, and yet I find it hard to pass up a pizza for half off the price, no strings attached. I won't get a truly bad pizza just becaue of a coupon (and by the way, whoever said pizza's like sex, even when it's bad, it's pretty good, was wrong. It can really be bad sometimes. Pizza, that is), but I do find myself getting what I know will be mediocre pizza just because it's such a "bargain" at 50% off.
It's only January and I'm already regretting buying the damn book. But I know next year will come, and the price on the books will come down (never buy them as soon as they're available in the fall - always wait till December or January), and I'll think, geez, what a great deal - the thing will pay for itself in no time, and next thing I know, here I am eating a spongy pizza, or greasy Chinese food, or spending $3 in gas to save $2.75 at the dry cleaner on the other side of town, all because of the book. It's going to be a long year.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Always Read the Fine Print

I'm not going to name names, but I saw an online offer for a local pizzeria for a $10 gift certificate for sale for $5. The fine print notes that there is a minimum purchase of $20 and that an 18% gratuity is added prior to discount.
So let me get this straight - you pay $5 for a $10 coupon, for a net value of $5. If you spend $20, they automatically add $3.60 to the bill. So you're down to a $1.40 savings. And every dollar you spend over $20 will lower that by another 36 cents. Not much of a deal.
And anyway, what's with an 18% "gratuity" at a pizzeria - with counter service, yet?!

Perri's, Greece: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

My sampling tour of Buffalo chicken pizza takes us next to the newest Perri's location, which opened recently at the corner of Stone Rd. and Dewey Ave. in Greece. I think this was formerly the site of a Mr. Shoes, which now has just one location on South Avenue.
This Perri's is, at this point, the second location of this mini-chain. There was a Perri's on Norton Street, but Perri's website no longer lists it (though it still appears on their map), and the phone there has been disconnected. I know I wasn't too impressed by the Norton Street Perri's on the one occasion when I stopped there.
But like its sister location in Gates, the Greece Perri's is clean and attractive, with a nice selection of lunchtime slices. Since Perri's offers a "huge slice" for three dollars, I got just the one, forgoing some other tasty-sounding varieties in the interests of investigating Perri's Buffalo chicken pizza. When I last picked up a Perri's slice in Gates, I remember the Buffalo chicken slices seemed to be very popular with the lunchtime crowd.
This slice had a very thin crust, so thin that the cheese was thicker than the dough in some spots. It was screen baked, and firm on the bottom, with variable browning underneath.
The crust was topped by a thin, almost invisible layer of hot sauce. Though the oily concoction wasn't too noticeable to the eye, it made its presence known on the palate, with a medium-hot flavor of Buffalo wing sauce.
Next came a layer of slightly browned mozzarella, which had a certain tanginess, though I couldn't detect any blue cheese on this one.
The cheese was topped with cubes of fried chicken, which were coated with a breading that itself had a peppery kick to it. There was not an abundance of chicken on this slice, but enough to add at least some additional flavor and meaty texture.
Though the crust wasn't particularly crisp, it did have some nice internal breadiness, which was noticeable despite its thinness. Toward the thicker edge those bready qualities came through a bit more, and the chewy outer lip helped take away some of the heat that had accumulated on my palate from the rest of the slice. The slice as a whole was easily foldable, and was reminiscent of a soft taco with a spicy chicken-and-cheese filling.
This wasn't bad, a little greasy perhaps, but again, what do you expect with Buffalo chicken? I might've liked it better with some blue cheese, and perhaps a little more full-bodied sauce, but this was still a tasty slice of pizza. For $3, it's not a bad deal, and an extra $2 will get you a 20 oz. drink and a bag of chips or a cookie too. I'll give this one a B-.
Perri's Pizza, 528 Stone Road at Dewey Ave., Greece. 865.5050
Sun. - Thu. 10 a.m - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rhino's Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I've reported before about Rhino's Pizza on Humboldt Street, as well as its sister location in Webster. My slices were OK at both locations, but recently I returned to the Humboldt St. Rhino's to get a medium Buffalo chicken wing pie.
I had several reasons for going. One, I like to follow up at some places where I've only had individual slices, by getting a fresh pie to see how it compares. Two, so many people seem to like chicken wing pizza that I'd like to start checking some of them out. Three, I had a half-off coupon for Rhino's that was about to expire.
The crust on this pie was medium thick, with a well-browned underside that was dry to the touch, though not crisp. It had a soft, chewy texture and some pleasant breadiness.
There is no tomato sauce on Rhino's wing pizza, just hot sauce. I was given a choice of heat, and asked for medium. The crust was topped with a thin coating of sauce, which I'd say hit the medium mark pretty well. It had some kick to it, but wasn't so spicy-hot as to overwhelm the rest of the pizza.
A fairly thick layer of well-melted cheese came next. It seemed to be all mozzarella, and though I couldn't see any, I thought I detected some faint notes of blue cheese in the background. Crunchy chunks of deep fried, breaded chicken rounded out the pie, along with a bit of grease, though I suppose that's to be expected with a chicken wing pizza. If you really don't like greasy food, you're probably not a fan of Buffalo wings to begin with.
I think I'll always prefer more traditional forms of pizza to chicken wing pizza, but now and then it's not bad. My breadth of experience with this particular form of pizza is rather limited, but for me, this pie was better than a run-of-the-mill, average pizza, but not a world-beater either, so I'll give it a B.
Rhino's Pizzeria, 391 Humboldt St. 288-7492
Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. noon - 8:30 during football season

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Pizzeria News

The "New Businesses" section in the Democrat and Chronicle lists Ferrara's Pizza coming to 3872 Lyell Rd. That's the address of Carmine's Express, so it looks as if changes may be in the offing.
Speaking of Ferrara's, I remember there used to be a Ferrara's Pizza on Titus Ave., across from the House of Guitars. It was the first place I ever had a Margherita pizza. I don't think I'd consider it a classic Margherita today, as it was made with processed mozzarella and was topped with chopped olives, among other things. But it was damn tasty. I used to drive up from my then-apartment on Rochester's east side to get it.
That Ferrara's later closed and Pudgie's went in there. Now Pudgie's is gone and there's some non-pizza business at the location. Given how many years it's been, I doubt there's any connection between that Ferrara's and the new one, but I'll have to find out.
Pizza Guy correction:  a previous version of this post gave the address as that of DiRosato's. DiRosato's is at 3639 Lyell Rd. and is still going strong. I regret the error.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Di Giacco's, Lyell Ave.: a Mom 'n' Pop Neighborhood Shop

In October 2009, I did a post about Di Giacco's on Lyell Avenue. It's a small, independent shop that does virtually no advertising, so it's not that well known outside of its immediate area, making it a true neighborhood pizzeria.
The single slice that I got there before was rather distinctive, earning it a B. I'd always meant to go back sometime for a full pie, which I finally did a few days ago.
As I was waiting for my pepperoni pie to emerge from the oven, I learned that the owners, Bill and Darla, have been running Di Giacco's for about ten years now. They have no employees, making this not only a neighborhood pizzeria, but about as mom-and-pop a pizza shop as you can find. (The lack of employees also explains Di Giacco's relatively limited hours.)
It wasn't always planned this way. Darla and Bill (whose previous line of work was "in cars") originally intended to go into the pizza business with an associate. When he backed out, they decided to give it a go on their own, despite their lack of experience. It's obviously worked out for them, and the fact that they're self-taught probably accounts in part for the uniqueness of Di Giacco's pizza.
It isn't just the pizza that's unique at Di Giacco's. For instance, there's the electric organ in the front window. No particular reason, it's just there.
Then there's the hot dog cart. In warm weather months, you'll see an outdoor cart parked right next to the building, with a grill sizzling with hots and burgers. That dates back to Di Giacco's early days, when a hot dog vendor set up shop just across the street, with devastating effects on Di Giacco's lunchtime business. In the spirit of free enterprise, Bill set up his own cart outside, problem solved, and it's been a summertime fixture ever since. That other vendor, by the way, moved on a long time ago, but some of the health inspectors who came to make sure Di Giacco's cart was in compliance have since become regular customers.
But getting back to that pizza ... I can honestly say that Di Giacco's pizza is one of the most distinctive I've had around here.
There's nothing particularly unusual about it, mind you; it's made of the same basic components as most other pizza:  crust, tomato sauce and cheese. But unusual and distinctive are two different things, and this pizza is distinctive. In a good way, I might add.
The crust on my medium pie was about 3/8 of an inch thick in most areas. It was screen baked but firm, with a smattering of oven soot underneath and a chewy, bready edge.
I'm big on the importance of a good crust, but while this crust was OK, it was the toppings that really defined this pizza. Each bite yielded a mix of salty, tangy, sweet and herbal flavors, overlaid by the bacon-like, peppery smokiness of the pepperoni. For a simple pepperoni pizza, this had a complexity and an intensity of flavor that was truly surprising, and an overall flavor profile that was not quite like any other pizza I've tried around here. (Interestingly, when I ate the pizza hot, the pepperiness seemed more assertive; as cold leftovers, the herbs came through more.)
Di Giacco's pizza menu lists 14 toppings, including two kinds of sausage (Italian or beef). They also serve wings, calzones, grilled hots, burgers, sausage, chicken breast, and Jamaican patties, a few sides, chili and soup.
Like everybody else, I've developed certain preferences, likes and dislikes when it comes to pizza, and with those in mind, Di Giacco's probably wouldn't be my default, go-to pizzeria. It doesn't quite match up to my ideal, which tends to run toward crisp, bready crusts and simple, subtle complements of sauce and cheese. This was not that. (Though in fairness, I've been told by other pizzeria owners that if you request a crisper crust, they can accommodate you.)
But given this pizza's distinctiveness, it's no surprise that it doesn't exactly match my Platonic ideal of pizza. This is not a pizza that's imitative or trying to conform to a particular style; it is what it is, and you take it on its own terms.
I have fond memories of certain pizzas that I used to eat when I was growing up, from places that have long since gone out of business. They weren't necessarily world-class pizzas; they may not have even been the best in town. But if it were possible to give me a fresh slice of one of them today, I swear I could identify it, and I'd relish every bite.
It struck me in talking with Bill that he's much the same way. As he reminisced about some pizzerias that are either no longer with us, or in areas where he no longer lives, and how he still occasionally craves one of their pizzas, it occurred to me that whether he intended to or not, he's created an equally memorable pizza of his own at Di Giacco's. In a stretch of Lyell Avenue that's home to an abundance of pizza places, Di Giacco's stands out, and that should keep it in good stead for some years to come.
Di Giacco's Pizzeria, 970 Lyell Ave., Rochester 14606. 458-8030
Mon. 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tue. - Thu. 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Fri. 10:30 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sat. 3 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

13WHAM reports that the owner of Union Hill Pizza & Subs, a/k/a Union Hill Country Grill, has been charged with tax fraud, and that the restaurant is now closed. It's too bad. Union Hill made damn good pizza, good enough to get an A rating from me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

C & C Deli, Lyell Ave.

C & C Deli on Urbanspoon
If you've ever gone to or driven by the Wegmans on Lyell Avenue in Gates, you may have noticed the big "PIZZA" sign in front of the plaza across the street. That would be the C & C Deli. It is primarily a deli, not a pizzeria, so I wasn't in much of a hurry to check out their pizza, but I did stop by the other day for a slice.
The only slices available on my visit were pepperoni slices, each of which was a quarter of a pie, in a warming case. I got one slice.
The crust was thin, which made it all the more remarkable how heavy a slice this was. Some of that, I suppose, was just the sheer size of the slice, but the toppings were on the heavy side too.
A generous helping of tomato sauce gave this slice a distinctive flavor. It had a thick consistency and a cooked-tomato flavor, with what seemed to be a hint of sharp cheese in the background. I liked the flavor of this sauce, which would've been great over pasta.
Alas, the rest of the slice was less enjoyable. The underside had that "pancake" appearance, with bubbly, shallow white craters surrounded by a golden-brown surface. The exterior of the crust, and in fact the entire crust, were soft and nearly buckled under the weight of the toppings. The interior was spongy and bland.
Atop the sauce, the cheese was a little browned, and had melted together into a solid mass that easily separated from the crust. The slice also appeared to have been sprinkled with what I would guess was Romano, which gave it a bit of tanginess in the background. The pepperoni had a nice meaty flavor and was more chewy than crisp.
The outer edge of this slice was formed into a medium-thick lip, which had some crunch. Maybe it was just very skillfully made, but it was so uniform in appearance that it resembled one of those slices that you'd get from a convenience store, which are obviously made from preshaped, maybe frozen crusts.
C&C does serve full pies as well as slices, but only in one size ("large" on the menu - I didn't measure it, but I would've guessed this slice to be about 7 inches along the side). Among the 14 available toppings you'll find hot and mild sopressata, prosciutto and bacon. They also offer chicken wing, veggie, white, meat, and garlic specialty pizzas.
Some of those sound good, but I have a hard time getting past this crust. I could be wrong, but subjectively, this crust seemed to me to have a certain "premade" appearance and flavor, and as I said, the slice as a whole was all too reminiscent of convenience store pizza. The sauce was clearly the best thing about it, and I'd gladly buy a jar of it to take home. But it would be much better served over a plate of spaghetti than atop this rather lifeless crust.
On the plus side, C&C is a very good deli, with a nice selection of meats and imported foods. You could have a fine time here some afternoon, sitting at one of their handful of tables, working on a meaty sub and a draft beer, watching a European soccer game on TV to help pass the time, but I'm giving this slice of pizza a C-.
C&C Deli & Grill, 2310 Lyell Ave., 429-7827
Hours unknown

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Little Louie's Spencerport: Chicken Artichoke Pizza

Little Louie's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon
Last August, I posted a review of Little Louie's in Spencerport. I gave a C+ to their large (half sheet) pizza, which I found "pretty enjoyable," but a bit undercooked for my taste.
Sheet pizzas tend to differ so much from pies, however, that I wanted to make it back to Little Louie's sometime to try one of their pies, which come in small and medium sizes only. So not long ago, I picked up a medium, pie-style cheese pizza from LL, as well as one of their specialty pies, topped with chicken and artichokes.
Starting with the latter, the underside of the chicken artichoke pie's medium-thick crust was more of a golden brown than charred, but it was nice and crisp nonetheless. The pizza had an overall garlicky aroma, which seemed more redolent of garlic powder than of fresh garlic.
Contrary to the description in the menu, I didn't see any "white sauce" on this pizza. I think it was likely brushed or drizzled with olive oil before the cheese was applied.
The toppings worked well together, with a layer of melted, stringy mozzarella as a base for the chunks of chicken, artichoke and tomatoes. The unbreaded chicken didn't add a tremendous amount of flavor to the pie, but these toppings were on the whole characterized by relatively subtle flavors, so a light touch with the seasonings was probably called for here. The overall flavor was marked by a certain tanginess from the artichokes. My only complaint as far as the toppings are concerned was that several of the artichoke bits contained the hard outer leaves, rather than just the softer hearts, and by the time I was done I had a small pile of chewed-up artichoke leaves on my plate.
The cheese in some spots reached nearly to the edge of this pizza, while in others it was a good couple of inches away. The edge was reasonably pleasant on its own, though, with an airy, chewy interior.
Like the chicken artichoke pizza, the cheese pie was topped with a thick, stringy layer of well-melted mozzarella, with just the faintest hints of browning. I've noticed that Little Louie's cheese tends to be soft-textured and stringy, as opposed to the more oily/chewy/congealed cheese you get on a lot of pizzas.
Underneath, this pie's crust was noticeably softer and paler than the chicken artichoke pie's. For whatever reason, there were also some visible creases in the dough underneath, as if had folded a bit or hadn't quite lay flat while baking.
What also distinguished this pie from the chicken artichoke pizza, of course, was the addition of red sauce. This sauce was marked by a very tomatoey flavor. It was not especially sweet, salty, or heavily seasoned, but instead had a bright, prominent flavor of tomatoes.
Both the sauce and cheese were plentiful on this pizza, though both were in balance with each other, and the crust was substantial enough to stand up to both, without being overwhelmed by them.
The crust on both these pizzas was pretty good, although I wouldn't call it especially bready. But it had a pleasing flavor, and a nice, chewy texture. All in all, these were good pizzas, and while they didn't exactly wow me, I thought they were better than average, so I'll give them both a B.
Little Louie's Pizzeria, 1835 N. Union St., Spencerport. 349-3393
Mon. - Sat. 10:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., Sun. noon - 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Compane Bistro photos

My thanks to a reader for these photos of Compane Brick Oven Bistro in Fairport following the New Years fire that has shut the restaurant down indefinitely.
The Messenger Post reports that the fire caused "extensive damage" to the building and an adjacent structure. Firefighters were on the scene from about 3 to 11 a.m. New Years Day. The fire was ruled accidental.
Compane's Facebook page contains numerous posts from customers offering condolences and encouragement. I haven't made it there yet to try one of Compane's wood-fired pizzas, but it's obvious that the restaurant has developed a sizable and loyal clientele since opening last August. I join Compane's patrons in wishing them a speedy return to business, and a grand reopening before too long.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Twofer Tuesday

Main Street Pizza Co on Urbanspoon
Last November, I did a post on the Batavia Pontillo's (which is now "Batavia's Original"). I've also managed to sample another couple of Batavia pizzerias, so here's a quick roundup.
I had high hopes for Main St. Pizza Co., which looked a little more trendy or upscale than the average mom 'n' pop pizza joint. Not that mom 'n' pop places don't make good pizza, mind you, but Main St. seemed to offer the possibility of something a little out of the ordinary, perhaps a good New York style pizza, or a so-called "artisanal" pie.
Alas, it was not to be. The slice I got had a thin crust, but a soft, screen-baked bottom, which was browned but not at all charred. It was topped with a healthy helping of fairly sweet sauce, and atop that a layer of browned, congealed cheese, which easily separated from the crust. The slice seemed to have sat out for perhaps a bit longer than it should have. This was lunchtime, though, and pepperoni slices are usually the fastest-selling, so it couldn't have been sitting out for too long. Anyway, I always maintain that if a place sells slices, it's up to them to serve them reasonably fresh. This didn't seem too fresh to me.
The edge of the slice was a bit thick, and as is often the case with screen-baked pizza, it was more enjoyable than the rest of the crust. It had a pleasant crunch and some interior breadiness. It struck me that this was good dough, the potential of which was not fully realized in the baking process.
Ficarella's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon
About two blocks away from Main St., you'll find Ficarella's Pizzeria, which has been in business since 1985.
My slice here also had a thin crust, with a crunchy underside that was lightly dusted with cornmeal. The crust was so crunchy and even brittle, in fact, that it broke apart as I was eating my slice, as you can see in the bottom photo. The edge was very crunchy, with some bubbles, so that when I bit into it, it was like biting into a hollow shell.
It's often hard to put a flavor into words, and that's the case here. Something struck me odd about the flavor of this slice, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It wasn't a bad flavor, exactly, but certainly distinctive and, well, just a bit unusual, even odd.
Maybe it's only that I'd just eaten the Main St. slice, which was rather sweet, and Ficarella's slice wasn't so sweet, so my tastebuds reacted to it differently. I wish I could convey it better than that. Words fail me, for which I apologize.
Whatever the flavor, I think it came from the sauce, which tends to be the wild card on pizza, since it can range from sweet to salty to acidic to herb-infused. That said, this wasn't a particularly sauce slice, with just a thin layer between the cheese and the crust.
The cheese on the Ficarella's slice was pretty thick, and while I like cheese, to me it seemed to throw the slice out of balance, as the cheese dominated the thin crust.
So, to recap:  Main St. was OK, but not great, and not as good as I'd hoped. It earns a C+ on the strength of its dough. Ficarella's Pizzeria also had potential - it some ways the crust was more to my liking than Main St.'s, but I was a bit put off by the way it broke apart, and that flavor left me scratching my head. I think it's clearly deserving of another shot sometime, but this one slice I'm giving a C.
Main St. Pizza Company, 206 E. Main St., Batavia (585) 343-0007
Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m.- midnight, Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 1 a.m., Sun. noon - midnight
Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia (585) 343-5545
Sun. - Thu. 11 a.m. - midnight, Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.
P.S. I ran across this discussion of "Batavia style pizza" here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Compane Bistro Damaged in Fire

The D&C reports that a fire "heavily damaged" the building housing Compane Bistro in Fairport early New Year's morning. Compane's website states that the restaurant, which specializes in wood-fired pizza, is "temporarily closed." I'll post further developments as I become aware of them. If anyone learns additional details, please add a comment or email me and I'll post them here.