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Friday, March 25, 2011

Naked Pizza, Victor (CLOSED)

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I don't generally have much to say about chain pizzerias, for several reasons. One, most of them are so ubiquitous that I figure most people have a pretty good idea already of what their pizza is like. Two, readers of this blog, which has a local focus, are probably not that interested in chain pizzerias. Three, chain pizzerias, by their very nature, tend to promote uniformity, which to me is not a virtue where pizza's concerned. I like to think that a pizza that I get from a particular pizzeria is unique to that pizzeria.
But I have made an exception for Naked Pizza, which opened in Victor last fall. I did so because, so far at least, it's the only Naked Pizza in this area, and because it claims to be different from other chain pizzerias.
What's different about it? Well, according to Naked Pizza's website, their "dough is made from a blend of 10 whole grains and seeds with the addition of probiotics. Pies are topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella with no preservatives, sugar or trans fat."
Personally, when I eat pizza, I'm not thinking too much about trans fats, and I have only the vaguest idea what probiotics are. But I was curious to see what sort of product they put out. So I stopped by recently and ordered a 12" pie with tomatoes and basil.
I was a bit surprised when I walked in to see what a small place this is. There's a counter where you place your order, and a small counter where you could, I suppose, eat standing up, but that's it. This is really a takeout place.
The menu is posted on large video screens above the counter. Pies come in 10", 12" and 14" sizes. Prices start at $4.99 for a 10" cheese pizza, and go up to $16.99 for a 14" specialty pizza.
I was feeling like a Margherita, but Naked Pizza doesn't offer one, so I figured that tomatoes and basil would come reasonably close. After coming out of Naked Pizza's conveyor-belt oven, my pizza had a very thin crust that was dimpled on the bottom (from the pizza tray), with a dry, firm underside dotted with corn meal. It was not very crisp, and the individual slices were floppy.
The crust had a certain graininess to it, which was not unpleasant, though it was distinguish this from most other pizzas made with "ordinary" flour. It wasn't gritty, though, and there was still some chewiness to the crust.  The crust had a bit of crunch, although again with a certain background whole-grain bite.
This was a very saucy pizza, although given the thinness of the crust, it wouldn't take much sauce to make it seem that way. The sauce, which had a medium consistency, had a reasonably good tomatoey flavor, but I did find it a bit bland. Perhaps it's low in sodium, and while I don't crave salt, I'm probably used to saltier sauces than this one.
The mozzarella cheese was well melted, and was thinly applied, although it was in pretty good balance with the thin crust. (I didn't ask for this pie to be made with Naked Pizza's "skinny (thin)" crust, but I can't imagine it being much thinner, so either I was given the "skinny" crust without my asking, or the skinny crust is about as thick as a layer of filo dough.)
The tomato and basil were generously applied. You'd think I'd know by now not to order tomatoes in March, but these didn't have a whole lot of flavor. The basil was fine, although for as visible as it was, it had a surprisingly mild flavor; it reminded me more of wilted spinach than of the assertive herb I was expecting.
Naked pizza offers 15 "flora" (vegetable) toppings, and despite its hippieish image, five meat toppings, with a choice of three cheeses (mozzarella, feta or cheddar). There are also nine specialty pizzas, which will run you 8, 9, and 10 dollars more than a cheese pizza per 10, 12 , or 14 inch pie. Bread sticks and spinach salad are your only non-pizza options.
This was OK pizza, not out-of-the-park good, but certainly not bad. The crust was not as crisp as I like, but it's tough to get that kind of "bite" with whole-grain flour, and the added flavor and slightly grainy texture of this multigrain dough did at least partially compensate for the lack of outer crispness. And while the overall flavor did seem a bit on the bland side to my salt-jaded palate, it was reasonably good and well balanced, so I'll give this one an above-average, B grade.
Naked Pizza, 202 High Point Dr., Victor (across from Eastview Mall) 223-0088
Sun. - Thu. 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Pizza Guy note:  effective June 6, 2011, this establishment is closed.

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