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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brickwood Grill, Monroe Ave.

For a long time, there's been some eating or drinking establishment at 250 Monroe Avenue. Most recently, that address was the home of Woody's, and before that there was O'Donahue's, which I vaguely remember. I'm sure there were other proprietors before that, since the place just looks as if it ought to be a bar or a restaurant.
Recently, this address went through another name change - it's now The Brickwood Grill. And that's not all that's changed - there's now pizza on the menu, which led me to pay a visit last week.
It had been some time since I was in this space, but it didn't seem to me to have changed much, physically. Not that there was a lot of reason to change things - it's always been a fairly attractive spot, with a lot of dark wood fixtures that lend a touch of class, although in the past, that effect wasn't always apparent, such as at 1 a.m. when the floor was sticky and the atmosphere redolent of stale beer and testosterone. I don't know what it's like here late on weekend nights these days, but lunchtime saw a mix of patrons, maybe 75% male, most of whom probably work in the neighborhood.
Though the name might lead you to think that the Brickwood uses a wood-fired brick oven, that's not the case. I didn't actually confirm that, but there's no indication on the Brickwood's website or menu that they use a wood-fired oven.
Nor is there any indication from the pizza itself. My 10-inch pie had a very thin and floppy crust, with screen marks on its mostly pale gold bottom. The underside seemed a bit oily to the touch and was not too crisp, except along the edge, where there was a little crackling and some crunch. I also picked up a certain yeasty, fresh-baked aroma, as well as a hard-to-pin down aroma of oil and/or garlic that seemed to come mostly from underneath. The menu describes the dough as "brushed with garlic butter sauce," which likely explains that.
This was a pretty cheesy pizza, with a thick, solid layer of melted mozzarella. Bits of tomato were visible in the sauce, which was moderately applied and had a sweet tomatoey flavor.
The cup and char pepperoni was nice and crisp along the edges, with good flavor. One stray bit of mushroom had found its way onto my pizza, which didn't bother me too much (even though I hate mushrooms), though I would've been more upset if I had a mushroom allergy, which some folks do.
The Brickwood offers 12 pizza toppings, and three specialty pizzas (Margherita, Hawaiian, and Mediterranean). Ordinarily I would've gotten a Margherita, but this one sounded kind of odd - it's topped with sliced tomatoes, basil pesto, baby arugula, and fresh mozzarella, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. That's somewhat similar to the Margherita I had at Hose 22 last year, which I did enjoy, but unusual enough that I though a basic pepperoni pie would make for a better test of Brickwood's pizza.
The rest of the menu runs mostly toward bar food - burgers and such - with a few more substantial items like chicken parm, ribeye steak and lobster ravioli.
This was not bad pizza by any means, but it wasn't good enough to make the Brickwood Grill a pizza destination either. Again, maybe it was just the name, but I was hoping for something along the lines of a more artisanal-style pizza, and that's not what this was. Seeing the screen marks put me off a bit, and sure enough, the crust was missing the crisp bite to it that I really like in my pizza. It tasted fine, though, and if I were here with some friends and in the mood for pizza I might get it again. I'm also intrigued enough by the description of the Margherita that I will likely be back some time to try it out. As for the pepperoni pizza, I'd say it was pretty average, so I'm giving it a C.
Brickwood Grill, 250 Monroe Avenue, Rochester 14607
Phone:  730-8230 Email:
Mon. - Fri. 11 a.m. - 2 a.m., Sat. & Sun. 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.

1 comment:

  1. Brian, if you haven't heard about my lasagna or baked chicken from my past co worker at Anchor Bar, I would love to come there and give you a sample of My I think outstanding recipes,
    I made them for the employees and Anchor Bar and was recieved well, free food though, I guess so
    I just still love for you to give them a try,
    Nowhere and I do mean nowhere can you get them prepared as I prepare them, ask my coworker at anchor bar, He chowed...