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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chester Cab, Thin Cracker Crust

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If I were to give out awards to pizzerias for having the greatest variety of styles to choose from, Chester Cab on Park Avenue would certainly be on the list. They're known for their Chicago-style stuffed pizza, but they also offer "regular" pizza, "crispy New York style" slices, "thick Sicilian style," and "thin cracker crust," as well as low-fat pizza, and calzones. Oh, and the "Poor Man's Pizza," which is a regular pie topped with sauce, Parmesan, and herbs.
That wide variety has led me to make several visits to Chester Cab, and so far I've reported on one of their slices and on their stuffed pizza. On my most recent visit I gave the thin cracker crust a try.
I ordered my pizza - plain cheese - in person, and I was a bit dismayed when I heard they had to "go get one" of the crusts. The obvious implication was that the crusts were premade, and sitting in a storeroom, refrigerator, or freezer.
But - keep an open mind. The end result is what matters, and I'm not prepared to say that a premade crust can't be good.
The pizza that I got was, well, accurately described. The crust was thin, dry, and, indeed, crackerlike. It was crunchy, and a bit flaky, with a very thin, slightly charred edge.
The pie was more saucy than cheesy, which was probably a good thing. The sauce helped add some moisture to the dry crust, whereas a lot of cheese would've just made the whole thing chewier. The sauce had a straightforward, canned-tomato flavor (with sauce, by the way, canned tomatoes are often better than fresh, so no problem there). The cheese was a little sparse but well melted.
I ended up eating some of this sandwich style, with two slices put together, crust side out. That was actually pretty good.
This reminded me of what is sometimes called "bar pizza," meaning very thin pizza that you get in a bar, either off the bar menu or for free at happy hour. The idea is that it's so thin that it will make you more thirsty than full. But bar pizza is typically greasy and this wasn't (which would probably make it even less filling).I'm not going to rate this pizza, because it was exactly what the menu said it was, and I really can't compare it to anything else around here. You either like it this way or you don't. So even if I didn't like it, I couldn't complain, since I knew what I was ordering all along.
I thought it was OK, though I don't think it's something I'd be apt to order again. I like a more pliable crust with more of an interior. But no real complaints, and it's an interesting alternative to most other pizzas you'll find in our area.
Chester Cab Pizza, 707 Park Ave., Rochester 14607
Tel.: 244-8211
Hours: Mon. - Tue. 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., Wed. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m., Sun. noon - 9 p.m.


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  2. I recently moved from Rochester to Chicago and believe it or not, this is what is considered "thin crust" pizza in Chicago, the norm. It's almost impossible to find NY style thin crust or even Rochester-style doughy crust here - it's usually either cracker-like "thin crust" or stuffed/deep dish. At first, I hated it and thought it blasphemy but it has grown on me to the point where I now prefer it. Crazy!

  3. I've heard of Chicago thin crust, but never tried it. Thanks for a Chicagoan's perspective.