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Friday, September 28, 2012

Ask the PIzzaiolo: How Much Difference Does the Pizzaiolo Make?

Ever order the same pizza from the same pizzeria on two different occasions, and one's good, and the other sucks? A lot of us have, and we've wondered, why? Same ingredients, same oven, same place - how can the pizzas come out so much different?
I recently got an email from a reader asking my opinion about why that phenomenon occurs. Specifically, he noticed that on certain days of the week (typically the days the shop owner was there) the pizza was very good. On other days, the crust was gummy, oily ... not good.
So how and why did that happen? How could one person make such a noticeable difference?
I had some theories, but in all honesty I had to admit that it would be better to turn to an expert - somebody who makes pizza for a living.
So I've asked a couple of local pizzaioli that basic question - how much difference does the individual pizzaiolo make? As long as you're working with the same basic setup, procedure, and ingredients, is the human element really that important in making pizza?
"Of course." That was the answer I got from Joe Staffieri of Joe's Brooklyn Pizza, who started out making pizza in his shop's namesake borough decades ago. Making pizza, he said, "is an art form," and can't be reduced to a simple formula. There are many nuances to making a good pizza, though few customers will ever be aware of them - unless they're done badly. This is my analogy, but think of it like an NFL game - if the refs do their job right, you don't notice the officiating at all. It's only when they get it wrong that they get noticed.
So what are some of those subtle elements that make the difference between a good and a bad pizza? Well, as Joe explained, there's a direct proportion between the freshness of the ingredients and the degree of skill required to turn them into a good pie. The reason is simple - the more you start from scratch, the more opportunities there are to get something wrong along the way. Anybody who's wondered why their spaghetti sauce or chicken soup never tastes as good as their mom's or their grandma's will know what I mean.
The specific ways to screw up a pizza are almost too numerous to mention. Every step of the process has its pitfalls. Was the sauce overcooked? Is it watery? Did it burn? Did the dough rise enough, or too much? Was it properly stretched to a uniform thickness? Were the toppings applied in the right proportions? How carefully was the pizza monitored once it went in the oven? Was it turned while baking, to avoid uneven cooking from hot spots in the oven?
Some of those same issues were mentioned, with a slightly different twist, by Tony Proietti of 2 Ton Tony's. Tony, who comes from a long line of Rochester pizzamakers, described making pizza - pizza dough, in particular - not as an art form but as a "science experiment." It's easy to understand why, as pizza dough, like most bread dough, includes yeast, a living organism. Yeast may be a relatively simply life form, but its workings can be mysterious and not entirely predictable. Any given batch of dough is subject to many factors, including the potency of the yeast, the ambient temperature and humidity, the length of the rise, and the way in which it's physically handled.
Tony also suggested that there may be a subconscious element at work as well, on the part of the customer. It's entirely possible that a customer may have a certain comfort level when he or she sees the owner behind the counter that's missing when it's a young employee making the pizza. Maybe the customer tends to cut the owner a little more slack, and scrutinizes the novice's pizza more closely. To go back to my NFL analogy, this season's replacement refs may have made more than their share of bad calls, but they were undoubtedly put under more of a microscope than the regular refs.
That said, Tony did acknowledge that the presence of an owner can make a noticeable difference in the final product. With more of a personal, emotional and financial stake in the business, an owner will typically tend to take more care in making a pizza, and to be more aware of and sensitive to the little things that can make a difference in the final product. An employee may look at pizzamaking as just a job, not a craft to which he or she is dedicated.
So does all that mean that you should only order a pizza when the owner is on the premises? Well, it's not quite that simple. Sure, if the owner is around, that's probably a good thing - like going to a restaurant on the night when the head chef is on duty - but the converse is not necessarily true. If you find that the pizza from your local pizzeria is consistently subpar on certain days, then try somewhere else on those days (and speak to the owner about it!). But it's certainly possible to get good pizza made by ordinary employees.
The key is good training, and a dedicated staff. Joe expressed some disdain for pizzerias that overly rely on inexperienced employees with minimal training, and he stressed that he's personally trained his entire staff, who clearly know what they're doing, and do it well. Tony expressed a similar sentiment when he told me, "Come work here for a week and you'll see" how much goes into making good pizza. "You have to have good people that you've trained and worked with."
Some places try to avoid the whole issue by taking skill out of the equation entirely, going with premade crusts, premeasured ingredients and conveyor ovens that require little or no human intervention until the pie is done. I'm not saying you can't produce a good pizza that way, but the best pizzas I've had have come from places where the pizzaiolo has more hands-on control over the entire process, start to finish.
Finally, even an accomplished pizzaiolo will make mistakes from time to time, and a good one knows when to start over. No good pizzeria should let a substandard pie go out the door.
In short, there's no substitute for - no shortcuts around - good training and experience, and for care and attention to detail. Pizzamaking is part art, part science, and for the best pizzaioli, it's a lifelong learning process. When I asked Joe Staffieri how long it takes to master the craft, his answer was, "I've been doing this since I was 13 and I don't know if I've mastered it yet."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another Slice of Dragonfly

Dragonfly Tavern on Urbanspoon
I was recently on Park Avenue around lunchtime so I stopped in for a slice at Dragonfly, which I hadn't been to, or reviewed, in quite some time. In fact, my most recent review was in December 2009
I was disappointed that time, and I was hoping for better this time around.
Before I get to my slice, one change I noticed on the menu was that the range of specialty pies available had shrunk considerably. Dragonfly used to offer twenty-four specialty pizzas, from a hot "pepper pie" to a clams casino pizza, and even a fruit pie. But according to the menu I picked up on my visit, they're down to twelve, which is still a lot, but the aforementioned pies are no longer available. Maybe it got too expensive to keep the ingredients on hand for pies that weren't selling, so they pared down the men a bit. But you can still get a mac 'n' cheese pie, which you will certainly not find at most other pizzerias around here.
If you only want a slice, your options are much more limited, which is understandable, since you don't want to keep a sliced specialty pie sitting there for hours. Better to offer fewer but fresher slices.
I got a cheese slice. It was, well, OK.
The underside of the thin-to-medium crust was well browned, very well browned, in fact, but not crisp. It was also heavily screen-marked. On the plus side, there was some toasty flavor, but it was mixed with a faint aroma of oil. The underside wasn't greasy, except for along the cut edges where some oil had seeped down from above, having exuded from the cheese, I guess.
Topside, a layer of basic tomato sauce lay underneath a blanket of browned mozzarella. The flavor was fine, but nothing exceptional. The outer edge was golden brown on top and dark brown and crunchy underneath.
All in all, this was an OK slice of pizza, but nothing special. It was very much an average slice for around here, with standard, melted/browned mozzarella and red sauce atop a crust that was not greasy (good) but not crisp (not so good). And for as dark as it was underneath, that browning didn't translate into a great texture or a lot of flavor. So not bad, good enough for a quick pizza fix, but just average. It gets a C.
Dragonfly Tavern & Pizza Factory, 725 Park Ave.
Open 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. daily, limited menu after midnight.
$10.00 minimum on deliveries + $1.00 delivery charge

Friday, September 21, 2012


NOTE:  this establishment is now closed.
In July, I attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Benedetto's, a new Italian restaurant on Alexander Street. As I mentioned on my Facebook page, they were passing around free hors d'oeuvres, and I got a taste of a Margherita pizza, which was pretty good. So I made up my mind to get back for a full pizza before too long.
Which I did recently. Twice, in fact, both times for lunch.
Why twice, in quick succession? Partly because it was good, but also because, though I liked the pizza well enough the first time, I wasn't satisfied with my notes, and thought that I should go back for a second visit and make a more detailed record.
On both occasions, I was accompanied by two companions, each of whom got pizza as well, so we're talking about six pizzas in total. I'm not going to describe each of them in detail, but I will summarize our findings and conclusions.
Over the course of two lunches, we tried two Margheritas (kudos on spelling the name right), two white pizzas, and two meat pizzas. Benedetto's sausage, anchovy and Gorgonzola pizzas will have to wait till next time.
Why get the same thing both times? Well again, I wanted to add some detail to my notes from the previous visit, so I wanted to stick with what I'd had before, and my companions liked what they'd gotten before, and that's what they wanted again.
So let's start with the crust. Unlike a lot of high-end pizza restaurants, which are all about wood- and coal-fired ovens these days, Benedetto's pizzas are baked in conventional, gas-heated commercial pizza ovens. There are countless pizzerias turning out excellent pizzas from just such ovens, so that's no knock on Benedetto's, and certainly no impediment to creating a good pie with a good crust.
But these were not the kind of super-thin, crackly, heavily charred crusts that are in vogue these days, which you generally find at wood-fired pizzerias. They were, in fact, a little on the thick side, with some moderate, uneven charring. The undersides were firm, with a little bite, and the interiors were chewy. Some bubbling had taken place along the edges, making these almost puffy in spots.
The Margherita was topped with the classic red-white-and-green trinity of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. The red sauce was smooth and straightforward, if a little bland. It was dotted with white islands of nicely melted slabs of cheese, topped with wilted shreds of basil.
The meat pizza was much like a ramped-up version of the Margherita, with the addition of sausage, ham, roasted red peppers and mozzarella. What stood out most was the spicy kick from the sausage, which permeated but did not overwhelm the pie. I also detected a background smokiness, which maybe came from the lean, thin slices of ham. I also noticed a few small chunks of diced tomato in the sauce on this one. This pie was the consensus favorite in our group, and I think the more heavily-flavored toppings stood up better to the relatively thick crust, as compared with the Margherita.
I enjoyed the white pizza, which was topped with pancetta, red onion, capers and arugula. Though its most striking visual feature was a generous coating of fresh arugula, what I noticed most about this pie on my palate was a tangy flavor, the source of which I couldn't quite pin down. I initially thought that there must have been some sharp cheese in the mix, but was told that the only cheeses on the white pizza are mozzarella and ricotta, both of which are on the mild end of the spectrum. Perhaps it was a combination of the salty capers and pancetta that I was tasting; baking might've both concentrated their flavors (by causing some evaporation of water) and spread those flavors over the surface of the pie, via the fat of the pancetta and cheese, giving the pie that overall sharp tang.
All three of us enjoyed all three pizzas, on both visits. That said, we were a bit divided over how much we enjoyed them, particularly where the crust was concerned. I thought they were good, fairly bready crusts with a firm undersurface and a chewiness that I liked. One of my friends, though, found the crusts too thick and doughy. I don't think any of them were poorly made, though, so this comes down to a matter of taste. If you're looking for thin and crispy pizza, look elsewhere, or at least ask if they can accommodate you.
As for me, I found these something like a cross between a modern, neo-"artisanal" pizza and a traditional Rochester style pizza, with the thick, Italian-bread chewiness of the latter and the intriguing flavor combinations and textural contrasts of the former. I'm not prepared to put these in the top tier of Rochester's pizzas just yet, but I do want to go back and sample Benedetto's other varieties. In the meantime, I'll give Benedetto's an above-average B.
Benedetto's, 289 Alexander Street, Rochester 14607
Tue. -.Sat.:  serving lunch from 11:30 to 2 p.m., then opening for happy hour at 4 p.m. and dinner service at 5 p.m. Always available for private events.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Shelf, Honeoye

Anytime I take a drive around the area, or outside the area for that matter, I'm on the lookout for pizza places. Sometimes it's a conscious decision to do some online research in advance of a road trip, and sometimes it's simply a product of my having become attuned to spotting pizzerias.
A Labor Day family outing to Hemlock Lake Park provided an opportunity for some advance scouting, and I learned that there was a pizzeria not far away in Honeoye (which is not to be confused with Honeoye Falls). It was closed that day, but I went back a week or so later for a pepperoni pie.
This had a medium-thick, screen baked crust with a firm, dry underside. Not crisp, but not soft either, and baked to a generally even, golden brown.
The pie was topped with a moderate amount of sauce and a uniform layer of well melted, stringy mozzarella. The sauce was on the mild side, but I picked up a distinct flavor of oregano here and there, suggesting that the herb had perhaps been sprinkled on somewhat unevenly.
The pepperoni was concentrated nearer the edge, with less in the center of the pie, so that some slices of the pie ended up with more pepperoni than others. It was standard, thin-sliced pepperoni.
Getting back to the crust, it was reasonably bready, with a well-browned edge that was more chewy than crisp. This pie didn't have a particularly pronounced cornicione, and the toppings went up nearly to the edge.
Top Shelf offers 19 pizza toppings, and four sauces:  traditional red, white garlic, pesto and "pink" (red and white mixed). They also have 10 specialty pizzas, including a chicken bacon ranch pizza and a seafood pizza, which might more accurately be named a crab pizza, since that's the only seafood on it (I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's real crab meat). They also serve calzones, wings, plates, fish fry, hot and cold subs, wraps, pasta, salads and mostly fried sides.
This was perfectly acceptable pizza, but not out of the ordinary for this area. I'd describe it as basic, average Rochester-area pizza, so it gets a C from me.
Top Shelf Pizza, 4905 East Lake Rd., Honeoye, NY 14471
(585) 229-4447
Sun. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Headliners, Fairport (CLOSED)

(This establishment has closed. - RPG)
Whenever a new pizza place opens, I'm torn between wanting to check it out immediately and giving them enough time to work the bugs out.
I recently stopped at Headliners, which debuted earlier this summer in Fairport. It hasn't been open long, but curiosity got the best of me, so off I went.
Headliners is a "big slice" place, with giant slices for three bucks. On my visit, they were offering cheese, pepperoni and Buffalo chicken. I got a pepperoni slice.
This slice was mostly very thin, but nearer the edge it was quite thick. The underside was a uniform brown, with screen marks. My fingertips could detect a bit of oil, and though it didn't have a crisp "bite," the exterior had a crackly surface, as you can see in the bottom photo.
At the outer edge, the crust ended in a wide, thick, bready, crusty cornicione with some burnt-cheese notes, giving it a flavor that was reminiscent of Cheez-It crackers.
The slice was blanketed by a heavy. solid layer of congealed mozzarella cheese. The sauce was more moderately applied, but was detectable on the palate. It had a bright, tomatoey flavor with some peppery kick, the source of which I was unable to identify (some red pepper in the sauce, perhaps?).
For a pepperoni slice, this was a bit light on the pepperoni, but what there was was pretty good, cup and char pepperoni that was a little crisp along the edges.
You can peruse Headliners' menu here, so I won't bother reciting everything they offer, but I will note a few things of interest. One, Headliners' pizza comes with your choice of sauce, which is something you don't see too often. At headliners, you can get your pizza with traditional red sauce, sweet & sour, garlic parmesan, BBQ or Buffalo sauce, the latter two of which come in hot, medium and mild versions. So basically, you can get chicken wing sauce on your pizza, but hey, why not? I've been known to dip my crusts into my chicken wing sauce from time to time myself.
Also of note is Headliners' "Famous Pizza Plate Challenge."  Finish a "Famous Pizza Plate" (which consists of mac salad, home fries, and a giant slice, covered with meat hot sauce) in under 25 minutes, and you'll receive a Headliners T-shirt, and get your picture on their wall and on their website. As of the date of my visit, one customer had managed to accomplish this feat, although I was told that he, well, shall we say, "lost it" twice during his efforts (which should've disqualified him, I say, but it's not my contest to run).
Overall, this was a reasonably good slice of pizza. The flavor was good and the crust wasn't bad. It was not, however, better than average for this area, in my opinion. For one thing, while I like cheese as much as the next guy, this slice was a little too cheese-heavy. The cheese dominated the other components, throwing the slice out of balance. And while a crackly underside is ordinarily a sign of a good crust, this crust wasn't as crisp as the photo might indicate. It was cracked, but lacked that bit of bite that makes for a truly great crust. The crust was firm, but nothing particularly special. So while this was by no means a bad slice of pizza, on balance I'd say it was about average, and I'll give it a C.
Headliners Pizza, 541 Whitney Road, Fairport, NY 14450
Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Return to The Gate House

Gate House Cafe on Urbanspoon
Having written this blog for some three and a half years now, I've been to well over 90% of the non-chain pizzerias around Rochester. So not every blog post is going to be about a new place or a first-time visit. There just aren't that many left, or that many new ones opening on a regular basis.
The good news is, it's taken me long enough to go to all these places that by now, some of them are overdue for a return visit. That's particularly true of places that maybe didn't seem to live up to what they should've been, my first time around.
One such place is The Gate House,which I have reviewed once before, in this March 2009 post . At that time, I found their wood-fired pizza rather disappointing, primarily due to its crust, which was chewy but not at all bready, with hardly any signs of the dough having risen.
But they're still around, so they must be doing something right. And on a visit last year I had a burger (yes, I do eat food other than pizza) that was pretty good, so I was ready to go back and give the pizza another shot.
On walking in, The Gate House's ovens are visible on your right, just behind the bar. I was told that they were manufactured in Italy, and are genuine wood-fired ovens, meaning that they're not some sort of wood/gas hybrid. That wood fire you see deep in the recesses of the oven isn't just for show; it's the heat source, and according to The Gate House's web site, that heat gets up to about 700 degrees - not as extreme as some places, but considerably hotter than a home oven or even a typical gas-heated pizza oven.
So despite my one prior disappointing experience here, I was looking forward to one of their pizzas. I ordered a "Kodak" pizza (The Gate House's pizzas are named after local landmarks, which doesn't thrill me, because I always feels silly ordering  something like a "Kodak" pizza, but I can live with it), which is topped with tomato sauce, Italian sausage, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella and basil.
The crust, which is always the starting point, was super thin. The underside was more firm than crisp, and was quite pliable.
The bottom was mostly pale, and a bit floury here and there,with some well-browned but not charred spots. Along the edge, which was formed into a narrow but distinct cornicione, the crust did display some crispness and crackling. Here, too, where the crust was thicker, I was able to appreciate the pleasant, mildly sweet, bready flavor of the baked dough.
The overall flavor was good, with a well-balanced blend of toppings. The sauce was marked with a rich tomato flavor. The Gate House states on its menu that they use Italian San Marzano tomatoes, are reputed to be the best, and if you want authentic, Neapolitan-style pizza, they're the way to go.
The sauce combined with the smooth, well-melted cheese to provide a solid base for the contrasting flavors and textures of the meaty, chewy sausage, the al dente roasted red bell peppers, and the shredded, wilted basil. This was certainly a winning combination, kind of like a Margherita with a little more oomph.
All in all, then, I liked this pizza, and I considered it a marked improvement over the last time. But it fell a little short of greatness.
In my experience, most "artisanal" pizza tends to fall into one of two categories, with respect to the crust:  either crisp and crackly, or pliable, even floppy. This was much closer to the latter, maybe not floppy exactly, but certainly more pliable than crisp. That may be a function of the flour they're using, but I'll save that for a discussion with the pizzaiolo on my next visit.
Now a pliable crust is not in itself necessarily a flaw. New York style pizza should have a firm enough crust to allow it to be folded and held horizontally, with the tip sticking straight out. But there's no reason to hold all pizzas to that standard, and I suspect that a lot of pizza in Italy wouldn't pass that test.
What I would have liked to see and taste, though, was a bit more exterior crispness and a little charring. I don't mean to sound like some pizza snob who claims to like charred pizza for no other reason than that it's the "in" thing at the moment, but that bit of blackening on the surface of the crust can add to the complexity of flavor in the crust, balancing the breadiness of the interior with some toasty accents. And it's something that I particularly look for in thin-crust, wood-fired pizza.
Likewise, a crust can develop some exterior crispness while remaining pliable, again adding to the depth of sensory experiences you get when you bite into it. Again, it comes down to a question of balance and contrasts, as with so much else where pizza is concerned. This crust was just a little less complex, and more one-dimensional, than I would've liked.
So this was good, no doubt about it. I'd order it again. But I've got to go with my gut, literally and figuratively, and my gut says that this pizza rates a B.
The Gate House, 274 N. Goodman St. in the Village Gate, Rochester 14607
Mon. - Thu. 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Product Review: Popcorn, Indiana

Yes, popcorn is trendy right now. But it's also been with us for a long time. Like most of us who got taught the legendary version of American history, I always thought that the Pilgrims got turned on to it by the local natives, but apparently there's a huge debate over its origins, and maybe it wasn't on the table at the first Thanksgiving. But we can safely say that the popcorn we know and love today goes back to the late 19th century.
Anyway, as the popcorn wars heat up like a well-oiled pan on the stove, producers are looking for a way to stand out from the crowd. Popcorn, Indiana's latest entry is Movie Theater Popcorn, which comes popped, so you can eat it right out of the bag, but which can also be heated, in the bag, in a microwave, for that fresh-popped movie theater taste. One advantage over ordinary microwave popcorn is the absence of a bunch of unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bag, plus you can start munching on these even before you get home from the store.
I was recently sent a sample bag, and it didn't last long in my house. Straight out of the bag, at room temperature, this was good popcorn, with a nice crunch and a good butter/salt balance. Nuked for a minute in the microwave, it really was reminiscent of classic, "theater" popcorn.
Now that may or may not be to your taste. Popcorn snobs (and I'm sure there are popcorn snobs) probably look down at any version of movie-theater popcorn. For those folks, Popcorn, Indiana offers other varieties, from the minimalist Touch of Sea Salt Popcorn to the flavor-packed Bacon Ranch variety. I'd be happy with either; the sea salt popcorn allowed the subtle flavor of the popped kernels to come through, but I'm also into interesting seasonings and flavor combinations, and I liked the bacon ranch flavor too. It had a more restrained flavor than I'd expected, with a subtle bacony smokiness and some background lactic tang. My wife and daughter didn't care for it, but we agreed that if you're the sort of person to whom bacon ranch popcorn sounds appealing, you'll probably like it. If not, you won't.
Popcorn, Indiana is widely available, and can be found locally at Walmart, BJ's, Sam's Club, Walgreens, and Bed Bath & Beyond. It makes for a convenient, tasty accompaniment for an evening at home with a good DVD, for a true movie-theater experience without the sticky floors or a stranger's knees pressing into the back of your chair.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

City Newspaper Final Ballot Open Now

First, a thank you to everyone who nominated The Rochester NY Pizza Blog as Best Local Blog in this  year's voting for City Newspaper's "Best of Rochester" poll. Thanks to your votes in the preliminary round, the Pizza Blog is one of four finalists in that category.
Second, a plea to vote one more time, in the final balloting. "Best Local Blog" is Question No. 66 on the final ballot. You need not answer every question to submit a ballot.
We're not talking about a statewide election here, folks, so some of these categories could really be decided by the slimmest of margins. If you're a fan of this blog, please take a few moments to vote. Besides, it's fun to peruse the categories to see who the finalists are (the food-related questions, of which there are many, include #6, "Best Pizza Slice," and #7, "Best Specialty Pizza"). Thanks again!

Return to Cordello's in Gates - CLOSED

Cordello's on Urbanspoon
NOTE: this location is now the home of Guerrieri's Pizza (3/26/13).
Over three years ago, I did a post about Cordello's on Lyell Road in Gates, giving it a B-minus for a slice that wasn't as crisp as I would've liked, but which had a crust with some nice charred notes and breadiness, topped with abundant cheese.
I've seen a couple of ads for this location recently, which have prominently announced that it's under new ownership. So between that and the length of time it's been since I was last there, I figured it was time for a revisit.
I got a couple of pepperoni slices around lunchtime. They were fresh out of the oven.
The thin to medium crust had a pale bottom that was dry to the touch, and indented with screen marks.
The toppings were a little better balanced this time, with moderate amounts of sauce, cheese and pepperoni. The sauce was a basic tomato sauce, with some herbs, neither exceptionally sweet nor salty. The processed mozzarella was a little browned, and the thin slices of pepperoni were serviceable but unremarkable. A narrow but distinct cornicione rounded things out. It had a bit more crispness than the rest of the crust but was not outstanding.
Currently, the Gates Cordello's offers 22 pizza toppings (10 of which are some form of meat) and six specialty pizzas. They also do calzones, wings, hot and cold subs, salads, plates, assorted grilled and fried foods, and Perry's ice cream. (They don't seem to have a website so I'll try to get an image of their menu up on my Facebook page.)
This was OK pizza, but just average. And I'd have to say it wasn't quite as good as last time, primarily because the crust was just too pale and lifeless. I'll go back sometime, but I have to give these a C.
Cordello's Pizzeria, 2445 Lyell Road
Hours unknown at this point