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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jump Club

OK, this is a joke, right? I'm reviewing pizza from Jump Club, a kids' indoor playground-cum-game arcade? Is is April Fools Day already?
Well, look. I went there, and I had pizza, so why not review it? Maybe I can help some other parents facing a decision of whether and what to eat while their child literally bounces off the walls at Jump Club.
I had off from work on Martin Luther King Day, so my wife and I took our 9-year-old daughter to Jump Club.We joined a few other parents in the small dining area adjacent to the "cafe," while our daughter and the other kids climbed, jumped, and bounced off the walls and each other in the play area.
Eventually I started to get hungry, so I sauntered over to the food counter, where I could choose from the usual suspects at these kinds of places:  nachos, burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, and, yes, pizza.
Hunger will drive just about any animal to eat that which he would ordinarily pass up, and so it was with me. You're not allowed to bring outside food or drink into Jump Club, and, if you want pizza at least, that's with good reason. Otherwise, you'd probably grab a slice at Mark's next door. I'm not the biggest fan of Mark's, but I would've much preferred a slice from there.
Not that this was awful. But it wasn't great, and it was overpriced. I frankly don't recall the exact price, but I believe it was over $3. What I do remember is thinking, right after I bought it, that I would never buy a slice of pizza here again.
One thing that annoyed me, too, was that the person behind the counter simply took the next slice from the pie, which also happened to be the smallest slice. Ideally, of course, all the slices will be the same size, but it doesn't always work that way. To me, it's an unwritten rule that if I get a single slice, and some slices are noticeably bigger than others, the person serving me should choose a larger slice. It may mean that somebody's going to get stuck with the smallest slice in the end, but my corollary to that rule is that by the time you get down to the last slice, a new, fresh pie should be available, and you start serving from that pie. That last, little slice from the earlier pie doesn't get served. That goes to the staff's lunch. That may be a completely unreasonable idea that's only a rule in my mind, but what can I say? That's how I feel about it.
So between the price and the diminutive size of my slice, I probably wasn't in the best mood by the time I took my first bite. But I'd like to think that I still had an open mind, as far as the pizza was concerned.
The crust was not terrible, but it wasn't terribly good, either. The underside was dry, which was good - in other words, it wasn't oily - and it had noticeably risen along the edge. But the dimpled bottom (clearly it had been baked on a perforated pan) wasn't crisp at all, and it was very unevenly stretched. Near the tip, the crust was quite thin, and toward the edge it ballooned into a very thick, and wide, band of dough, which was bubbly despite the "docking" (tiny perforations) and which caused the cheese to migrate toward the center of the pie.
That in turn caused the sauce on the denuded outer half of the slice to evaporate, which left behind some color and a dehydrated, tomatoey flavor but almost no moisture. The cheese, meanwhile, was basic aged mozzarella, but it was well browned and had lost its suppleness and stringiness.
Having said all that, well, this wasn't an awful slice of pizza. Maybe it's a testament to how hard it is to truly screw up the combination of dough, tomato sauce and cheese, which as near-perfect a culinary combination as mankind has yet devised. But this was flawed in several respects, and certainly below average for a Rochester-area slice of pizza. It gets a D from me.
Jump Club, 3450 Winton Place, Rochester, NY 14623 — (585) 730-8900
Open Daily 10 am - 8 pm (closed many holidays - check their website for details)

1 comment:

  1. I have been working at the Jump Club for about 6 weeks now and I must kindly disagree with this review. I have not had the opportunity to read any other reviews from this writer, but if our pizza was given a "grade D" in his opinion, it would be interesting to see what grades he has given other places.

    Our pizza is made fresh to order with ingridients purchased from a well known local and national supplier. Our slices cost $2.50 each (less than $3) and our large pizza costs $13.95 each. We get raving reviews about our pizza from customers and employees on a consistent basis.

    It's unforunate that the writer got a small slice when there were larger slices. This probably was just a small oversight from one of my co-workers. Had the writer asked for a different slice or a specific slice, I'm sure it would have been kindly given.

    At Jump Club, we pride ourselves on being a small, family owned business. The owner and his family lives minutes away from Jump Club and are frequently at Jump Club working or playing. It's a great, local, family atmosphere. While we know we don't have THE BEST pizza in Rochester, we are happy knowing that we do have GOOD pizza and it along with everything else here at Jump Club is worth the experience!

    As a happy employee of Jump Club, I extend an invitation to the writer and his family (and anyone else) to come to Jump Club and experience our pizza, made fresh to order!