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Friday, December 27, 2013

Back to The Pizza Stop

Yes, I've reported on The Pizza Stop before, more than once, but a blog is, in part, a log, a record of one's activities. And since I stopped, after a too-long absence, at The Pizza Stop on State St. the other day, I'll provide a brief report. 
If nothing else, I can confirm that they remain consistently good. I got one thin pepperoni slice and one Sicilian cheese slice. And the worst part of the experience was trying to decide which one I liked better.
I've been accused of being biased in favor of thin-crust pizza, and I'll be the first to admit that I generally do prefer a thin crust. But maybe that's partly because a lot of thicker-crust pizza that I've had has been, well, not so great. Think of your typical sheet pizza, with an oily crust, fried-crunchy bottom, and squishy, cotton-like interior.
Done properly, though, a thick Sicilian pie is a thing of beauty. Pizza Stop's is thick but well balanced, with a crisp underside and an interior that's chewy but not dense. The slightly sweet, tomatoey sauce and thick layer of nicely melted mozzarella provide enough moisture to balance out the crust, and to add some textural contrast. I could eat this for a long time without missing thin crust.
But fortunately I didn't have to. I didn't eat these slices in sequence, but alternated, with a bite or two of each. The thin, New York style slice was as good as ever, with a pleasant bite and a nicely charred bottom that provided the perfect base for that unbeatable combination of cheese and sauce that almost meld into each other. And while I'm perfectly happy with a plain cheese slice, once in a while the addition of thin-sliced pepperoni adds a nice extra layer of flavor without compromising the simplicity of the slice as a whole. It also made for a bit of extra contrast with the Sicilian cheese slice.
Now while I'd be more than content to stick with these, once in a while I will get a little adventurous and try one of Pizza Stop's specialty pizzas, which run the gamut from vegetarian pies like a spinach, artichoke hearts and ricotta pizza to the "Mega Meat" with pepperoni, meatball, sausage and bacon, and one of my favorites, the never-disappointing meatball parm. (Check the full menu here.)
I'm always on the lookout for new pizzerias and places I haven't tried before, but now and then you've gotta get back to the old standbys, and The Pizza Stop remains on my short list of Rochester's best. It's nothing fancy-schmancy, no exotic ingredients or trendy styles, just good, basic pizza that's as close, pizzawise, to New York City as you're going to get this side of the Hudson River. So I may have said it before, but I'll say it again:  if you haven't been there, get there. You owe it to yourself.

The Pizza Stop, 123 State St., Rochester 14614
Mon. - Thu. 10 a.m . - 7 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Also at 2532 Ridgeway Ave. in Greece
Sun. noon – 7 p.m., Mon. & Tue. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Wed. – Sat. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

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