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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

First Alloco's Winner

I have picked, randomly, the first winner of a $25 gift card to Alloco's, which serves freshly made pizza, wings, subs and more, on Long Pond Road in Gates.

The other winner will be selected tomorrow afternoon, so if you haven't already done so, send me an email at, with "Alloco's giveaway" in the subject line to enter.

Thanks again to the sponsor of this giveaway, SEMtech Systems. They offer security systems for homes and businesses using keyless systems, customized to your needs. If you misplace your keys as often as I do, you'll want to check them out.

Alloco's Restaurant and Catering
1742 Long Pond Road
Rochester, NY 14606
(585) 426-8646

SEMtech Systems, LLC
46 Mt. Hope Ave. #4
Rochester, NY 14620
Steven Benz (585) 285-5312
Earl Paige (585) 402-4014

Friday, June 26, 2015


It's hard to believe that it's been that long, but I last reported on Stromboli Express in 2009. It's since moved and become Stromboli's Restaurant.
At the time of my last review, Stromboli Express was on the south side of the 100 block of East Avenue, between Scio and Chestnut Streets. In 2014, they moved across the street, to a new space with a little more room.
I recently stopped in and got a cheese slice and a Philly cheesesteak slice. I wouldn't ordinarily order a cheesesteak slice, but it was a daily special, I wanted something to contrast with the cheese slice, and it looked good, so I went for it.
Both were thin, and the slices were foldable but not floppy. They were a bit oily underneath. The cheesesteak slice was more so, probably because of the toppings, which comprised cheddar, mozzarella, onions, sweet peppers, tomatoes and shaved steak. It was tasty, although the beef was a little well done, for my taste.
The cheese slice - which was noticeably wider than the Philly slice - was a pretty good, more or less NY style slice. It too was a little oily underneath, on the bottom surface. The edge was drier and crisp but a little dry.
The flavor was good, with a nice balance of melted mozzarella, tomato sauce, and herbs. The sauce had a medium consistency. The cheese was well melted, but had exuded a bit of oil. Not bad.
I suppose at some point I should get a stromboli from Stromboli's. It's a close relative to pizza, and it is after all what they're named for. But aside from stromboli and pizza, Stromboli's offers calzones, subs, wings and pasta. Check out the full menu here.They've also got twelve specialty pizzas, which you can see here.
These were good slices, with some minor flaws. Primarily, a little too oily underneath. They weren't soaked through with oil - it was mostly on the surface - but I'd have liked them a little drier to the touch, and a little crisper. The crust here was more of a platform for the toppings than something worth seeking out in its own right. But nonetheless, the crust served that role well. I enjoyed these slices, which had good flavor and balance. I'd say they were better than average, so I'll give them a B.

Stromboli's Restaurant
130 East Ave, Rochester 14604


Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sun. noon - 6:45 p.m.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Giveaway! $25 Alloco's Gift Card

One of the things I like about writing this blog is being able to give away free pizza to my readers. Most of the time, that involves me approaching a pizzeria owner and asking him or her to donate a gift card or certificate.
But thanks to the generosity of a local business, SEMtech Systems, I have two $25 gift cards to give away for Alloco's. Alloco's, on Long Pond Road between Ridgeway Ave. and Rt. 31, offers pizza, pasta, wings and subs. Check out their Facebook page here.
First let me tell you a bit about SEMtech. It's a small commercial and residential access control/multimedia company located in downtown Rochester.
What does that mean? Well, on the commercial side, SEMtech services and installs the parking machines in the downtown parking garages. They recently finished installing new equipment at the new Midtown parking garage.
For residential customers, SEMtech installs front-door keypad locks, video doorbells, smart thermostats, smart lighting, and home theaters. You can read more about the services SEMtech offers here.
I may look into SEMtech's services myself. I misplace my keys all the time, and I do get annoyed fumbling around for the right key when I arrive home after dark. The fewer keys I need to carry, the better.
But back to the giveaway. SEMtech has graciously paid for two $25 gift cards for me to give away to my readers (I get nothing out of this, by the way, other than the satisfaction of making free pizza available to my readers).
I'll give away the first $25 gift card next Monday, June 29, a little after noon. To make things interesting, I'll hold off on giving away the second gift card until two days later, on Wednesday, July 1, around the same time. You won't have to enter twice to win - one entry will get you in for both drawings - but this will give anybody who missed the first one a chance to get in for the second.
To enter, just send me an email at Include "Alloco's giveaway" in the subject line. Winners will be chosen at random, using Please include your actual name and mailing address in the body of the message. I will not use your information for any other purposes than this giveaway, and I will not provide your information to anyone else, ever.
Thanks again to SEMtech for making this possible.

Alloco's Restaurant and Catering
1742 Long Pond Road
Rochester, NY 14606
585-426-TOGO (8646)

SEMtech Systems, LLC
46 Mt. Hope Ave. #4
Rochester, NY 14620
Steven Benz (585) 285-5312
Earl Paige (585) 402-4014

Friday, June 19, 2015

Jreck Fusion, Greece - CLOSED

NOTE: This establishment has closed.
There are certain establishments that I've known about for a long time, but just never got to. Such is Jreck Subs.
It's a name I've seen around, and although I get the occasional sub here and there, I just never paid much attention to Jreck. I knew it was a chain, of some sort, but I'd never heard anything about it, and it just never occurred to me to go there.
But I recently heard of a new place, Jreck Fusion, in Greece. This got my attention because they offer pizza.
I've since looked at their company history online. Jreck is a regional chain centered around Syracuse. Jreck Fusion is a relatively recent addition to the chain, offering subs, pizza, and "froyo," which is short for frozen yogurt.
I picked up a cheese slice and a pepperoni slice the other day. They looked good, at least initially. Thery were thin, with a layer of melted, slightly browned cheese.
As I examined them further, however, two things struck me. First, the slices were not just foldable, there were rollable. There was no underlying crispness or backbone. And the cheese slice in particular was rather pale underneath.
Now I should note that I declined to have these slices rewarmed. Maybe that would've helped. But I was also told that they had just come out of the oven, and I'm sure that's true, because they were steaming hot. Maybe I should have had them rewarmed, just to crisp them up. I think some pizzerias may intentionally take out pies a little early, to use for slices, to allow them to be reheated without getting overdone.
Understandable, but if that's what they do, they should let the customer know.
The slices were very thin, and the undersides were crisscrossed by screen marks. I like a thin crust, but I still like an interior to the crust, and these didn't have much of an interior to speak of. They were almost like thick flour tortillas.

That's unfortunate, because the toppings were pretty good. The cheese was well melted, a bit browned, and stretchy. (The fact that the cheese was a little browned, though, makes me think that if I'd had the slice rewarmed, any added crispness imparted to the crust might've come at the expense of the cheese, which might've gotten overcooked.) The sauce was tomatoey, with a nice balance of sweetness, acidity and salt, and the pepperoni was crisp.
Jreck Fusion offers a wide variety of specialty pizza (the menu is available on their Facebook page), including chicken pesto, Philly steak, and Country Sweet. Pizzas come in 14" and 18" sizes.
Their are also two dozen subs on offer, both hot and cold, as well as calzones, a few sides, a couple salads, and a "Fusion Plate," their version of Rochester's signature dish.
And there's the aforementioned "froyo," which interestingly, is priced by the ounce - 48 cents an ounce, to be exact, though there's a $0.25/oz. special Monday through Thursday from 2 - 4 p.m. (Not a criticism, but I always figured people get frozen yogurt because it's supposed to be better for you than ice cream, mostly because it's lower in fat. So I find it a little humorous to see that the available toppings include Oreo's, Reese's Pieces, and cookie dough.)
So a mixed bag here, from my perspective. The pizza tasted good, and there was a lot to like. But I found it wanting in the crust department. If Jreck Fusion can get the crust more crisp underneath, and maybe give it a little more rising time, I think they'll have some seriously good pizza. I'm hopeful in that regard and I'll be interested to see how things go.

Jreck Fusion
2846 W. Ridge Rd.

(585) 471-8570

Sun. - Wed. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Thu. 11 a.m. - midnight, Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Flour City Pizza, Lyell Avenue

Pizza places have come and gone at 1074 Lyell Avenue: Dom's, Mark's, Paradiso.
Next up is Flour City Pizza, which opened last month. I stopped by the other day for a couple of slices. I got one cheese slice and one pepperoni slice.
Both were thin, with dark brown bottoms and some charring. The cheese slice was more charred than the pepperoni. They were crisp - not shatteringly so, but crisp; when folded, the crust cracked a little, but did not break. The undersides were dry to the touch, with a light dusting of flour.
The slices were well balanced. There was a moderate layer of slightly sweet sauce, accented by a whiff of garlic (perhaps garlic powder) and a faint flavor and aroma of herbs, including, I think, some oregano.
They took a light touch with the cheese here, but I had no complaints about that. With a thin slice, I generally don't want a heavy blanket of cheese. There was enough here to play off the crust and sauce, but not so much as to predominate over the other components.
Besides slices, Flour City offers in 12" and 16" sizes, as well as sheets. Their toppings choices are extensive - five cheeses, six sauces, eight veggies, and eight meats. If you're ordering a pie, you can ask for thin or "original style" crust. I'm assuming these were thin. If they were original, then "thin" must be very thin indeed.
They also do hot and cold subs, burgers, dogs, fries and onion rings. No wings, apparently.
I was rather impressed, and pleased, with these slices. What made me even more pleased was the price - just five bucks for the two slices and a bottle of pop. Based on these slices, I'd say that Flour City Pizza is off to a very good start. Maybe they'll be the ones to make it stick at this location.
I've been avoiding assigning letter grades to places that have only recently opened. Sometimes I do that because the pizza had some flaws, and I don't want to saddle a new place with a bad grade while they're still working the bugs out and trying to get on their feet. That's certainly not a concern here, because this pizza was quite good, but for the sake of consistency I'll defer giving Flour City Pizza a grade until I've had a chance to go back. But I will say that these slices were at least above average, and well worth stopping for.

Flour City Pizza
1074 Lyell Ave., Rochester

Mon. - Wed. noon - 1:30 a.m.
Thu. - Sat. noon - 3:30 a.m.
Sun. noon - midnight

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

We Have a Winner

From among the 36 entries for the $30 gift card to Joe's Brooklyn Pizza, I have selected a winner, using The winning entry was received on June 3, and I have contacted the winner.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and especially to Joe's Brooklyn Pizza for this donation. Don't forget, they now have a second location at the Perinton Square Mall in Fairport. You east-siders, be sure to check it out. And keep watching the blog and my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter, for more reviews and giveaways!

Joe's Brooklyn Pizza

1100 Jefferson Rd.
Henrietta NY 14623

6720 Pittsford Palmyra Rd.
Fairport NY 14450

Mon & Tues 11 AM - 9 PM
Wed - Sat 11 AM - 10 PM
Sunday 12 PM - 8 PM

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Joe's Brooklyn Pizza Review and $30 Gift Card Giveaway

While I always look forward to trying new places - and I've got more coming up, soon - at some point I always return to old favorites.
Which is why the other day I stopped into Joe's Brooklyn Pizza for lunch with a couple of friends.
I always have a tough time at Joe's, deciding between its classic, New York style thin-crust slices and its thick-crust Sicilian squares. Add on top of that the stuffed-crust pizza and it can be a real, if happy, dilemma.
This time around, I went with a thin-crust "old fashioned" tomato pie slice, and a thick-crust grandma's slice. The toppings are similar: both include tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, shallots, basil, and pecorino Romano cheese, but the grandma's pizza adds processed mozzarella. Sometimes I want two contrasting slices, like a red and white slice, or a minimalist and loaded slice, but this time I went with my gut, and this is what I wanted.
I don't think I can say much about these that I haven't said before, because Joe's is consistently good. But this blog is an account of my pizza experiences, so I'll describe them.
The thin slice was crisp but foldable, black-blistered but not burnt. The toppings both balanced the crust and blended together beautifully. The red sauce built a base of tomatoey sweetness, offset by a sharp edge from the cheese. Add aroma and flavor from shredded basil, garlic and thinly sliced shallots, and I was in pizza heaven. 
As good as that slice was, it had a strong competitor in my "grandma's" slice. Although "New York style" is often thought to be synonymous with "thin crust," thick, pan-baked, Sicilian-style pizza is commonly found in NYC, and Joe's produces a fine example.
At my request, they cut this slice in half, because I thought I might save half for later, but that proved unnecessary, as I ended up eating both on the spot. But that's why it looks like two triangular slices in the photo.
A lot of "sheet" pizza is soft or oily, or both, underneath. This was neither. The underside was crisp and crackly, and the interior was chewy and breadlike. The addition of mozzarella added an extra dimension of flavor and texture that helped balance the thicker crust.
I didn't sample my friends' pepperoni slices, but I've included a photo. They've accompanied me on prior trips to Joe's, and they were as happy as ever with their slices. In fact, as I look at the photo, I'm Jonesing for a pepperoni slice.
This barely begins to describe the pizza options at Joe's. They also offer Buffalo chicken pizza, BBQ pork pizza, and several white pizzas. I've reviewed some of them before, here, for example, but I may tackle more of them next time. They also offer wings, which I have yet to try. That's another one for my to-do list.
The best way for you to sample Joe's offerings would be for free, right? So enter now to win a $30 gift card from Joe's. The card is good toward anything on Joe's menu, and it's good at both Joe's locations. I haven't been there yet -- yet another item on my list -- but Joe's has opened a second location at the corner of Routes 31 and 250 in Fairport.
To enter, send me an email at Put "Joe's" in the subject line. Please include your name and address in the message. I will NOT use your information for anything but the contest, or give them to anyone else, ever. You may comment on this post here on the blog, but that will not get you entered in the giveaway.
I'll pick a winner at random, using, on Wednesday, June 10, a little after noon. So email me by noon on June 10 to get your entry in. Win or lose, do yourself a favor and get to Joe's. And when you go, do me a favor by letting them know that you read about them on The Rochester NY Pizza Blog.

Joe's Brooklyn Pizza, 1100 Jefferson Road, Henrietta
585-424-JOES (5637)

Perinton Square Mall, 6720 Pittsford-Palmyra Road, Fairport

Mon., Tue. 11 AM - 9 PM
Wed. - Sat. 11 AM - 10 PM
Sunday noon - 8 PM