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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ruck's Pizza Kitchen, Lima: Sheet Pizza

Pizza aficionados may tend to discount "sheet" pizza, as little more than a quick, cheap way to feed a bunch of people. With an individual pie, we imagine the pizzaiolo tossing the dough, hand-crafting the pie, and tending to it the oven. A sheet pizza seems too ... easy. You spread the dough on the sheet, top it, stick it in the oven, and pull it out. Done.
While there is a lot of bad sheet pizza out there, there's no reason it can't be good. So-called sheet pizza is an American descendant, or perhaps cousin, of Sicilian-style pizza, and nobody ever accused the Sicilians of not knowing how to make good pizza (well, perhaps some Neapolitans have, but I'm not aware of it).
All that's a lead-up to this. At my wife's behest, I was recently tasked with picking up a sheet pizza for an event she was running, and I went with Ruck's Pizza Kitchen in Lima.
I reported on Ruck's last May,when I got two slices. They were good enough to rate a "B". But I know that a pizzeria's slices are often not a good indicator of how good their sheet pizza will be, and vice versa.
Not so here; this was good pizza. I'm afraid I neglected to take any photos of the underside or the sides of the individual slices, partly because within seconds of my opening the box, the pizza was set upon by a horde of hungry teenagers.
In contrast to some sheet pizzas, this was not oily, nor did it have the fried-dough-like crunch that is all too prevalent with that style. The crust was firm underneath, and the interior had a faint aroma of fresh bread, with a good chew.
The pizza was topped with a medium-thick sauce, which had a basic tomatoey flavor accented by dried herbs. I generally don't like heavily cheese-laden pizza, and this was just about right for me. The cheese seemed to be straight mozzarella, nicely melted, just enough to play off the crust and the cup-and-char pepperoni, which was crisp but chewy.
So no, sheet pizza need not mean bad pizza. This was a very nice job by Ruck's. I gave their slices a B, and I'll give this a B as well. It was an above-average example of an underappreciated style.

Ruck's Pizza Kitchen

7294 W. Main St., Lima, NY

Mon. - Thu. 11 - 9, Fri. & Sat. 11 - 10, Sun. noon - 8

1 comment:

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