Rochester NY Pizza Blog Rochester restaurants LocalEats featured blog

Monday, November 28, 2016


Jonathan P. has won the $20 gift card to The Pizza Stop. JP, I'm sending you an email to get your address so I can get it out to you. Thanks to all who participated.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Pizza Stop, One More Time - And a Giveaway to Boot

When I started this blog in 2009, one of the first places I reviewed was The Pizza Stop in downtown Rochester. That was no accident, because The Pizza Stop was one of my favorite pizzerias. And it remains so.
Interestingly, that post, which I published on March 5, 2009, remains one of my most read posts of all time (oddly enough, the most-read is a post about a patent for a pepperoni-making machine).
As I wrote recently, I have decided to stop writing The Rochester NY Pizza Blog on a regular basis. There will, I think, be a few more posts in the future, but I wanted to do one last review, before I hang it up. So what better way to do it than to go back to The Pizza Stop?
This review actually encompasses two recent visits. A few weeks ago I picked up two pies at The Pizza Stop: a Chicken Spinoccoli, which is a white pizza, and a red pie with chicken, pepperoni and bacon. My wife and daughter made those selections, respectively. But I was happy with both.
On the second visit, I got back to basics, with a large pepperoni pie that I shared with two friends for lunch. I'll get to each in turn.
If I could only eat red or white pizza for the rest of my life, I'd choose red, hands down. That said, I like a good white pizza now and then, and this was very good indeed. The underside was crisp and charred, and the toppings were flavorful and well complemented each other. The mozzarella was melt-in-your-mouth smooth, and the other toppings, chicken, broccoli, spinach, extra virgin olive oil and garlic, made for an outstanding combination. I can't say I missed the tomato sauce.
My daughter selected the three-meat pie. I'll have to admit, it's gratifying that I haven't raised a tofu-eating vegan (just kidding!). But to be honest, while I am a full-fledged carnivore, I generally do not much like meat-heavy pizza. That said, this was tasty, not greasy, and well executed. The trio of meats that my daughter chose seemed odd to me at first, but the thick chunks of chicken held their own quite well against the spicy pepperoni and the smoky bacon. And I did grab a second slice before I was done.
On my more recent visit, I got a large pepperoni pie, pictured at top. Since I've written at length about The Pizza Stop's pizza in the past, I won't go on at length about it, other than to say that it was a fine example of The Pizza Stop's usual, reliable, classic New York style pizza. Well balanced and flavorful, with a thin, bready, crisp crust.
While I was waiting for my pie to come out of the oven, I had a chance for a brief conversation with owner Jim Staffieri. Business continues to be good -- no surprise there -- but fans should take note of The Pizza Stop's frozen stuffed pizzas, which are made in house and are currently available only in house. Eventually you may see these in your local supermarket, but for now you'll have to buy them at The Pizza Stop itself.
Having decided to take a respite from keeping up this blog on a regular schedule, I may find myself going back to The Pizza Stop more often than in the past. In fact, I expect to hit several of my old favorites more often than I used to, now than I don't feel the pressure to keep up with the newest pizzerias. And I may post about them, now and then, either here or on my Facebook page. But for now, let me sign off on my regular reviews by saying what I said in 2009. For its classic New York style pizza, The Pizza Stop remains one of my all-time favorites.
Anyone under the age of 40 (maybe 50) may be unlikely to get this cultural reference, but as Lt. Columbo used to say, "Just one more thing."  Jim graciously agreed to donate a $20 gift certificate for me to give away to a reader. So as in the past, all you have to do to enter to win is to shoot me an email at Put "Pizza Stop" in the subject line. I'll need your name and mailing address too, which I will under no circumstances share with anyone else.
I usually run these for a week, but since we're coming up on Thanksgiving, I'll extend the deadline to Monday, November 28, at noon. I'll pick a winner shortly thereafter. Until then, eat good pizza!

The Pizza Stop, 131 State St., Rochester
(585) 546-7252

Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pizza Paul's, Reconsidered

Way back in 2009, I did a post pitting against each other two Geneseo pizzerias, Mama Mia's and Pizza Paul's. In that post, I gave Mama Mia's an A, and Pizza Paul's a B-minus.
Since then, I've generally considered Mama Mia's my go-to place in Geneseo. But on a recent Sunday afternoon, when I was in Geneseo with my wife and daughter, I decided it was time to stop back at Pizza Paul's. And I'm glad I did.
I got one pepperoni slice. It was markedly different from the slice that I got back in 2009. Or at least it seemed so to me.
That slice, at that time, seemed like a poorer version of Mia's pizza. This time around, it struck me as qualitatively different from Mia's, but equally good.
The crust was between thin and medium thick, with a big, puffy cornicione. It had the flavor and texture of freshly baked bread, right out of the oven, which is basically what it was. I tore the crust open to get a picture to show the interior.
The toppings well complemented the crust. The smooth layer of mozzarella was nearly covered by the thin slices of pepperoni,  and the medium-thick sauce was noticeably present.
The underside was more browned than charred (sorry, I neglected to get a photo), as was the cornicione. I know that at times I (and other reviewers) wax rhapsodic about charred undersides, but I do not think that every pizza needs to be charred underneath, anymore than I think that every loaf of bread should be charred or crackly on the outside.
What I don't like is pizza that's oily or flabby or lifeless. And this was none of those things. The uniformly browned crust allowed some of the nuances of the baked dough to come through, and made me realize, again, that pizza is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
We also got an order of Nutella-dipped nuggets, which I think had a humorously suggestive name. If you like fried dough and/or Nutella, you'd like these.
Pizza Paul's pizzas come in 10, 13, 16 and 18 inch pies, as well as sheets. They offer 17 toppings and 7 gourmet pizzas. They also do regular and boneless wings (7 sauces), subs, "subzones" (a cross between a sub and a calzone), and a bunch of fried sides, including an interesting array of "gourmet fries," including Buffalo Blue, Greek and taco fries. Check out the full menu here.
Now I find myself in a bit of a quandary when I'm in Geneseo, wanting pizza. But it's a good quandary to be in. New York style at Mia's, or a breadier, WNY style at Paul's. Local residents and students should consider themselves fortunate that they have two A-rated pizzerias, across the street from each other.

Pizza Paul's, 110 Main St., Geneseo
(585) 243-3690
Sun. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - midnight, till 3 a.m. while college is in session

Second location at 5808 Big Tree St. in Lakeville, (585) 346-2680