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Friday, July 14, 2017

Old Italy, Latta Road

I took a drive the other day at lunchtime up to Old Italy Pizzeria on Latta Road.
I posted about Old Italy about two years ago, shortly after it opened. A few things have changed in the meantime, perhaps the most obvious being the introduction of Old Italy's "Mamaluke slices." What you see here is a single Mamaluke slice, cut in half. This measured 13 inches along the sides. Figuring this to be a quarter of a 26" diameter pizza, that comes out to about 132.75 square inches, which is roughly equivalent to the surface area of a 13" diameter pie. So figure about the same as, or even a little bigger than, the average medium pie. For $5.
Now I'll be the first one to say, big and cheap doesn't necessarily mean good. But big, cheap, and good ... well, that's very good. And fortunately, this was good.
The crust was on the thin side, with some screen marks on the bottom, and some surface crackling. Mine came fresh out of the oven, so I didn't ask for it to be rewarmed, nor did it need rewarming, but I imagine a minute or two of reheating would further boost the crispness factor. The crust, which is made using high-gluten flour, was chewy but not tough, with some air pockets visible inside.
The components were well balanced, with nicely melted whole-milk mozzarella, a light layer of sauce, and wide pepperoni slices.
Owner Bradley Cedar, who's spent many years in the pizza business, developed his own recipes for the dough and sauce, which are both prepared in-house. The menu mostly sticks to the basics - pizza, wings, calzones, hot subs and sides - but I've found over the years that there's an inverse relationship between the number of items on a menu and the quality of the pizza. In other words, best to stick to what you know, and that's the impression I came away with here. Good pizza, well prepared by an experienced pizzaiolo.
Bottom line, this was good, not because it was big, or because it was cheap, but because it was good. The big size and the low price were gravy.
Bite for bite, compared to other local pizzerias (and considering that the bar is set pretty high to begin with), I'd give it a B. Good crust and good toppings. All this for five bucks kicks it up a notch or two, but I've never rated pizza based on price or quantity, so I won't start now. But dollar for dollar, you can't do much better than this.

Old Italy Pizzeria, 1250 Latta Rd., Greece
(585) 445-8782

Sun. - Thu. noon - 9 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. noon - 10 p.m.

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