No, the Pizza Geek didn’t give up eating and reviewing pizza for lent! I will admit that most of my at-home computer time lately has been taken up with tax preparation. I’ve still been eating pizza, so it is time to start clearing the hopper and get the reviews written.
It wasn’t very long ago that I made a swing through Solvay to check out the area’s pizza shops. Since then, another has appeared: Gigino’s Pizzeria at 2409 Milton Ave., across the street from the Solvay Diner. This didn’t LOOK like a totally new pizzeria, so I’m going to guess that some sort of food operation has been here before. There is no seating; delivery is available for a fairly wide area on the west side. The menu lists a generally typical selection of pizzeria food.
I decided to “swing both ways” and sample both a traditional slice from a round pizza, and a thicker piece of sheet pizza, cut into a rectangle. The first slice was 1/6th of a 16″ pie, and the second was likely cut from a half sheet. I’ve gotten in to the habit of first noticing the crust and how it was baked, probably because I always flip it over first to take a picture. As you can see, the round slice was very brown, with the unmistakable sheen and crispiness of being baked on a lightly oiled pan. The splotchy white areas are usually caused by pockets of CO2 that form when the flattened dough is allowed to rise for a while on the pan. Contrast that with the other slice, which had very little bottom browning for some reason.
Thickness of the round slice ranged from 1/4″ to 1/2″, and the rectangle was 1/2″ to 1″. In both cases, the edge was well-browned and crispy, with a soft, well-structured interior. As pizza crusts go, it was pretty good. Sauce on the round slice was mostly absorbed into the crust and cheese, and although there was a tad more sauce on the thick slice, it was difficult to assess much about the flavor. All I can really say is that it was middle of the road, neither obviously bad or obviously good. Cheese was Grande, applied in good proportion to everything else, but congealed into a sheet. The pepperoni cupped and charred a little, and added a good zing. Some additional spice was apparently sprinkled on the top after the pizza was prepared. You can’t really see it, but some parmesan cheese was also added.
Overall, this pizza falls squarely in the middle of the scale. You probably wouldn’t go out of your way to get it, but it’s OK if that’s where you happen to end up. (By the way, it occurs to me that the absorbed sauce can possibly be explained by advance preparation. A family member who used to work in a pizzeria recently told me how they prepared for rush times by placing dough on pans, adding sauce and cheese, and letting them sit in a rack until it was time to add toppings and bake – sometimes hours later. That extra rise time can be good for the crust, but I think it would promote absorption of moisture from the sauce and create the vanishing sauce effect seen here. Disclaimer: I don’t know if this type of advance preparation is used at Gigino’s, I’m just having a rambling geek moment.) For a rating, let’s call this 3.0 out of 5 slices on the Pizza Geek scale.
Summary – Pros: good bready crust. Cons: sauce absorbed and unremarkable.
What do YOU think? Have you tried pizza from Gigino’s? Click the comment link below and tell us about it!