The Pizza Geek keeps looking, keeps hoping – maybe the NEXT pizza will be the one that blows me away. It’s getting a little more difficult to find pizza shops to review, since I’ve tried just about everything in my general area of travel between home and work. A recent trip over to Onondaga Hill brought me to Velasko Pizzeria, which is near Kelley’s on the corner of Velasko and McDonald. Unlike some of the “hole in the wall” shops, this one is rather roomy, with a large counter area and good seating capacity. Delivery is available for a $1.00 charge. Their web site also mentions “take and bake.”
I reviewed a cheese slice, 1/8th of an 18″ pie, $1.75 plus tax. The luck of my timing was such that I got a fresh slice, only seconds out of the oven. In general, the crust thickness varied from a very thin 1/8″ in the middle, to a medium 1/2″ near the relatively poofy rim. The crust’s rim had a pretty decent crispy crunch. I noticed that this crust was spiked. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that spiking is done to keep pan-baked pizza from developing huge bubbles either in or under the crust. This is especially important when the dough is placed on pans well ahead of baking, and allowed to rise on the pan. Unfortunately, most of what I tasted with the crust was not the dough itself, but the oil used on the pan. Texture was fine, there just wasn’t any flavor to speak of.
The sauce was difficult to judge, because the advance preparation allowed the sauce to soak in to the crust and cheese. From what I could tell, it was a middle-of-the-road sauce with no particular tomato flavor. The cheese was slightly browned, a little oily, stringy, and slid off easily.
Overall, what does it add up to? Unfortunately, a pizza that looks better than it tastes. I understand the need for some shops to prepare for busy times by loading up pans in racks with sauce and cheese already applied, but for that to be tolerable, you have to start with the very best dough, sauce and cheese – and keep the oil to a minimum on the pan. This pizza could have been so much better. The Pizza Geek gives it a rating of 3 out of 5 slices.
Summary – Pros: inexpensive. Cons: too much pan oil, bland crust and sauce.
What do YOU think? Have you tried pizza from Velasko Pizzeria? How was it? Click the comment link below and tell us about it!