Thursday, July 22, 2010
Name: Rossi's Pizza
Location: 143 Harry L Dr., Johnson City, NY 13790
Phone: (607) 777-1313
Price: Around $10 for a half sheet, $18 for a whole sheet pizza
Aside from spiedies, City Chicken, and Greek diners, another culinary delight that Binghamton is noted for is sheet pizza. Rectangular in shape and with thicker crust than standard New York style slices, sheet pizza seems to be most popular in a belt that includes Western and Central New York, Connecticut, and parts of Ohio. The phenomenon may well stretch much further than that, but those seem to be the places where the usual round pizza often takes a backseat to the rectangle. I know I had never heard of sheet pizza until I arrived at college in nearby Ithaca.
The most popular place for sheet pizza in the Southern Tier is Nirchi's, which I've already reviewed. Nirchi's pizza can be very good, but has a tendency to be a little inconsistent. Sometimes it's too greasy to be that enjoyable, sometimes it seems a little undercooked. When it's good, it's great. And the white pizza, with garlic instead of tomato sauce, can be really good for a change of pace. Sheet pizza is popular in part because one pizza can feed a lot of people for not a lot of money. For less than $20, you can feed 8-10 people with a Nirchi's sheet. Nirchi's popularity has resulted (whether directly or indirectly) in a good number of like-minded sheet pizza places sprouting up in the area. One such place is Rossi's, located on Harry L Drive in Johnson City.
For dinner Megan and I got a half-sheet (12 reasonably sized slices) with half sausage, half plain cheese. Upon ordering I was instructed the order would be ready in 20 minutes. Sure enough, when I arrived at Rossi's exactly 20 minutes later, it was ready to go. I should note that they also deliver. The restaurant itself is a nice, clean pizza parlor with a few tables for those who decide to eat there. When I arrived, nearly all the tables were taken, and for that matter, there weren't many available parking spots in the parking lot. I took this as a good sign. I paid $11 for the pizza and was on my merry way.
I thought this was a good looking pizza. Nice bubbling cheese, a thick, symmetric crust, and an even distribution of toppings. Sure enough, the taste matched the look. This pizza had a nice cheese-to-sauce ratio, a sweet, salty, somewhat doughy crust that I found reminiscent of Nirchi's but perhaps a little thicker, and a generous portion of sausage. The crust is really what drives this pizza, and all of this region's sheet pizza really. It's unique, and words don't really do it justice. This wasn't amazing pizza, but I found it to be on par with an average Nirchi's sheet and perhaps even a slight notch above. Megan liked it as well and said she'd definitely be up for having it again.
I have heard that Rossi's also makes a good sub, and seeing as we live in Johnson City, often pass through that section of town, and are in search of an awesome local sub shop, I'll definitely try out a sub sometime in the not too distant future and give a report on that. Until then, I find Rossi's to be an above-average addition to a busy pizza landscape in the Triple Cities, and would recommend it to anyone interested in trying a good, representative example of a Central NY staple.