BOCCE CLUB PIZZA
ADDRESS: 4174 Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14226
I’d like to think that I’ve gained a little bit of a pizza IQ after sampling a variety of pizza styles over the years. New York thin crust, Chicago deep dish, Pizza Hut stuffed crust (yes, Pizza Hut was where I first experienced the magic of stuffed crust), I really do like my pizza.
I was talking to my friend Gary about my roadtrip up to the Buffalo area, and he recommended a pizza place called Bocce Club Pizza that served a style of pizza exclusive to the Buffalo area. This naturally caught my curiosity, so after running it by my friends Bryan and Katie, we added the restaurant to the itinerary while we were in the area.
As we stepped inside the place, we noticed that the only indoor seating available was a bar counter that could sit maybe five or six opposite from the register. For a building that looked rather large on the outside, I was surprised to find that the majority of the seating was the patio area out on the left of the restaurant. Lucky for us, it wasn’t too hot or humid when we decided to stop by, so we ended up sitting outside under the overhang.
From all the pictures that I had seen of their pizza, Bocce Club took the cheese all the way to the edge, leaving no crust behind. Funny enough, I used to do that at the “create-your-own-pizza” station in the college dining halls and it always tasted great. I was glad to see that familiar technique once again. Before I had left from southern Maryland, I asked Gary if there was a specific type of pizza I should order; he recommended to stick with either a classic single-topping of extra cheese or pepperoni. Well, that worked out pretty well since their two slice lunch combo was for a mix of cheese and pepperoni.
The box that I got the pizza in was probably about 12″ x 12″, so when I opened the box and saw the slices could barely fit inside, I knew I was in for a treat. I dug in without hesitation, since we hadn’t eaten breakfast and I was starving at this point. The pizza was way too hot to hold initially such that I had to use a fork and knife (don’t judge, I swear that’s not the norm for me).
A few bites in, I started to gain an understanding of how much the sauce can really have an effect on the overall pizza. Because the pizza was still hot from the oven, as I was eating it, some of the cheese would slide off with my bites, exposing just dough and sauce. Normally, I would have been unhappy to eat just the dough and sauce, but I found eating that was still quite tasty! The sauce was rich and tangy, but still had a slight sweetness to it. The dough was crisp on the bottom of the pizza, but still soft right underneath the sauce layer. The melted mozzarella cheese and small pepperoni slices gave an added savory flavor to tie everything together. But it was the sauce, however, that was the real star of the show.
Overall, the pizza tasted great and I’m really glad that we added it on to the itinerary during the trip up there. I can now see why there was almost a continuous stream of people driving up and carrying out pizzas: the quality of the food had established Bocce Club as a regular Buffalo area spot. I had faith that Gary wouldn’t lead me astray when it came to food; next time I happen to be in the area, I might end up getting two quick slices to go.
Let’s now take a look at the Bocce Club Pizza Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
And finally, here are my rankings for Bocce Club Pizza:
Food: 4.75 / 5
Pizza tasted great and the variety on the menu seemed to cater to a number of different tastes. It still seems like a classic single-topping pie might be the way to go.
Atmosphere: 4.25 / 5
Between the bar counter inside and the wooden picnic tables out on the patio, there were some spots to fit in that quick bite to eat if the weather was cooperative. Maybe that’s why more people decided to do carry-out instead of dine-in?
Service: 4.5 / 5
We had gotten there not long after the restaurant opened, so they needed a little time to get our pizzas made. The guy that helped us behind the counter was nice enough to also bring the pizzas out to us after they were ready.
Price: 4.75 / 5
If I remember correctly, I think my two slice combo with a soda came out to less than $8. What a bargain for that amount of food!