DISPATCH AND PHOTOS BY DAVE, Special to Slice .::. No discussion of New York-style pizza around Rochester, New York, would be complete without taking into account Cam’s New York Pizzeria, if for no other reason than that it's one of only two pizzerias in the area (Sal’s New York Pizzeria on Monroe Avenue being the other) whose name expressly claims it to serve "New York" pizza. That aside, it’s still worth a mention for serving up pizza that, while more of an approximation than a classic example of the New York style, is pretty good in its own right.
Cam’s is, dare I say it, a chain (stay with me here) that has slowly grown from what I think was its original location on Lyell Avenue in Rochester out to the ’burbs and beyond, with locations now as far away as Watertown to the north and the Finger Lakes to the south. According to its website, each location is independently owned and operated, and each location makes its own dough daily, but in my experience, the results have been pretty consistent from one to the next.
So how is it? It’s good. Very good, even. Although whether it’s "authentic" New Yorkstyle pizza is, well, debatable. The crust, while thin (especially by local standards), is a tad thicker than you would get at the typical corner slice joint in New York City, with a chewy breadiness that lacks the exterior crunch that I associate with New York pizza.
Still, that’s hardly cause for complaint, as the texture and flavor of Cam’s crust are what make its pizza so good. It has a fresh, yeasty, breadlike quality, and though not paper thin, it’s thin enough that you can polish off several slices without getting stuffed. The sauce has a lively, tomatoey tang, and the mozzarella isn’t piled on too thick, with the occasional pocket of sauce visible here and there.
The pie pictured here is from the Spencerport location (about 12 miles west of downtown Rochester), which opened a few months ago at the corner of South Union Street and Route 31. Like all Cam’s pizzas, this was cooked in a steel-deck gas oven, resulting in a golden-brown underside with no charring, as you can see in the slightly out-of-focus photo. (If you like your pizza charred, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere; I wouldn’t recommend asking Cam’s to cook it longer, as you will simply end up with burnt cheese and a dried-out crust.)
CAM'S NEW YORK PIZZERIA
Address: Route 31 & 259, Spencerport NY 14559 [map]
The skinny: Pies come in 14-, 16- (pictured), and 20-inch sizes, and slices are available. By-the-slice or pie, it’ll run you about $1.50 a slice. The Spencerport location is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and till 11 p.m. on weekends. Major credit cards accepted.
Dave is Slice's Upstate New York correspondent. He prefers to go by "just 'Dave'."
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