By: Paige Kingsley
Strolling down Main Street of downtown Brockport on a leisurely afternoon, neon window lighting and an appetizing wafting scent caught my attention and gave me pause. The source, as I’m sure you’re curious, was The Rooster Pub and Pizza. The solid brick building nestled between other similarly quaint storefronts piqued my interest, so my friend and I stepped inside.
Immediately I was met with the dim lighting of the bar, which was only a small section of what The Rooster has to offer. The bar itself offers a wide selection of options with four or five TVs mounted above the displayed liquors. The dining area can be found beyond the wall that separates it from the bar space, and this is where I spent my afternoon.
Admittedly, I found my way into The Rooster during one of their low-traffic periods, with a few seemingly regular patrons comfortably seated at the bar and the dining area nearly empty. So, I used this opportunity to take my time looking over their selection while seated in one of the many booths built into the walls. The interior walls of the dining space are painted a dull blue along the bottom half, with white wooden panels to complete the top half.
Browsing the menu, I found myself drawn to the appetizers. Something about the casual atmosphere invokes a craving for the greasy, comforting finger foods I’m sure everyone has taken guilty pleasure in at one point or another. Among the options I considered there were pizza logs, soft pretzel sticks, and mac & cheese wedges, just to name a few.
The one item that grabbed my attention was a plate named “The Rooster’s Nest,” which was described as “6 of your favorite Rooster Style Wings tucked in a nest of onion straws or crinkle-cut fries.” I thought that I may as well try the dish that shared the name of the establishment, hoping that it would give me a solid impression of the quality of food offered here. My companion, Kate Poss, is a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur and decided to try their classic pepperoni slice, promising to give me a taste so I could share my thoughts on it as well.
Quick disclaimer, because these are the items we ordered they will be the main subject of the review. But it is worth noting that The Rooster’s menu offers an array of salads, whole specialty pizzas, boneless wings, chicken tenders, and even some seafood options if you’re feeling nautical. Alright, now back to the task at hand.
At the far end of the dining area, you can find the front half of the kitchen, separated by a low counter at which you place your order. We placed our respective orders to an attentive and polite employee and returned to our booth once again afterwards. While we waited for our meals, the two of us fell into casual conversation that made time seemingly fly by.
Our orders came out to the table at separate times, with Kate’s slice of pepperoni pizza arriving at the table first. Roughly eight pieces of mild pepperoni were baked into the bed of melted cheese, the slice itself almost the same width as the paper plate it was served on.
The crust was sturdy brushed with a savory and garlicky compound butter, though I would have liked to have seen that flavor throughout the rest of the slice. The tomato sauce base, mozzarella blend, and crisped edges of the pepperoni created an impressive harmony for the taste buds. The acidic elements of the pepperoni and tomato sauce were muted by the perfectly melted cheese, and the barely-there sweetness of the tomato sauce balanced out the salty tang of the Parmesan in the cheese blend.
After enjoying the saucy bites of the pizza, my Rooster’s Nest order was brought out to the table for us to pick at. In the name of transparency, I’ll admit it did take a decent amount of time for my order to come out, approximately 25 minutes, and we were worried for a moment that it may have been forgotten. These concerns were quickly forgotten when I noticed the steam coming from the freshly sauced wings that sat front-and-center of the order, indicating that it was made fresh and wasn’t composed of half-frozen ingredients and simply warmed up.
This assumption proved to be true when I first sampled one of the fries that lay beneath the wings and was greeted with a satisfying crunch of the slightly greasy batter. Despite the absence of visible seasoning on the fry exterior, the batter was savory and salty enough to forgo the salt and pepper sitting on the table. Even when the sauce seeped into the fries, that audible crunch remained steadfast throughout the entire meal.
Moving onto the main focus, the wings also shared a similar crunch when I took my first bite. One of the first things I noticed was that the wings were not battered, but the skin itself was seasoned with a generous amount of pepper and garlic salt beneath the medium-heat buffalo sauce, adding an unexpected yet welcome depth of flavor.
Simultaneously, the peppery heat of the sauce hit the back of my tongue and followed the bite all the way down, seemingly warming my stomach along with the temperature heat of the lean meat. The buttery component of the blended sauce helped curb the cayenne pepper spice from being too much as I moved on to the next wing, then a third, then a fourth.
With the help of Kate, the plate was cleaned off within the half hour and we were both left comfortably full and satisfied.
The cherry on top of this whole experience, however, was that it didn’t break the bank. The Rooster’s Nest only cost me $11.99 before tax was applied, and the singular slice of pizza was a mere $3.99 pre sales tax. Of course, factoring in the cost of drinks, Kate spent around $6 and myself around $14. Considering the current high cost of chicken, I think this is a steal, especially with such high-quality white meat and the sheer volume of the wing itself.
If you’re looking for a casual, down-to-earth location to get your fix of pizza and wings with a side of great service, The Rooster is the place for you.
You can visit their website here to get information on hours and a full view of their menu.
Categories: Canalside Culinary Corner
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