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Buffalo Pizza Review

Specialty pizza haven Sugo's cooks an above-average cheese and pep, too

Sugo’s is one of Buffalo’s many proud strip-mall pizzerias tucked into a corner lot and cranking out some of the wildest pies known to man.

A suspected illegitimate Marx brother (can I cite myself as a source?), Sugo is chucking everything from Polish sausage to pierogi on its pizza (up to you to make it into a golumpki) and has enough options to warrant a three-segment breakdown on its menu into “specialty pies,” “more specialty pies” and “deluxe specialty pies.”

A sucker for a weird slice myself, I’m rolling the dice on what Sugo’s calls the pepperoni pie which is a sausage made from cured pork parts cut into discs and baked right on top of the cheese. This Sugo is a freak! Must be a Cheektowaga thing.

Dough: A firm sturdy dough with a convenient little crust curl at the edge that facilitates the SexySlices patented “fold-n-drive” technique. It's a critical grip maneuver that prevents the tip of the slice from flopping hot grease and a few pepperoni parachutes onto your pants at breakneck speeds in your Astro van.

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Manager Paige Onisk, left, and owner Sarah Swiatek portioned out two slices for a hungry customer at Sugo's Pizza Co. in Cheektowaga. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

When you need a slice on the go but aren’t wearing your patented SexySlices grease-wicking shorts with the warming pocket, a firm but thin dough like this goes a long way. Plus it has the added benefit of lending a toothsome, tearing bite to the slice that I am quite fond of. Crust was a tad dried out and the bottom could have been darker, but save those aspects – it’s got great flavor and spot-on mouth feel.

Cheese – a SexySlices Standout: It’s rare to get a properly cooked pizza, and Sugo’s delivered. Cheese is typically the second biggest beneficiary of great baking technique behind dough, and the prep behind this pizza yielded a phenomenal result. A tartan patterned tunic of mozzarella flying all the colors of the amber spectrum in broad strokes. Outside sheer visual appeal, it’s fairly abundant, gooey and delicious.

Sauce: From a peak to a valley, the Sugo sauce isn’t bad, but I had to tear up a lot of perfectly good cheesy flooring to get to it for an assessment. Simply put, it’s sparse for my preference and can make for a bit of a gummy bite if you miss the well when digging in for pay dirt. Needs another ladle-full.

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Both the cheese and pepperoni draw high marks for flavor at Sugo's Pizza. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

Pepperoni: Standard cup and char in appropriate distribution at a glance, but under the microscope (I pop them on like contacts) these boys are a little bubblier and crispier than most. The surface is cragged, crunchy, greasy and sprinkled with an extra dusting of Italian herbs for good measure. Seemingly a tad spicier than most, I don’t know if it’s a different recipe, preparation or some kissing cousin to the norm, but whatever it is, it’s working.

Overall: (B+) An admirably well-baked pie with a resilient dough that’s well worth a try if you’re on a Cheektowaga pizza pilgrimage.

For a place that touts a mammoth specialty pie selection, Sugo’s hasn’t lost sight of the standard and makes a great cheese and pep that sits a cut above the average with technique shining as its greatest strength. I’ve had Sugo’s before and this pie was a huge improvement from my last trip in 2015 making it a front-runner to earn a ribbon for Most Improved and it has my attention to circle back for some of the exotic fare.

 

Sugo’s

Address: 2501 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga (895-7846)

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Lunch deal: Two slices and a 20-ounce pop, $5.79.

Large cheese and pepperoni: $17.99.

Deal: $2 off large traditional pie on Mondays. 

Exotic pizza: The Sugo Polish Pie ($25.49, large). Cream sauce seasoned with caraway and topped with mushrooms, onions, mozzarella, sauerkraut, Polish sausage and bacon.

@SexySlices remains anonymous, but is on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Follow and contact @SexySlices there, plus check out the extensive archive of 200-plus pizza reviews.

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