It was my birthday weekend, so I decided to kick it off the best way I know how: eating pizza and having a drink! I had to make a trip to the Galleria (obviously to treat myself to a new pair of bday shoes), so I figured I’d pick up pizza in the Cheektowaga area after shopping.
I had heard about Cheektowaga’s Macy’s Place Pizzeria through the Buffalo Eats Instagram account, as a few of their contributors seem to like it there. The large amount of pepperoni they put on the pizza peaked my interest, so that was my birthday-eve dinner choice.
So of course, we went with a cheese and pepperoni pizza. If you’ve followed along my blog for a bit now, you can probably guess that this is my favorite kind of pizza hands down. I just really like the combination of charred pepperoni working together with all of essential pizza flavors (cheese, dough, sauce).
As for my choice of drink to kickoff my birthday weekend, I chose to go with my favorite alcoholic beverage: hard cider. Some may say hard cider doesn’t go with pizza well, but I don’t mind it at all.
I recently partnered with MackJac Hard Cider, who’s hard cider is crafted with 100% New York State apples. I’ve been a big fan of supporting local in any capacity I can. In chatting with one of the owners, who are from the WNY area, I really got the sense that MackJac cares about making a natural, authentic product for people. Unlike some of the other larger hard cider companies, MackJac includes no artificial concentrates—and you can really tell the difference!
(Love the labels and brand too.)
This was probably the worst April birthday weather I’ve ever had. The whole weekend was one of the final snowy days in Buffalo for the year. Just my luck!
As I was leaving the Galleria, the wind really started to pick up. I got into my car and headed to go pick up my pizza from Macy’s Place and the sleet was in full force now. I wasn’t too familiar with the area that Macy’s Place is located, so I was relying on my GPS here since the roads were so bad. I’ve had a habit of driving in poor weather in the pursuit of pizza (read about my Bocce Club Pizza experience if you have a sec). True dedication right there.
I actually drove right by Macy’s Place at first because the building is so teeny! However I don’t think I’d miss this in normal weather had it not been a storm. There is a GIANT figurine of this chef with a spoon on top of the roof of this teeny building. I liked the character of this place.
When I went inside, there was surprisingly more space than you’d think. The kitchen went back a bit with a few ovens, and there was a little seating spot for a slice visit maybe. Just the outside looks like the size of someone’s garage, I guess.
The people were so sweet and seemed to make sure everything with my order was perfect. It was a lot of younger kids working there, but they looked like they were enjoying themselves and the people around them. I couldn’t imagine people having poor customer service there!
Impressive Customer Service, Unimpressive Pizza
After safely returning home, I was so ready to crack open a cold one and that pizza box! My boyfriend and I finally cozied up on the couch with our slices after a long week of work.
After we wolfed down the first few bites out of intense hunger, we both glanced at each other and said, “Does this seem bland to you?”
It was hard to identify where the blandness was coming from because it seemed to be all over. The dough unfortunately had that kind of cardboard taste to me.
As for the sauce, I usually prefer zestier herb sauces, but even in this case I would’ve even liked a sweet sauce because it would have been better than nothing.
The only thing you could taste, if anything, was the mediocre mozzarella, because there was way too much of it. And it wasn’t the good kind of ‘too much.’ It was a thicker, rubbery texture which I was not a fan of. (If you follow any of my other blogs, you know that I can’t stand rubbery cheese and am weirded out about textures).
The oddest part to me was that the crust was way thinner towards the center of the pizza and thicker towards the back, yet the cheese was thick all-throughout. So, you’d have really thin crust and thick cheese in the front, and medium-sized crust and thick cheese towards the end of the slice. I prefer when the crust is relatively even throughout, with a fluffier outer crust.
I must say though, the pepperoni was plentiful as anticipated! But when the only thing you can taste is the pepperoni, this isn’t a good pizza experience.
A pizza can look great, but what will have me coming back is the taste. Macy’s Place probably won’t be my place, but no hard feelings.
MackJac Hard Cider Saves the Night
This was a bit of bummer to kick off the weekend like this, but luckily, my MackJac hard ciders came through to rock my world. I taste tested three of MackJac’s signature flavors: Empire Red, Black Currant Passion, and Blood Orange Ginger.
Drink 1 = Empire Red. Even though I knew this one wouldn’t be a great pair with pizza, I started with the Empire Red to really taste the fullness of the classic NYS apples. It definitely tasted like what you’d expect for a red apple hard cider, but it didn’t has much of the sour, tart, sugary flavor that you get from ciders with artificial concentrates. It seemed to be a little more smooth and fresh tasting. I would definitely have this one again and will be keeping an eye out for the local Buffalo bars that have it.
Drink 2 = Black Currant Passion. This is my absolute FAVORITE. I took my first sip and was like, “What ciders have I been drinking before this?!” MackJac’s Black Currant Passion blends a cider and a lager, so I was shocked I fell in love with this one because I’m not a big beer drinker. For some reason, there was a mildness about it that masked the usual tartness of ciders. I tasted hints of deep berry as well, which I thought was so different from the normally apple-like flavor. My fridge is stocked with Black Currant Passion now!
Drink 3 = Blood Orange Ginger. I saved this one for last because I felt like this was the one that would go with pizza the least, so I wanted to give it a chance on it’s own after we were done eating. Honestly, I can say that I have never tasted anything like this beverage. The only word I can really think of to describe this drink is ‘clean,’ probably because of the ginger taste. The ginger was stronger than the orange for my palette, so I would compare it more to ginger beer. I couldn’t believe this was a hard cider! It was a good night cap choice.
Wondering where you can try MackJac Hard Cider? For you Buffalo readers, it’s often on tap at many bars, pubs, and restaurants around the WNY area. Just ask! If you’re looking to sip at home, you can buy a 6-pack like I did at Wegmans (and other retailers as well)!
This was still a great birthday weekend and my first in Buffalo (Shoutout to Cantina Loco for the yummy margs). I’m looking forward to another wonderful year exploring Buffalo, meeting new people, growing newly developed friendships, and without a doubt, eating pizza.
Pizza & love,