Freshness meets ethical cooking at Jay’s Artisan Pizza

At Jay's Artisan Pizza, not only is the sauce meticulously chosen; nearly everything on the menu is

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In a world awash with signals telling you to buy meat, Jack Porcari takes the easier path for the planet, sticking to vegetables, cheese and eggs. He details his finds for readers in Kind Cuisine, posted every Thursday.

Pizza parlors are notorious for their red and white ceramic tiling, conveyor belt ovens and attention-grabbing neon signage – but this is anything but the experience at Jay’s Artisan Pizza. The menu is neatly drawn on a chalkboard and the aroma inside is all you need to get you through the line. Upon arrival, small batches, a hustling crew and consistent results indicate that this place takes every pie seriously. Here, pizza making is a craft.

Flat 12 mushrooms and garlic confit are a pleasant pizza combination.

The Funghi pizza surprised me with a savory mushroom experience I won’t forget. As soon as I opened the box and saw the leopard print coloration on the puffy crust, I knew this was the real deal. This pizzeria has perfected the art of Neapolitan style pizzas. This pie also came with a unique twist: truffle pecorino. The Italian cheese made with sheep milk and slivers of black and white truffles accentuates the garlic flavor while adding a slight earthiness to the pizza.

At most places, red sauce will have a distinct taste. I’ve noticed, for the most part, they usually tend to lie between sweet or bitter. At Jay’s, a whole new category emerges - fresh. When I first tried the Margherita pizza, the sauce tasted like I took a bite out of a freshly picked tomato. Not to mention, the globs of mozzarella cheese are immaculate. Owner Jay Langfelder says he curates the best tomato sauce by trying different purveyors’ products on a yearly basis: “Each year, the crops are a little bit different. Once the new cans come in we’ll go with whatever one we think is best.” It is this attention to detail that sets their pies apart. Despite this, I inwardly wish that the sauce was slightly less salty.

The best part about Jay’s Artisan Pizza is that it isn’t just the sauce that is meticulously chosen, it’s nearly everything on the menu. A proud vegetarian himself, Langfelder aims to keep his pizzas “fresh and light” through sourcing as much local produce as possible. Through making small batch, artisanal pizzas, Jay’s Artisan Pizza is able to retain every bit of quality despite such a high demand. “I just feel like we need to cut back on the amount of animal products we are using” he explains. While meat-centric pizzas are often sought after, Langfelder strives to create a healthy, humane and sustainable kitchen that everyone can get behind.

Jay’s Artisan Pizza

Hours: Sunday-Tuesday: closed, Wednesday-Saturday 4-8 p.m. or until out of dough

Seating: Currently take-out only

Address: 2872 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14217

Online: https://www.jaysartisan.com

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Orders: Takeout only

Questions or recommendations? Email: jackporc@buffalo.edu