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Emma's Pizza: New Digs, New Attitude

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This is a continuation of the "Server Mistakes" thread from the General Topics board--see link below:

Emma's recently moved from a storefront on Huron Ave. in Cambridge to Hampshire St., near Kendall Sq., and in the process morphed from a friendly, if small, neighborhood take-out to a slick Cambridge restaurant with an attitude to match. It wouldn't be so jarring if the atmosphere at the previous location hadn't been so friendly; they treated customers like friends, even if you had never been there before. At the new location, the mood was congenial, until we suggested that they should charge us for what we ordered, not what they served us; at that point, we were made to feel like we had asked for a free meal.

The server was new at the job, and we would have gone to the management if he hadn't mentioned that he had already passed it by them. My resolve might soften the next time I find myself craving a carmelized onion and sausage slice with rosemary tomato sauce; until then, I'll stay peeved.

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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  1. Hmmm...I used to live not far from Emma's at the Huron Ave. location. Impressive pizza, perhaps the best in the area. I am sorry to hear they have upscaled and attitude-ed.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bruce Smith
      j
      Justin Kerber

      Rats. Well, if you're downtown and you want great hole-in-the-wall pizza, calzones, subs, in absolutely prodigious amounts for very small amounts of cash, try Al Capone's on Broad Street, across from International Place. this is a favorite of desk jockeys, cops, tatooed/pierced/branded bike messengers, slackers and big dig construction guys & gals alike. enjoy. and dont expect any chi-chi-frou-frou ambience or attitude - if you eat in, you're standing up at one of the tables. but only the sort of person who doesn't mind standing up to eat wouldn't mind this place.

      --J

      1. re: Justin Kerber

        Hey, we tried out Emma's on a Friday evening, even after reading the comments about annoying service. Being NYers we figured we could deal with whatever we got.

        We were almost waylaid by Atasca, which has opened its new place right next door, but went on to Emma's. First of all, we didn't have to wait for a table (at 7.30 on a Friday night? this was quite unexpected) and then got very nice service. And we also noticed that the people who were served something other than what they ordered, next to us, got complimentary desserts (so emma's must be listening). All in all it seemed all right to us.

        If only the kitchen knew how to wash the sand out of the basil before they put it on our pizza ...

        1. re: Courtney

          My husband and I have been going to emma's
          (current and previous locations) for years now
          and we haven't noticed many changes...

          Of course, we are so addicted to the rosemary
          sauce, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers,
          and the red wine vinaigrette on the salad
          greens that we have ordered the same meal for
          all these years...

          We don't care if they change their hostesses,
          as long as the rosemary sauce never ever
          goes away.

          To those who want the herbs out--just ask for
          the regular sauce. Not a big deal...

    2. a woman with short blonde hair seated us, with much attitude. we assumed she was an owner. we overlooked the attitude because we were so pleased to be in a place that was very well-designed to be unassuming. it reminded us of the way many places in rome feel, as if they are just there. and then the pizzas came, and were not at all like rome. emmas should take all those herbs out of their tomatoes, or at least offer plain canned crushed tomatoes as an option. this is the italian way, and it is better for simple pizzas such as margarita. i hope the owners see this. i would like to go back and enjoy the atmosphere.

      2 Replies
      1. re: john
        s
        Seth Ditchik

        I must admit, my resolve has since softened and I have been back to Emma's--several times. I have eaten in the dining area and at the take-out counter. Haven't had any problem with attidude--the service was actually somewhat gracious. The pizza is as good as ever. It should be noted that Emma's in decidedly not Roman pizza--and that I would disagree with John's opinion that they take the herbs out of the sauce. Their rosemary sauce is heavenly.

        I'm guessing from previous posts and my own experience that the attitude problem that I first encountered here is hit or miss.

        1. re: john
          j
          Joeseph Schmodin

          I live near the old place and still go to the new one. It's quite different. The woman with short blonde hair is not the owner. She's new, if she's the tall one. I don't like her either.

          The pizza is still fine, however. I do miss the old spot, and especially Kim, who was just about the funniest gal to ever wield a pie cutter.