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Boston House of PIzza and Sicilias -- two godawful spots around the corner from each other

t
tamerlanenj Sep 22, 2006 06:15 PM

Ugh.

Why does the pizza in this city have to be so awful so often? It's a simple thing. It's bread, cheese, and tomatoes.

I work near BU West, and for lunch today I decided I had a hankering for pizza. There are two slice joints right near my office; Siclia's, and Boston House of Pizza. I decided instead of two slices from one place or the other, I would try a slice from each to see which I would prefer for future visits.

The answer: I think I'd prefer a bag of totino's pizza rolls before I go back to either.

Boston House of Pizza was the more edible of the two, but I could tell as soon as I heard the owner's accent that it would be that awful abomination known as "greek style" pizza. Sure enough, he heated up my plain slice in a metal pan. Why in God's name would you cook or heat pizza in a pan? The oven needs to be HOT and the pizza needs to be right on the oven element, be it brick or gas. You know, so you actually get CRUST...chewy, pliable, crusty...not that greasy, spongey stuff that tastes like a pizza hut breadstick. Seriously, if I became mayor of Boston I would make Greek Pizza illegal. Boston HOP's pizza was par for the course. Mass produced tasteless mozzarella, flavorless sauce, and spongey, oily crust. Blech.

Next I got my Sicilia's slice. I went for the plain thin crust instead of the stuffed deep dish because, well, deep dish pizza is garbage. Ugh...I should have just stuck with what they are known for. The thin crust pizza tasted like stale matzah, and the slice was OLD! I mean, it had been sitting out in some stupid heat lamp carousel for god knows how long. I took two bites and threw it out.

Next time I'm walking the extra five blocks to T. Anthony's. What garbage.

  1. g
    greengage Dec 15, 2006 08:26 PM

    Why is BU West such a ghost-town when it comes to decent eats? Sunset Cantina, QDoba (which makes Taco Bell seem strangely appealing), T's, the aforementioned 2 awful pizza places...why is it such a desert? If you hike up a few long blocks, you can go to Super88 at least, and Brown Sugar, a few more and you hit Reef Cafe and other goodies near Harvard Ave. but ugh...is there some bad-restaurant magnet buried under the Agganis Arena?

    1. p
      photogeek Dec 14, 2006 03:57 PM

      Yeah, if you're up at BU West, the only thing you should be getting is T Anthony's...

      1 Reply
      1. re: photogeek
        hiddenboston Dec 14, 2006 04:05 PM

        Ohhhh, T Anthony's...i tried to get there the other day but parking was tough and I ran out of time.

        BTW, how many Boston Houses of Pizza are there? I went to one in Brighton (midway between Cleveland Circle and Brighton Center) awhile ago. Nothing special, just your basic Greek pizza place with a decent steak and cheese...

      2. m
        matt74 Dec 14, 2006 11:48 AM

        try Mangia neapolitan pizza in the south end ,the use whole wheat dough only, and i heard there opening a store in brookline in the village with seating very soon

        2 Replies
        1. re: matt74
          Dax Dec 14, 2006 11:40 PM

          Mangia is ok, but nothing special in my opinion. It's hard to get the wheat crust crispy enough

          1. re: Dax
            m
            matt74 Dec 15, 2006 10:59 AM

            i think thats why we go there because its wheat ,i agree that it doesent always get like cracker but its a trade off.

        2. t
          trembler Dec 13, 2006 10:27 PM

          will never get the obsession w/umbertos. it is terrible, and a terrible hybrid type pizza at that. not sicilian and not bakery pan-style either. terrible stuff...........

          3 Replies
          1. re: trembler
            f
            fenian Dec 14, 2006 12:05 AM

            Wow, Umberto is garbage huh. But it's a buck a slice, so at least you can't feel ripped off. I think it's very good myself--love the cheese and overall sloppiness.

            I ordered deep dish from Sicilia's once and thought it was OK. Probably average delivery pizza.

            I subscribed to the "deep dish pizza is garbage" idea until I had pizza from Pizano's in Chicago, which is maybe the best pizza I ever had. Now I just think deep dish pizza is usually garbage.

            1. re: fenian
              t
              trembler Dec 14, 2006 12:52 AM

              it was terrible when it was 50 cents a slice!

              1. re: trembler
                a
                autopi Dec 14, 2006 12:06 PM

                i agree w/trembler that i don't see what the fuss is with GU. i don't think it's terrible, but i certainly don't think it's great pizza, even by boston standards. and when we were there, there was this tremendous line that moved at an amazingly slow rate. something like 45 minutes to get to the front, so we had high hopes for the pizza.

          2. h
            hargau Dec 13, 2006 09:56 PM

            Have you been to Pino's pizza on beacon st? I have not been for years so it may have changed. But you used to be able to get a huge good slice for cheap there.

            1. t
              tinroofrusted Dec 13, 2006 09:23 PM

              We were in Boston in September and had more than a few slices at Upper Crust (Back Bay and Beacon Hill stores). Both were excellent. Huge slices with really fine chewy crust. Good selection of toppings. Not too expensive either. Wish we had Upper Crust here in the OC!

              1. t
                tamerlanenj Sep 23, 2006 11:17 PM

                Regina's whole shtick gets tiresome. Pizza is pretty good, but sometimes it's not worth it to deal with the wait and the rude service.

                1. halaluia13 Sep 23, 2006 04:50 AM

                  If you want pizza go to Pizza Regina in the North End (original only) For Siclian slices go to Umberto's on Hanover STreet and for bakery pizza go to Boschetos on Salem Street in the North End.

                  1. t
                    tinroofrusted Sep 23, 2006 04:20 AM

                    Try Little Stevie's House of Pizza on the corner of Hemenway and Boylston in the Back Bay (just off of Mass Ave at Boylston). This is a "House of Pizza" that is truly "in the house!". Good tasty pizza at all hours. So not every "House of Pizza" is a horrorshow.

                    Tin Roof

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tinroofrusted
                      Chris VR Sep 23, 2006 02:04 PM

                      The rule that seems to apply is that "Town or City" House of Pizza are the ones to avoid.

                      1. re: tinroofrusted
                        MC Slim JB Sep 23, 2006 02:27 PM

                        I though Little Stevie's had closed, based on posts from a few months back. I remember it as good and tasty too, but I, like every other patron I ever saw in there, had been drinking more than a few beers at the time. I suspect that it would not hold up to sober-light-of-day scrutiny. So a) is it open, and b) is it really any good?

                      2. a
                        adams_jo Sep 22, 2006 07:26 PM

                        tamerlanenj...that is a quality post. I used to live in that area and I'm sure there are thousands of people who peer out of the B line window wondering about Sicilias like I used to. Now, my question has been answered. Preach on...let us know how you do.

                        PS...while I know this time the pizza got you, my heartburn can be almost entirely attributed to soda. Gave it up. No more heartburn.

                        1. t
                          tamerlanenj Sep 22, 2006 07:00 PM

                          Thanks for the tip!

                          1. s
                            sml779 Sep 22, 2006 06:47 PM

                            I've seen your posts on other pizza talks - what do you think of Joseph's in Mission Hill area - not horrible - but as we all know a pale comparison to any NYC pizza. They have awesome chicken parm subs too.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: sml779
                              t
                              tamerlanenj Sep 22, 2006 06:55 PM

                              I haven't had the pleasure yet. Mission Hill is largely terra incognita for me.

                              1. re: tamerlanenj
                                s
                                sml779 Sep 22, 2006 06:57 PM

                                try it - i'm not making any promises, but the food is good and they are open late - 2am-ish? ask them to leave the pie in a bit longer than the norm.

                                1. re: sml779
                                  t
                                  tamerlanenj Sep 22, 2006 07:01 PM

                                  Thanks for the tip!

                              2. re: sml779
                                Joanie Sep 22, 2006 07:38 PM

                                Is this on Tremont St.? Where in relation to Mike's Donuts?

                                1. re: Joanie
                                  s
                                  sml779 Sep 22, 2006 07:54 PM

                                  I had to look it up - and I am fairly certain its S. Huntington, right by the rt9 split - actually over JP line. They just put a Quizno's or some such on the corner. The were doing construction on the store front last time I was there, but they are open.

                                  1. re: sml779
                                    Joanie Sep 22, 2006 08:00 PM

                                    Oh shoot, I just got my first slice there a couple weeks ago and it was old and not so good.

                              3. m
                                mwk Sep 22, 2006 06:33 PM

                                Whenever I am looking for a new pizza place around here, I check the menu. If they offer Greek Salad, Gyros, or any kind of wraps with hummos in them, I run in the other direction :) Luckily, there are two very good pizza places near my office, so when we get pizza for lunch, I don't have to scrape all the toppings off of the gawdawful crust.

                                Oh, and if the place has the word "Spa" in the name, that's just as bad as "House of Pizza". What's with calling it a Spa, anyhow?

                                T Anthony's is the only decent pizza place in that area, that I'm aware of. The weather is really nice now, and it'll do you good to walk off those slices :)

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: mwk
                                  t
                                  tamerlanenj Sep 22, 2006 06:39 PM

                                  I dunno, I LIKE Brookline Spa a good deal, at least compared to a lot of the competition.

                                  1. re: tamerlanenj
                                    m
                                    mwk Sep 22, 2006 07:03 PM

                                    well, like every other rule it obviously has exceptions. I'm sure somebody out there likes xxx House of Pizza, too :) But, I still want to know why it's called a "Spa"?

                                  2. re: mwk
                                    Karl S Sep 22, 2006 07:12 PM

                                    Spa is an old Boston-area term, quite venerable as it fades as ancient places close. It arose in the days of soda fountains, when places served a variety of light refreshments (not full-course meals, as it were).

                                  3. l
                                    LStaff Sep 22, 2006 06:31 PM

                                    At a place called Sicilia's, I would have gone for the Sicilian slice. Sicilian pie, if made correctly (crispy crust, fluffy middle, spicy sauce), can be a thing of beauty. Its one of the many things I miss since moving to New England.

                                    Only way I can stomach greek pie is if you load it up with meat.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: LStaff
                                      t
                                      tamerlanenj Sep 22, 2006 06:33 PM

                                      Oddly enough, there is no siclian slice at Sicilia's. They do a thin crust and a stuffed deep dish.

                                      I'll save my sicilian slice eating for my next trip to L&B Spumoni Gardens.

                                      1. re: tamerlanenj
                                        hiddenboston Sep 22, 2006 07:18 PM

                                        That's strange. The Sicilia's in Providence (same owners) is excellent. But I don't know many people who go to the one in Boston. I guess there's a reason for that. ;-b

                                      2. re: LStaff
                                        lipoff Sep 22, 2006 06:38 PM

                                        If you miss Sicilian pizza, try Pinocchio's in Harvard Square.

                                        1. re: lipoff
                                          MB fka MB Sep 22, 2006 08:30 PM

                                          Armando's in Huron Village in Cambridge is doing a fabulous sicilian slice now. OMG it's so good and perfectly seasoned, unlike their plain pizza - which I love, but needs salt often.

                                          1. re: MB fka MB
                                            hiddenboston Sep 22, 2006 08:43 PM

                                            Does Armando's Sicilian slices compare with Galleria Umberto in the North End? If so, I'm there, possibly this weekend!

                                            1. re: hiddenboston
                                              MB fka MB Sep 22, 2006 08:57 PM

                                              I've not had the Sicilian from there, but I never really liked Sicilian slices before and I'm beginning to feel like an addict at 'mando's. I've tried them from Pinocchio's in Harvard Square and those were just kind of...eh.

                                              The Armando's Sicilian has a pretty thick crust with lots of crunch, the cheese is almost a little burnt on the edges, the center is definitely more bread-like and the sauce is really well seasoned--it's spicy and I don't need to add salt. So, I'm no expert, but that's what I like about their slice.

                                              1. re: hiddenboston
                                                Luther Sep 23, 2006 03:12 AM

                                                I wouldn't really describe the GU pizza as "Sicilian" even though it's square. It's more of that "bakery pizza" or "grandma pizza" style.

                                        2. Chris VR Sep 22, 2006 06:21 PM

                                          I'm pretty sure that all of the "House of Pizza"s are Greek pizza. Well now you know...

                                          1. t
                                            tamerlanenj Sep 22, 2006 06:18 PM

                                            And this just in...I now have a raging case of heartburn. I wonder which "slice" is to blame.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: tamerlanenj
                                              b
                                              Bostonbob3 Sep 22, 2006 06:24 PM

                                              Absolute truth: I've never had heartburn. Don't have any idea what it feels like.

                                              That said, as Chris below said, I never, ever go to a place with "House of Pizza" in its name.

                                              1. re: Bostonbob3
                                                w
                                                wontonton Sep 22, 2006 07:09 PM

                                                Count yourself lucky. Heartburn feels like you're burping up the bile in your stomach. The acid burns slightly in your esophagus, in the chest region, hence "heart-burn" My perscription, two Alka-Seltzer. It does wonders, not to mention also as a hangover remedy.

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