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Nov 5, 2006 01:44 AM

Armando's and Regina's -- A Pizza Frenzy Weekend (and it's only half over)

Went to Armando's in Cambridge last night for dinner, and Regina's tonight. I feel sluggish and slightly queasy, but it was worth it. A few notes on each:

Armando's was packed around 6:00. It took awhile for them to cook up a pepperoni pizza for me, but once I got it I realized why so many people like this place. The tangy, romano-based cheese was delicious, and the sauce had a pretty hearty taste to it. The crust was as dry as could be, with a very slight browning of the bottom. I kept trying to figure out what this pizza reminded me of, and I finally realized that it had a slight similarity to Santarpio's (perhaps because of the cheese). Definitely an excellent New York-style pizza that I would consider as good as Bianchi's in Revere, though perhaps a slight notch below the Paddock in Somerville, as well as Santarp's and Regina's.

Speaking of Pizzeria Regina, a large group of us went there around 5:00 this evening. We walked right in and got a large table. My fellow diners ordered a couple of their large gourmet pizzas, but I had to go old-school, getting a small pepperoni pizza, cooked well-done, for myself. The waitress actually came out with my pizza, showed it to me, and asked me if I wanted it in the oven for another minute (I did). All three pizzas were fabulous, as I expected them to be. It is indeed the king of all pizzas in the Boston area, IMHO, with all due respect to Santarpio's.

What a great weekend so far! Maybe tomorrow I'll hit Santarp's to finish off the pizza trifecta. :-)

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  1. With respect to the places you have tried this weekend - I LOVE Regina's, you must also include Pino's Pizza on Beacon Street.

    1. Pino's? Over by BC? I believe we used to order from them when my friends lived around there. If so, I remember it being really good!

      All these great places that keep getting mentioned, such as Santarpio's, Regina's, Armando's, Paddock, Emma's, Galleria Umberto, Ernesto's, Pino's, etc., make me think that it's not so much which one to choose (since they are all good), but WHY someone would forsake them all for a Pizza Hut or Domino's pizza. The prices are typically about the same, so is it the convenience of these places? After having a pie at a place like Regina's or Santarpio's, there's no way you can go back to the chains, unless it is indeed about the convenience of these places.

      I know--it's Saturday night and I'm rambling (why am I on Chowhound on a Saturday night, anyways? Good Lord...), but I still can't get over how good the pizza at Regina's was tonight. It is definitely up there with the cubano at Chez Henri in Cambridge as far as perfect foods in Boston are concerned...

      2 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston

        Pino's? Really? Perhaps they've changed dramatically since I was a child. Growing up in Brookline, Pino's was the place to go before/after the movies in Clevland Circle. It was definitely an adolescent seen and be seen but the pizza was unremarkable at best. Can you talk more about its qualities?

        1. re: tomaneng

          Soft, flavorful crust of the appropriate thickness and chewiness; minimal cheese and tomato with good flavor; a nice layer of grease. It is a very tastefully crafted pizza.

      2. o.k. hidden, we're goin' tomorrow night. oh boy, so much easier than the whole north end thing. thank you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: opinionatedchef

          The crust is extremely poor. With due respect to hiddenboston, it's not worth the trip. Anybody can cook up some nice sauce and cheese at home. The point of a good pizza is the crust, and Armando's lacks moisture, elasticity, gluten, and salt. It's like a weird imitation of a good crust.

        2. Which Regina's did you go to? Did you try the new Pizzeria Regina at Station Landing in Medford?

          2 Replies
          1. re: buffet king

            The yeasts at the North End location have been around since 1888 (the site was a baker's oven long before it was taken over for pizza), IIRC. No other location can replicate that.

            1. re: buffet king

              We were at the one in the North End last night. There was no line as we walked by (we had been thinking of going to Antico Forno), so there was no way we were passing the place up.

              Luther, I agree that the crust was probably the weakest part of the pizza at Armando's. But the cheese, seasonings, and sauce made up for the relatively average crust. The crust at Regina's is much better, but overall, I thought the pizza was only a small notch below Regina's and Santarp's, and at about the same level as The Paddock and Bianchi's.

            2. We went to the new Regina's in Medford Landing tonight.Very crowded and the room next to the bar is hugely noisy with the screaming sports TV, so we moved to the other room which had music and was much better for noise.

              3 diff pizzas we tried: anchovy, chicken pesto and giambatta. They were all very good but not super. crust was a bit too thick and though we ordered them all 'well done',we had to send them all back for MORE 'well done'. they all were way too skimpy on the tomato sauce so we asked for extra and they sent us out a huge bowl of it! it helped, but would have been much better if it had been baked on. next time we'll ask for more sauce when we order. the chicken pesto had enough toppings but the giambatta was a bit skimpy . their cutlery is unfortunately thin/bendable and, now that i know they have steak knives, that is what i will request next time.

              grilled portabello mushroom salad was excellent; portobellos really had great marinated and grilled flavor.

              ivy, our waitress, could not have been better. unusually attentive and pleasant.

              of course, even if it wasn't SUPER, it certainly beats anything else around, so i'm sure we'll return but ask for thinner crust and more toma sce on the pizzas that we order.
              oh, and those steak knives....

              1 Reply
              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Does the Regina's in Medford offer the oils to drizzle over your pizza?