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Help me find the pizza of my childhood...

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So I've been following the various pizza arguments here and elsewhere, and it seems to come down often to loyalty to the pizza you imprinted on as a kid.

For myself, during my 13 years in boston, I have been sampling many pizzas in an attempt to find one that matches my memories. Nothing has matched, though I have had some very good pizza of other types.

so i turn to you, gentle chowhounds for guidance.
here's what I'm looking for:
large pizza with occasional big bubbles in the crust.
high gluten content, yeasty/malty flavor, but savory, not sweet.
hand-stretched dough.
simple tomato sauce and nothing special mozzarella.
large floppy slices.

some close-but-not quite pizzas for reference, (and delicious in their own right)
the paddock: dead on on the cheese and sauce, but the crust is less gluten-y and more crunchy than I want
santarpios / regina: same story on the crust
l'il stevies might be the closest I've found in style.

any leads?

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  1. I would try the slices at Pini's in Somerville. I think the slices are very similar to what you're describing (the whole pies have a thicker crust, which changes the whole experience for me, even though all the ingredients are the same).

    Good luck in your quest!

    1. black bean, where did you grow up?

      Armando's in West Cambridge may be worth a try.

      1 Reply
      1. re: newhound

        Armando's, or Mr. B's in Somerville. I had a really good pie from there a few weeks ago.

      2. Thanks for the suggestions.

        We hit Pini's and MR B's for a double lunch today.
        At Pini's I had a plain cheese pizza. The crust had a good stretchy texture, with a nice sparser crumb structure. a bit more sauce than I would like. this might be the closest yet for crust type. I'm interested in any suggestions that go even further in the stretchy, high gluten, big bubbles direction.

        Mr B's had more cheese, and it was less greasy. The sauce was fresher-tasting.
        I think objectively it's a better pizza, but the crust had a finer crumb and wasn't very stretchy.
        being a bar makes for what probably is a nice atmosphere in the evening (not much happening at noon on a sunday) though I was bummed that they had guiness tap handles but no guiness.

        1. There's a place on Mass ave, I can't remember the name, but it's hard to miss, I think it's called NY Pizza, and it's right by the Shell Gas Station, where Columbus intersects Mass Ave, I grew up in NY, this is what my Dad calls "Guniea Joint" pizza, but I think it fits what you are describing.

          1. If you don't mind a little drive, Tripoli Bakery in Lawrence Ma, Salibury Beach, or Seabrook Beach, NH makes the pizza you seek.

            1. What your describing, all except the savory, not sweet dough/crust, sounds like Papa Gino's pizza, and the dough/crust is a matter of taste thing.

              1. Hi,

                We just had pizza delivered to my office last week from Crazy Dough's. It's the first time I've tried it, but I was impressed. It did have a lot of the qualities you are looking for, especially the crust.

                Another option might be Venice Pizza on Cambridge St. in Boston. They make an excellent pizza; reminds me of NYC style.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mwk

                  I've not been back to Venice for awhile, after several bad experiences with service, but I have to admit, they make a pizza very similar to what black bean describes.

                2. You might want to try Sal's. They have many locations north of Boston. Huge slices, bubbles in the slightly-burnt crust, hand-stretched dough, basic (but good!) tomato sauce, and a good amount of tasty mozzarella cheese on top.

                  1. i would say Sal's or Bianchi's on Revere beach.

                    1. Without a doubt, Bostone Pizza is what you are looking for, on Newbury St. between Exeter and Fairield. This is coming from an Italian-American North Jersey native.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tamerlanenj

                        Oh right, I forgot about Bostone Pizza. I definitely second that. Love the traditional Italian pizza there (not so crazy about the Sicilian slices, though).

                      2. Have you tried Costco plain cheese? I know I'll get rocked by some people, but I like their pizza. I'm originally from NYC, and although I go out of my way for Ray's on 12th St., Costco pizza is fine when I'm there anyway picking up he-man sized cereal boxes. I also like Armando's, though I get pies with toppings more than the cheese. Pini's is not bad, though a bit thin/limp in the crust (they have a good deal on 5 pizzas, which is perfect for a group...my favorite is the roasted red pepper pizza - sweet and juicy, if you like those adjectives in a pizza). Lastly, if you go to Old Country Buffet (anyone else eat there?), try their pizza. They really put time and effort into cheap food, because that's the best bang-for-buck for their bottom line. Also a great grilled cheese, along those lines. Thanks for the Bostone recommendation...I have to try that sometimes.