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Help with Pizza in Needham

bakerboyz Oct 20, 2008 09:01 AM

I am so bored/sick of the pizza options in and near Needham (Wellesley and Newton included)...can anyone help? I loathe all of the "House of... Pizza's i.e. Greek style pizza, not a fan of Sweet Tomatoes, Bertucci's, Upper Crust, etc. Stone Hearth is pretty good but not earth shattering. Don't have the time to travel to Regina's or Santarpio's for take-out, just doesn't make sense. Am I in a pizza "dead zone"? Help!

  1. s
    suepea Jan 28, 2012 05:49 AM

    Try Alta Strada - it is somewhat reminiscent of Figs pizza; very good, but limited choice of toppings. I think it's thin and wood fired. Probably a little pricey for takeout.

    As for homemade - we make awesome crust using King Arthur pizza blend flour. Avoid the mixes with flavorings and stuff, or suggestions to add "pizza flavor" to the special blend. Just use yeast, salt, and olive oil. Great crust, thin (if you make it that way) and crispy; excellent flavor. 500 degree oven, stone (preheated) is mandatory.

    1. b
      bakerboyz Jan 26, 2012 12:30 PM

      As a follow-up, this fall I took a 1 day pizza making class in the lower east side (Manhattan) from Pizza a Casa and I now make all of my own pizzas and they are far superior to anything I can buy in Needham, although I do have to try the coal fired pizza at the newly opened Max and Leo's in Newton Corner which I hear is outstanding.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bakerboyz
        nsenada Jan 27, 2012 10:11 PM

        Agreed on the homemade - I make a sourdough crust that can be pretty awesome, and you can throw anything you like on for toppings.

      2. m
        macewindu420 Jan 26, 2012 04:53 AM

        Try North End Pizza in Wellesley, on route 16 near the Newton line. Very good food, nice folks.

        1. a
          AHan Oct 23, 2008 12:44 PM

          Interesting replies. Having grown up in the area, I agree, most local pies rather suck, Bill's included. Nick's is horrible, I'm surprised anyone would suggest it afer noting you dislike Greek style pizza.
          How about heading down to Franco's on the upper end of Moody St? My favorite in the area--thin crust, good sauce and cheese.

          2 Replies
          1. re: AHan
            JimSmith Jan 25, 2012 07:39 PM

            I assume you don't mean Nicholas' Pizzeria 'cause the pizza there is great! It's one of our favorite places around to get authentic Greek pizza.

            Nicholas Pizzeria
            33 Chapel St, Needham, MA 02492

            1. re: JimSmith
              Ruprecht Jan 26, 2012 08:57 AM

              Just curious, anyone know whether there is an actual pizza tradition in Greece, or is it a Greek-American (or maybe Boston area) phenomenon?

          2. f
            firestarlj Oct 22, 2008 01:38 PM

            I'm not sure how close you are to the Needham Highlands stop but O'Hara's has a REALLY amazing buffalo chicken pizza and I can only guess what they regular tastes like. You can't order it by the slice but you can do takeout. I am not sure if they are open for lunch though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: firestarlj
              KevinJF Jan 25, 2012 09:15 PM

              I have been to O'Hara's many times and was always underwhelmed by the food, regardless of what I ordered.

              I should add that I have not been there in years, so my opinion might very well not be applicable to its current status.

            2. j
              jfung77 Oct 20, 2008 07:10 PM

              Try Pizzapalooza's silician. 244 Needham st. Newton. Strictly takeout.

              12 Replies
              1. re: jfung77
                robertlf Oct 20, 2008 07:45 PM

                Pizzapalooza makes a good Sicilian pizza.

                1. re: robertlf
                  pondrat Oct 22, 2008 01:05 PM

                  Ditto on Pizzapalooza...robertlf there were couple tables where you can eat inside but you'd miss them if you blinked

                  Or go get some soup at The New England Soup Factory next door. and eat the pizza there...

                  A perfect fall/winter combo !

                  1. re: pondrat
                    macadamianut Oct 22, 2008 01:35 PM

                    They don't let you eat pizza in New England Soup Factory. One time my friend and I were eating pizza in there and they told us that seating is only for eating their soup. I was eating their soup but my friend was not and the owner came over and asked that we please not do that. At first it kind of bothered me but when the owner explained that it was like having a dinner party that you cooked all day for and then your guest shows up with their own food. She was very nice about it and the seating is limited. I think Pizzapalooza delivers. They used to have a location in Brookline too. I happen to really like upper crust too bad there is not one closer to you in Needham.

                    1. re: macadamianut
                      bakerboyz Oct 22, 2008 01:44 PM

                      I actually find Upper Crust and Sweet Tomatoes to be very similar, very thin crust but very little flavor from the crust or sauce; I have tried PizzaPalooza and I feel that they make a very flavorful but thicker crusted pie. Despite my disdain for chains, I like the flavors of the Bertucci pies but their crust is generally soggy and way overpriced. My wish is for a Regina or Santarpio like pie in the burbs. I ended up ordering 2 pies from Stone Hearth, the small pepperoni was overcooked and dried out, the large sausage, carmelized onion and peppers had a great flavor but the crust was somewhat soggy and too thin to hold up the ingredients.

                      1. re: bakerboyz
                        macadamianut Oct 22, 2008 02:02 PM

                        I was at a friends house who lived in Newton Upper falls. We got pizza from a place that looked really old and outdated. I was shocked that she would even eat there. It was on Chestnut Street at the intersection of Elliot Street in Needham. The name escapes me but it was something Virgilios. Well we brought the pizza back to her house and I was surprised at how good it was. It was like that old fashioned Italian Pizza with wide slices and burnt black bubbles on the crust. I am sure that it is probably not far from you.

                        1. re: macadamianut
                          bakerboyz Oct 22, 2008 02:11 PM

                          Yes, I know exactly where you mean. I kind of put that place out of my mind, it's a fairly dingy bar with a small eating area, mostly red sauce italian but I do recall that they did make a fairly decent pizza. I may have to go back and give them another try.

                          1. re: macadamianut
                            KevinJF Jan 25, 2012 09:13 PM

                            The place you speak of is in Newton.

                            Virgilio's Echo Bridge Restaurant
                            1068 Chestnut Street, Newton (617) 969-7092

                        2. re: macadamianut
                          pondrat Oct 22, 2008 05:23 PM

                          Interesting....I always had a cup of soup in view so I suppose that's why I didn't get busted...I'll now be forewarned if I bring a pizza-only friend in...

                          1. re: pondrat
                            cheesehead in recovery Oct 23, 2008 12:50 PM

                            The place on Chestnut and Eliot is actually a great, cheap dive. Very old school, basic-red sauce dive. While I've never had the pizza, I've had their ravioli a few times -- not bad. Great for nights when I'm too lazy to cook.

                            1. re: cheesehead in recovery
                              nsenada Jan 26, 2012 06:58 AM

                              I think Virgilios pizza is the best in the area - it's nice and crispy with black bits, yet the dough is soft in the interior. I recently got a sausage, cherry pepper and garlic pie that was probably one of the best pizzas I've had anywhere. Definitely not a place that you would expect this from. The ambiance is amazing - nothing has changed since the 70s, and they have a mangy stuffed moose over the bar.

                              I'm a little concerned it may become an ironic hipster hangout, and if it was in Allston or somehere, that would have already happened. Then again, the bar seems populated by regulars that don't look to be the types to cede territory to the monocle and mutton chop crowd any time soon.

                              1. re: nsenada
                                Prav Jan 26, 2012 07:12 AM

                                Do they sell by the slice?

                                1. re: Prav
                                  nsenada Jan 27, 2012 10:09 PM

                                  Not sure - I would bet not, though...

                  2. Angel Food Oct 20, 2008 04:55 PM

                    Lately at lunch I've been getting the pizza from Spiga on Needham street. Very thin crust, brick oven. Have tried it three times and all were winners.

                    1. e
                      emilief Oct 20, 2008 09:57 AM

                      There is a place across the street from the Biltmore, next to the liquor store (Chestnut Street?) in Newton Upper Falls that is supposed to be very good- have not been. I like Stone Hearth and doubt there is anything better inyour neighborhood. In January 2009 the California Pizza Kitchen will open in Wellesley on Linden Street.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: emilief
                        cheesehead in recovery Oct 21, 2008 06:59 PM

                        The place on Chestnut st. is old school, rather greasy, straightforward slices. No frills. Nothing fancy, family owned. Its a far cry from the stone-hearths, pizza paloozas, sweet tomatoes.... in fact this place is the opposite.

                        1. re: cheesehead in recovery
                          emilief Oct 22, 2008 09:08 AM

                          So do you like or not like their pizza (sometimes greasy is good).????

                        2. re: emilief
                          psc109 Oct 22, 2008 09:41 AM

                          The place next to the liquor store is Nicks Pizza and is some of the worst Greek pizza out there.

                          To OP, have you tried Raviolis Brick Oven Pizza on Beacon in Newton Highlands? It's by the Whole Foods and is a very good option for the area.

                        3. Prav Oct 20, 2008 09:10 AM

                          How about Bill's Pizza in Newton Centre? It's lovely. We get it for staff meetings sometimes.

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