Stopped in for a pie yesterday for lunch...sausage, ricotta, tomato, fontina...ordered well done..but wasn't. Nice place, friendly staff, but the pizza was maybe 1/2 notch above eh...good quality ingredients..not bad but not up to Gran Gusto (not close) or Emma's...for the super thin type.
As` an aside, if you like Mickey Rourke and don't mind gratuitous violence, see The Wrestler; playing across the street.
Cambridge 1 has benefited from more or less owning the upscale pizza niche in Harvard Square. That may have changed with the opening of an Upper Crust around the corner on Brattle Street ... time will tell.
Also, whatever other flaws it may have, it works for lunchtime diners because the service is almost always extremely quick, no matter how crowded. In an employee-dense area like Harvard Square, that alone can be enough to keep a place afloat.
My own personal beef with Cambridge 1 has always been that somehow their portion sizes are just slightly mismatched with my appetite. If I order a half-pizza, I go away hungry, and if I order a whole pizza (which I invariably will polish off!) I go away overstuffed.
I stop at Cambridge1 for wine/beer before or after a movie, it's nice inside and good for people watching. Tried the pizza and also didn't like it, the crust was burnt but the toppings were raw/barely cooked - at the time I thought the oven must have been too hot. I remember struggling with the portion size question as well.
Well, and the whole portion size question would be moot if they offered reasonably priced sides or salads to compliment a half-pizza ... but as I recall, they don't have anything of the sort. Yes, I think they have salads, but at a fairly steep price. For a weekday lunch, I'm not going to pay $8 for a side salad with my $10 half-pizza.
You know, I stopped in there recently - first time in some years, at which time I really liked it. I swear that either I caught them on an off night, we got a bum batch of pizzas (2 1/2 pizzas), or they've gone downhill. It was just so noticeably worse that I couldn't get over it. The crusts weren't as good, the toppings weren't as good, the service wasn't as good, etc.
i agree about the portion size conundrum. my theory is that the place is just inconsistent. i haven't experienced the burned crust, but have definitely experienced inconsistency in how heavy-handed they are with the toppings. i do like them when everything is working properly, though.
I ate there with 2 others last night for dinner, about 2 hours after this thread was started. I agree it can be inconsistent, but last night it was quite good. I got the chicken pizza, asked for it well done and it didn't disappoint. Others with me also pleased (one got potato, one got mushroom).
I have been there when the pizza is so undercooked that the toppings are cold, and I've sent the food back. Last night they seemed to hit it on the mark though.