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May 2, 2009 06:51 AM

Gran Gusto - underwhelmed & sad

OK, hoping that it was an off day or I did something wrong, because I have been SO excited to try GG's pizza after all the raves here and elsewhere. Maybe I'd built it up too much, but it definitely disappointed. First off, I am a pizza-lover, make it often at home & search out places with good *hot* coal or wood fired ovens. It has to have that slightly charred, thin crust. Not a fan of bready at all.

Anyway, finally got myself into Cambridge yesterday with a friend for lunch and ordered the Ortolana - and this is probably where we went wrong, as it has multiple vegetables on it... Maybe too many toppings for the oven? Anyway, it came out looking wonderful, but pulling out slices, the pizza didn't seem done - it was pretty oily, quite wet and floppy. Biting into it, the centers were still kind of doughy and there wasn't that nice charred flavor that deepens the crust taste for me.

Had I been alone, I would have sent it back & asked for it to be re-fired, but my DC isn't a fan of making a fuss, so I didn't.

Thoughts from you all? Is this a place, like Santarpios or others where I need to ask for it to be 'well-done'?

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  1. I always limit toppings on thin crust pizzas. I'm a big fan of GG's pizza, but I prefer the classic margherita there, and stick to a one-topping limit at Santarpio's, the original Regina's, Mangia Pizza, etc.

    Vegetables are especially problematic: if they're the sort that express any water in a hot oven, they doom a thin-crust pizza.

    1. one topping, or no more than two as long as they are low moisture and Always asked for it Well Done.

      1. I asked for mine "well done" and I really enjoyed it. I realize that many people would call this too well done, but I was by myself and perfect for me.

        Like MC said, too many toppings, especially vegetables with a high water content will hurt the crispness on a thin pizza.

        I hope you give them another shot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: 9lives

          i think their margharita pizza is great but my husband won't ever order a pizza with topping so we only get the margherita (he'll make an exception for Pepi's white clam pizza in new haven but mostly he believes only in "tomato pie".)

        2. Too many wet watery toppings, stick with the basic's like one topping of meat.

          1. I have to say, GG has been one of my few Chowhound disappointments. I went with high expectations, ordered the Margherita, and thought it was particualarly underwhelming. I didn't find it particularly authentic (having had many pizzas in Italy), nor did I find it anywhere near as yummy as Regina's or Pepe's (I know that neither are true Margherita, but I'm comparing it to a regualar cheese or a "Mooz". Perhaps I was expecting too much, but there was no char, no taste of wood fire, and the mozzarella didn't seem all that special. It's so far out of the way for me, I'm not sure I'll bother trying it again.