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Jun 8, 2010 11:47 PM

Emma's, dry pizza. And, do I need to be a regular?

finally made it to emma's for the much anticipated cracker thin crust pizza tonight.
15 min wait, i'm hungry, but ok. it ended up more like 7 min. great!
our waiter said, "you need more time?" before we answered (we knew our salad and drink choices) he tried to ditch us. my husband quickly requested our shared salad choice and his drink - then gone. the waiter didn't ask me for my drink order.
spinach salad w/ artichoke, rstd red pprs, kalamatas, feta (if you wish) we wished for gorgonzola...our request was quickly approved.
salad: spinach was young, tender, abundant and fresh, fine cheese, house roasted peppers? i think so as i saw char and plain, simple canned baby artichoke hearts. the dressing was intense. not for everyone. garlic oil and maybe nothing more. very raw, strong, hot garlic intensity. i like that it's fresh and i see the garlic oil presence all over the menu. the salad we ordered was supposed to have a pommery mustard vinaigrette. i am still tasting the raw garlic.
pizza: we like meat. we ordered the 16" (large) #25. both kinds bacon, both kinds sausage, pepperoni, chicken, traditional sauce, mozzarella.
it was dry. i suspect that with the thin crust they have to remove the moisture from the toppings so it doesn't get soggy. the "american" bacon was obviously of great quality, thick, super flavorful - but hard on the tooth. the spicy sausage was aggressive and spicy (yes!) and overall the flavor was full and complex. but, the meats had been cooked too far i suspect to remove the excess oil. we missed that mouth feel. we don't mind orange oil dripping off our elbows.
so, i wanted another glass of house white (nice, dry, old fashioned like a good house chablis) it was a major effort to find and then flag down our waiter to beg for another one. like, "sorry to bug you but i'd like some wine with the pizza salad wine is gone".
he came, he gave me a glass of house white, he left...for what felt like for good. we are not regulars but have lived in boston/cambridge for 20+ for my man and 7+ for me. and anyways why should locals get the best service? on their website they thank their regulars, so ok. we went, we ate, we left, my husband left pissed cause the waiter couldn't be bothered. we will go back, we will not tell them how to cook their toppings. we will order extra sauce, we will hope for a waiter who is having a better night.
i will ask for more tomato sauce.

Emma's Pizza
40 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. I truly hate poor customer service; a definite deal breaker on a return visit!

    1. This is pretty much how their pizza is. Given that you don't like it (I don't really care for it either), coupled with the service, I wouldn't go back.

      1. While I haven't had the all-meaty pizza at Emma's, I have had pepperoni, and while I wouldn't say it's dry, it definitely not greasy. So sounds like their style of pizza just ain't your thing, as Gabatta says. Add the poor service and I certainly don't blame you for not going back. Sorry you had a bad experience. (I quite like their pizza, myself.)

        I've been there 4 times over 4 years, all at lunch, and I've had fine service. They're usually busy so it's not terribly fast, but good enough. So I don't think they dote on regulars.

        1. As luck would have it, was there last night. Definitely not a place with oil pooled in the pepperoni slices - you actually like that? ICK! :) We split a small #24 - Thoroughly enjoyed. I think Emma's base sauces set it apart from other pizza places - really dig the house-roasted tomatoes in the 24, or the rosemary-infused sauce.

          Honestly have never thought of "mouth-feel" when eating pizza, other than to think how another slice would feel ;)

          Also had that salad last night - and it was VERY strongly garlic. After pizza, ice cream, brushing teeth twice, was still on the breath....Have only ever gotten the Fling salad before. Would stick with that. If you had that dressing recently, maybe just an overly strong batch? It was too strong - definitely agreed - way too strong.

          As for service, I get there maybe once a season so not what I would consider a regular and I am always made to feel like a regular....I honestly think you are completely off base on that criticism. Emma's to me seems like one of the least clubby places around, which is why I do go back over time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            Bob, just because you don't like a little vitamin G with your pizza, don't feel the need to judge how others prefer it. Obviously, enough people like Emma's pizza, and keep them in business. I'm heading to Armando's myself!

          2. I agree with your assessment of their pizza - dry, dry, dry every time I've had it. In my mind, however, the problem is not with the toppings but with the crust, which is crackery and dehydrated. Some folks love that kind of "thin crust," but not I...