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pizza help -- STAT !

Arrrfgghh......I need to bring some out-of-towners for pizza, salad and wine around 5 pm. Problem being I need to stay North / Northwest of Boston. Preferable Arlington, Waltham, Belmont, Lexington, Burlington. I don't want to go to Flatbreads in Burlington....I just want a really good old-fashioned pizza. NOOOO Greek-style ("sorry"). This is hard for me because I just hate baad pizza. I'm a Picco, Artu, Gran Gusto....and sometime Regina's fan. If anyone knows of a spot that I don't know about, I'd be chow-indebted !!!!!

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  1. Cafe Capri
    355 Main St
    Reading, MA 01867
    (781) 944-9898

    Really good!

    1. The pizza at Franco's in Waltham is very good, though the atmosphere is more dive bar than pizza joint.
      Does Medford work for you? If so, Bocelli's in South Medford is a classic Italian restaurant with good pizza.

      1. If you're willing to go to Arlington, why not go to Gran Gusto? Not much farther, and hard to beat. I haven't been, but there are lot's of fans of Za in Arlington. Stone Hearth in Belmont is good, but along the lines of Flatbread, which I guess you dislike.

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        Gran Gusto
        90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

        7 Replies
        1. re: justbeingpolite

          Thanks for the tips...I'll keep checking back. I actually like Flatbread, but the request was for "Good Old fashion Italian pizza with a good airy, charred crust"....but in the areas as aforementioned. Boy, you'd think I was a miracle worker! I think Flatbread would not fit the bill for the pain in the butt making the request !

          How does Za compare to a Regina's or Upper Crust ?

          1. re: Buddernut

            I haven't been personally, but I'm afraid it's a "natural fresh ingredient" place along the lines of Stone Hearth (and Flatbread). Might not satisfy your pain in the butt.

            1. re: justbeingpolite

              My only visit to Flatbread was to the store in Portsmouth, and while I found the hippie salad a touch annoying, I did like the pizza - certainly more than most I've had in the Boston area. (I should admit, here, that I was on a kidless weekend, so I may have been a bit blinded by bliss.) I have yet to visit Gran Gusto, though, and I look forward to doing so. For the record I haven't met many pizzas I like here; probably my favorite (besides at home) was at the now defunct Real Pizza in Huron Village.

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              Gran Gusto
              90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

              1. re: almansa

                Hippie salad?

                1. re: Gabatta

                  "Organic mesclun and sweet leaf lettuces tossed with organic celery and carrots, toasted sesame seeds, arame seaweed and our homemade berry vinaigrette dressing." I dunno, it just reminds me of college.

                  1. re: almansa

                    Got it, I wasn't sure if you were talking about the Portsmouth factor (which can be a bit grungy) or the food. The flatbread in Somerville has the same deal, the servers are extremely friendly but obviously forced to start off with the local, sustainable, organic bit. While I have always supported all of it (except maybe the questionable ways organic is tossed around), it IS getting tiring of with every new restaurant beating it to death from a marketing and PR perspective.

                    I guess it reminds me more of the current restaurant industry as a whole rather than college. Thought I went to a very hippyish college, it was before the organic craze really took hold.

                    FWIW I really like the pizzas at Flatbread. Their sauce is excellent, and the service really is excellent.

                    1. re: Gabatta

                      I, too, went with a very hippyish college. And don't get me wrong, I liked the salad, pizza and the restaurant very much.

        2. The Village Kitchen
          359 Huron Avenue
          Cambridge, MA 02138

          best around - real Italian pizza

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          Village Kitchen
          359 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

          8 Replies
          1. re: johnnymac

            Hmmm, 2nd time I have heard about Village Kitchen this week. Maybe its a sign. Will check it out soon.

            1. re: johnnymac

              No on so many counts.
              "Real Italian pizza". No--more like the Stone Hearth variety.
              "Best Around". No--Armando's, just up the street, is much better, and Stella's, a little further away in H2Otown, is ten times better than that. Not to mention Gran Gusto, which also isn't far from Village Kitchen.

              -----
              Stella's Pizza
              605 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

              1. re: Alcachofa

                10x? Wow, that sounds significant. I guess I will have to try Stella as that is a strong claim.

                1. re: Gabatta

                  Make certain you order the extra large if you go to Stellas (which is what they use for their slices). They use the same amount of dough as for the large, just stretch it out more. That is the killer pie with the thin, crispier crust....the large is pretty good, just not awesome.

                  1. re: Science Chick

                    And ask for it well done! :o)

                    1. re: Alcachofa

                      definitely!

                2. re: Alcachofa

                  I am also increasingly a fan of Sabatino's in Arlington. Not a place for sit down dinner and wine, just a pizza joint, but thicker, more NY style crust and REALLY good. Got some good semolina flour in the crust and it just has that great chew/crunch so hard to find in Boston.

                  That said I am also a big Stella's fan.

                  Arlington

                  Sabatinos
                  242 Massachusetts Avenue
                  Arlington, MA 02476
                  (781) 646-4126
                  Open Daily 11:00 AM - 10:00PM

                  -----
                  Massachusetts Avenue Restaurant
                  906 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  Sabatino's Restaurant
                  735 Broadway, Malden, MA 02148

                3. re: johnnymac

                  If you are on Huron Ave, why would you ever go to The Village Kitchen when Armando's is right up the block!?

                  -----
                  Village Kitchen
                  359 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                4. Not much for atmosphere, and doubt they have wine. But really good Italian pizza:
                  http://www.nicolapizzahouse.com/

                  1. Hmmm. Good old fashioned pizza, salad and wine? It might be heresy to recommend it on Chowhound, but Bertucci's would fill the bill. Not the world's best pizza, but reliably good and sometimes excellent. And out-of-towners from non-Bertucci territory might be amused to try our locally-born chain.

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                    Bertuccis Restaurant
                    6 Plaza Way, Plymouth, MA 02360

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: katzzz

                      Completely agree on this - took some folks to Bertucci after they explained that - at home in Alabama - choice of pizza is between Domino's or Little Caesar's. Bertucci's was really well received (the one in Waltham off Winter Street).

                    2. I'm guessing "old fashioned" does not mean Neapolitan, but if I'm wrong (since you like Gran Gusto) what about Pizzeria Posto in Davis? Actually, Davis has had a little bit of a pizza explosion recently-- you could also do Sacco's Bowl Haven/Flatbread Company-- maybe your guests would be curious to check out candlepin bowling? Or for the more old-fashioned greasy type there's Mike's which is not bad if that's what you're looking for. I would actually take any of those over Arlington's 'Za, which does not sound like what you're looking for and has been disappointing to me on more than one occasion.
                      ETA- Posto has the additional benefit of having a pretty extensive wine list and having positioned themselves as somewhat of a wine bar. Sacco's is working the beer angle, and Mike's, uh, maybe the Malt Liquor angle? Just kidding.

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                      Gran Gusto
                      90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                      Pizzeria Posto
                      187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                      1. Stella's Pizza- good thin crust italian style

                        605 mount auburn st
                        Watertown, MA 02472
                        (617) 924-5692
                        stellaspizza.com‎

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                        Stella's Pizza
                        605 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                        1. If you're in the ARlington area, why not head over to Regina's in Medford? I don't know what part of Arlington you are located.

                          I've eaten at Za and didn't care for it. Maybe Paparazzi's in Burlington? I'm drawing a blank since I order from Regina's. Sorry!

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: surferbettygal

                            Probably too late, but I also thought of Regina, and Bocelli's in Medford Center would work, too. All of the other suggestions are great, but many of them are purely take-out or quick-bite places, not sit-down with wine and table service.

                            1. re: surferbettygal

                              I was hopeful with the Regina's in Medford in the past, but after two poor experiences there I won't be back. In is way closer in quality to the other mall and chain locations than the NE original.

                              Has anyone tried the new Regina's at the old Sports Depot location? That would be a convenient location with a full bar. I am hopeful, but realistic. Regina's hasn't translated out of the NE yet. Maybe it really is the oven...

                              1. re: Gabatta

                                It's not even open yet, although the outdoor signage is up.

                                1. re: Gabatta

                                  I place Reginas in Medford at about 80 to 85% as good as the North End (eat IN only!). this places them well ahead of most North Suburban Pizza places.

                                  1. re: sinned61

                                    Honestly, 50% of the quality of the Thacher Street location would make this the best pizza in Allston by a mile. The only pizza around here worth eating is from T. Anthony, and it's closer to adequate than great.

                                    1. re: sinned61

                                      I agree. I had a pie at the NE location recently and I love it there. Just love it. But some of that is about the atmosphere, the line, the cheesy carafe of wine, the waitress schtick, etc. If I compare just pie to pie, Medford is very close to the same product.

                                      1. re: yumyum

                                        That sign has been up so long, I assumed it (SD location) was open.

                                        Disagree on Medford being close on the pie. I wish it was, but to me it is not even close. I could actually do without the lack of parking and rushed service in the NE at times. For me it is all about the pie.

                                        1. re: Gabatta

                                          You may be misremembering - the Regina's signs have been up on the Allston location for less than a month. I catch my bus to work right in front every morning, so I've been watching the progress, and I think they're still working on the interior. (Although they have reactivated the programmable sign to announce that they're accepting applications...)

                                2. I loved the pizza at Bouna Vita in Arlington the one time I was there they use real buffalo mozzarella and have a great crust and their wine list is completely decent.