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Nostalgic for cheddar cheese pizza

Back in the 1980s there was a chain of "British style pizza" restaurants called Ruggles. (I remember the one in Harvard Square and maybe one at Downtown Crossing?) The authenticity of the cheddar cheese pizza was dubious at best, but it was awfully good. Anyone have any recipe ideas or seen anything like it on any present-day menus?

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  1. If yer feeling nostalgic for the place, with similar foods, you should head to Otto's Pizza in Harvard Square, in the exact same location where the Ruggles used to be. I'm certain that Otto's Pizza would be a step up from Ruggles. Pretty much anything would be.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Uncle Yabai

      I don't know if this is what you are looking for but there is a cheddars pizza shares a parking lot with trade joes around freshpond.

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      Cheddars Pizzeria
      201 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Cambridge, MA 02138

      1. re: lc02139

        For many years when I worked in that area Cheddars was on my local lunch rotation. Great subs! However I would not suggest that goggin go there to satisfy his craving. I do not know the origin of the name, but it has nothing to do with cheddar cheese on pizza.

        1. re: PinchOfSalt

          Second Cheddar's great subs. This place is truly a find. Great bread, fresh ingredients, each sandwich made with passion, it seems to me. Good stuff (totally off topic I know but had to throw in a plug 'cause I love this place)

          1. re: twentyoystahs

            Yes they have good subs. To answer robertlf (assuming he is asking about the same place), they were open as of yesterday afternoon when they made me a roast beef sub.

    2. Whenever I'm in London, I go to Pizza Express (sad, I know) and think of Ruggles!

      1. There's also a place in W. Acton called New London Style Pizza. Is Cheddar's Pizzeria in Fresh Pond / Cambridge still around?

        2 Replies
        1. re: robertlf

          I've always assumed that the West Acton place was "New London, CT style," not "new, in the London style." Not that I've ever been aware of a specific New London CT style of pizza...

          For the record, I worked downtown back in the days of the Ruggles Pizza in DTX, and ate there from time to time because a couple of my work friends liked it. Myself, I can't imagine feeling nostalgic for that pizza.

          1. re: robertlf

            Despite the name, Cheddars in Fresh Pond doesn't use cheddar cheese on their pizza.

          2. BTW, many local pizzerias (and some you wouldn't think) use a cheese mix which includes Cheddar cheese (20-30% is common) --for browning, because its cheap, and then for the taste (more tang). In particular you will find it often in bar pizza's and greek pizza both of which are usually pan baked and on the greasy side (for the former look for a good taxonomy of places to eat it from hiddenboston -- near Cambridge La Hacienda has a version although its not as good as the better ones). Its also common on some Sicilian and bakery pan pies but a bit less so. Sicilian pies tend to have fluffier crusts which I think Ruggle's was like, Pinochio's in Harvard, Armando's just outside, Leone's in East Somerville, Umberto's in the North End and Nana's in Everett all serve versions. Bakery pizza will have a sweeter sauce and more bready crust: you can get it at Royal Pastry in Cambridge, La Cascia in Medford, Patsy's in East Somerville (don't think all days of the week), and Parziale's have versions. Again the ones which use cheddar don't use a large amount like Ruggle's, but something here might satisfy you.

            For recipes folks on pizzamaking.com can help you recreate pizza recipes and styles.

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            La Hacienda
            46 Medford St, Somerville, MA 02143

            La Cascia's
            418 Main St, Medford, MA 02155

            1 Reply
            1. re: itaunas

              Bar pizza is definitely where you'll find the highest cheddar ratio. In fact some bar pizzerias will actually do a cheddar-only pie for you (if their cheese mix is made in house). One of the classics of this style of pizza is Cape Cod Cafe on the South Shore. It's a bit of a drive (closest one is in Brockton), but might help your nostalgia.