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Aug 10, 2011 02:02 PM

Figs on Charles St. wow, that was a bad experience

Went to Figs a few weeks ago, and have to say, I won't be coming back. For starters, the staff there (we went at lunch time) seemed harried, and a bit surly. For some reason, they have no AC (or inadequite AC) so it was very hot in there, so the "ice water" we got was tepid at best. Both of these could be forgiven, if the the food was outstanding, but it was simply amatuer in it's execution. We got one pizza, split between the fig jam/gorgonzola and proscioutto, and the other side had calamari with aoli. Let's start with the calamari side....the calamari is added at the end, I assume to prevent overcooking, so it's baffling to me that it would be fried into leathery strips that could barely be chewed.....WTF? Then on the fig side, the fig jam was WAAAAY to strong, and used in far too much abundance to balance out the blue cheese (of which there was very little), and the prosciutto was laid over the top of everything like big sheets that came off the pizza on the first bite, this just seemed poorly executed. I make a very simular pizza at home, and the flavors should work together...if it's assembled properly! The only good thing I can say was my son's kid's pizza was kind of good....except for the quarter of the pie that was burnt to a char. Very dissapointing, and way too much money to spend on poor pizza. Lesson learned.

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  1. You'd hope that they would raise their game as a result of all the strong dine-in pizza options around lately (Posto, Coppa, Flatbread, Picco), but I guess none are nearby enough to create competition.

    1. I feel pretty confident that you would feel differently if you went to the Charlestown location. I have wondered for years why the Charles St. location is so different (worse) in quality than the Charlestown location. I don't wonder anymore, I just go to Charlestown...

      1. Some of the buildings on Charles Street are beyond repair. A/C problems are nothing I want to experience while dining.

        10 Replies
        1. re: libertywharf

          Yeah, I suspect the AC issues were building related, but that wouldn't have been THAT big of a deal if we got cold ice water, warm water was just gross at that point. I work in the West End/North End, and our building is an old warehouse and the AC is a disaster, so I get that.

          I think I was also let down by the belief that there would be a clam pizza there (something I have yet to try) and I had my heart set on that, but seriously, the pizzas were very poorly's like no one cared.

          1. re: devilham

            I've had generally good experiences at Figs but that's dated info. Sorry you had a bad one.

            If you want to try a great clam pizza and don't want to go to New Haven (or Manchester, CT Pepe's) Coppa has a it on the menu. Definetly worth a try.

            253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

            1. re: 9lives

              Oh god, don't mention the Pepe's white clam pizza on the Boston board.. now you have 30-40,000 Bostonians salivating for a pizza that is 150 miles away. But perhaps I'll give Coppa a shot..

              1. re: grant.cook

                sorry to have let the cat out of the bag, but I do so want to try one of those!!! I'll check out Coppa as well, but have every intention of getting out to New Haven to give the real deal a shot as would be a good road trip, as pizza is pretty much the only thing my kid will eat!

                253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                1. re: devilham

                  Hit up Pepe's on the way back from a vacation in DC. Believe the hype people, the clam pizza was a revelation. The straight up cheese was pretty outstanding as well (had to get one for my little guy...he loved it), tasted like Regina's flavor wise, but with a thinner, crispier crust. But back to the clam pizza, what a glorious pie, garlicky, clammy in a good way, and just a joy to eat. I ate it so quickly that it took a half an hour or so for my stomach to acknowledge that I had eaten, and sent back a 'your full' signal to the old brainpan.

                2. re: grant.cook

                  Manchester, CT which 9lives mentioned is North of Hartford, very close to I84 (although some directions to Frank Pepe are confusing: in a strip mall on the same road as Home Depot). More recently Pepe opened at Mohegan Sun but I don't have any experience there.

                  The Coppa clam pizza is very different from Pepe's, both of which I had this year and I didn't make it down to New Haven this time. I am not a fan of the Coppa clam, although I have an open mind about their other pies and others here have enjoyed it. I believe there are a couple of other clam pizzas around town which you can find searching the board. Also Angela's on Rt 1 is coal fired and has a decent shrimp pizza, but if you want Pepe's go to Pepe's. :-)

                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                  1. re: itaunas

                    Yes, the Manchester Pepe's is "only" 90 miles away, and, like, 99% as good as the original, so it's pretty dadgum good.

                  2. re: grant.cook

                    i was very impressed by the Coppa pizza though one NH enthusiast did not feel that it was really up to Pepe's standard. Though of course that could be just nostalgia.

                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                      Big fan of the Coppa pizza, though it is a bit pricy. Much friendlier service than Picco, too, another favorite pizza.


                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        I have never had anything other than extremely friendly and accommodating service at both Picco and Coppa.

            2. Wow, amazing timing as I was just about to start a thread about how I had the most amazing cheese (Oliver) pizza from Figs Wednesday night. I haven't been to Figs in years, mainly b/c I never think of it. We were walking home from Yappy Hour at the Liberty the other night and I called in a large cheese (well done) to go. To my surprise we had almost the entire pizza eaten before we arrived's only a half mile walk. The sause was absolutely to die for and the pizza was perfectly cooked.

              Sorry you had an awful experience. Figs is now my new go-to pizza spot.

              1. I've always thought that the Charlestown location was head and shoulders above the Charles Street one. During the several visits I've had to the Charles street one, the whole restaurant just seems like one big sweaty, sardine-like, clusterf***