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My two new favorite pizzas North of Boston.. and they both happen to be $5..

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chompie Nov 14, 2013 08:00 PM

They also happen to be chains which isn't usually my choice for pizza, but they are actually good chains.. First is Comellas, a great new edition to Melrose. Its a local family run chain which offers cheap family take out of mostly traditional, but also creative Italian food. You can also eat in, and its surprisingly cozy with earthy colored walls and little lights around bottles in the windows and Siriusly Sinatra channel playing. They specialize in "The Mess" a bunch of pasta ala leftovers style combined with whatever you want to add, and about 10 types of raviolis.. huge menu. The Pizza is a 16 inch very traditional thin crust Italian pizza with a delicious yeasty dough that's puffy but a nice chew on the edges and droopy at the tip with tasty sauce and nice cheese blend prob mozz and a little romano. Very quality pizza and its 5 bucks, 2 bucks for toppings.
The other is Yardhouse in Lynnfield which is a cavernous, dark, loud place with massive beer types, but we go for the apps at happy hours which are half price, including the Pizzas, prob somewhere over 12 inches. We get the 4 cheese which is mozz, fontina, parm and ricotta, I think. The oven taste reminds me of Regina and the sauce is fflavored, prob garlic and basil . With the sillky ricotta it is not a typical crispy or chewy pizza, but is soft and melts in your mouth and addictive. They also have some other surprisingly good apps like the garlic noodles, the gardein veggie meat options and a lot more. Extremely accommodating.. We do things like exchange pine nuts for edamame and they will do anything you ask. And they care about the food, for a chain. Once they brought us a second pizza cuz they thought the first one wasn't sliced neatly enough!
Theres two other new pizza places in the area that are chains too, both from Maine.. Portland Pizza in Reading and OTTO in Lynnfield. Would love to hear some Chow reviews..

  1. opinionatedchef Nov 14, 2013 09:41 PM

    chomp, is that Otto the one by that whole new complex where there is a fancy WF? i'd like to try it, though Stone Hearth in Winchester is our fav after No.End Regina's. i really like being able to get a whole wheat crust and house made sausage and house roasted peppers, and a good salad...and one of our fav pizzas is white bean and it comes w/ a pesto tossed spinach on top :-}

    4 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef
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      CportJ Nov 15, 2013 03:55 AM

      I think that's where it is. I've been to Otto in H. Sq. and really like it. Try the butternut squash and cranberry!

      1. re: CportJ
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        hyde Nov 15, 2013 04:15 AM

        The flagship ( well, the original anyway) Comellas is in West Newton and for a few years a place called CB's (Comella brother's, get it?) opened a couple of doors down where West Newton Pizza is now. It was the best small scale (maybe 10-12 seats) and value pizza west of Reginas downtown.

        I think it gradually ground the owners down, quality suffered and it became the usual, prepared sauce, pre-shredded cheese pizza that it remains today. I can only hope the family has made a comittiment in the new places or, best case, the guys who ran CB's are at the helm and you can get a decent pie for 10-12usd.

        1. re: hyde
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          Gordough Nov 15, 2013 06:34 AM

          For my money (and no, it is not $5 for a pie), Max & Leo's in Newton makes the best pie west of Regina's downtown. It's coal fired so the crust is always impossibly crispy. Toppings are top notch. They also have excellent coal fired wings (I like the rosemary lemon ones) that makes me forget about Buff's Pub next door. The one negative is that because of how crispy the coal oven gets the crust, if it is not eaten within 10 or so minutes after coming out of the oven, it turns an incredible pizza into an average one.

          1. re: Gordough
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            hyde Nov 15, 2013 10:48 AM

            While I agree. my response was talking about 5-10 years ago.

            I was an early adopter of max and leo's

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/816710

            but sometimes i just want a regular pie, like, say, a well done, garlic and sausage sicilian at Imperial pizza in Brighton that will set you back 15usd and feed four.

    2. o
      owen_meany Nov 15, 2013 07:19 AM

      We've done take out at Portland Pie (2x) and Otto (just last night for the first time).

      The first time we got Portland Pie it was a big disappointment. We had heard it was supposedly GREAT but the dough was spongy and thick and not very tasty. The bill was $$$ - $40 I think for 2 individual sized pizzas and a kid's pizza/meal.

      The next time we went (we had a gift card - we would not have gone otherwise) the pizza was better but still, honestly, felt like a rip-off when you look at what you've got in front of you and what you just paid. Also, both times the order was somehow screwed up and the person running the take-out counter was completely flummoxed.

      It's so convenient for us that I really want to like this place but I just don't.

      As for Otto, my big disappointment is that it's not a full-service location like the one in Brookline. We went last night not knowing that and ended up just getting slices (6) for take-out. Bill was ~ $21. Slices were flavorful and crispy and delicious even with the 10 minute drive home. We'll get pizza from there again for sure but DH will have to go because parking already seems like a nightmare at the mall and I'm sure that will get worse over the holidays.

      Nice to hear about the Yard House. We are looking forward to trying it out.

      Sara

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        AaronInBoston Nov 15, 2013 08:03 AM

        Flatbread Pizza in Bedford (on burlington line) is some of the best pizza around and I think is on par with OTTO. You can't get slices but I love their specials and all of their toppings are very fresh. Good service and drinks too.

        1. a
          addiez Nov 15, 2013 08:36 AM

          I'm a big fan of OTTO and also Flatbread - I'd add Sweet Tomatoes to the list too. Their Pesto Splash is to die for.

          3 Replies
          1. re: addiez
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            chompie Nov 15, 2013 05:21 PM

            Use to love Flatbread Co, but last time we drove out there it was pretty meh, maybe just an off day... So if OTTOs is not full service at Lynnfield, does that mean only slices, not whole pies? Has anyone else ever had Bobby Cs pizza, in Melrose. I had it prob over a yr ago but remember loving it a lot.. Oh yeah, one other nice touch at Comellas. The onions on their pizza are marinated in their own dressing so subtle but adds nice flavor

            1. re: chompie
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              owen_meany Nov 15, 2013 06:41 PM

              You can still order a full pie at Otto in Lynnfield. Just not much seating and no beer!

            2. re: addiez
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              CportJ Nov 16, 2013 07:03 AM

              Sweet Tomatoes is good if you eat it the moment it comes out of the oven. The shelf life is just too short for even the closest trip home.

            3. Bob Dobalina Nov 16, 2013 05:28 AM

              The mess just sounds like it tastes just like it sounds - I think many hounds have confirmed this view.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob Dobalina
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                hyde Nov 16, 2013 05:47 AM

                Yeah, that sums it up.

                I had it several times around the early 90's and it seemed a specifically cooked mixed casserole with meatballs and mixed pastas and homemade sauce, like a freeform lasagna but from scratch.
                The next time (years later) I had it it seemed a way to sell leftovers. Terribly overcooked in parts, partial meatballs, cheese haphazardly applied. Horrifying.

                I cant honestly say if the dish changed or if it was my palate, nevertheless, I never ate it again.

              2. p
                phatchris Nov 16, 2013 07:02 AM

                Ricotta and eggplant pie at Comellas... almost as good as Ernesto's.

                4 Replies
                1. re: phatchris
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                  treb Nov 16, 2013 07:50 AM

                  Eggplant pizza is one of my favorite pies. When I order, I ask for the eggplant on first then the sauce and lastly the cheese.

                  1. re: treb
                    opinionatedchef Nov 16, 2013 01:55 PM

                    smart. that's also how all chicken pizza should be cooked imo, to keep the chicken from being tough and dry like it always is.

                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                      t
                      treb Nov 16, 2013 03:06 PM

                      Chicken? I was referring to the eggplant.

                      1. re: treb
                        opinionatedchef Nov 16, 2013 04:30 PM

                        yes, i said that that was a smart move on your part. and i added that i also think that's a good technique for chicken on pizza, for the same tough/dried out reasons.

                2. c
                  chuck s Nov 16, 2013 07:16 PM

                  Had a slice today at Bianchi's on Revere Beach and it was outstanding.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chuck s
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                    phatchris Nov 17, 2013 04:52 AM

                    I need to grab a slice from Bianchis, it's been too long and I drive by it on my commute home daily.

                    1. re: phatchris
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                      hyde Nov 17, 2013 10:39 AM

                      Agreed.

                      There is something wonderfully debauched about sitting in the car, across from the water, in winter temperatures eating a fresh extra cheese from Bianchi's , with possibly a few, er, beverages ( not that I would condone such a thing) , listening to the radio.

                      Maybe thats just me.

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