American pizzas

In this thread, CalMeacham wonders if other people are aware of Boston’s North End (Italian section). Growing up, I thought that it was always the best pizza around: wide, doughy, chewy crust, delicious sauce, etc. I get a bit older, and hunting around the internet made me realize that it’s not included in the American consciousness of pizza regions. New York thin crust, Chicago deep dish, etc. Boston-style isn’t mentioned on wiki (which I realize doesn’t contain all of the wisdom of the internet, but even so), and I’m realizing that people outside the region just probably don’t know that Boston has its own style of pizza. Maybe it’s partly because it’s not a city-wide thing, only really in the North End. It’s kind of like when I realized that you couldn’t walk into any restaurant in Boston and get good chowder. (Previously, I had thought that quality chowder flowed freely in rivers down the streets.)

So I guess I’m wondering if a) people are aware of this style of pizza, and b) if you’re aware that it’s the best style in the country. Especially when compared to NY pizza. Chicago is pretty good.
Note: b) is a joke.

sort of.

Well, there’s a chain of restaurants out of Alberta, Canada called Boston Pizza. Howie Mandel is their spokesperson.

And, if you ever get to Tokyo, we really have to get you and your fellow Beantowner Sublight together.

I saw the references to Boston Pizza in the other thread, but it seemed to be a Canadian thing. Plus, I’m sure it’s not actual Boston Pizza. Still, it raises the question of whether they actually think Boston pizza is a style? I’ve been to a California Pizza Kitchen, but didn’t really think they were serving California-style pizza.

Might be making a trip to Tokyo at some point in August. It’d be fun to see the other J dopers :slight_smile: City-slickers though you might be. Actually, is there anyone besides Hokkaido Brit who’s not in the Tokyo area?

Sleel is out in the boondocks, I believe.

I don’t think I was specifically aware of this type of pizza (but I don’t live in America, so maybe that doesn’t help).

I don’t honestly understand why people get so precious about what pizza is supposed to be. Pizza has been invented, adapted and reinvented by many different cultures for much of recorded history - it’s pretty silly to insist that the one you’re most familiar with is the one, true and only pizza. (I realise the OP only did this tongue-in-cheek).

Yes. you may now burn the heretic. Deep dish or crispy.

Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.

I’ve lived in the Greater Boston Area for over 20 years (originally from New York State) and I wasn’t aware there was a particular North End style of pizza.

How would the OP describe it compared to, say, New York style pizza? Which places in the North End serve it? I enjoy Pizzeria Regina, is that a typical example?

What about Mystic Pizza?

I guess I’m not clear on what you’re talking about. The characteristics you list sound like good pizza, but you can get that kind of pizza lots of places. What about it is specific to the region? I’ve never heard of boston style pizza.

As a kid we visited Boston’s North End, and ate at Pizzeria Regina at least four times in the week we were there.

I’d never had pizza quite like it before; we couldn’t get enough of it.

This was over fifteen years ago, so nostalgia is undoubtedly playing a role here, but I don’t recall ever having another pizza as good.

Now whether or not that style of pizza is unique to the North End…I have no idea. We have a few pizzerias down here that are run by transplanted New Yorkers and folks from Chicago, etc., and people who would know say that their pizza is “just as good as the real thing,” but they aren’t the same type of pizza I had in Boston.

I have lived in the Boston area for 11 years. The North End is universally known locally as having great Italian food in general and it is semi-famous nationwide for it. However, I don’t even know what a North End style pizza is. I don’t think it is distinctive enough for people to make a distinction between it and other famous pizza styles.

Chicago style pizza is famous because it is so different (and gross) than pizza from other areas. New York style pizza is famous because that is where the most common form of modern modern pizza was invented. New York is the largest city in the U.S. and it has about a 100 year tradition of modern pizza making.

I just think of Boston pizza as a variation of New York style pizza and that doesn’t make for a memorable image no matter how good it is.

I’m from Boston as well. I think NY and Boston have pretty similar pizza. Thin crust, not too much sauce, not glommed with so many toppings as to distract from the basic crust, sauce, and cheese. A good Boston pizza will crack when you fold it, be well browned on the bottom, and have large air pockets in the crust.

For years, Boston only had family owned, neighborhood pizzarias. The chains are moving in and I’m afraid that real pizza will get lost.

It’s OK to have differnet styles of pizza, but there is definitely a difference between good and bad pizza just as there is between good and bad bread.

I don’t know that I’d go with “most common.” The mass-market pizzas (Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s) are nothing like New York style. Indeed, the fact that we think of it as “New York style” suggests that there is something unique about it that sets it off as its own style.

And just to open myself up to abuse, :stuck_out_tongue: I will gratuitously remark that I don’t like New York pizza. I didn’t grow up eating it, and I find it too thin and swimming in grease.

Agreed. If I wanted to fold my food, I would eat a taco. :stuck_out_tongue:

As to the OP, I would like to try this Boston style. But, it sounds like regular thin crust everywhere else I’ve tried.

Hm, well maybe I’m remembering more from my youth and it came from one specific restaurant. The most distinctive feature was the wide and thick doughy chewy crust, which I haven’t really found anywhere else. Some places have big crusts, but they don’t really have ones that feel like you’re chewing on a loaf of delicious Italian bread. Oh well, if it’s not a Boston institution it should be. Much like the flowing rivers of quality clam chowder.

I tried to order “New England” clam “chowder” in NYC once. I got white clam soup.

My idea of quintessential Boston pizza is the simple, greasy, delicious stuff you get at Greek-owned places called “[insert name of neighborhood/town] House of Pizza”.

List of American pizza variations.

Personally, I prefer a thin-‘n’-crispy crust.

I should correct that Wikipedia entry. “Chicago-style deep-dish pizza” is not pizza, it’s tomato pudding.

“Chicago-style thin-crust pizza” IS pizza. Some places have a good pan pizza, which is much the same thing except the crust is twice as thick and runs up the sides of its pan to contain the identical set of toppings. Served in the pan, but can still be eaten by hand if you are careful. As the pie is assembled before cooking there is a chance that the crust will not be cooked completely through, but nothing like with the deep-dish pizza that became “Chicago-Style Pizza.” Also, the cheese still goes on top, not under the sauce, so it does not incorporate with the crust and create an undercooked pudding like in CSP.

I have no idea why CSP has caught on. The shit’s inedible.

Now, now, my preference here is strongly to Chicago-style thin crust (I grew up in Chicago and never even saw a deep dish until I was in high school), but deep dish has its place, and about twice a year is exactly what hits the spot. Chicago deep dish is just another riff on the breadier pizza traditions (Italian bakery pizza, pizza rustica/al taglio, sfincione, etc.) Done right, it’s very tasty.

Also, Chicago deep-dish can be divided into two categories: stuffed pizza (Giordano’s and Edwardo’s) and what I just call deep dish (Pequod’s, Burt’s, Uno’s, Malnati’s). I have a preference for deep dish over stuffed.

Stuffed is the same as deepdish with even more carbs. And in both there is an imbalance of fats, with the olive oil in the crust overwhelming the milk fat in the cheese (or out of it and pooled on top), the beef fat in the sausage (pronounced “sah-sitch”), and often no pork fat whatsoever. Completely unhealthy.