#36 Santarpio’s

June 5th, 2016

Boston, MA

If you’ve been following my posts on our birthday camping pizza road trip, you will know that we spent the weekend in Portland, Maine, eating pizza and trying out our brand new (hand-me-down) canoe. That Sunday was Eric’s birthday (!!) and so as we drove back down to NJ, we stopped in Boston for our last Boston pizza stop of the weekend at Santarpio’s.

Even though I spent several years in Boston for college, I had never been to (or actually, heard of) Santarpio’s. I realized that this was mainly because it isn’t located downtown and is found in an area of Boston where I never, ever visited ( East Boston, out near the airport). East Boston is actually an island, and only connected to the main city by tunnels (not walkable). Any Boston local will have heard of Santarpio’s, though, because it has been serving pizzas since 1933 and has a pretty solid following.

It was kind of nice that Santarpio’s was outside of downtown – we didn’t have to fight any crowds to get there, we didn’t have to struggle to find parking (like we would have in the North End), and we got a table quickly for lunch! And since it was Eric’s birthday, he talked one of his Boston-resident friends into joining us out in Eastie.

We ended up with the cheese, sausage, and garlic pie. We heard that you had to try the sausage here, and I was outnumbered by meat eaters. Also, it was Eric’s birthday, and he loves a good sausage pizza. You should know that the pizzas here start with the toppings on the bottom. Don’t expect an even distribution of toppings, either. They don’t make a lot of exceptions, so don’t expect them to. The sauce was good, and the crust was even better. Nice and crispy, but sturdy to hold up to the cheese and toppings.

The pizza here is made in it’s own, old-school style, which kind of reminded us of Lombardi’s in NYC (but bigger, and cheaper). It is just as good as Pizzeria Regina, and you don’t have to fight the crowds for it. Although you do have to figure out the best way to get over to East Boston.

To visit:

Santarpio’s
111 Chelsea Street
East Boston, MA 02128

#79 Area Four

June 3rd, 2016

Cambridge, MA

We usually try to take a camping trip every summer. Last year, we tied our camping trip into a birthday/pizza weekend for Eric and drove up to Maine. We found a nice campsite right outside of Portland, brought our canoe, and spent the whole weekend eating pizza and making s’mores. It was awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We planned to get up to our campsite by dark to set up our tent, but this left us plenty of time to stop just outside of Boston for some pizza for lunch. We decided to stop at Area Four, in Cambridge. The weather was beautiful, and we grabbed a table right out front of the restaurant.

The pizza at Area Four seems a bit out of place in Boston and feels like it belongs somewhere in Brooklyn or California. The dough is made from a 15-year old starter that rises for 36 hours. They use local ingredients, and the pizzas change seasonally. Nothing on the menu, from the bread and butter pickles appetizer to the Hawaiian pizza with roasted pineapple salsa, is traditional, but everything we’ve tried is delicious. One of the pizzas (the Carnivore) has been featured on the Food Network’s best pizza ever.

We went for the seasonal spring pie, which had arugula, peas, pickled red onion, mozzarella, and asparagus, and it tasted just like spring. We also tasted the more traditional Marinara pizza, which was topped with a decent amount of basil and roasted garlic. Both were fresh and tasty, and the crust here is perfectly bouncy and light from the wood fired oven. We may have liked the marinara pizza the best.

I was recently back in Cambridge for a work trip, and made a stop for dinner at Area Four again. I was reminded how good this pizza was, even though I opted for the simple Margherita pizza. The fall seasonal special was topped with corn and fresh tomatoes, which made me wish Eric was with me so that we could try that one too.

 

To visit:

Area Four
500 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139