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Dining Out:

Pizzeria is right over the plate

June 14, 2008|By Christine Putnam

If you believe there is a harmonious balance in the universe, a sort of yin-yang going on right here in Burbank, you might be on to something. We have great parks and tall buildings, fine restaurants and old coffee shops. We definitely have some excellent New York pizza here, but Boston’s best pizzeria? Maybe that’s too much yin-yang.

With my beloved A-Rod jersey on and faded Yankees cap pulled down, I sat down at North End Pizzeria, Boston’s Finest. But I warn you, the first mention of Big Pappi or Fenway’s Green Monster and I’m out of here.

North End Pizzeria is definitely no-frills. You can either sit at tables and chairs inside or outside or take your order to go. They also deliver and cater. The place has the take-it-as-you-are, laid-back Boston attitude. The location and smell of baking pizzas draw you in after a movie, especially after you realize that you do not really want to drive somewhere else to eat.

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The pizza choices are a mix of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The plain cheese pie had a little of that Manhattan feel, but the Sicilian, thick crust with cheese, leans toward the Windy City, while the pizza with eggplant, well, you know that is never crossing our state lines. The choices of toppings were average but included all the basics. Done well, that is really all you need, especially when you do not have to travel too far to make everyone in your group happy.

I have to admit, I do not know if Boston excels so much at pasta dishes that it can brag about being the “finest.” Personally, I have always ordered the clam chowder and Boston Cream Pie when I am there, but North End Pizzeria has some delicious Italian entrees. I like the fact that you can choose the type of pasta you want, then choose your own sauce.

After a movie on a weekend, North End can get a little crowded. Weekdays during lunch can also get a little crowded. They have daily lunch specials that include their pasta dishes as well as slices of pizza and sandwiches. For lunch, I prefer their spinach calzone with a green salad, but if you need that something extra midday to get you energized, the pasta dishes are a great choice.

On a recent Saturday night, we started with the fried mozzarella and zucchini. I thought it was a little on the greasy side, but everyone else loved them. The garlic bread was average, but the jumbo hot wings definitely lived up to their reputation.

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