Most Overrated Pizza in Boston: Santarpio's

Knowing I would be in Boston for just a weekend, I had been asking everyone I met who'd lived there where I should eat. One Bostonian told me Santarpio's Pizza (East Boston) was the best he'd ever eaten (and I was asking people in NYC, where there's some good pizza). Then I ventured to their website, where they've got a video posted that shows a poll that proclaims their's the best pizza in New England.

So I had high hopes and expectations for the mind blowing culinary experience I was about to have.

When my sister and I first walked up, there was a woman out front who asked if we wanted to sit at the bar or a table and upon receiving our preference of a table, said, "Hmm, let me see what I can do," then disappeared for a moment into the restaurant, looked around, and waved us in. There were several empty tables, so this made no sense except as a hokey way to seem quaintly exclusive. Then, reading off the menu, my sister ordered. "We'll have a carafe of Chablis, please."

The waitress responded, "The white? You mean a carafe of the white? Gotcha," sort of instructing us in the "down-to-earth" little way they do things here at the institution that is Santarpio's Pizza.

All fine and potentially adorable, but then the pizza arrived. We had ordered the cheese and garlic. We received a cheese, garlic, and anchovy pizza. I'd never actually had anchovies before. The Ninja Turtles having expressed disgust for them so regularly during my childhood that I actually thought that just about no one really ate them. When I moved to the northeast I realized people do, and I became curious. So I was actually kind of excited to try them, though my sister was not.

We couldn't taste anything but salty anchovy saltiness. The garlic, the waitress assured us, was on there somewhere.

We were also assured we weren't being charged the $2s for the unwanted 'chovies, but it sort of ruined the experience for us. We couldn't ask for them to make us the pizza we actually wanted instead because we didn't have enough time. At least my curiosity was satisfied. I also wasn't a big fan of the burnt crust that leads to a ridiculously thin center that doesn't even start to hold under the weight of the tomato sauce. I guess some people prefer this style, but I like the NY style better.

I went back in '13, this time with my girlfriend:
Outside the unwelcoming front door, a diverse scattering of families awaits entrance. Outside the takeout door around the side an upper-middle aged Italian woman employee with a blond highlighted bob parted in the middle leans on a truck smoking a cigarette. If you forget it's a cash only joint, there's an ATM inside.

Steak tips: The char grill is nice, but they're cooked too long

Pizza: cheap, gloppy tomato sauce, a pile of herbs dumped only on the middle ring of the pie, crust neither soft nor crisp, and a greasy mess, why anyone calls this the best anything is beyond me. Also, don't try eating in the car while driving, unless you're not interested in keeping your shirt clean. 

Santarpio's Pizza on Urbanspoon

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