The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 42.0°F | Fair

Among pizzerias, Caffe Lampara has a pie for everyone

Caffe Lampara

916 Commonwealth Avenue.

By Aaron R. Prazan
Staff Reporter

In all likelihood, pizza is the most popular food on college campuses across America. In every town, no matter how small, there is at least one place where pizza is sold. There are definitely more pizzerias in the United States than there are McDonald's. There are more ways to make this ubiquitous meal than I can count, and nobody has had them all. Living in the cosmopolitan city of Boston, we have a unique chance to experience much of the available range of pizza styles.

Many students do not open their eyes enough to really take advantage of the wealth of variety around them and continually settle for the same old slices that are easiest and most convenient to get. Hopefully, this suggestion will encourage them to become more adventuresome tasters in the future.

Obviously, the best pizza in Boston depends greatly on what style you are looking for. Preferences vary from day to day, so it seems difficult to choose one or even a few places that deserve to be called the best. Very popular chains like Pizzeria Uno's and Bertucci's satisfy most. They are accessible, affordable, and own up to high standards. Their only drawback is the fact that everyone knows them. They have no individual character or charm. Familiar to any Bostonian, the chains may be the most popular, but to call them the best is presumptuous. Digging deeper, Boston certainly has more to offer the hard-core pizza fanatic.

One pizza maker that has really stuck out as superior is Caffe Lampara. Located on the western end of Boston University's campus, Caffe Lampara is a favorite of pizza lovers. It has a recipe for pizza that takes the best elements of Uno's deep dish, elegant Italian, and varied nouveau styles of pizza. A great crust and fresh sauce that does not hide its tomatoes complement the creative cooking style. There is a colorful dining room and great service, all for less than a typical Domino's Pizza order. Despite hundreds of pizza restaurants and even more pizza opinions, Caffe Lampara is a consistent favorite.

Again, the basic recipe is distinctive and versatile. It starts off with freshly made, very thin crust. The thin crust keeps the pizza light and does not cover up other flavors with extra bread and oil. Atop the crust is a simple sauce. Made with few ingredients besides tomatoes, the sauce is thin and not overpowering. The sauce also has larger chunks of tomato which keep the pizza from being too dry or salty. In addition, a thick layer of mozzarella provides a simple base for more toppings. The absence of too many strong spices make the base pizza just that: a base. The base pizza is like a custom-built frame for a huge variety of fresh toppings.

For those who like a greasy pizza, Lampara also does well. Put two meat toppings on a large and the grease will flow. The nice thing about Caffe Lampara's pizza is that the grease is in the meat instead of in the pizza. A cheese pizza is relatively low in grease. Some places put a lot of oil on the dough and use greasy grades of cheese. Lampara does not, and saves the vegetable pizzas from all the oil. It is a small detail, but noticeable and appreciated by anyone on a low fat diet.

Another great part of Lampara's recipe is the topping selection. With 24 toppings, there is freedom to get the standard pepperoni or try more interesting and lesser known combinations. It is not everywhere one can have sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, or roasted eggplant on pizza. The selection is just one more reason that Caffe Lampara could be the best pizza in Boston.

Of course, every Boston resident has a favorite pizza place, but Caffe Lampara has a good chance of changing residents' minds. Lampara serves fantastic pizza pies with great toppings and an eye for details of flavor and nutrition. One pie is an unbelievable meal for two or three people. And the price is about ten dollars. Such value and quality make the decision of who is the best a little easier.

Next week: Rhythm and Spice.