Otto Pizza (Arlington MA and other locations in MA and ME)

Friends and I shared 3 pies and a salad at Otto last night. Pies were tasty, place is basic – you order at the counter and take a number to the table and they deliver the food. My friends are vegetarian so we stuck with that part of the menu. The roasted cauliflower and mushroom (white) pie was the consensus favorite. The margarita was very good with plenty of black pepper and basil giving it a kick. The roasted butternut squash, cranberry and ricotta was our least favorite – first couple of bites were good but it got cloying halfway through a slice. That was the only one we didn’t finish. The salad was utterly forgettable. The place was doing a tremendous takeout business.

In the same neighborhood Za still wins hands down for atmosphere and their always-amazing salads but for my taste the Otto pizza is better.

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Za is good for their appetizers but the pizza are lousy - thick, doughy, not well prepared (their topping are actually not bad but their crust is not good). Otto has good (not great) pizza (and tge cauliflower is also one of our favorites with the pulled pork and mango one) but the salads are disappointing. So eat your appetizers and first beer at Za, run a few blocks and have a pizza (and a second beer) at Otto

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that is certainly a strategy to consider!

I’m not sure how regional it is, but Za is more of a MA bar pizza. It’s a different animal from Otto, Regina, Santarpio’s, etc. Southeastern MA has some classic bars that serve this style.

Is it Greek Pizza?

I guess than I really don’t like bar pizzas

Totally understandable.

Well, it’s not really Greek pizza, but they are similar in some ways. They are both cooked in a shallow pan and tend to be on the greasy side. Greek pizza usually has some cheddar in the topping and tomato paste in the sauce. I’m not a fan of most Greek pizza, but do enjoy a classic bar pie from the Cape Cod Cafe (I’ve only had it from Brockton), the Lynwood in Randolph, Poopsie’s in Pembroke and Town Spa in Stoughton. Of those, I’d say that the Lynwood is my favorite, and you can order it partially baked to finish at home.

Bar pizza is very different from New York style, and would never replace it for me. It’s just a fun, high-sodium, greasy-in-a-good-way occasional treat.

My experience with bar pizzas, like the classic Town Spa/Stoughton variety, is a very crispy pan pizza…not at all thick/doughy, with a somewhat pastry quality to the dough. Although pan style, it is not very thick at all. Addictive for me, but not at all like Italian style crusts. Different beast entirely…I like ach for its own merits The Za pizza, as described here, doesnt sound anything like that.

Well, I haven’t had Za for a couple of years, but definitely found it pretty close to bar pizza, not particularly thick and doughy if you are used to a bar pie. I’ve had my share of bar pies. My biggest objection to the Za pizza was that it was pretty pricey, although the quality of the ingredients was quite good. Local produce and cheeses, etc. I’ll pick up a couple of pies soon to retest.

Starting this month to celebrate 10 years and 10 towns in both Massachusetts and Maine OTTO is offering extra special Pie of the Month—the “Lobster Masher.”