This isn't your average post-bar-hopping pizza that you devour when hopelessly drunk and regret the next morning. Emma's Pizza, located in Kendall Square, offers a weightless, practically grease-less pizza to be enjoyed by connoisseurs who will appreciate the subtle flavors, expertly combined ingredients, and paper-thin crust. After inhaling four delicious slices, two with pepperoni and two with Canadian bacon, I didn't feel uncomfortably full at all. Everyone at the table was extremely satisfied and surprised by the unbelievable lightness of the pizza.
The menu offers several starters, salads, and sandwiches in addition to pizza. As for pizza, you can either create your own, choosing from three sauces, thirty-two toppings, and seven cheeses, or you can pick from twenty-five suggested combinations. We chose suggestions #14 (pepperoni, basil, traditional sauce, mozzarella) and #19 (Canadian bacon, caramelized onions, rosemary sauce, mozzarella.) Other interesting suggestions are #4 (bacon, roasted potato, cilantro, dried cranberries, traditional sauce, mozzarella) and #25 (two types of sausage, two types of bacon, pepperoni, grilled chicken, traditional sauce, mozzarella.) Two twelve-inch pizzas were enough to feed four people, but the larger option (sixteen inches) would have been manageable as well. We were all still full from an unfortunate lunch of mall food court sesame chicken, so we were looking to keep dinner on the light side. One of my dining companions exclaimed that this may have been one of the best pizzas he had ever tasted, and the rest of us agreed. I washed the pizza down with a pleasantly robust glass of sangria. Wine and beer are also available. And, if you're easily amused by elementary school chemistry experiments, you can order a refreshing Arnold Palmer, where the iced tea layer floats above the lemonade layer. (I was amused.)
The decor is simple but inviting. The cozy dining room features whimsically painted pizza peels (the wooden shovels used to put the pizza in and out of the oven), and there is a large window into the kitchen where you can get a glimpse of the pizza-making process and hungrily watch the finished pizzas waiting to be delivered to their tables. The seating area is fairly small, and we were fortunate to get one of the last available tables when we arrived around 7:30pm on a Saturday night. As we left, the line was nearly out the door, and many of these people were picking up takeout orders. The noise levels grew along with the crowd, but you'll be too busy enjoying your food to care about the noise.
It's a good thing I live all the way out in Brighton, or I would find myself here way too often. I'll definitely be back, though, regardless of travel time. Greasy, cheap pizza joints certainly have their place feeding the drunk college kids of the world, but if you're looking for something a few steps above that, stop by Emma's to find out what gourmet pizza is all about. This pizza is meant for savoring, not for blotting with a napkin or washing down with a pitcher of beer. And with over thirty toppings to choose from, you could try a different combination each time and never get bored.
Address: 40 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: comments [at] emmaspizza.com
Hours: Monday-Friday, 11:30am-10pm; Saturday, 4pm-10pm; closed Sunday
No reservations are accepted.
On-street parking is available.