Cheap Eats 2011: Mia’s Pizzas

Melissa Ballinger’s pizzeria pleases almost everyone. The soft-yellow dining room is casual enough for a family dinner but sophisticated enough for a first date. Kids can order spaghetti and meatballs while adults supplement the wood-fired pizzas with interesting salads such as one with arugula, pears, and Gorgonzola.

The pizzas are excellent, thanks in part to their thin, crunchy crusts. The sauce, flavored with Parmesan rinds, is made from Italy’s sweet San Marzano tomatoes. Toppings, such as hot peppers and littleneck clams, are high-quality. But be careful: Too many ingredients can weigh the pies down.

Reservations aren’t allowed, but you can call 20 minutes ahead to put your name on a list. Or get takeout–there’s curbside pickup.

Also good: Deviled eggs; meatball sliders; fried cauliflower; linguine with clams; Margherita pizza; Alsace pizza with pancetta and Gruyère; Salsiccia pizza with sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms; chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.

Open Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

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