The Boston Phoenix
May 7 - 14, 1998

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Nicole's Pizza

Not everything in the South End is about décor

On the Cheap by Frank Habit

There's more to Nicole's Pizza than pizza -- but not much more. In a neighborhood full of restaurants where even the toothpicks seem to have been designed by a European artists' collective, this tiny South End operation dares to be no-frills, limiting its décor to a mural of the Lebanese flag and a rotating cup on the top of the Slush Puppie machine. Seating is confined to four tables crammed against the windows on either side of the door, but no matter -- just order to go. You'll be rewarded with a pizza unbeatable for the price. Nicole's offers more than a dozen toppings (from standards like pepperoni to more "gourmet" choices like artichoke hearts) and distributes them with a liberal hand. The crust skillfully walks the line between crunchy and doughy, and there's just enough grease to reassure you that this is an indulgence, albeit an inexpensive one. Prices for a single-item pizza range from $3.85 to $4.50; a large will cost $6 to $8.50; and combinations are $5.50 to $11. Slices are $1.25. If you're in the mood for something different, try the grinders (two dozen varieties, including a meatless version, all around $3), the pasta dinners ($4.25), or one of the Walid Specials, a selection of Arab goodies like falafel, baba ghanoosh, and kibbeh ($3 to $3.75). And, should you find the lure of that rotating cup irresistible, a big Slush Puppie can be yours for $1.

  Nicole's Pizza, located at 627 Tremont Street, Boston, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Delivery available. Call (617) 266-0223.

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