The Boston Phoenix
January 7 - 14, 1999

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CityGirl Caffè

Pizzapizza and more

On the Cheap by John Buntin

During weekend dining hours, many of the restaurants in Cambridge's Inman Square can have all the charm of a piranha frenzy. CityGirl Caffè is decidedly different: with a half-dozen small tables, a counter stacked with sweets and Italian sodas, the delicious aroma of baking pizza, and a very purple décor, this little pizzeria feels more like a clubhouse than a restaurant.

CityGirl offers an extensive array of toppings to complement five base sauces: a classic plum-tomato sauce ("pizzapomodori"); a jazzed-up tomato sauce ("pizzaputtanesca"); pesto ("pizzapesto"); a roasted-red-pepper sauce ("pizzapepper"); and an extra-virgin olive oil/Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce ("pizzaparmigiano"). On a recent visit, I ordered pizzapomodori topped with eggplant. The crust was excellent -- thin, but not ostentatiously so -- and the large, succulent chunks of eggplant were exceptional. A large pizza is $9.95, plus $2 for each additional topping; a small is $7.95, plus $1 per topping.

CityGirl's charms extend beyond its pizza. Its calzones ($7.95) and calzonettes ($4.95) are excellent, with CityGirl's delicious crust writ large. A daily vegetarian lasagna ($6.95) is a mainstay of the menu. Then there are the 10 types of panini, from the classic fresh mozzarella to the balsamic short flank ($5.76 for a full panini, $2.95 for a half). With so many selections, you're sure to find something appealing.

CityGirl Caffè, located at 204 Hampshire Street, in Cambridge, is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (617) 864-2809.

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