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Daily Slice: The Corner Grille, Worcester, Massachusetts
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
There have been quite a few super-thin-crust pizzas on Slice, but I found the thinnest of them all. The Corner Grille in Worcester, Massachusetts, is rolling out transparent sheets of dough for its ultra-skinny pies.
Think eggroll wrapper thin, or as thick as two to three stacked pepperoni slices. The crust is no kin to the crackery variety of thin bar pies popular on Massachusetts' South Shore. Elasticity and chew characterize this rare pizza specimen.
Curls of tomato peel throughout the vibrant, salty sauce serve as evidence that the pliant crusts are topped with sauce made from fresh, not canned tomatoes. Normally the acidity of winter tomatoes would be a major pitfall, but The Corner Grille has managed to overcome that hurdle with judicious salting and more than a few glugs of oil.
Most striking about the menu is that 90% of the pizzas list four or more toppings. It is the sparse distribution, thin slices, and fine dice of the crowning ingredients that make it possible for the delicate squares to support so many toppings. Wanting to experience the purity of this original take on pizza, we went for the most basic pizza on the menu—a 14-inch Sweet Tomato and Basil Pie ($11.99), half topped with pepperoni ($1.50).
The rounds of tomato make for a sweet divergence from the herb-savory pie; especially surprising given this isn't the best season for getting sliced tomato on pizza. For cheese, The Corner Grille uses shredded mozzarella mixed with smoked gouda. The smokiness was imperceptible, but the blend did have a complexity and depth of flavor unattainable with mozzarella alone. Speaking of cheese, the main attraction of the rectangular slabs is the crisp cheese rim that replaces the missing end crust. They should really consider making smaller squares to maximize the edge-to-interior ratio.