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Daily Slice: Sweet Tomatoes, Newton, 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.
I've meant to get to Sweet Tomatoes for some time, but part of the hold up was wrangling some mouths to make the trip out to Newton or Needham for a pizza dinner. See, I was operating on the assumption that Sweet Tomatoes Neapolitan Pizza was a sit down place, on account of the "Neapolitan" in their name. Nope, turns out they do a pretty nice slice service at lunch.
Getting a slice at a pie joint is a great way to get a feel for the place. Cheese, pepperoni, and a changing daily special are the trio of slices to choose from at Sweet Tomatoes. The dough here is thin, without a lot of lift to the lip, and the tomatoes, perhaps the most unique component of the Sweet Tomatoes pies, are chopped into large chunks instead of sauced. One drawback of the large pieces is that they tend to huddle together, creating uneven tomato distribution. But since they go on uncooked, preserving their naturally tart, acidic flavor, in terms of flavor, they balance out the other elements of the pie. Despite the name's implication, the tomatoes aren't overly sweet, but just sweet enough.
The crust gets a dusting of cornmeal and has a nice chew through the body of the slice, with a crisp undercrust from tip to end. The well-salted, slightly wheat-y base is pretty decent, but it lacks the hole-structure and rise characteristic of pizzas donning the Neapolitan name. The end-crust is overly crunchy, but it could just be a victim of the slice re-heat. Sweet Tomatoes definitely makes a serviceable slice and one that makes me want to be quicker about getting back to try the whole pies.