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Pizza reviews in the Boston area.

Daily Slice: The Real Deal, Jamaica Plain

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.

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The Real Deal's chicken, bacon, and ranch slice with a rogue shred of basil. [Photograph: Paige Brocious]

Before my recent trip to The Real Deal, I had only ever ordered their delicious and cutely named sandwiches, like The Darth Vader pastrami and the Lucy Goosey turkey Reuben. Though they're rumored to have similarly great pizzas, I was a bit skeptical that a specialty sandwich shop could excel in any other medium. However, the Chicken Ranch ($3.00) slice is a testament to their ability to do pizzas right.

A light layer of ranch acted as a creamy, tangy, and not-too-sweet sauce beneath the melted mozzarella. Some ripe tomato slices provided brightness to an otherwise mostly white slice. But it was the chunks of chicken cutlet that really stole the show. They were moist and tender while retaining their crisp breading. And the bacon bits added a great smokey-sweet flavor to the equation.

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A sparingly charred underside made for a solid, but pliant base. And the last few bites of crust will make you think twice before discarding. It was comparable to a dense crusty baguette that's often better without any dressings. So whether or not you've had the sandwiches at The Real Deal, the slices alone are proof that this is an establishment that simply serves great food.

The Real Deal

736 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 (map)
617-522-1181; realdealdeli.com

About the author: Paige Brocious is a former Serious Eats intern now helping out with Slice in Boston.

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