Daily Slice: Town Spa, Stoughton, 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.
On Boston's South Shore, bar pies reign supreme and Town Spa in Stoughton has long been considered one of the keepers of the bar pie flame. But like so many small-town pizzerias with a base of unwavering loyalists, it can be hard to discern whether the value of the place is in their hearts, or in the pies. There are stories like the guy transporting $2000 dollars worth of Town Spa pizzas in coolers cross-country; the kind of action that at least earns the place a closer look.
Their pies get delivered to booth and bar on dinted aluminum pans. A quick inspection reveals an underside that's blonder than usual, and a slightly thicker base than the flatbread-esque crust typical of this style. The textural contrast from the undercrust to the upper layer that just meets the sauce and cheese is subtle. It's a softer pie than most others of the bar variety, which land on the crackery end of the spectrum.
The oil-fried flavor of the crust dominates the pie—that, and the Portugese linguica and onion here. The cheese and sauce really take a back seat. (There is a special Italian meat sauce option some nights that made me stop and go hmmm. Could that possibly be good?) Neither sauce, nor cheese were so memorable on their own. The diced onions were sweetened by the char of their edges and the linguica makes a fine pizza topping. For people who don't like crust, this is a great pie because the toppings go right to the edge. Ultimately, there are better specimens of the regionally dominant pie than those at Town Spa. But its greatness is sure to live on in the hearts of its eternal fans.