[Oh, I have a blog! Hello, Internet. Sorry it’s been a few months since I’ve written here—been busy with the new gig.]
The best part about not rushing out of town for the Independence Day holiday was spending time in Boston on July 3rd. It was a stiflingly hot day, so after work I met friends at the pool and dipped my feet to cool off. After my friends changed out of their swim suits, we crossed a deserted Commercial Street in the North End to grab a bite at Ducali.
While crazy busy when the Bruins or Celtics are playing up the road at the Garden, Ducali was quiet on the day before a holiday. We grabbed a table and ordered a dish my friends had told me about breathlessly for months after they stumbled upon it: Pizza nachos.
I have a reputation as a bit of a nacho fiend. While they’re not authentic Mexican cuisine, I could not possibly care less. The crunch of a corn chip. The creaminess of the cheese. The spice from a pickled jalapeño and the crispness of raw onion. Some women can’t resist dessert; I barely make it to my entree when nachos show up before the main course.
Pizza nachos—or Nachos Italiano, per the menu—at Ducali are a different experience from the tortilla-based appetizer at a southwestern dining establishment. The most noticeable difference is the lack of chips. Ducali uses inch-wide strips of pizza dough that are baked, then topped enough cheese to clog the arteries of the most athletic diner. Even an avowed cheese lover like myself thought it was bit too much.
However, I see why the restaurant dubbed this unhealthy creation Pizza Nachos. The salami and cured meats serve the same function as chili or chicken on Mexican nachos. Hot peppers typically found in an order of calamari are sprinkled throughout the dish, giving a much needed kick and bite of vinegar to the cheese-laden bread. Like some restaurants serve salsa on the side of their nachos, Ducali serves marinara sauce for dipping in a separate small bowl. The sauce had a little kick of its own and was enjoyed by everyone at our table.
One minor quibble I had was the Pizza Nachos being served in a bowl. It seemed to trap the steam from the bread and cheese, leaving the strips of pizza dough at the bottom of the bowl a bit soggy. It seems a traditional platter would help maintain the crispness of the ends throughout the serving.
Pro tip: Don’t order a ton of pizza if you’re splitting the pizza nachos with a small group. This appetizer eats like a meal. Consider ordering a light salad instead.
Another pro tip: If you don’t have plans to visit Boston soon, you can make your own pizza nachos at home thanks to Thrillist. [h/t ATF for the link and the experience of pizza nachos]