Photos and Words by Kristina Lauria
Nestled in the middle of Technology Square amidst MIT's tall concrete buildings, sits a pizza lover's haven. Encased in floor-to-ceiling windows, Area Four offers just about anything you might have a hankering for– whether that be their fresh, wood-fired pizzas, a crispy chocolate croissant from the bakery, or an all-beef hot dog from their NYC-inspired food cart sitting outside. If after reading that you're thinking, "Wow, is this place a coffee shop or a pizza parlor?", the answer is "yes".
As they describe themselves, Area Four is a coffee-house/bakery/bar/oven, highlighting "local, organic, and sustainable ingredients". But the true highlight of this culinary gem is the delicious scratch-made pizza; and when I say scratch-made, I mean that everything from the dough, to the sauce, to the cheese, and all the delectable extras on top are made in-house. Area four has a wide array of pizza varieties. At the suggestion of the waitress, I ordered the Clam and Bacon Pizza. This is a white pie, topped with fresh mozzarella and plenty of crispy bits of clam and bacon crumbled on top. If you're craving something unique, then this is the way to go. If you're looking for a more traditional pie, try the Meatball Pizza, although you can't go wrong with any of the choices.
You may think that a restaurant that spends so much time perfecting each pizza that goes through their wood-fire ovens wouldn't have time for anything else; but oh, will A4 prove you wrong, my dear! The menu boasts much more than just gourmet pizzas. Two entrées on the menu that caught my attention? Mac and Cheese with a croissant-crumb topping, and a Meatloaf Cheeseburger with aged cheddar, mushrooms, caramelized onions, celery seed cole slaw, and pickles. Yes, these options made my mouth water, too. But if you're craving a belly-warming beverage and a sweet treat on a typically chilly Boston day, A4 won't leave you disappointed. Just stop in for a cinnamon pecan sticky bun or a jumbo chocolate chip cookie to go along with your french press coffee. Sounds like the perfect way to spend your afternoon studying...or not.
When I spoke with one of the owners, Michael Krupp--a former BU terrier himself--he said that A4, "always wanted to appeal to a broad audience". Taking advantage of their prime location, that meant fully embracing the highly student-concentrated population surrounding them. While you won't find any $5 pizzas in this restaurant, you will get nothing but the best quality. So in an effort to lessen the sometimes steep prices that accompany high-quality and labor-intensive food, A4 offers several deals if you have your student ID handy. If you find yourself looking for a place to watch some Monday night football or just need an excuse to get off campus, come on in for a Margherita Pizza and a pint of beer for just $12. Or if you're planning on a lazy night in front of the TV, order two large pizzas to go and get $10 off!
If this place doesn't sound like your new found favorite yet, then go check out their brand new, New York City- inspired hot dog stand. That's right, you can finally get a tin-foil wrapped, ketchup and mustard slathered, made-to-order hot dog without leaving the comfort of the one and only Bean Town. Better yet, A4 serves up all-natural, all-beef dogs from BN Ranch in California (the only place you can find those anywhere in New England), and you can get that topped with homemade pickled-banana peppers or jalapeno-pineapple relish. Just $3.25 for one, or $6 for two.
My personal favorite of all the awesome student deals? Come in for Sunday brunch after a long (and no doubt interesting) Saturday night and order the Hot Mess and an Antidote Cocktail for just $15. The Hot Mess includes home fries, bacon, breakfast sausage, caramelized onions, cheddar, and scallions, all topped with farm fresh eggs and banana pepper relish. And the Antidote? Well, let's just say it'll take your breath away and will wake you up faster than a cold shower.
500 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 758-4444 www.areafour.com
Bakery/Coffee House M-F: 7am - 6pm Sat: 9am - 5pm Sun: 9am - 5pm
Bar/Oven M-W: 11:30am - 10pm TH-F: 11:30am-11pm Sat: 10:30 am-11pm Sunday: 10:30-2:30