Manchester: Xtra Chz

ExtraChzPizza

The skinny: We’ve been staying pretty local lately, so we needed to find a new pizza place in Manchester. While out running errands near the city’s mall recently, we (shockingly) got hungry for our favorite meal. After looking up ideas on where we could eat, we narrowed it down to Xtra Chz.

Xtra Chz hasn’t been in Manchester for all that long, but it was a popular spot in Concord for a number of years. We wanted to go in and see what all the fuss was about.

There are two sizes of pies at Xtra Chz: 12-inch small ($6.99) and 16-inch large ($9.99). Each topping adds about a buck to the price, and the pizzeria stocks up on plenty of favorites such as sausage, mushrooms, onions and pepperoni.

There are more than two dozen specialty pies at Xtra Chz! A few of the less common pizzas include the Tomato Broccoli Alfredo ($11.99/$14.99); The Italian ($12.99/$15.99), which includes genoa salami, mortadella, capicola, provolone and Italian dressing; and The French ($12.99/$15.99), with chicken, ham, provolone and ranch dressing.

Calzones are another pizza-like option at Xtra Chz, and prices are similar to that of its pizzas. The menu even includes an entire section dedicated to Steak Calzones, with the small starting at $11.99 and large at $14.99.

Review: On our recent visit to Xtra Chz, we ordered a small Meatball Parm pizza ($11.99).

When the pizza came out, Deidre thought it looked very heavy. She was thrilled to immediately see an appropriate amount of sauce on the pizza. She wasn’t sure if the amount had to do with it being the specialty pie, but she was already appreciating the cheese-sauce ratio. The first bite had a lot of sauce and cheese in it, yet neither was overwhelming. Deidre found the sauce just the slightest bit sweet and a lot more zesty – something she hadn’t come across in a while. Andrew agreed that the sauce was a welcome change from some of the overly sweet or tart sauces we’ve had.

As we noted above, there was a good amount of cheese on this pizza. Deidre thought the cheese perfectly covered the pizza, and she didn’t find the slices greasy at all. Andrew thought there might have been a little bit of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top of the generous layer of creamy, melty mozzarella.

Most of the meatball pieces were hidden under the cheese, so it was a surprise to bite into a slice and find a piece. Andrew noted that sometimes when you bite into a big hunk of meat on a pizza like that, all the surrounding cheese comes along with it. That was not the case here – the meatballs were cut into small pieces and easy to eat. Deidre found the meat to be seasoned on the sweeter side, which she thought complimented the sauce well.

The end crust was chewy and doughy – just one of the ways Deidre really enjoys it. She found the bottom crust to be of a similar texture. Andrew would have like the bottom crust to be a bit crunchier, but with as much sauce as this pizza had, that would have been a tall order.

Deidre warns diners that this pizza was one that required silverware; she was sure she was going to spill sauce all over herself. As Andrew pointed out, that’s pretty much the scenario with a good meatball parm sub. It definitely had the taste right, and, fortunately for us, we were able to avoid the messy part.

This might have been a bit too saucy to be a perfect cold pizza slice (something about tons of cold sauce just doesn’t work for Andrew), but it was definitely very good — and definitely better than a day-old meatball parm sub. The crust was still chewy, and the meatball didn’t dry out.

Rating: Deidre: 4 / Andrew: 4.5 = 8.5 /10 slices

Xtra Chz
1865 S. Willow St., Manchester
622-9872, XtraChz.com

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