Seabrook: Cristaldi’s Pizza

 

Cristaldi's

The skinny: As summer begins to wind down, New Hampshirites have a limited time to get in their final few trips to the beach. And while having a newborn with us shortened our journeys to the seacoast this summer, it certainly didn’t stop us from grabbing beach pizza for lunch, namely at Cristaldi’s Pizza in Seabrook.

Cristaldi’s appears to be the smallest of the area’s beach pizza joints, slightly hidden in a plaza. That said, it’s pretty strategically placed at the beach end of Route 286, ready to catch hungry beachgoers heading to Hampton or Seabrook from Massachusetts.

Like most beach pizza places, the menu here is short and sweet (we should note you can also get subs at Cristaldi’s). A plain cheese slice starts at $1.75, and you pay a quarter more if you’d like pepperoni, sausage, provolone cheese or American cheese on top. You can get a box of eight plain slices for $11.50, and add $2 for one topping or $4 for two toppings.

If you’ve got a bunch of mouths to feed, you can get a whole tray of plain cheese for $28, a one-topping tray for $33 and a two-topping tray for $38.

As is often the case with places at the beach, Cristaldi’s only takes cash, so be prepared.

Review: On this trip to Cristaldi’s, we ordered the box of eight: half the slices with sausage, and half with extra cheese ($15.50).

Deidre’s favorite part of beach pizza is the crunchy crust. She was slightly disappointed with her slices’ crust, because the end crust didn’t pack the crunch she craves. She was happier with her middle slices, as the bottom crust offered the crispness she was used to expecting. Andrew, however, thought the crust on all of his slices was great. That kind of hit-or-miss scenario is just going to happen when you’re ordering pizza by the slice.

One thing that wasn’t hit or miss was the sauce: It was sweet and thin. We love this type of sauce on beach pizza, because we never want anything too heavy sitting in our stomachs when we’re spending a summer day outdoors. Deidre enjoys these characteristics on many pizzas, so the sauce was a win with her.

Deidre’s been a fan of the extra cheese on beach pizza for a while, so this was her topping of choice on this visit. She felt, once again, that this was a great decision, as it created just enough bite that slices without that extra cheese just wouldn’t have. Andrew’s choice of sausage wasn’t as ideal. Added onto the slices after the pizza was made, Deidre thought it hadn’t been heated through enough. That said, Andrew thought the crumbly sausage added a nice spicy flavor – while admittedly not looking too great – to his slices.

Intent on enjoying his cold pizza, Andrew stuffed a few of the leftover slices in a cooler to enjoy later. Maybe enjoying it at the beach just adds something special, or maybe the cooler wasn’t the best preserver, but the cold pizza was nothing special. That familiar crunch was gone, and without that, the battle was pretty much lost. Lesson learned: Next time, we just need to eat all the pizza at the beach.

Rating: Deidre: 3.5 / Andrew: 4 = 7.5/10 slices

Cristaldi’s Pizza
443 New Hampshire 286, Seabrook
474-5744

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