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La Boite A Pizza

The point of La Boîte - a franchise with 101 outlets in France, three in Shanghai, and one on Washington Avenue - is to offer an extensive array of pizza garnishes. The pies here are different from most pizzas, but they're satisfying once you accept that the crusts are puffy-soft and the toppings sauce-less. The onion-bacon combo, for instance, featured a quichelike custard between the crust and smattering of main ingredients. A few fat French fries came scattered on top as well, and who can argue with eggs, onion, bacon, potatoes, and bread? If you're thinking breakfast, the joint opens at 11 in the morning. The more unusual pies are listed under "haute cuisine." One of the hotter-selling hautes is a Brie/walnut/truffle-oil pizza; another is the foie-gras/duck/mozzarella/porcini medley. Try the "Indian" pie with sour cream, curry sauce, mozzarella cheese, onions, chicken, pineapple, almonds, honey, and raisins - as a bready, nonpizza-related snack, this curried concoction was lip-smackingly tasty. If you go as a pair to share, a special deal brings any medium-size (12-inch) haute pie (except those with foie gras or caviar on top), a two-liter beverage, and a pint of Häagen-Dazs for $19.90. And a $9.99 lunch bargain yields a petite pie, 20-ounce soda, and half-pint of Häagen-Dazs.

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