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Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass., Rises to the Top of Pizza Destinations in the Boston to Worcester Region

Cheese pizza from the wood-fired oven at Kindles Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.Cheese pizza comes out of the wood fired oven at Kindles Pizzeria.

Article and photos by Eric Hurwitz. Article created on 5/28/2018.

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The Marlborough and Hudson, Mass., area has seen a growing number of restaurants opening at a rapid pace with some eateries rivaling the best of what you'd find in Boston.

If I had to choose one restaurant in this region, however, it would surprisingly be a pizza place. Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria is that good.

Located in a nondescript retail building on Route 20 in Marlborough, Kindles proves that you can't always judge a restaurant book by its cover as in just a few years since opening, this pizza destination has become a favorite alongside Boston to Worcester area pizza landmarks in business for decades. At this writing, Yelp and TripAdvisor reviewers give Kindles consistently highly-rated feedback. The Phantom Gourmet and the Boston Globe raved about Kindles. But it is the locals and those traveling through the area that have kept Kindles thriving, beloved and often recommended.

The "Build-It-and-They-Will-Come" mantra especially applies more to the best places in this food genre as most pizzerias tend to be generic and assembly line-style, thus leaving diners in search of something more special and inspirational. Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria, no doubt, falls into the latter category. Kindles creates its one-of-a-kind Northern Italian-style pizzas in a wood fired oven. Sure, a few other pizza joints in the Boston-to-Worcester area also use wood fired ovens, but Kindles Owner Dave Champeau possesses an uncanny knack of making pizzas with a memorable, mouthwatering taste by cooking the pies quickly with the right mix of ingredients in the proper proportions at high temperatures in an authentic wood fired oven from Italy.
Dave feels he has hit upon the right flavors based on his lifelong love for pizza and uses many locally-sourced ingredients to make the pizzas even that more fresh-tasting.

Roasted Garden Pizza from Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.
Roasted garden pizza from Kindles Pizzeria. Photo credit: Dave Champeau.

"I decided to open Kindles because after trying many different styles of pizza, I couldn't find the perfect combination of thin crust, cooked with wood, and lots of unique toppings, so I decided to create my own," said
Dave, who has 30 years in the restaurant industry including The Cheesecake Factory, Bertucci's and working for a few independent restaurants.

This isn't exactly your run-of-the-mill take-out pizza joint with pies typically made in a gas fired or electric convection type pizza oven.

"Our super thin crust, the signature pizza sauce and our Italian cheese blend makes Kindles," said
Dave, a Putnam, Conn., native and Hudson resident who is a Eastern Connecticut State University graduate. "Those three components in conjunction with our wood oven and vast variety of original and creative pizza options makes us a destination for true foodies."

Added Dave: "The wood fire enhances the flavor of the pizza because of the smoky highlights. The process of cooking with wood can be difficult to manage and cook with, but it is worth the effort for the flavor and texture it creates. I also chose wood fired for my guests that want a better, healthier option that is served quickly."

Wood fired oven yeilds delicious pizza at Kindles Pizzeria in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
Where the magic takes place: Kindles Pizzeria wood fired oven.
Photo credit: Dave Champeau.

What this means: One size does not fit all when making pizza at Kindles. Each pie has its own cooking requirements, according to

"A traditional cheese pizza takes about 90 seconds and the time to cook a specialty pizza can vary based on the toppings," said
Dave. "The temperature ranges from 820 to 950 degrees, depending on what I am cooking. For example, roasting red peppers requires extreme heat while roasting fresh chicken for pizza topping or wings and drumsticks require a much lower heat."

While "handmade" has become a buzzword in the food industry,
Dave's approach falls into the painstaking process category as opposed to merely manipulating the ingredients with one's hands before taking shortcuts and mass producing it. Kindles starts out by utilizing a dough roller, but that's where the "mechanical" part ends: from that point on, they finish each crust by hand, and beyond.

"It means we do everything by hand, from stretching the dough, to making the sauces and dressings, cutting the vegetables, meats and chicken, to cooking each pizza," said
Dave. "Using fire to cook requires careful attention and the pizzas must be spun to cook all sides equally. Other places use a conveyor belt or a convention oven with a timer, which does not require crafting. Everything is done with care and concern by hand."

Customers order pizza by number at the counter, but never confuse this with a paint-by-numbers pizza joint. On the contrary, the pies are creatively designed, delicious and addictive.

Kindles Pepperoni Plus Pizza from Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.
Pepperoni Plus pizza from Kindles Pizzeria.
Photo credit: Dave Champeau.

Here are the selections, at this writing...

1-Buffalo Chicken - sliced chicken, buffalo red sauce, blue cheese crumbles, mozzarella, sliced white onion

2-BBQ Chicken - bbq red sauce, fontina, mozzarella, sliced red onion, bbq chicken

3-Italian Supreme - sliced‎ Genoa, baked ham, hot soppressata, provolone, mozzarella, red sauce

4-Steak & Cheese - (personal favorite of this author) shaved steak, white onion, sliced tomato, garlic aioli, portobello, provolone, mozzarella

Steak and cheese pizza from Kindles Wood Fired Pizza in Marlborugh, Massachusetts
Steak and Cheese Pizza from Kindles Pizzeria.

5-Valoroso Cucina - fontina, Gorgonzola, provolone, mozzarella, valoroso tomatoes, red sauce

6-Kindles Special - onion, pepper, mushroom, meatball, sausage, red sauce, red sauce, romano, provolone, mozzarella

The Special from Kindles Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.
Kindles Special.
Photo credit: Dave Champeau.

7-Hawaiian Island - baked ham, sliced pineapple, apple wood smoked bacon, provolone, red sauce, mozzarella

8-Barbecue Divine - pulled pork, bbq chicken, sliced potato, roasted corn, bbq red sauce, fontina, mozzarella

9-My Favorite - meatball, ricotta, extra pepperoni, extra romano, red sauce, oregano

10-Pollo Loco - adobo sliced chicken, spicy refried beans, red sauce, chipotle honey glaze, mozzarella

11-Tomato Basil - red sauce, chopped garlic, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic glaze, provolone, mozzarella, sliced tomato

12-Napoli Toscano - broccoli florets, red sauce, chopped garlic, black pepper cream sauce, mozzarella

13-Modern Margherita (personal favorite of this author) - valoroso tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red sauce, fresh basil, chopped garlic, extra virgin olive oil

Margherita pizza from Kindles Wood Fired Pizza in Marlborugh, Mass.
Modern Margherita Pizza from Kindles Pizzeria.

14-Cheese Mania - Gorgonzola, feta, ricotta, fontina, mozzarella, romano, provolone, pecorino romano, oregano.

15-Roasted Garden - roasted eggplant, roasted red pepper, caramelized onion, roasted garlic, red sauce, mozzarella

16-Smoky Pinocchio - roasted corn, apple wood smoked bacon, sliced, chicken, balsamic glaze, red sauce, mozzarella 1

7-Sweet Pea - sweet peas, ricotta, red sauce, apple wood smoked bacon, mozzarella, provolone

18-Perfect Sunset - pepperoni, pineapple, jalapenos, banana peppers, red sauce, white truffle oil, mozzarella

19-Sunrise Pie - charbroiled Italian sausage, apple wood smoked bacon, sliced tomato, sliced potato, white onion, fontina, mozzarella

20-Cheeseburger Pizza (personal favorite of this author) - ketchup, mustard, white onion, sliced tomato, bacon, sliced meatball, mozzarella, provolone

21-Meat Feast - sausage, pepperoni, meatball, apple wood smoked bacon, red sauce, chopped cherry peppers, mozzarella

22-Truffle Honeypot - prosciutto, black truffle honey, fig preserves, caramelized onions, red sauce, valorous tomatoes, mozzarella

23-Aloha Mahalo - bbq pork, bbq red sauce, baked ham, pineapple, teriyaki glaze, provolone, mozzarella

24-Three Little Pigs - baked ham, apple wood smoked bacon, sausage, Gorgonzola, red sauce, mozzarella, white truffle oil

25- Down Under - avocado, sliced chicken, mozzarella, red onion, apple wood smoked bacon, balsamic glaze

26-Pepperoni Plus - mozzarella, romano, fontina, red sauce, extra pepperoni, hot soppressata

27-Simply Mediterranean - sliced black olives, roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, red sauce, olive oil, feta

28-Bistro Gorgonzola - roasted red peppers, sliced chicken, Gorgonzola crumbles, diced celery, red sauce, mozzarella

29-Soho Grande - grilled chicken, ranch dressing, sliced tomato, avocado, mozzarella, provolone

30-Hot Diavolo - pepperoni, chipotle honey, chopped cherry peppers, sriracha, buffalo red sauce, fresh mozzarella

31-Vegan Delight - vegan cheese, black olives, roasted tomatoes, artichokes, broccoli florets

Don't forget about the newer pizzas, also. In addition to the instantly popular Chicken Bacon Ranch, Kindles now offers The Wicked Wasabi with Hoisin barbecue lean shaved steak, banana peppers, roasted garlic pearls, sliced red onion and spicy wasabi cream sauce (dairy free). The Chicken Parm combines Italian seasoned deep fried chicken, Marinara, Italian and Provolone cheese slices, Pecorino Romano before cooking and MORE Marinara on the top....

Chicken Parm pizza from Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.
The NEW chicken parm pizza.
Photo credit: Dave Champeau.

Wicked Wasabi pizza from Kindles Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.
Wicked Wasabi wood fired pizza. Photo credit: Dave Champeau.

The #9 is
Dave's favorite pizza, but adds, "I also really enjoy the buffalo chicken pizza, the NEW chicken parm pizza,' or just a traditional cheese with a lot of grated cheese."

Kindles has also ventured into offering gluten free pizza. From day one, Kindles has recognized the challenges of making a gluten free pizza that actually tastes good and correcting that issue by being clear on its awareness of customers and overseeing the pizza making process from start to finish.

"We manage the gluten free process 100 percent," said
Dave. "From the moment the guest mentions it, the staff clarifies if it is allergy related or a dietary choice. If it is an allergy, the staff has been properly trained to handle and execute the entire process so the guest is safe and can feel very confident it our ability to handle the gluten allergy request. In addition to managing the gluten free process safety, our gluten free customers rave about the flavor and texture of the crust."

Dave has gone beyond just making pizzas, too, to make Kindles a nice restaurant experience rather than a typical noisy, cramped pizza house atmosphere. The ambiance is welcoming, friendly and casual and designed inside with an earthy industrial look highlighted with many antiques placed throughout the restaurant.

Dining room at Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.
Dining room at Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria.

Also consider the name of the business as a pointer to the thoughtfulness of the restaurant.

"The inspiration for the name Kindles came from the idea that a name should mean something and reflect the most important thing in our restaurant and star of the show, the wood fired oven," said
Dave. "So we thought of Kindling, which starts the fire and shortened it to Kindles. Another thing about the name Kindles is that you cannot spell it without the word 'Kind' that is an equal focus for the restaurant. Be kind to each guest."

Kindles Pizzeria goes beyond the main course pizza offerings with "Firebreads," grinders, roasted wings, and salads that perfectly complement the main meal, or as a standalone order. The Firebreads consist of a unique combination of pizza crust, vegetables, and salad.

Chicken Caesar salad firebread pizza from Kindles Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.
Chicken Caesar Firebread from Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria.

The grinders are served on an Italian demi-loaf, which gets toasted in the wood fired oven.
Dave recommends the Meatball Parm, a customer favorite. The roasted wings are seasoned with molasses and sea salt and cooked in the wood fired oven, then quickly fried per order for crispness.

Wood fired eggplant grinder from Kindles Pizzeria in Marlborough, Mass.
Eggplant Grinder from Kindles Pizzeria. Photo credit: Dave Champeau.

Additionally, Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria offers many house-made sauces to choose with Buffalo and Parmesan Garlic the most popular, according to Dave. If anyone has enough room for, or likes to eat dessert as the primary meal, Kindles features a French Toast Pizza.

"Every year at the local fair, I look forward to eating fried dough," said
Dave. "I wanted to create my own version that is healthier and could be enjoyed more often with less guilt. It is cut into strips for sharing and has powdered sugar and pure maple syrup on top."

Ultimately, Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria fills a niche for pizza lovers in the area with its one-of-a-kind pies made with love and an ode to the art and science of pizza-making. In a nutshell, it is flat-out delicious pizza.

"We live in the area and... there were no places around that served this style of unique pizza," said
Dave "The greatest satisfaction is that we have positively impacted a community. In a day and age where it seems many food options out there have been over engineered and processed, we are simply serving families better food one pizza at a time."

Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria located at 10 Boston Post Rd (Route 20 West), Marlborugh MA, 01752. Tel. 508-748-3494. Web site: http://www.kindleswoodfiredpizzeria. Facebook fan page: Twitter page:

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