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Pizza Crawl

Now, this journal entry is mostly intended for readers from Connecticut. If you're not from Connecticut, there's probably not going to be a lot here to interest you, so go and talk amongst yourselves.

A few posts back, I wondered whether or not I had any fans in New Haven. Turns out I do. Some of them spoke up in replies to that LJ entry, and others sent me email. Here's why I asked --

Next month Parris and I will be making our annual visit to Boston for Boskone (a great convention, I urge you all to attend). After the con, we'll be making our annual post-Boskone visit to New York City. We usually take the train down from Boston to NYC's Penn Station (soon to be renamed Moynihan Station, I hope, in honor of Parris's Uncle Pat), and that's what we plan to do this year... but this year, we're planning on getting off at New Haven on the way, to try out the pizza.

Some of you may have read my "What I'm Reading" page, and may remember my 2005 review of Ed Levine's book about pizza, A SLICE OF HEAVEN. If so, you'll know that I am a huge fan of classic NYC style thin crust pizza pie ("real pizza," I call it, and don't talk to me about that Chicago deep-dish tomato and bread casserole thing). Well, Levine's book claims that the best pizza in the world comes from New Haven. Since that time, I've also seen a special on the Food Channel that makes the same claim. Two specific places are mentioned -- Frank Pepe's and Sally's.

OK. Out here in New Mexico, I live thousands of miles from great pizza (some of the local pies are adequate, but that's all, and they don't even call 'em "pies," which is a dead clue that the pizza is going to be second rate). I can't stand the thought of riding right past what may be the best pizza places in the world without trying. Ergo...

You've all heard of pub crawls. Well, I'm up for a pizza crawl. I want to try BOTH of these famous pizza places, and see how their pie stacks up. And maybe some place called Modern too. I see from my webcrawling that there are some New Havenites who rate that one even higher than Sally's and Frank Pepe's.

So here's the plan. Parris and I leave leave Boston by train on Tuesday, February 20. It will only take us a few hours to New Haven. We'll check into a hotel, stay overnight, and check out a few slices before departing again for NYC on Wednesday, February 21.

If any of my Connecticut readers want to join us for a slice or three... hey, the more the merrier, I always say. Some local guides would be most welcome... and who knows? If the pizza is as good as advertised, I might even be convinced to make a few knights...

So speak up, New Haven! Who's game for a pizza crawl?

Comments

( 183 comments — Leave a comment )
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thedisgrace
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
This whole idea is cheesy!

... okay, I couldn't resist the obvious pun. So sue me.

In truth, if this weren't so far from my own hometown, I'd likely find a way to join you myself. It sounds like fun. We don't really have 'proper' pizza around here. We have a few spots that make 'homemade' style pizza, places that aren't really restaurant chains so to speak(which I understand disqualifies them from having 'proper' pizza), but even that only goes so far when comparing to the classic pizzas of 'yore.

Then again, it's very possible you're going to find yourself with a crowd too large for convenience, so maybe it's for the best that I can't make it. ;)
minarya
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
I live about an hour north of New Haven and usually work on Tuesday nights, but damn, if I can somehow get that night off I'll so be there! The only one of those three I've eaten at is, I think, Sally's, and having grown up in the South with no knowledge of this whole thin-crust pizza thing, I can tell you it was almost an epiphany. ;)

And if I remember correctly, the pizzas are HUGE. As in, there's no room for plates on the table. And there's usually a pretty good wait, but since it's not the weekend it probably won't be so bad.
roninspoon
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
The next time (if ever) you're in Las Vegas, check out Settebello Pizzaria Napoletana. It's one of only 12 pizzerias in the US certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana to make authentic Napoli pizza.

I've never been to New York, so I can't comment on Classic NYC thin crust, but I can tell you that the pizza at Settebello is some of the best I've ever had and tastes just like the pizza I had in when I was in Italy.
billisdog
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
Don't forget Buffalo Pizza :D known for its thick, doughy, like a slice of freshly baked bread crust! The only pizza that goes great being dipped in Bleu Cheese like it was chicken wings :)

And Chicago pizza is great if you just consider that and NYC pizza to not be two competing forms of "pizza" one of which must reign supreme, but simply two completely different dishes each to be enjoyed in its own right.
grrm
Jan. 16th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
Chicago
When I'm in Chicago, I want to go to Greektown and have Greek food. Opaa! Opaa!

Hmmm... anyone ever tried a saganaki pizza?
Re: Chicago - leftpower1 - Jan. 16th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Chicago - benjaminbreeg - Jan. 16th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Chicago - (Anonymous) - Jan. 17th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Chicago - felis_stellaria - Jan. 20th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dreamer_cynic - Jan. 17th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
tormentedartist
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
Best pizza in New Haven ?
I seriously doubt that. Seriously. But definitely let us know if it indeed is the best. I'm from New York and I've tried a lot of pizza, some good some bad and some that just exploded with flovor in your mouth.

In my experience manhattan is sorta spotty for pizza, but if you go to Queens or the Bronx you are more likely to find the good stuff.
kinfae
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ?
Brooklyn. Definitely Brooklyn.
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - tormentedartist - Jan. 16th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - grrm - Jan. 16th, 2007 01:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - tormentedartist - Jan. 16th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - misunderstruck - Jan. 16th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - xraytheenforcer - Jan. 16th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - xraytheenforcer - Jan. 16th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - (Anonymous) - Jan. 16th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - paranoid_monkey - Jan. 16th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - weirman - Jan. 16th, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Best pizza in New Haven ? - esc_key - Jan. 16th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
anowyn
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
If you ever visit Seattle, try Pagliacci's!
pnh
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
I've never been to any of New Haven's famous pizza places, just to a variety of unexceptional-looking New Haven pizza joints in unremarkable New Haven neighborhoods.

In every single case, the pizza was fantastic. So I'm inclined to believe the claim that New Haven is the true center of the pizza universe.
twistedsheets10
Jan. 16th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)
...Why do I have to live in the Philippines?

*sigh*
esc_key
Jan. 16th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
I'm from New Haven originally, though I live in New York now. I think Pepe's is better than Sally's, or at least it was last time I went. There's something about waiting in the line at Sally's that always take the shine off it for me.

The
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<a [...] poll</a>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

I'm from New Haven originally, though I live in New York now. I think Pepe's is better than Sally's, or at least it was last time I went. There's something about waiting in the line at Sally's that always take the shine off it for me.

The <a href="http://66.51.169.160/best_nh.cfm?pitid=1435&plid=11&sid=1435#1435"annual New Haven Advocate poll</a> put Modern first again this year. It also listed a place called Bar (BAR, 254 Crown St., 495-8924) which I've never heard of in third.

I've also heard Yalies like Naples (on 90 Wall Street) a lot. Less waiting. <a href="http://www.yaleherald.com/archive/frosh/2000/blue/p51pizza.html">Here's an article</a>.

My family used to get Dayton Street Apizza (on Dayton Street, naturally) a lot. But I've heard from my people that they've gone downhill.

I can't wait to see how you rate them all!
esc_key
Jan. 16th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Damn HTML. Those links should be:
'm from New Haven originally, though I live in New York now. I think Pepe's is better than Sally's, or at least it was last time I went. There's something about waiting in the line at Sally's that always take the shine off it for me.

The annual New Haven Advocate poll put Modern first again this year. It also listed a place called Bar (BAR, 254 Crown St., 495-8924) which I've never heard of in third.

I've also heard Yalies like Naples (on 90 Wall Street) a lot. Less waiting. Here's an article.

My family used to get Dayton Street Apizza (on Dayton Street, naturally) a lot. But I've heard from my people that they've gone downhill.

I can't wait to see how you rate them all!

(no subject) - aceliwen - Jan. 16th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - esc_key - Jan. 16th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paraboombo - Jan. 19th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand
rosebloodrain
Jan. 16th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
I have to agree that the best pizza is in NY! I'm in Ohio finding myself missing real pizza. It's so much better there. I miss NY. That's where I met you at a book signing almost a year ago at Barnes & Noble. They don't call them pies here either. Just like soda is pop.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 16th, 2007 02:08 am (UTC)
Curious link
I use "Google Alerts" to let me know whenever certain keywords pop up on the net, and George R R Martin and A Dance with Dragons are on the list. This link below is about the book, and reports that it will be published 1 Oct 2007. Is this true? Are there any new details? Thanks so much (love the football),

Rocko

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0002247399/rxpgonline-21?dev-t=1ZQT1KGQZ3BAHG3Z22R2
(Anonymous)
Jan. 16th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)
Re: Curious link
i wont believe it until he says so. amazon lies all the time. who knows though- he did say something about news coming up soon or something.
smofbabe
Jan. 16th, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
Did you get my email? Stephen has such little time in NYC that we don't really want to spend the night in New Haven but I checked and the train from Manhattan only takes 90 minutes and runs until late at night so we're happy to join you for one excursion at least. We can work out the deets at Boskone.
jaylake
Jan. 16th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
FYI, there's a place in Austin, TX the chef of which trained at Pepes -- Brick Oven Pizzeria.
the_reaper_
Jan. 16th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
Bah! Come one state over into Rhode Island and you can come to my house. I make an awesome pizza! Hehehe
(Anonymous)
Jan. 16th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
jealousy towards Connecticutians or Connecticutites or whatever they are called fills my veins!

(Anonymous)
Jan. 16th, 2007 08:24 am (UTC)
jealousy
i'm not in CT right now(DAM*),but i consider myself a "Connecticut Yankee"... borrowed it from SER Mark Twain...
-L.S.
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