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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?


( 183 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 16th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Best pizza in US?
In USA there are a lot of good things, maybe also some pizza.
But the best 100'000 pizzerie are in Italy...

Ciao to everybody
Jan. 16th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
pizza in Italy
Alas, I have only been to Italy once. That was back at the end of 2005, for the Lucca Comics and Game Show.

I had a wonderful time in Lucca. The show was great, Lucca was beautiful and historic, I got to see a little of Florence, and the Italian fans were incredible. By and large the food was fabulous as well... but the pizza, well, not so much. I mean, it was okay. Better than Santa Fe, sure. But not in a class with New York pizza or a good Jersey bar pie.

Of course, that was in Florence and Lucca. For great pizza, I understand, you need to go to Naples, and I never got down that way. One day, I hope...
Re: pizza in Italy - (Anonymous) - Jan. 17th, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 16th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
If you ever get to Illinois - you have to try Monicals - it's thin crust and the spices are what makes it so unique and wonderful! It's only availble in Illinois (and a few select places in Wisconsin) so you may have to look it up on the internet - yes they have a site.

Happy Pizza eating!
Jan. 16th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
If you get a chance to get to Harvard square, Check out Pinocchio's. they have the best Sicilian pizza around. Its not the same this as NYC pizza but still damn good.
Jan. 16th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
I don't remember which great New Haven pizza parlor my NYC friends took me to when we were passing through on our way from Boston some years ago.

But it was definitely the best pizza this west coaster ever did have.

Go for it. It will be worth your trouble.
Jan. 16th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
I'm in White Plains, NY, just a hop, skip and jump from New Haven! A lot will depend on weather and my work schedule, but I'd love to join you and Pariss for a slice or four! I'll put it on my calendar and watch for more details.
Jan. 17th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
Don't worryabout the weather.
To avoid the snow, just take the Metro North. New Haven hasn't seen a single flake in almost a year, but it's always nice to skip I-95 in Bridgeport.
Jan. 16th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Jersey pizza

If you ever come back to the Garden State, I'll show you a pizza place or two. Thin crust just the way I like it. Momnouth County area. Good luck with the Connecticut crawl but I'm sure they don't make pizza there like they do in Jersey.

Steve Ellis
Jan. 16th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
Did you watch HBO's Rome this weekend?
What a fantastic show. It's a shame that this will be the last season.
Jan. 16th, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
Pizza Crawl
I go to school in Hartford so I may be able to make it. It would certainly be worth it! I know exactly the kind of pizza you're talking about and it IS worth it.
Jan. 16th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
Pizza Crawl
I spoke up when you first mentioned this and though I'm from Naugatuck, which is about 25 minutes North of NH, I have been to Sally's before. I swear this is strange because I said to my wife not 3 days ago that I used to enjoy that place very much when I'd go to New Haven Nighthawks hockey games (now defunct, sadly). We'd wait in line for 45 minutes just to get in (plan on waiting). I also said I'd LOVE to go there again. What a great occasion to relive some fond memories.
Jan. 16th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
Colorado Style Pizza
When you're in out here in Colorado for Opus Fest, you should really take the time to check out Beau Jo's. They do Colorado style pizza, and it's great. Don't expect it to be anything like your NY "crackers with topping" or Chicago "casserole", but the Mountian Pies are fabulous.
Jan. 16th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Colorado Style Pizza
I'll agree to that ! I made sure my Aussie friends had some before we took them to the airport.
Re: Colorado Style Pizza - (Anonymous) - Jan. 17th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 16th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
about your football post
I am surpised you have such a staunch opinion about the Pats without getting the rest of the story.

I can understand why celebrating like that without context would upset you. After all evil BB and his gang of thugs rolls over the NFL like Clegane and his crew. Just look at the half haldshake he gave Mangini! The disgrace!!!

Before you go off, next time do a bit of reading on all the San Diego trash talking and disrespect that was handed over to the Pats after last years loss, and before this years game. The SB rally held on friday, the Merriman video, and the pre-game comments. Then maybe you won't feel so bad for a team like the Chargers.

It really helps when you understand the whole story. Take off those green shaded glasses you wear when rooting for that gawd awful Jets team year after year.
Jan. 16th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
More on NFL celebration:
Jan. 16th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
Definitely up for a pizza crawl!!
I'm from Hartford and I am definitely up for the pizza crawl. Pepe's is legendary as is Sally's. Count me in.
Jan. 16th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
I grew up in New Jersey but lived in New Haven for four years while attending school. I'm back in Jersey now and glad for it. I must say, I waited on the legendary line outside Pepe's to gain entry, and was deeply dissappointed with the pies they made. It was rushed to move people in and out quickly, and just dripped apart when picked up. As for Sally's, any decent parlor in NJ makes the same pie, a few notches under Brooklyn's best. So please, go to Louis' for a burger or Yankee Doodle for five, you will definately love those!
Jan. 16th, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC)
Recommendation for when you're in NYC
Sorry, I know you said New Haven. It's just hard not to be a pizza snob when you're a New Yorker.

If you're a true pizza aficionado, check out Lombardi's in the Village. It's on Spring street between Mott and Mulberry a couple blocks south of Houston. You'll want to go with friends (or at least acquaintances) so that you'll be able to order more than one pie guilt free and maximize your sampling size. Thin crust, coal oven, fantastic toppings. What more could you ask for?

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( 183 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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