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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. 17th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
Why George, why?
Is this website pulling my chain?(http://www.chud.com/index.php?type=thud&id=8544) If this is not just some attempt to fool us enthralled Dorks into ordering HBO, why haven't there been any posts about this here, or any where on your website that I have seen. Please tell us true George, is this for real? Should I order HBO?

Just some Dork
Jan. 17th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Why George, why?
George's significant other, Parris, has confirmed it here. I expect GRRM'll be posting about it on his official site quite soon, now that Variety let the cat out of the bag. :)

Ordering HBO is rather precipitous, however. The report is basically talking about an option, during which the production company will develop it for HBO. Ultimately, HBO will look at what they develop and decided whether they'll go forward with it or not. To put it another way, this is an official statement of intent to explore turning the books into a series, but it's not a final determination. Even if they give it a greenlight, I'd speculate that it'll be a good two years, give or take some months, before the first episode is likely to air; they don't even know where it's going to be filmed yet, according to Variety.

With some luck, it'll go forward. Here's hoping!
Jan. 17th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
HBO Series
This doesn't relate to this post but I heard HBO picked up ASOIAF series....
Jan. 17th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
I just saw the announcement in Variety about A Song of Fire and Ice. As it happens, I just got HBO the other day so I can watch the second season of Rome which I had picked up the first season of on DVD, after hearing you rave about it. I'd been thinking that I'd probably drop it again after Rome ended (since I hear it just got cancelled), but perhaps not now. :)

Jan. 17th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)

Jan. 18th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
Welcome to the Nutmeg State!!!
Wow! I can't get to Boskone due to money issues and work / school obligations. BUT.....I live a only a couple of towns away from New Haven! I will do everything in my power to get there to meet you, George. I am such a huge fan and it would be a tremendous honor just to say hi and tell you what all your other fans say - love your books.

Please go to Pepe's in New Haven. I've lived all my life in this area, and everyone I know agrees that they're the best. There's another one in Fairfield that opened up not too long ago. My mother wasn't happy with their pizza at all to the point of never going back again.

Also in New Haven is the Peabody Museum. It has a display area that includes a DIREWOLF. When I saw that, I immediately thought of the books, LOL.
Jan. 18th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
Wow. All these comments and not a single "there's lots of cheese on that pizza" joke.

Congrats on the HBO deal, George. I just posted aboutRome a couple days ago.
Jan. 18th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Be careful, those pizza shops don't usually open till 5pm. But they are very very very good.

Jan. 18th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Having eaten at all 3 (Modern, Sally's & Pepe's) many times, you can't go wrong with ANY of them. I'm partial to Pepe's, just be prepared to wait in a long, long line that stretches outside the building. Good news is that Pepe's is right next to Libby's which is a great Italian pastry/bakery joint.
Jan. 19th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
I'm down in southeast ct
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
Pizza Crawl
As an ex-Pat Connecticutian living in the deep South (Northern Alabama), I have to say that I miss Pepe's and Sally's and Modern's the most. I lived in Florida for fifteen years until recently and have been unable to find anything even remotely close to the good, thin, oil dripping, lava hot cheese apizza that those establishments are justly famous for. So I wish you a hearty appetite. A group of good companions. And pray that you will enjoy a slice for me (and all those like me) who no longer have the opportunity to indulge our pizza cravings.
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
New Haven Born and Raised
Mr. Jordan,
First time poster, huge fan, not so much of your politics, but I'm a huge fan of your work and a giant Giant's fan so we probably have enough in common. Well, I was born and raised in New Haven and the pizza here is not just hype. If you could E-Mail me at lastmanetheren@aol.com, I would be happy to make some great recommendations for hotels. I would also love to meet you and possibly say hi, I've turned my entire family on to your books as well as my friend serving over in Afghanistan.

You should definitely wander through Yale and check out the sites and eat at the first hamburger joint ever on Crown Street across from Bar (Yes, the name of the bar is Bar). If your interested in some nifty ideas, drop me an e-mail, at best, I can tell you how I survived without dying of boredom here for the past 27 years.
Jan. 19th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
I'm a Yale student, living in New Haven, and just a few months ago, I bought all four of your Song of Ice and Fire books off Amazon on a gamble, since I heard my friends talk about it. The gamble paid off pretty well and this sounds really awesome.

Sally's and Pepe's are kind of far from the Yale campus, so I can't really be a guide. It's nestled in Wooster Square, where there's a lot of good food. Last time I went, though, there was this rather large line to be seated, and it wouldn't be a fun thing to do in the snow, but this is also when all the Yale parents were in town.

Too bad you're only going to be in town for one night, or you should come to Yale and do a Master's tea!
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
Pizza: leg work needed?
I'm definitely down for pizza [or apizza if you are from new haven]. I'd usually go to Modern over the others because of the wait...

I just did an informal poll of my lab coworkers and people are fairly split with regards to their personal favorites.

However, on building size: We think Sally's is the smallest, while Modern is probably the biggest. This being said, Sally's and Pepe's seem to generate a greater sense of being "something unique/special". Modern is viewed as being more of a normal-looking pizza, but the pizza is really really good.

Sally's size: It might be able to hold 50 people at most. But the range might be closer to 30-40. Reservations cannot be made at any of the three as far as I know.

One option could be to order the food and have it delivered/picked up... We could convene at some local place to eat. I could volunteer my place. It can comfortably hold 25-30 people on the first floor (maybe more with a little luck). We had ~20 people carving pumpkins this past October and everything seemed to work.

I'd be willing to try to find some space somewhere in New Haven if it's needed.

-Zen Blade [ dennis.mishler at yale dot edu ]
Jan. 19th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
New york Pizza.
Lento's has been gone for a while my friends. But there is no doubt that Grimaldi's and Totono's Coney Island have the best Pizza. Lombardi's is always great. No real pizzaria in New York sells slices, by the way.
Jan. 20th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)
NY pizza
I certainly miss east coast pizza; nothing else like it. Except obtaining fine-ground semolina flour, adding yeast and warm water, letting it rise, kneading a lot, letting rise, kneading and pulling it out, putting a good homemade sauce, cheese, olive oil, and herbs on it, and baking it in a hot oven on a stone. I find that cooking is a good self-defense against the unavailablity of something I want to eat.
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George R.R. Martin
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