after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Pepe’s Pizza: Makes Us Happy As Clams

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t says: One day I told one of my bosses that I was driving to and from Cape Cod for a wedding. His immediate comment was, “You should stop by Pepe’s pizza in New Haven.” Well, maybe it wasn’t the first thing he said (I’m sure he said other, more normal things like, “why?” or “have a safe trip!”), but it’s definitely the comment that stuck out in my mind. Not one for superlatives, my boss claimed that Pepe’s pizza is the best pizza. Now, I didn’t inquire whether he had gone to New York, Chicago, Italy, etc and tried their pizzas (although he was in New Haven for a bit, so maybe he just feels it’s better than that other famous place to get pizza in New Haven), but for such a positive testimony, I knew that we had to go. He did attach one caveat, however (I knew there was a catch): “you have to like clams …”. What a peculiar thing to say?

9/2009, Sunday Lunch, Party of 2.  On our way back from Cape Cod, we took the exit to New Haven. Google maps had surprisingly good directions with the exception of a single left turn onto a street that was not marked (that wasn’t google’s fault, that was New Haven’s fault). Sensing that there was going to be a wait, we called ahead of time and ordered a pizza as I was instructed: “White Clam Pizza”. It’s a good thing we called – Pepe’s was mobbed. People were waiting outside to get in. The parking lot was full. Fortunately, we just wanted to pick-up instead of eat-in, so we walked in the express-door, told them we were there, and watched the show while they prepped our pizza. It’s actually quite impressive how big their pizza-sliding-device is. We picked up our pizza and dashed out the door, not looking up at the eyes in line staring us down for our food. We jumped in our car and locked the door (it is New Haven, you know). We drove off to a nearby park we spotted on the way in and sat down to have a picnic-bench-lunch. Here is what we saw:

Say hello to my little friend ... Frank Pepe!

It's heart-shaped!!

How did it taste? Well, I actually will admit that if you consider this a pizza, then yes, this was the best pizza I’ve ever had! The crust was a smidge thicker than the thin crusts at Osteria, but it was still nice and crispy. There was lots of roasted garlic, and those clams were oh-so-tender. I still wonder if they put raw clams on the pizza and let the oven cook them or if they cook them before the pizza goes in.  In any case, if you like garlic, cheese, and clams, this pizza will blow your mind (and I like all of those). However, some might say that this is not a pizza – no tomato sauce! Clams? Blasphemy! So, maybe it’s unfair to call Pepe’s the best pizza I’ve ever had (I mean, how can I compare it to others?) – but it was certainly a delicious thing. I’m glad we ran out because I’m pretty sure I would have eaten myself sick … Next time, we’ll try out the other pizza place (?Sally’s?).

Written by afterdinnersneeze

24 February 2010 at 9:03pm

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