09 July 2007

The Original Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

New Haven pizza gets a lot of hype - and deservedly so. It'd been years since I'd had a slice or four, so when the opportunity presented itself (driving south on I-95, dinnertime Sunday evening, no time in particular we needed to get back to Brooklyn), I took it. Good call.

We decided on Pepe's, and a midsummer Sunday afforded both a not-bad wait and some excellent people-watching, ranging from the cartoon-character late-30s Italian couple ahead of us (shockingly overtanned, him in a semi-buttoned black buttondown shirt revealing an A-Shirt underneath, chewing gum, white sneakers), to the preps returned from the beach across the street (one in aviators, baggy plaid shorts and a big gray scarf), to the Korean girls behind us and the so-"helpful"-he-was-incredibly-rude guy from Kansas talking down to them and telling them how to experience America. Good stuff.

But not as good as the pizza. Many a word has been written on the pizzas, so I'll keep it brief - this was as close to a perfect pizza a I've had outside of Italy. Thin crust crunchy and slightly charcoal-y at the edges, covered in a thin, perfectly-sweet-but-not-cloyingly-so tomato sauce, just enough cheese but not overflowing with grease. We added mushrooms and onions, and both were prepared to perfection - the mushrooms cooked but not greasy, the onions translucent but still crunchy, chunked rather than sliced. I was driving, so had a Coke rather than beer (still a good accompaniment), but was pleased to see Long Trail Ale on tap - definitely would've been a good choice, as well.

And, of course, super cheap - we took down half of a medium and were quite full, and now have leftovers to look forward to. Road food can't really get better than this.

1 comment:

Jake said...

Next time you are there you need to try Modern Pizza...the Pepe's/Modern feud is almost as popular as the Bloods/Crips feud in New Haven.