It’s basically sacrilegious to go to New Haven and not have pizza. I still haven’t worked out how this small slice of southern Connecticut became the hub of Italian thin crust, but it did. So on a recent visit I did some investigative research on the offerings.
There are several places there making really delicious pies, and everyone seems to have an opinion about which is the best. So using my siblings as tasters, we decided to explore the breadth of options.
From Pepe’s we got a plain cheese pie, after an intense debate about whether or not we would try their famous white clam pie, which is often imitated but apparently unmatched. Something about seafood on pizza is for me slightly unappealing, but people love it (clearly, because it’s become quite famous). But the plain lived up to the hype.
The proportions of the sauce to the cheese to the crust were spot on, but the sauce was what really shined. The center of the pie got a little flimsy but the crust was charred and chewy.
Sally’s is famous for their tomato pie, so we got a small one of those and small plain cheese (to have a true point of comparison). The tomato pie was good, but maybe I’m just a sucker for the classics, because I loved the cheese pie. It just edged out Pepe’s with the crust upholding a bit better, and the flavor was amazing. It had that certain something that made it almost impossible to stop eating. If I lived in New Haven, I’d be a glutton for Sally’s. Easily.
The Café Romeo pizza was really just something we wanted to try, having heard good things about their mashed potato situation. A white pie liberally covered in mashed potatoes, pieces of bacon, and sliced red onion, it was quite delectable…but one slice was more than enough. I would certainly recommend it though.
Moral of the story is there is nothing quite like this in Massachusetts. Sure we have good pizza, but there is something unique about these super thin, flash cooked Italian pies. But rumor has it Frank Pepe’s is planning to open up a shop in Boston…here’s hoping.