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Bad Pizza in Connecticut

June 28, 2010

This morning I’m holed up in a hotel in Milford (again) a few blocks away from the bad pizza place in town.  You know, the one that my Aunt and Uncle don’t order from.  They enjoy food, so they go a bit out of their way to get a better pizza.

If my cousin was back home in Milford, instead of eating his way around Sicily, he would lead the charge to man up and drive to New Haven for Pepe’s.  The biggest tragedy is that I’m far too close to Pepe’s far too often, but only rarely am I able to get some of their pizza.  It is a great personal shame.  Especially considering just how good it is.

So regrettably I’m not going to talk about New Haven’s famous pizza today.  Instead I’m going to talk about the bad pizza place in town.  Why should anyone in Albany care about this?

Because I think the bad place in Milford might be better than the best places in Albany.

Before I get into that, I’d just like to take a moment to suggest that this is an example where I am not over prescriptive about food.  Rather, I do respect the rich regionality of pizza.  And while in general I have a preference for NY Style thin crust, it does not stop me from enjoying excellent New Haven coal fired pizza.

First the place isn’t really bad.  In this case it’s just the matter of comparison.  The bad place does brisk business, and has a stream of regulars picking up pies to go, along with a flurry of pizzas coming out of the oven going to tables in the adjacent restaurant.

Second, I recognize that food sometimes tastes better when you are on vacation.  And that the grass is always greener on the other side of the street.

But still, these are charred pizzas, with crispy outer crusts, and a bottom with a delicious chew.
There are bubbles. And there is obvious craftsmanship in their construction.

People take pizza seriously in this town.  And the bar is set very high.  This wonderful place merely gets a shrug from my food loving family, with a mere, “It’s okay.”   Which is remarkable.  Especially since neither Pasquale’s, Nunzio’s, Marino’s, I Love, DiFazio’s, The Orchard, Paesan’s, nor Marissa’s can compete.

It’s time for Albany to step up its game.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    June 28, 2010 10:24 am

    Was at a wedding in New Haven a couple of weeks ago, so finally was able to try Frank Pepe’s! Had white clam and tried friend’s Margherita. So very very good. Nothing like ith around here, as you said.

  2. Chris permalink
    June 28, 2010 10:52 am

    If you’re in New Haven and don’t want to wait in line forever, Modern Apizza is open for lunch and generally has little to no wait throughout the day and evening. It is every bit as good as Pepe’s and Sally’s. Not as touristy either :)

  3. imajovigirl permalink
    June 28, 2010 2:35 pm

    Pepe’s is excellent pizza. I went to their shop at Mohegan Sun. I’ve had some awful pizza in CT as well.

    While at The Saratoga Winery, I stumbled upon Orapello’s pizza. They do an awesome Neapolitan pizza…they are mobile…hope they open up shop soon. This area could use a quality pizza like theirs!

  4. June 28, 2010 10:47 pm

    I grew pretty close to Milford and have many fond memories of Pepe’s. I have yet to eat at one of the recent outposts, only been to the New Haven location. Their white clam and bacon pizza is fantastic. Possibly a matter of taste, but I would have to agree that mediocre pizza in southern Connecticut is better than more popular pizza places here.

  5. Tim permalink
    June 30, 2010 7:46 pm

    Coincidence – stumbled on this via Kevin Marshall’s blog and you’re talking about coal pizza! I was in the neighborhood of the Schenectady Post Office today and remembered that More Perreca’s recently extended their hours such that I could actually try their coal fired pizza for the first time. I was always a thick and bready crust guy, but I’ve been reading about the glory of the ultra hot coal oven and what a rarity they are, and that Schenectady should have one should be considered a blessing. I could never find out until this week though, because they were only open while I was at work. Anyway, I’m converted. My pizza was nothing like any I’d had before, no sauce, crispy beyond any expectation, and absolutely delicious. I had kalamata olives and prosciutto for toppings. I was torn between that and a margherita, which will be my next visit. I don’t think it’s anything like New Haven’s “ah-beets” in anything but crispy crust, but it was something I plan to go back for more of.

  6. July 3, 2010 2:23 am

    Interesting.

    I view pizza opinions like opinions on music: everyone has their own and everyone thinks theirs is superior to all others. Does it really matter? No, not really. People who love pizza A are going to eat Pizza A and people who love pizza B are going to eat pizza B. It’s mostly a waste of time as we all know everyone is different, has different tastes, etc…

    We are lucky enough to have a long-term fan base of Orchard pizza lovers. There are people who love ours, people who love The Fountain, who love Purple Pub or where ever, who love thin crust or deep dish and so on. It goes back to what you said about people not so much loving the pizza but loving what it makes them think about, the experiences they might have had and/or the people they had them with. Albany does care about their pizza and has been “stepping up” for a long time, in my opinion. Yes some may love the charred crust and cheese bubbles but that’s Connecticut, this is Albany. We don’t care. It all reminds me of a blog comment about our pizza last year, something about how this guy’s Italian grandfather warned him that if he ever tried Orchard pizza he would “break his knee-caps”. Little does this guy know our pizza was invented by an Italian immigrant in the 1940’s who just happened to be adopted by an Irish family who just happened to run a restaurant.

    My point is this: It’s not about who’s making it, how long they have been there or how they make it. If you like this pizza, eat this pizza. If you like that pizza, eat that pizza. We like what we do and we like to think people feel the same way. While we and many other area pizza places appreciate Daniel B.’s continued patronship, I don’t think there’s any reason to change Albany’s pizza atmosphere.

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