Helpful ReplyHot!So Much Pizza in Connecticut

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TnTinCT
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/07/21 11:31:51 (permalink)
@kaszeta - I never thought about the "make a friend" option; we'll have to give it a try next time we're in the line. Interestingly though - the Manchester location does not discriminate by party size; I've often been seated in a booth that can hold six with just two of us while the line grows - it's first come, first served at that location.
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Ketteract
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/09 13:04:14 (permalink)
Just a quickie post this time.  Last night I dropped by Angelina's on Prospect Ave, still the only NY-style place I've found around here, for a few huge slices.
 

 
The crust was wonderfully thin, floppy, and chewy, the sauce was sweet and simple, and the sausage was much better than one would expect for a $2.75 slice - good enough for a high-end pizza place, I think.
post edited by Ketteract - 2015/08/09 13:06:05
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leethebard
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/09 14:14:45 (permalink)
Sounds and looks like the real thing!!
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TnTinCT
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/27 20:11:32 (permalink)
We tried another new (to us) place this week - Otto, in the small town of Chester, CT.  Otto serves beautifully light, Neapolitan style pizzas from their wood-burning oven. Based on what we had, the simplest was the best, and the more complex suffered from a bit of what I'll call "the frou-frou syndrome".
Tim ordered an Avery soda; another local Connecticut brand, out of New Britain. We are both fans of Foxon Park, this is less carbonated which puts it slightly behind Foxon as a favorite.
 

We started with a caesar salad, and they were nice enough to split one for us before they brought it to the table. I love a good caesar salad - one that stands up and announces itself. This had a great lemony-garlicy-anchovy thing going on that really knocked my socks off, with fresh parmesan and homemade croutons.
 

 
We ordered two pizzas - a simple Margherita, and the menu-labeled "meat" pizza. The Margherita was really great - they use a local North Haven cheese brand, Luizzi, fresh basil, with a little olive oil to finish. The crust was beautifully charred, and light in texture. You cannot pick up a slice until you've eaten about half way up. Part of the issue is the fresh mozzarella which creates bit of a watery issue, but the crust itself doesn't have the structural integrity to get it off the plate even with just a cheese topping. The sauce was simple and fresh.
 

 

 
The second pie we ordered, labeled "Meat" on the menu, was listed as porchetta, pancetta, pepperoni, garlic, herbs and fresh mozzarella. Unfortunately this suffered from just too much - of what, I'm not sure, but - one of the meats was incredibly salty, the pancetta was not crispy pieces, but half inch square cubes with no crispness at all. The "herbs" listed turned out to be entire springs of rosemary inserted throughout the pizza - I love rosemary with a pork roast, but unfortunately one bite ruined my palate for the rest of the evening; the rosemary took over everything. I ended up trying to pick off what I could to have a second slice. I'm assuming the slices of ham on the pizza were what was labeled as "porchetta" - again missing the textural element that I expect from a porchetta - a bit of fat, a bit of crisp; this might as well have been slices of deli ham. I would definitely recommend to stay simple here, and stick with the classic Margherita, or just a simple one-topping pizza.
 


 
The town of  Chester is a quaint, upscale Connecticut town, and the prices reflect it, so this is not a cheap pizza. They do use high quality ingredients, and the finished product (2 out of 3 for us) was excellent. It's not somewhere we'll frequent - it's a bit out of the way for us, and if I'm going to drive an hour, it's going to be to New Haven, but if you are in the area it's a charming spot with some good pie.
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leethebard
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/27 22:16:12 (permalink)
I think the sprigs of Rosemary would be way too much for me. It's a strong herb and,for me, a lot ruins a dish!
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/28 09:27:22 (permalink)
TnTinCT
 

 



One thing I'll say: that's some of the poofiest edge-crust I've yet seen on a CT pizza.  Poofy enough that I think maybe I'd want a dipping sauce alongside - something I usually would never consider.    
 
The toppings look like a disappointment.  High-end ingredients, but badly prepared and carelessly applied (honestly, what the heck is up with that rosemary?).  The foundation for an excellent pizza is there, but it seems like they need to pay more attention and think things through.
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TnTinCT
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/29 13:09:18 (permalink)
@leethebard - the rosemary was just too, too much - a few individual leaves might have been ok, but it really overwhelmed the flavor.
@Ketteract - poofy, yes! I noticed that when I saw pictures online, so I kept my caesar salad bowl and used the poofy-cheeseless part of the crust to wipe in the leftover dressing. A dipping sauce, or some nice olive oil and herbs would have been perfect. After a few slices, it's just too much bread with no pizza goodness attached. I think my original thought of "froufrou" is apt here - let's use a bunch of high end good ingredients and apply them all in a way that looks fancy, but really doesn't follow through on the taste.
BTW - are the pictures gone for anyone else on that review? When I accessed it today, all pictures are present, with the exceptions of the ones I just posted. I put a note on the bug thread so we'll see, but wondering if it's just me, or everyone?
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/29 15:45:14 (permalink)
TnTinCT
@leethebard - the rosemary was just too, too much - a few individual leaves might have been ok, but it really overwhelmed the flavor.
@Ketteract - poofy, yes! I noticed that when I saw pictures online, so I kept my caesar salad bowl and used the poofy-cheeseless part of the crust to wipe in the leftover dressing. A dipping sauce, or some nice olive oil and herbs would have been perfect. After a few slices, it's just too much bread with no pizza goodness attached. I think my original thought of "froufrou" is apt here - let's use a bunch of high end good ingredients and apply them all in a way that looks fancy, but really doesn't follow through on the taste.
BTW - are the pictures gone for anyone else on that review? When I accessed it today, all pictures are present, with the exceptions of the ones I just posted. I put a note on the bug thread so we'll see, but wondering if it's just me, or everyone?


Yep, your pics are gone for me. The ones above your post are still there. Where did you link to them from? Something like Photobucket or one of the other picture services?


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TnTinCT
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/29 15:59:10 (permalink)
Linked right from the Roadfood Insiders page 😢
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cavandre
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/30 09:59:44 (permalink)
The last time on this thread, the photos were there, but not now.
cavandre
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/30 09:59:45 (permalink)
The last time on this thread, the photos were there, but not now.
lleechef
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/30 11:30:34 (permalink)
No photos for me either.
TnTinCT
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/08/30 13:29:52 (permalink)
Yea! Fixed.
Ketteract
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 17:45:05 (permalink)
Well, I finally made it to The Spot at 163 Wooster. I shouldn't have, given the grinder I'd recently had at the Kensington Market, but this place had been nagging at me ever since I realized that I'd overlooked it.
 
I got there around 1:40 in the afternoon and there was one party of seven in front of me. I got to sit down when they did, as there happened to be another table that had opened up. About a ten-minute wait - not bad at all. The line at Pepe's was several people longer.
 
I've been trying to work through all of Foxon Park's sodas. So far I've had the ginger ale, birch beer, and gasossa; this time I got a root beer. Good stuff, classic taste, and while it contained artificial flavor it didn't leave a chemical aftertaste in my mouth like some of the big brands do.
 

 
I changed up my usual test-order a bit and got half bacon and onion, half sausage and garlic (instead of half sausage and peppers).
 

 
As far as I could tell, the only differences between this place and Pepe's were in the oven they use (it's the coal oven that Pepe's originally used before moving, in service since 1925) and the seating (tables instead of booths). I definitely preferred the more open feel of the tables.
 
I'll be darned if I could detect any real difference in the pizza itself. It had the same incredible bacon as Pepe's.
 

 
Pepe's for comparison:
 

 
And as with Pepe's, the sausage was good but underwhelming compared to Zuppardi's, or even BAR's.  The garlic, though - my goodness, it adds so much, and it's only a 50-cent topping. I'm going to start including it by default.
 

 

 
All the char that you could want.
 

 

 
Afterwards, I sat in Wooster Square to enjoy the perfect weather and digest my indulgence.
 

 
Obviously, if you're hell-bent on going to the regular Pepe's then nothing is going to stop you, but I'm told The Spot almost always has a shorter line. If both had the same line, I would flip a coin, and if I felt I needed to save time, I'd go to The Spot in a heartbeat. The pizza is still Pepe's. Need I elaborate?
post edited by Ketteract - 2015/09/05 18:06:59
leethebard
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 18:08:08 (permalink)
Oh my...that looks like heaven!!!!
Ketteract
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 18:17:26 (permalink)
Managed to kill half of that friggin' thing.  Now I sit back, and let the fat flow through me.
 

 
Also, I forgot to show this absolutely lovely brownstone that I saw across from the park:
 

post edited by Ketteract - 2015/09/05 18:27:32
FriedClamFanatic
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 18:49:35 (permalink)
A lovely spot to let all that stuff absorb.  Back in the 70's we used to find old (revolutionary War or so) graveyards to have a picnic.  Some of them have incredibly nice views
Michael Hoffman
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 19:09:56 (permalink)
Ketteract,
 
Your pictures just disappeared.
Ketteract
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 19:17:32 (permalink)
Hmm. I just tried through Firefox (normally I use Chrome) and everything loaded up just fine...
Michael Hoffman
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 19:45:29 (permalink)
They're back.
ann peeples
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 21:20:55 (permalink)
They are back, and they are spectacular!!
TnTinCT
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/05 22:54:19 (permalink)
Looking, as always, absolutely delicious. I think it's time for another New Haven run. You've made me hungry for the real thing.
Ketteract
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/06 07:27:04 (permalink)
I'm a little sad that I have no more big New Haven places to try.  I guess I can move to the next tier.  Grand Apizza has been strongly recommended to me, and I hear Da Legna is supposed to be great as well.
ayersian
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/06 11:22:54 (permalink)
Ketteract
I'm a little sad that I have no more big New Haven places to try.  I guess I can move to the next tier.  Grand Apizza has been strongly recommended to me, and I hear Da Legna is supposed to be great as well.

Grand Apizza is great; we used to go there every summer while working in New Haven. Have you tried Dayton Street Apizza off of Whalley Avenue? Also great, though after you've exhausted NH's Big 4.   Chris
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/06 15:22:12 (permalink)
Ketteract
All the char that you could want.
 

 


 
Indeed.  I think there are a lot of fairly good pizzas out there that could move up a notch if they just spent a little more time in the oven.
leethebard
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/06 16:51:27 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
Ketteract
All the char that you could want.
 

 


 
Indeed.  I think there are a lot of fairly good pizzas out there that could move up a notch if they just spent a little more time in the oven.


...also,the type of oven....wood fired really would do it!
Ketteract
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/07 09:27:45 (permalink)
ayersian
Ketteract
I'm a little sad that I have no more big New Haven places to try.  I guess I can move to the next tier.  Grand Apizza has been strongly recommended to me, and I hear Da Legna is supposed to be great as well.

Grand Apizza is great; we used to go there every summer while working in New Haven. Have you tried Dayton Street Apizza off of Whalley Avenue? Also great, though after you've exhausted NH's Big 4.   Chris




I saw the Roadfood entry for Dayton Street a while ago. The sausage there looks awesome.  I think Grand uses bulk-style as well, but it's a little hard to tell from their Facebook pics.  So I'll probably end up going to Dayton first.
TnTinCT
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/07 10:39:19 (permalink)
I blame Ketteract for our need to go on a pizza run to New Haven last night (blame? maybe give credit to?) Those pictures from the Spot were just too enticing. We decided to hit Sally's, which hasn't been on our roster for probably more than 5 years. Sally's is so interesting when compared to the other 3 (let's assume Pepe's, Modern, and Zuppardi's - not including Bar in this list). Pepe's is an icon, and they know it. You wait in line, you get fabulous pizza, and they've now expanded and really branded their product - but due to the expansion made some changes; added a salad, you can get a bigger glass for your drink (they used to use those little tiny orange juice glasses) - little things, but changes. If they play favorites at the original restaurant, it's very covert. Modern is a restaurant, not specifically a pizza joint, and they don't play favorites, everyone waits in line, and the product maybe isn't as consistent, but nonetheless still my favorite. Zuppardi's is a family place, set in the middle of a neighborhood. They treat you like family, even if you're new to the restaurant, no frills, no fuss, and make a great pizza.
 
Sally's opened at 3p yesterday, so we arrived at 320p, to be sure we'd reduce our wait (hopefully) for pizza. We walked in, and stood awkwardly inside the door between the rows of tables (avoiding a 2-top they shoved in that space) for fully 6-7 minutes without being acknowledged. The one guy working the floor spent considerable time with one table taking an order, never looked at us, and completed 3 or 4 more tasks before he gave us "the only thing he had" (as he put it), the table in the back right corner of the front of the restaurant. He tossed us (literally) a couple of menus as he was walking by a few minutes later.  About 15 minutes after that, he took our order. We noticed after he left that no one in the restaurant had any food at all yet.  We got drinks about 10 minutes after that, and fully 55 minutes after we walked in the door, got our pizza.
 
We ordered 2 large pizzas - first, a pepperoni pie, with onions on half.
 

 
The char is really great, and the crust overall has an amazing texture - not a single pizza crust end went to waste. The toppings fell short. I'd never order pepperoni here again - it had no flavor, no spice. We debated doing bacon instead, and this was a regret, especially when the table behind us ordered bacon, onion and garlic The onions were sweet, and sliced nice and thin - my preference. It seemed dry compared to the other places in New Haven, maybe it was missing a sprinkle of olive oil, I'm not sure. Understand this was still a great pizza. The close up -
 

 
We also ordered a sausage pizza, with mushrooms on one half, and mixed peppers - hot and sweet- on the other.  Tim loved the mushrooms, and the mixed pepper side had a really pleasant tang and burn from the pickled hot peppers that I enjoyed. The sausage, while good, didn't compare to some of the other really great sausage offerings like Zuppardi's.
 

 

 
This was a LARGE pie - so large it got bent from sitting in the tray, not sure this picture does it justice.
 

 
These are expensive pizzas compared to what we've experienced at the others - the sausage pie was $29, the pepperoni $27.50. With 2 sodas each, and the 2 pizzas, the total before tip was $63 and change.
 
The service, at best, is brusque - but we enjoyed the experience, relating it to what you might see in a movie. I've heard Sally's treats their regulars well, puts them in front of others in line, and generally non-regulars get what they get. You could tell several of the folks knew our waiter well, and he hung out and chatted quite a bit with particular tables, sometimes to the detriment of service to others. This is place that hasn't changed *except for the prices*, and has no pretense about what it is, and isn't. Would I deal with this all the time based on the product you get the end? No. This solidified for me Sally's in 4th place of the big four, and frankly there are a few others I'd put ahead of them, including my local place here in Simsbury, Little City.
That being said - this is New Haven, and how lucky are we to have the choice.
 
ayersian
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/07 11:38:27 (permalink)
Agreed completely, TnTinCT. That mirrors EVERY experience I've had at Sally's (but at least they're consistently surly), though I did get bacon on my last visit, which was the best I've had there!   Chris
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Re: So Much Pizza in Connecticut 2015/09/07 12:06:02 (permalink)
Part of me agrees with you about the Sally's experience having its own peculiar appeal, and appreciates it as a sort of time capsule - but another part sees that as sugarcoating of what is, objectively speaking, lousy service. Ultimately it doesn't matter; they'll keep doing what they're doing as long as their business isn't dying, which I can't imagine happening, at least in my lifetime. When I went there with a couple of friends recently, the service was what it was, but I was so distracted by our own conversation (and a couple of toddlers that were also in attendance), and the pizza, that I only took brief notice of it. I haven't gone there by myself yet. I'm a little scared to, in fact.
 
Those onions look fantastic and plentiful. Quite the opposite of when I had bacon and onion at Modern, where the onions basically disappeared among everything else, and didn't stand up at all to the overly salty bacon. It's a reliable workhorse of a veggie, but you can't take it for granted! As for pepperoni... maybe I've said this before, but I just don't think highly of it as a topping in general.
 
Agreed about the sausage. It's not on the same level as Zuppardi's (honestly, what is?), but I'd say it's a little better than Pepe's. I've yet to have a sliced sausage on a pizza that was truly remarkable, except for some Andouille I once had at a chain in the Midwest that I'm not gonna name.
 
One thing I've noticed about Sally's crust - and I may be imagining it - is how the char doesn't seem to form a solid ring around around the outside like it often does with Pepe's. It sort of bubbles up and over. I don't know why that happens, and it's still delicious of course, but it is something that helps me identify a Sally's vs. Pepe's pizza by sight.
 
Anyway, great photos and review, as always! Your last bit about putting Little City in Simsbury ahead of them... those are fightin' words.
 
ayersian
though I did get bacon on my last visit, which was the best I've had there!
 

 
More fightin' words.  The bacon I've had at Pepe's (and The Spot) are just leagues above what I've had from every other pizzeria in Connecticut.  I think I need to do more comparisons.  For science.
post edited by Ketteract - 2015/09/07 12:07:30
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