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here's my quick & dirty review of Pepe's & Modern... again, for "NY pizza" fans, i've never had a better piece than these two. however, I think Pizzeria Bianco & Keste are the two best pizza i've ever had.


(reposted from a food forum so it might read a little funny here & there)

i emailed Turbology and asked him to take me to Modern Apizza on my recent NYC trip, which he said was the most consistent. serendipitously, on the plane ride to NYC, the latest issue of AoE had a review of Sally's (one of the New Haven triumverate.) and, then, catching up on some blog entries before the plane touched down, i read a review of Pepe's.

i was pumped - let's try them all!

First up was Modern Apizza - we ordered a medium margherita. The pizza was larger than I expected (note: if you plan to tackle all three, order small.) Immediately, I noticed how the crust was not just charred, but nearly burned. It has some nice blistering for its thinness but it was definitely on the crispy side. It tasted very good - the mozzarella was quite tangy and really pepped up the taste. The crust itself has no real discernable flavor. The texture of the crust by itself wasn't my preference but there was no denying this was the best NYC style pizza I had tasted, largely thanks to the tangy cheese, and the "comfortable" textural interplay between the cheese and crust when chewing.










We then drove across town to Sally's and Pepe's, a few blocks apart. When we drove past Sally's, it was closed (only open for dinner.) I was somewhat saddened but I was already somewhat full from the first pizza; in retrospect, this was a blessing in disguise.

So we hit Pepe's - I've heard lines are quite long but we walked in around 12:30pm without issue. We ordered another medium margherita, for comparison's sake. My friend told me Pepe's can be the best or worst, depending on the day, wildly inconsistent. When the pizza arrived, the crust had a wider range of done-ness - some parts less cooked than Amodern and some obviously more charred. On my first bite, I knew this was an "on" day - the mozz had the same wonderful tanginess of Amodern but the crust was full of flavor, analogous to Flour + Water (for the SF'ers.) It had a great yeastiness that was a real pleasure to crunch on. It was so crispy that not even all of that grease could make it soggy over the course of lunch; not my preference, but this was quite good.














A fun little diversion from the typical NYC trip - a quick hour ride north. The style of pizza is not to my preference, preferring Keste more (their style is a little more considered and artisinal IMO) but the Pepe's would make it into my Top 5 Pizza list. I was insanely full, the train ride home was painful, and I did not eat again for the rest of the day; but a fun survey of Americana.

- chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Never knew this thread would be a hit. I need some good pizza, it has been a while. Us SoCal people need to plan a run to Rick's Haus of Pizza soon.
 

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Great pics and write-up Chuck, only downside is it's making me hungry again haha! Will the final version be included in the project?
:)
 

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Keste today for lunch and I must confirm Chuck's offering - fantastic. I had a "measuring stick" margherita and it was perfection. The crust was outrageously good and could have stood on its own. The sauce was tangy enough to only be applied sparingly and the mozzarella, well, whole new ballgame. Each chew was like taking a sip of milk.

The calzone was similarly outstanding. Fresh ricotta and thinly sliced salami enveloped in the afore-mentioned triumphant crust. Until I can try Bianco in Phoenix as a point of reference, Keste is the best pizza I've ever had.
:)
 

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the best part are the prices...the good pizza joints down here in FL are getting 20-25 for a large!

check out worstpizza.com (they cover 'em all, good and bad)
 

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Ramunto's Brick Oven Pizza in Claremont, NH and my girlfriend's dad's pizza place (greek pizza), Poultney House of Pizza in Poultney, VT.

Ramunto's pizza below



Girlfriend's Dad's pizza place below

 

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this was the (March Madness) Pizza Bracket - it's an excellent source of artisan pizza shops, as the ones i recognize would definitely be considered tops in their city:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/assets_c/2010/02/20100204-pizza-bracket-72249.html

and the winner
Pizzeria Bianco Wins Rachael Ray Pizza Madness Bracket | Slice Pizza Blog

it's no surprise Bianco won - it's definitely the best. my 2nd fave Keste didn't make it out of the first round :(


if it were 3 years ago, when i had nothing to do, i would hop in the Porsche come spring and visit every one of these places - and do a real March Madness!

- chuck
 
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