Frank Pepe's Pizza, Manchester, CT
Frank Pepe's is one of the most noted pizza joints in New Haven, CT, established in 1925. Frank may be departed from this Earth, but his family is carrying on the preaching of his pizza gospel by opening new outlets in Connecticut and Yonkers, NY.
Mrs PG and I stopped at the Manchester, CT this afternoon to see if we could get a taste of their signature magic and weren't dissapointed. We've never been to the original but this was some seriously good pie. The store is almost hidden away but had no problem attracting a good business on a Sunday afternoon. There's a lot of seating for families. The coal fired oven is in plain view as you walk in and it has volume, far bigger than any old Blodgett from the corner pizza joint. They really do use peels of about 14 ft or so in length. It's impressive in every way. The staff are all happy, enjoying their jobs and ready to convert you into a fan.
The pizza is as has been described before; a thin crust with a handsome cornicione and blackened spots on the bottom giving both character and flavor. There area fair number of toppings available and you can order a white pizza as well. A 12" pie will fed two adults who are hungry but they also offer 14" and 18' pies for families with teenagers. Beer on tap and bottled, wine, soft drinks, and bottled waters are available to drink. They also offer a small salad for anyone who wants to pretend that they didn't go there for the pizza.
As you may have gathered, we enjoyed our stop at Frank Pepe's Manchester. Use your GPS to find it the first time but your tastebuds will get you back there the next. Their story is a classic American immigrant family success story and really good news for hungry pizza lovers.