Last night was fun. Michele and I and three of our kids met up with some friends from here and ate some of the world's best pizza at the new Pepe's in Manchester, CT.
Now, anyone who knows Connecticut knows that Frank Pepe's, the home of the original American pizza (or, apizza) is in New Haven, not Manchester. The old place on Wooster Street in New Haven is still there, just like the sky hasn't fallen. But now, Pepe's has a new location. It's just across from the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester. This new place is especially great for book lovers, because when you park near the Barnes and Noble in the mall, the pizzeria is just across the street.
But someone might wonder: Is the pizza just as good? Our waiter explained to us that when Pepe's decided to branch out, they actually shut down the brick oven on Wooster Street, let it cool for a day, and then sent a guy in to take pictures, measurements, etc. so they could replicate it. The oven in Manchester certainly looks like the one on Wooster Street. And I have to say I think the pizza is just as good.
However, the new location is so upscale, suburban-ish. At Manchester, you lose something of the experience because you don't get the local color of Wooster Street. Not to mention that in New Haven, if the line at Pepe's is too long, you can always go down the street to Sally's (which a lot of folks say is even better.) Plus, at the old place, after pizza you can go over to Libby's Italian Pastry Shop for something sweet. (Their Italian ice is highly recommended).
You can read about Wooster Street pizza here. And if you haven't been to that old neighborhood in New Haven for something to eat, put the trip on your bucket list.