|On Wednesday we moved further west in Connecticut to Thomaston, which provided a central point for visiting New Haven, Hartford and Litchfield. After settling into our campsite and resting for a short time (Mark is still recovering from his summer cold and I pulled some muscles which are making it difficult for me to sleep well) we scurried over to New Haven for a quick visit to Yale University. Now here was an Ivy League school whose beautiful, old, gothic buildings made it worthy of its inclusion in this prestigious group of schools. The campus and its surrounding buildings were gorgeous, the campus was alive with students, and the history and prestige of the school were transmitted loud and clear (five U.S. presidents attended Yale, including four of the last six presidents). Most of the buildings looked like churches with their gothic architecture and stain glass windows. A statute of Nathan Hale (a Connecticut son who was arrested and put to death for treason by the British during the Revolutionary War; his famous quote was “I regret that I have but only one life to lose for my country”) stood next to the very old building in which he had lived.
After we walked the campus from end to end, we were just about to head out of town when I noticed a rather lofty claim in the New Haven tour book that we both felt we had to follow up on – New Haven is known, even by New Yorkers, as the home of the best pizza in America. Even with Mark’s senses impaired by his cold he felt that we could not turn our backs on this challenge. So we followed the GPS directions to Wooster Street, New Haven’s Little Italy where pizza joints, Italian eateries and bakeries decorated the street.
People were lined up outside the two most popular pizza places – Sally’s and Frank Pepe’s. We picked the one with the shortest line and after a 20 minute wait we were seated at Table 9. Frank Pepe’s served only one thing – PIZZA. It was most famous for serving its pizza sans mozzarella cheese and every pizza was baked in their huge wood fired oven. We chose to have mozzarella on our pizza, along with pepperoni for Mark and mushrooms for me. Just to be different we added a layer of garlic as well (we figured it could only help Mark’s cold).
As we waited for our pizza we marveled at how a restaurant as large as this could have a line out the door on a Wednesday night and serve only ONE thing. This would never happen in Denver, not that Denver should ever be held up as a culinary comparison to any real city.
The pizza at Frank Pepe’s did not disappoint and even Mark, who could hardly taste anything, enjoyed it. Best in America? Well, I think we will have to continue to validate that claim through future pizza dinners. We ended our evening in New Haven with an Italian ice from the delightful bakery down the street – Mark tried cherry and I, of course, had to get the chocolate. YUM!