Things We Hate »
I was just looking at Alan Richman’s Top 25 Pizzas in the USA, and once again, Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven Connecticut made the list. This isn’t surprising, because it’s on many “Best Pizza” lists, and has even been featured on the Food Network several times.
What I’d like to know is… WHY? Why does this awful pizza place keep getting featured on TV and in magazines? Pepe’s pizza sucks. Don’t you food critics have taste buds, or did they all disintegrate after your last meal at The Lady & Sons? Are you buying into the “it’s on a lot of best pizza lists, so it must be good” hype? Or are you all just 3rd cousins twice removed from the Pepe family?
Here’s the thing: I live in Connecticut. I’ve waited in the lines. I’ve feasted on the various “world famous” pizza pies. And I’ve left disappointed, every time. Sure the place is filled with history, and yes, they cook in a coal oven, but so what? The result is a tired, dated restaurant and pizzas that are so chewy you can hardly swallow them. The truth is, Pepe’s serves the worst pizza I have ever eaten in my life (and I’ve eaten some pretty bad pizza all over the world).
Unfortunately, the problems with this restaurant go far beyond their inedible crust:
1. You’re not allowed to set foot into the restaurant until there’s a table ready for you, yet the only waiting area is a 3×8 coat closet that reeks of body odor, ammonia, and vomit. You’re resigned to standing there, like a child being punished, until a rude waitress pops her head through the door and motions for you.
2. The staff is rude and the “service” is poor. They act like they’re doing you a favor by taking your order. They huff and puff if you ask a simple question. And just a tip: don’t dare ask for a straw, unless you want to be looked at with the contempt of an axe murderer.
3. I’ll deal with standing around for hours, and I’m willing to endure rude service, IF the food is really good. However, PEPE’S PIZZA IS DISGUSTING. I can not emphasize that enough. On our last trip there, we ordered a large cheese pizza. What we received was a dry, cheeseless, virtually tasteless pie. This is the norm at Pepe’s, not the exception. The dough is so chewy and hard that you can hardly swallow it. The crust, which is usually one of my favorite parts, is completely inedible. The cheese is exceptionally salty. The tomato sauce is bland. All you taste is soot from the coal oven and salt from the cheap cheese, and it’s simply awful.
Check out this video we shot at Pepe’s during our last visit and make up your own mind. Does THIS look like some of tthe world’s best pizza – or cardboard that was just flattened in a compressor at the dump? Look at it! IT DOESN’T EVEN BEND! And that’s not a good thing. It’s more dried up than Jerry Seinfeld’s career.
(Have you eaten at Pepe’s? What did you think? Who serves your favorite pizza? Personally, I can’t get enough of the slices at Ray’s in NYC. But frankly, even CAFE METRO has better pizza then Pepe’s.)
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---Food Review: Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace at Mohegan Sun Casino
---Meanwhile… On Pioneer Woman…
---11 Awful Gifts For Foodies And Cooks
- Things We Hate