Monday, December 19, 2011
Sad City Travels: New Haven
While we are on the topic of pizza, we would be remiss not to mention New Haven, our neighbor to the south. Those of us that are diehard Hartfordites probably find it tempting to hate New Haven. After all, New Haven gets the benefit of some advantages that Hartford doesn't, and some of those seem a little unfair. New Haven is the home to Yale University. While Hartford has it's share of excellent schools, none are Yale. When your city is home to a university that has a $19.4 billion endowment and has educated five U.S. Presidents, well, that's going to help out quite a bit.
New Haven is also located conveniently close to New York City. Being only a short train ride from the worlds financial center is also very beneficial to New Haven. Now Hartford can't move any closer to New York, but it would be nice to be connected to Metro North, but that's another story for another day.
Its not all roses for New Haven though as the city famously let the New Haven Coliseum become so outdated that it was eventually closed in 2002 and demolished in 2007. Today New Haven still has no major arena to draw acts. Certainly Hartford won't be repeating that mistake.
As many know New Haven is also famous for having perhaps the best pizza in the world. Whether one prefers Pepe's, Sally's, or Modern, everyone seems to have an opinion and everyone thinks their favorite is hands down the best pizza to be found. This is where Sad City has to make a confession. Despite living within an hour of all these amazing pizza places for most of our lives, we had somehow managed to never visit any of these world famous pizzerias. Disgraceful, we know. There is really no excuse at all. Well last month that was remedied as we finally visited Pepe's.
That evening Pepe's was out of their clam pizza so we settled for a margherita. It was great, no question about it. Was it the best pizza in the world? No idea. We still haven't tried Sally's or Modern. But we will say it was just about the best pizza we have ever had, and there none of the close contenders are in Hartford. Sad City gives credit where credit is due, and New Haven has us on pizza.
We've also tried mashed potato and bacon pizza at BAR, a combination that seemed moronic when first suggested to us but turned out to be an awesome revelation. Seriously, bacon and mashed potato, who knew? Without a doubt, New Haven has some incredible pizza. No shame in losing to New Haven in that department, as the general consensus is they could put up their pizza against anyone.
Other Sad City favorites in New Haven include the Union League Cafe and Toad's Place, a legendary rock club where you actually want to pay the cover to see the bands play. New Haven is a very cool city and while lots of it's advantages over Hartford are due to sheer luck and geography, us Hartfordites shouldn't hate New Haven because of it's good fortune. Instead we should be happy to have a nice, similar sized city so close to visit and strive to make some of our own good fortune right here in Hartford. Let's just not take them on head to head in the pizza department.