Of course, you can get terrific versions in and around New Haven, at stalwarts like Sally's, Zuppardi's, Modern, and Frank Pepe's. Suprisingly, there are some pretty fine apizza makers in locations far to the west. San Diego's Basic Urban Kitchen is simply superb, and could stand alongside any Connecticut-sourced apizza. Apizza Scholls in Portland Oregon has likewise earned a lot of deserved praise for its massive New Haven style pies.
On a recent trip to the Washington DC area, I scouted for destination pies. The region is blessed with plenty of good pies, such as the Jersey style pizza at All-Purpose Pizza or the Neapolitans at 2Amys. Given the success of apizza places in Portland and San Diego, I was drawn to the regional mini-chain (currently two locations) of Pete's New Haven Style Apizza, so we visited the Arlington VA location for dinner on a Saturday night.
|The "New Haven" clam apizza|
|The "Merritt Parkway"|
- The New Haven, a white pie with clams, garlic, oregano, EVOO, and Pecorino Romano cheese
- The Merritt Parkway, a red pie with prosciutto, Kalamata olives, caramelized onions, fresh basil, and EVOO
- Original Cheese, a red pie to which we added pepperoni and roasted mushrooms as toppings
|"Original Cheese" apizza with pepperoni & mushroooms|
|A slice of the New Haven clam apizza|
|Thin and rigid crust|
|The "Merritt Parkway" apizza|
|Nice char underneath|
|A slice of the Merritt Parkway apizza|
|A slice of the Origiinal Cheese with pepperoni & mushrooms|
Overall, I felt this was excellent apizza across the board, but not as good as I'd found in New Haven, Portland, or San Diego. To my surprise and dismay, all three of my dining companions found it to be "just OK" pizza. I think this reveals my bias for traditional thin and crisp pizza; others would have preferred a Neapolitan.
Pete's was a great stop for me; I'd go often if it was in my neighborhood. If thin and crunchy crust is your thing, this is a nice slice of New Haven.