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Frank Pepe's

irvingk Feb 18, 2010 11:49 AM

Has the pizza at Frank Pep's gotten better. Have they gotten there act together.

  1. iluvcookies Feb 19, 2010 05:51 AM

    The Frank Pepe's on Central Ave in Yonkers is wonderful. Perfect char, good sauce. Love the Tomato pie with mozzarella, bacon and fresh garlic. I've never been to the CT locations, but whatever they are doing here is terrific.

    1 Reply
    1. re: iluvcookies
      anonymouse1935 Feb 19, 2010 06:12 AM

      Whenever I've been to either Pepe's in CT, they were both also excellent.

      Glad to hear the one in Yonkers is equally good -- I'm waiting for the novelty to wear off or the warm weather to come, whichever comes first.

    2. r
      rich51 Feb 19, 2010 03:36 PM

      have been to yonkers twice now, pepperoni (my way to judge) both times and it has improved, but nowheres near pepe's best. i am having doubts that they ever will, each person has just one job, one assembles, another puts in oven and still another takes out, also the handler never once shuffled the pies in the oven, only lifted to check the doneness

      1 Reply
      1. re: rich51
        demifast Feb 19, 2010 03:49 PM

        I liked it - but with reservations. The crust on one pie was not just well done as requested - but burnt. The toppings were wrong on both pies and we waited twice as long as all the tables seated near us. We were joking that the reason for the wait was that they were plucking the chickens for our chicken topping. And one minor complaint - the tables are too far from the benches (and immovable - they're bolted to the floor) so you feel like you're sitting too far from the table. Watch those drips...

      2. surman Feb 26, 2010 07:04 PM

        Had a couple of white clam pies last week -- one with bacon and one "kosher" without bacon. Both were amazingly good -- worthy of the original on Wooster Street and worth a serious detour. Beer selection is small but classy, too.

        4 Replies
        1. re: surman
          anonymouse1935 Mar 1, 2010 02:43 AM

          Finally got there. A minimal wait and a good seating. Service was prompt and pleasant, and not grumpy. The wine, of course, is in the same silly little glass.

          The pizza? Well, I haven't had Al'Antica's, but Pepe's is the best pizza Westchester has to offer right now. Yes, it was that good, but...DH said it wasn't as good as Wooster St. or, he 'thinks', as Fairfield.

          We didn't order them well done, so they came out perfect. The sausage and mushroom cheese pie came out first, and had a nice char. The white clam was also cooked perfectly, but DH said there was an indefinable 'something' that was different.

          Since I didn't find that with either pie, I stand by this location for my Pepe's fix in the future. You can't see the oven from your seat and the waitress wasn't grumpy, but it didn't require a 90 minute drive or an hour wait, either. And at $46., there was no bank loan required to get out of the place. Thank you, heirs of Frank Pepe, for the forward thinking.

          1. re: anonymouse1935
            mamas girl Mar 6, 2010 07:26 PM

            Hands down best pizza around. We used to road trip it to New Haven just for a pie.

            1. re: mamas girl
              anonymouse1935 Mar 7, 2010 02:36 AM

              It sure is. It was almost as good all week as leftovers.

              1. re: anonymouse1935
                intrepid Mar 7, 2010 04:55 AM

                ate there this week did a small clam extra garlic spinach and mozz- good eats

        2. k
          KarenNYC Mar 13, 2010 06:37 AM

          we love the original in New Haven and the one in Fairfield is great but the one in Yonkers is inconsistent. we have had a good pie there but most of the time the pie has come out doughy and half cooked. I recommend traveling a bit further to the CT locations.

          4 Replies
          1. re: KarenNYC
            anonymouse1935 Mar 13, 2010 07:02 AM

            How many times have you been to Yonkers?

            I'll take my chances with Yonkers, the pies were just fine when I went, the best in Westchester.

            1. re: anonymouse1935
              cookiez Mar 13, 2010 01:26 PM

              We ate in Yonkers last week and it was excellent. The crust was perfect. It's the best PIzza we've had in the area since DeRosa's (at the firehouse) in Westport, CT closed. We'll go back again and again.

            2. re: KarenNYC
              roxlet Mar 14, 2010 09:24 AM

              We ate at Yonkers a few weeks ago, and the waitress actually told the pizza makers to re-do one of our pies because she felt it was too blackened. We waited a few extra minutes, and the pizza that came out was done to a T. This was my fourth visit, and each of the pies has been just about perfect.

              1. re: KarenNYC
                iluvcookies Mar 15, 2010 06:14 AM

                DH and I have been to the Yonkers location no less than a dozen times in the past 2 months. Pizza hasn't been undercooked at all, in fact they have been excellent.

                Traveling to New Haven for a pizza just isn't a reasonable option on a weeknight.

              2. b
                brooklynbyotch Mar 15, 2010 06:32 PM

                I grew up in Westchester and my mom is still there. The most baffling thing is that to this day... there are very few good restaurants to go to. But one thing has been consistent - Central Avenue sucks. The stretch has seen the likes of Fudrucker's, Uno, and McDonald's come and go. When an old school diner is the best thing on the block - you know you're in trouble. Along comes FRANK PEPE'S. I was pretty skeptical. But for Westchester? This is a godsend. Seriously. Thin crust pizza - sauce that isn't too sweet - really simple toppings - the mushrooms aren't canned, which I can't say for many pizza joints out in the burbs. It's in fact Brooklyn quality (as a current Brooklynite I'm biased). The Foxon soda is good too - try the lemon lime. The photos on the wall of founder Frank and his family are great. But in truth the ambiance is nothing to write home about -- lights are really bright - but the pizza sure is great and you don't need that much ambiance in a pizza joint. Thank's to Frank and family.

                8 Replies
                1. re: brooklynbyotch
                  anonymouse1935 Mar 16, 2010 04:05 AM

                  I agree, brooklynbyotch. I find it incredible that, in the 21st century, Westchester is such a vast wasteland of outstanding restaurants, even actually of very good restaurants. It barely has a decent showing of good restaurants. It DOES have a plethora of overpriced restaurants, though, so I assume that is something.

                  But yes, isn't it wonderful that we don't have to travel to New Haven for outstanding pizza? Another conundrum (in addition to the paucity of Asian restaurants and the utter lack of a Vietnamese restaurant) is the lack of great pizza in Westchester. WESTchester, for pity sake, which isn't all that far from Mulberry Street.

                  At any rate, Frank Pepe's fills the bill and the gaping chasm that was outstanding pizza in Westchester. Kudos to his heirs for having the foresight to come to lower Westchester.

                  Now, if Paul has really returned to Hunan Village in Hartsdale, there will at least be ONE outstanding Asian restaurant.

                  1. re: anonymouse1935
                    roxlet Mar 17, 2010 12:17 AM

                    A paucity of Asian restaurants? You've got to be kidding. What we have is a surfeit, an overabundance, and a superfluity. I will agree that there is a lack of specific Asian cuisines, like Vietnamese, but there seems to be an Asian bistro of some type around every corner. And I agree with you on Pepe's -- a wonderful pizza and IMHO a VAST improvement over any other pizza in the county.

                    1. re: roxlet
                      anonymouse1935 Mar 17, 2010 02:11 AM

                      True, a surfeit of sushi places, some very good, some only okay.

                      I meant Chinese restaurants, of which there are very few really good ones in Westchester.

                      1. re: anonymouse1935
                        brooklynbyotch Mar 23, 2010 05:13 PM

                        And god forbid there be a good Thai place...

                    2. re: anonymouse1935
                      anonymouse1935 Apr 24, 2010 04:57 AM

                      Not about Frank Pepe, but Hunan Village.

                      I stopped in to ask and Paul does not work at Hunan Village II in Hartsdale. The hostess told me he retired.

                    3. re: brooklynbyotch
                      rich51 Feb 23, 2011 10:11 AM

                      (LOL) WESTCHESTER'S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET, very few good restaurants.surprisingly though, the pizzas have markedly improved if one is willing to enjoy non- ny style. .lincoln lounge and johnnies (too pricey though), in mt. vernon. anthony's coal fired in wp., (gasp) even f&f are all good for what they are or are not , also the place in armonk and down 22 by north white plains are great goto places, not destinations, but vg if in the area. also the place across from f&f in hartsdale and even colony - so still close to westchester

                      1. re: rich51
                        wincountrygirl Feb 23, 2011 04:53 PM

                        Which place in Armonk?

                        1. re: wincountrygirl
                          rich51 Feb 24, 2011 09:56 AM

                          i think it is just called broadway pizza, but that may be the one on 22 by north white plains. i think it is the only one in their downtown 8 or 9 stores, and they are right in the middle of the block, again not great but vg and worth stopping at (imho) about 1 1/2 blocks up the main st. from village hall. been there a long time used to grab a slice before going to schultz's for cider and donuts ~sighs~

                    4. a
                      Agapimou Jan 3, 2011 05:35 PM

                      I went to Pepe's last night in Yonkers for the first time. To start the ambiance is very cafeteria style
                      and the way they serve the food on those huge metal plates was interesting. There is an extremely limited menu and my opinion on the place......... I like it! it's a little quirky but that's the instant appeal.
                      Now here is a question I have for everyone, since we over ordered there was a ton of pizza left over. So the next day I put my pizza with broccoli, mushrooms and spinach on a wire rack in the toaster oven and when it was done it was better than the night before! Anyone ever experience this . It was truly awesome. I'm taking it to go next time and throwin it in the fridge for the next day.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Agapimou
                        chowdom Jan 3, 2011 06:53 PM

                        Pepe's pizza reheats particularly well. I was there Saturday night with people who were trying it for the first time. They were out of clams so I was forced to broaden my horizons. We ordered salads, a sm anchovy, sm mushroom, spinach, and gorgonzola, sm white shrimp and a sm sausage and pepperoni. I had not tried the shrimp pizza before, it was delicious. The first timers loved the pizza and the salad. We had our leftover pizza tonight. I reheated the pizza on a pre heated sheet pan (because I dropped our pizza stone a while back and have not replaced it yet)

                        1. re: Agapimou
                          Bloombee Jan 4, 2011 06:37 AM

                          Good to know I am not hte only one - in Westchester for me its pretty mucha tie between Pepe's and Al Antica, but Pepe's wins by far for best leftover pizza

                          1. re: Bloombee
                            rich51 Feb 26, 2011 12:31 PM

                            another good way to reheat pepe's and some others is in a hot fry pan, cooking it from the bottom up, and with pepe's enough oil oozes through to both crisp and "fry" it, i think that is why it reheats so well

                        2. j
                          JonL Jan 25, 2011 03:39 PM

                          Drag. Pepe's white clam pie is a family tradition of some 20 years. A couple of times a year we've converged from different directions on New Haven Pepe's. The consistency swing has ranged from 8.5 to 10. We've had Yonkers pies around 4 times. they've ranged from 7.5 to 9. This Sunday I had a pie that was maybe 5. That's generous. Clams were overcooked, a bit sparse, with a crust that was light brown, over all. This tells me the oven was not hot enough---I want clams just barely done with some char and blistering on the crust. This was just simply overcooked at less than scorching temps. It was quite dry, too.
                          I also took home a red cheese pie that reheated well, as we know they do, that was better but not stellar. This experience was very disappointing. It makes me wonder if they are playing down to Westchester realities---that they can get away with mediocrity that they could never get by with in New Haven (I grew up in Lower W'chester and have no huge respect for its cultural attributes). I'd love to learn that it was an off day. Like it or not, I will judge Pepe's by Pepe's standards and while in the past the Yonkers Pepe's was pretty damn close to real Pepe's and was well beyond satisfactory, this experience was barely even a pale imitation of Pepe's.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: JonL
                            chloe4ever Feb 24, 2011 05:07 PM

                            Went there last week and the pizza was great. I still think that the original location is a tad better; the crust seems better at that location, but overall it was a great experience. Tried a pie with the grilled chicken and the chicken was a good addition.

                            1. re: JonL
                              kdgchow Feb 25, 2011 03:26 PM

                              Had a clam pie at the Yonkers' Pepe's a couple of weeks ago and thought it was terrific. Plenty of plump and briny clams, chopped garlic, on a blistered, but still slightly chewy crust. Even took a slice home and thought it re-heated pretty well.

                              1. re: kdgchow
                                JonL Feb 25, 2011 05:14 PM

                                Excellent. That's what I want to hear. Thank you for reporting that.

                            2. p
                              PookieMom Feb 26, 2011 10:43 AM

                              I went to the new one in Danbury CT and I was not impressed. The pizza was not bad but certainly did not live up to the hype.I have had much better pizza than this. I may go back in a few weeks to see if they just needed time to adjust to a new location.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: PookieMom
                                Mrs.Sean Aug 3, 2011 09:46 AM

                                I 100% agree, PookieMom. We'd never gone to a Pepe's location and were so looking forward to it. I don't know if Danbury is better or worse than any others, but it was just overwhelmingly "eh" to us. As you say, the pizza isn't bad; it's perfectly fine. But I didn't get the paroxysms of pleasure I was anticipating given everything I'd been reading about Pepe's for years now.

                                Honestly, my favorite Westchester pizza right now is humble JT Straw's in Port Chester. The fact that it's about three doors away from my house doesn't hurt, I guess, although I'm having to run quite a few more miles each week currently to counteract the damage...

                                1. re: Mrs.Sean
                                  MisterBill2 Aug 3, 2011 07:43 PM

                                  I thought Yonkers was better than Danbury. I had a coupon for a free pizza for my wife's birthday from them, but unfortunately their birthday deal requires you to go ON your birthday (unlike other places that let you go a week before or after) and since it was a Monday I did not get to use it.

                              2. m
                                Maggie Larkin Mar 2, 2011 11:49 AM

                                i was lucky enough to have my sister go to college in new haven & wed say we were coming to see here but it was really just for pancakes at Chip's & pizza at Pepe's. wed get a pie with chicken, onions & roasted red peppers- SO GOOD.

                                never been to their yonkers location & may have to make the trip, its a lil closer

                                1. m
                                  magnolia Mar 10, 2011 10:36 AM

                                  Inspired by the comments in this string, we tried Pepe's in Yonkers for lunch yesterday. The pizzas were much larger than anticipated (and quite good), but I knew not to worry about taking some home. We reheated it at home today and it was still very good. I heated my pizza stone and dropped the slices on for about 8 to 10 minutes. I had some basil growing on the window sill, so that was a plus.

                                  1. ltlevy Mar 10, 2011 01:23 PM

                                    I finally made it to Pepe's and thoroughly enjoyed a small pie with bacon. The pie was excellent, with a very tasty and crispy crust. The one thing I will point out with the bacon is that if you like it well done/crispy, then Pepe's isn't going to be the place to get bacon as a topping.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: ltlevy
                                      wincountrygirl Jul 31, 2011 03:58 AM

                                      Finally got to Pepe's last night and I did like the pizza. My husband is allergic to dairy to he had an individual tomato pie with bacon and roasted peppers. His was fantastic. My folks and I shared a large cheese pie with roasted peppers and here was my problem - the crust was unevely stretched out. Parts were the wonderful thin crust I love - and made that part of the pie terrific, and some parts were way to thick and doughy - did not like those parts at all. Maybe next time we'll opt for smalls all around!

                                      1. re: wincountrygirl
                                        demifast Jul 31, 2011 05:11 AM

                                        Ask for your pizza well done (but not burnt) and this seems to help.

                                        1. re: demifast
                                          wincountrygirl Jul 31, 2011 08:46 AM

                                          Good idea - I do that everywhere else - don't know why I didnt' last night!

                                    2. p
                                      pabboy Aug 3, 2011 05:27 AM

                                      There is a $20 for $10 Groupon out there for Frank Pepe's. Are they hurting for business?

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: pabboy
                                        MisterBill2 Aug 3, 2011 07:41 PM

                                        Dunno but they sold out by 2:30 -- 1500 of them, so they won't be hurting for a while! Although it says it's for dine-in only, the Groupon person said they can be used for takeout. If that is correct (and I have no reason to believe it's not), I will be definitely getting mine to go, especially since people have reported that it reheats well.

                                        1. re: MisterBill2
                                          valerie Aug 4, 2011 10:42 AM

                                          I bought one at 8:00 in the morning. I love Groupon.

                                          1. re: valerie
                                            scarsdalesurprise Aug 4, 2011 11:51 AM

                                            I bought one too...can't wait to use it!

                                            1. re: scarsdalesurprise
                                              Agapimou Aug 4, 2011 01:03 PM

                                              Darn it! Chowhound should have a listing of all the food deals when they become available. My email box is already full and I would hate to sign up for all those Groupon type websites. By the time I read this, they were all sold out :(

                                            2. re: valerie
                                              MisterBill2 Aug 5, 2011 09:55 PM

                                              I'm going to try to use it for takeout later today.. I'll report back if it works.

                                              1. re: MisterBill2
                                                MisterBill2 Aug 6, 2011 07:11 PM

                                                I was able to use my Groupon for takeout. I called them to get some info and did not place the order but I asked about using the Groupon and was told I could use it for takeout. Then when I called back a half hour later to place the order, the guy said I wasn't supposed to use it for takeout, but they'd take it this time only. So YMMV on using it for takeout. The good news is they ring it in as a store credit, so you save sales tax on $20!

                                        2. chowdom Aug 4, 2011 04:23 PM

                                          I picked two pies up last night at about 7:30 (no cupon) The parking lot was full but there were several empty tables inside. One pie was the spinach, mushroom and gorgonzola with the addition of bacon the other fresh tomato with basil and garlic both were great.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: chowdom
                                            wincountrygirl Aug 4, 2011 05:56 PM

                                            Were they small or large? I'm thinking that I'll get smalls from now on - maybe that will avoid the thick spots in the crust. My husbands small was outstanding.

                                            1. re: wincountrygirl
                                              chowdom Aug 4, 2011 07:11 PM

                                              The tomato was large the gorgonzola small, both were great. They are not consistent with the way they cook the pies but they will honor any request. I prefer small pies generally and rarely order any other size.

                                              1. re: chowdom
                                                wincountrygirl Aug 5, 2011 03:42 AM

                                                Thanks Chowdom.

                                            2. re: chowdom
                                              broosewee Aug 12, 2011 08:19 AM

                                              I love their spinach mushroom gorgonzola pies. I never though of adding bacon, but you just made my weekend!

                                              1. re: broosewee
                                                chowdom Aug 12, 2011 12:08 PM

                                                With or without bacon it is a delicious pie!

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