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Sally's Apizza is obviously better than Pepe's and Modern

I hit all three and it is obvious:

Sally's: Clear char, chewy-crisp crust, plenty of flavor,
Pepe's: Bland, no real spices, weak crust
Modern: Too salty, not only mozz used for the cheese, more cheese than sauce, weak crust

Sally's was the only one to have a real crisp crust

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  1. Sorry, but this is a ridiculous post. There's no "obvious" when it comes to food tastes, especially pizza.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joltingjoey

      I suppose I should elucidate that this is in New Haven, CT

      1. re: LorenV

        I agree...this post is absurd. I think that it depends what you're looking for. Nobody makes a better white clam and garlic pie than Pepe's (it's the freshly opened little necks, not canned or frozen like most other places). I would agree that Sally's classic red pies are absolutely terrific, but unless you're prepared to wait hours to get them (unless you have the private phone number and can come in through the back door), you can forget about even trying them!
        I find Modern to be two restaurants under one roof: If you're eating in, the pies can be as good as anybody's - and better than most. The take outs are made in a different kitchen and for whatever reason, they just don't travel well. We live approximately 5 minutes away and invariably, by the time we get them home, they are limp, soggy approximations of what is served in the restaurant.

        1. re: lsnhc

          Harry's West Hartford does it for me

      2. amato's, next to modern, has better pizza than all three previously mentioned. that being said, i would have to say that sally's tomato pie is incredibly delicious.

        1. I should say that I had just mozzarella

          6 Replies
          1. re: observor

            And herein lies [one of] the problems with the original post. The pie that one orders has so much to do with the final results. I prefer Pepe's. That said, if I wanted a "plain" pie with nothing on it, I would be perfectly happy with Sally's, and cannot dispute that it might in fact win the day. (Leaving aside the headache of actually getting a table and putting up with the awful service.) If you did the same test and ordered pies with sausage and onion, I'd be surprised if Pepe's didn't top your list. And if you ordered pepperoni, I'd venture a guess that Pepe's might finish last. (I cringe when people who have never been to Pepe's go and order a pepperoni pie and then complain that the pizza was just OK. I just don't think that pepperoni on top shows off what Pepe's is all about.) And as posted above, order a white clam in each place and Pepe's is number one with a bullet.

            Bottom line. You can't reach any sort of conclusion one way or the other by going to both Pepe's and Sally's and ordering a "kid's pizza" (i.e., plain cheese).

            1. re: FoodieJim

              and any real New Haven Native knows that the cheese that belongs on Apizza is grated Romano, not Mozzarella.
              Going to Sally's (my personal favorite for more than 50 years) and ordering a mozzarella pie borders on sacrelidge.......................
              Now that the Yalies are on winter break, I'll be at Sally's enjoying my Apizza and Foxon Park.

              1. re: FoodieJim

                Still, is not a basic cheese pizza a good indicator of the overall value of the pizza? Is not (most) every pizza composed of crust, cheese and sauce? Can the variation in toppings really mandate that one goes one place instead of the other? If a place can make a quality basic pizza, it doesn't seem that the toppings should overcome the core problems. Sally's core basic pizza is obviously better, and I don't see how the toppings can substantially alter that.

                1. re: observor

                  "What we've got here is failure to communicate...some men you just can't reach..." ;P

                  Ahh, New Haven not-so-civil Pizza Wars...lsnhc and Foodie Jim had the right idea:
                  "The pie that one orders has so much to do with the final results."

                  To respond to your questions, whether rhetorical or not:
                  <<Is not (most) every pizza composed of crust, cheese and sauce?>> No, especially when you're talking about white pies--particularly clam pies.
                  <<Can the variation in toppings really mandate that one goes one place instead of the other?>> Seriously? HELLS, YEAH!

                  P.S. to bagelman--Foxon Pahhhk! :) Cheers!

                  1. re: observor

                    Again, I am a Sally's supporter,
                    BUT Sally's core basic Apizza is not made with mozzarella. Mozz is an extra. I've eaten at and from Sally's for more than 50 years, and have never ordered a pie made with mozzarella.

                    1. re: observor

                      I have to agree with Obsever that the beat way to judge ANYTHING is just with the basics;

                      pizza. crust, cheese, sauce

                      hot dogs,plain


                      add any toppings to any of the above & it will change the basic taste of it.

                      they all taste different.

                      I go to different places because they all taste different. it depends on the taste I'm in the mood for.

                      if all you do is go to one place' you live a very sheltered life.

                2. observor, it appears that you dwell near Reginas and not near the New Haven trio. You are getting an old fashioned New Haven ass whippin' for your pizza naivete, equal to the ass whippin' North Enders mete out when an outsider vies for a parking space there. With your hard-earned enlightenment from your thread, come back to Pepe's for a white clam pie, and as you drive through RI on 95, bid farewell to the clams that gave their life to adorn your Holy Grail of pizza. I left the area long ago, and I have not found anything that comes close, anywhere.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Veggo

                    I am not talking of a white clam pie pizza, which is clearly unique. I am taking the basic concept of pizza as being crust, sauce, and cheese, and judging these establishments based on that product. If these places tout themselves as being so amazing, they should make a basic pizza as well as any. And a basic pizza of crust, sauce, and cheese is indicated by Sally's being far advanced to Pepe's and Modern.

                    1. re: observor

                      There's clearly an issue that your definition of "basic" is not theirs. In effect you're applying arbitrary criteria and using them to reaching a conclusion that is disputable from first principles.

                      Face it - this isn't a battle that can be won. You like what you like. Others think differently. There's plenty of pizza to go around.

                      1. re: observor

                        Observor, would you agree that the Ford F-150 is obviously a better vehicle than a Mercedes S-Class because the F-150 has a stronger and more robust chassis? It’s the chassis, after-all, that’s the basis of a vehicle. (tongue in cheek). If anything's obvious, it’s that there is no “better" in the world of food unless everyone taking part in the discussion agrees. I think all the aformentioned pizza places are excellent and I like them all much more than anything we have in Vermont. Pepe's white clam is to die for.

                        1. re: just_ducky

                          A Ford F-150 is a truck and a Mercedes S-Class is a coupe (I think)...I was working with a mozzarella pizza and a mozzarella pizza.

                        2. re: observor

                          But the basics of which you speak are those of Domino's, Papa John's and Pizza Hut. Not New Haven apizza. If I were to go to three New York delis to compare them, I wouldn't order corned beef though all would serve it, and some very well. If you want to know if Pepe's serves a transcendent pie, order a white clam or sausage. If you want to see if Sally's can blow you away, go for the tomato pie with grated cheese. Add a topping if you wish. Coming to a conclusion as to which place you like better is not a simple matter of comparing like pies. Instead, you should try what each place does best and figure out which one gave you greater pleasure.

                      2. Well I guess that settles it then………we can all stop this decades long debate……. :-)

                        The only thing obvious about this debate is that it really depends on people’s taste preferences.

                        That is what makes food and cooking so enjoyable, there rarely is a “right” answer or “right” way to do things. Each pizza place in NH has it’s following, which is why they all have been thriving for decades.

                        1. Observer, I love the simple honesty of your post.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Td61

                            It's not honesty, it's accurate...Sally's far outweighed the other mozzarella pies, just based on crust solo. Add in a fresh herbed tomato sauce and full-flavored cheese (and a lower price to boot) and you can say it is clear.

                            1. re: observor

                              I have had a mozarella pie at all three and I like Modern better than Sally or Pepe's, so your statement that it is "obviously better" is not a true statement. If you had said that " I think" ..... then your statement would be correct.

                              I am glad that there are so many great pizza options in NH, there is one for everyone!

                              1. re: Tinkerbelldee

                                Just because you say you think Modern is better doesn't mean it is true. Sally's is clearly superior for the reasons I gave. If someone is trying to decide which one to have, Sally's is the winner for the best basic pizza.

                                1. re: observor

                                  It’s OK everyone, Observor has settled this decades long debate……no need for further discussion.

                                  Evidently, Observor’s opinion is fact and everyone else should just acknowledge the superiority of this observation.

                                  Glad you liked Sally’s, it’s a great pie. They are each a good pie in their own right, hence each staying in business for decades. They each have their fans. Glad to see you have a clear winner from your perspective. Enjoy it. Others may prefer another pie…….

                                  1. re: observor

                                    I did not say it was a true statement. I said that I like Modern better.

                                    If someone is trying to decide on which to choose, as an adult, they should read all the comments about why people prefer one over the other and base their choice on the OPINIONS that they have been provided and the ones that most closely resemble their personal preferences.

                                    When it comes to opinions, there is no real true statement, just personal preference.

                                  2. re: Tinkerbelldee

                                    "I am glad that there are so many great pizza options in NH, there is one for everyone!"

                                    Indeed. And don't forget BAR! As good as the triumvirate for sure.

                              2. Nothing new here. I've been to all 4 (The Spot) & they are just fine. I have my preferences, but it isn't worth the time.

                                Now, for New Haven the REAL and related question (with similar proclivities) is

                                Red Sox
                                - or -

                                Merry New Year, y'all

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: algct

                                  There is NO question.

                                  New Haven is WEST of the river and in YANKEES Territory. Southern CT is Metro NY, served by Metro North train service.

                                  Even the car manufacturers include New Haven in the Tri-State advertising, while in Hartford it is part of the New England dealers territory.

                                  Order a hot dog in greater New Haven and most of the time (if not nearly all the time) it will be served on a side split bun, not a New England top split roll. Also, it's much easier to get Manhattan Clam Chowder in Yankees territory than in the land of the Red Sux.

                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                    New Haven may be west of the Connecticut River, but Fairfield County residents treat anyone east of the Housatonic River as second class foreigners...
                                    Top split buns at the Glenwwood?

                                    1. re: Veggo

                                      You know I was born at Grace New Haven Hospital (long before the name was usurped by Yale) and raised in New Haven and Hamden. I'm still in New Haven county every day and in New Haven at least 3x per week. I only sleep in Fairfield county and upcounty at that.
                                      And when I want Apizza I go to Wooster St, I don't eat at the Pepe's branches in Fairfiled or Danbury, not the same.

                                2. I prefer Modern, so it isn't that obvious. However, we are blessed with great pizza in this area and I would never decline a slice from any of the three! You really can't go wrong. Shockingly to non-locals, there are also other great pizza places in the area besides the "big three."

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mels

                                    ive had great pies at all three,even on a bad day they are alot better then just about anywhere.true they dont travel well,and simpilier is better too.we seem to have better luck at modern,getting a table,nicer servers,etc.,but all three do make a great pizza...