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Pepes Pizza coming to Boston

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Saw an article on Boston.com this morning that New Haven's Pepes Pizza is expanding to Boston. White clam pizza anyone!

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  1. Can 't Wait!

    1. That would be amazing...

      1. A bit surprising, invading Regina's territory, but there's room. The white clam is my fave.

        1. Do you know where?

          1. Coal fired oven in Boston proper?

            Color me skeptical.

            1. http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2...

              1. I really enjoy the original Pepe's. I tried the one at Mohegan Sun and I don't think it's as good. I think you need to go to New Haven to get the real deal.

                1. I read that to My Love and he responded, "They better bring their oven with them"!

                  22 Replies
                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    hard to believe that new ovens cannot be constructed that will do the job; that is the least of their problems.

                    Look at Jean-Georges; he has problems cloning his restaurants whereas Nobu and Brasserie Jo have done the job. Oh, well, I need to take a trip down to NYC and get some smoked fish from Barney's and have dinner at J-G.

                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                      Not sure, look at Santarpio's or Regina's as examples of how pizza varies from location to location. I hope they can do it, we'll have to wait and see.

                      1. re: treb

                        The Serious Eats Slice pizza blog liked the suburban NYC Pepe's, (Yonkers?) and they are serious about pizza. They did a taste test a short time apart and have a bunch of photos.

                        That said, and I've heard others say good things about other locations, the CT casino location is just not as good as the original in New Haven.

                        1. re: CportJ

                          Based on 1 visit, the Manchester, CT location was on a par with the New Haven original.

                          I haven't tried any others.

                          1. re: 9lives

                            The Bridgeport/Fairfield location is also great-- one of the best pizzas I've had anywhere. I don't like clam pies, though-- chewy clams on chewy dough, chewy-on-chewy, it just doesn't work for me: the clams end up seeming doughy and the dough... clammy. Or something.

                            1. re: 9lives

                              We've found the Manchester CT pizza to be variable: sometimes it's -ok, and sometimes they barely cook the crust. But, we heated some slices side by side and there was a big difference in the character of the dough between New Haven and Manchester.
                              But the bacon was great on both versions!

                              1. re: cocoabrioche

                                I agree about the Manchester Pepe's. The pizza there can be very good, but in my experience it has never matched the greatness of the New Haven original. And the one time I tried the white clam pizza in Manchester it was horrible: clams were slightly off -- and slightly off clams are disgusting.

                                1. re: katzzz

                                  there is no such thing as a slightly off clam, in my opinion, like you, if there off, they are OFF. blech, sorry you had to endure that

                                  1. re: devilham

                                    FULLY AGREE.

                                    Sort of pregnant.

                                    Military Intelligence.

                                    Very unique.

                                    "Slightly" off clams.

                                    1. re: hyde

                                      he he

                                      pretty ugly

                                      jumbo shrimp

                                  2. re: katzzz

                                    We've stopped at Manchester many times, and found it to be the best pizza NE of New Haven. Other than Regina's original location.

                                    But we do rank the original Pepe's in NH as better than Manchester

                                    1. re: katzzz

                                      When I was at the Manchester location, they were unloading clams from a refrigerated truck from Ipswich Shellfish; 1 of the top suppliers in NE.

                                      That doesn't excuse you getting a bad clam but I've got to guess that bad clams on Frank Pepes clam pizza are the exception rather than the rule.

                                      Somewhere I've got a photo set with Manchester and NH clam pizza next to each other well done,

                                      They look very similar.

                                2. re: CportJ

                                  I've been to the one in Manchester, CT ("Frank Pepe's" - don't get it confused with "Pepe's," also in Manchester as we did one sad Friday evening).

                                  I've never been to the NH shop, but the white clam pie there was pretty damned good. I think it can be replicated, based on my n = 1.

                                  1. re: digga

                                    My first trip I went to 'Pepe's" too. Looked around and googled some more until I found 'FRANK Pepe's'! Wonder how much business that sad bar pizza place gets from similar mistakes...

                                3. re: treb

                                  yes, hopefully it will be as good as the Regina outposts!

                                  ah, sarcasm.

                                  Its not that the ovens CANT be built, my understanding is that Boston fire laws will preclude the building of a coal oven inside the city limits proper.

                                  If I am wrong about this , I apologize.

                                  That said, Angela's on rt. 1 is coal fired, i believe. so outside the city, say Waltham or Quincy, would be possible,

                                  but Downtown?

                                  I remain skeptical.

                                  1. re: hyde

                                    Ooooh, Waltham would be awesome in my book!

                                    1. re: hyde

                                      Aside from fire code restrictions, restaurants adjacent to mixed use buildings become problematic. E.G. a coffee roaster in Cherry Creek, Denver, adjacent to a high end ladies store.
                                      Remember Genji on Newbury Street? HUGE problems with tenants above. How lawyers get rich.

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        Or barbeque smokers in Brookline.

                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          but veggo, Sonsie is bound to be louder than Genji. Did Genji win vs the tenants?

                                          p.s. that is a mini yoga mat, right? is that a yoga position i maybe haven't learned yet? :-}

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            The building owner installed vapor barriers, but ultimately Genji's lease was not renewed. It was a fun restaurant, very formal and not nearly as loud as Sonsie. Very quiet, actually.
                                            little veggo's workout and meditative sessions are very personal to him, so I can't comment....:)

                                        2. re: hyde

                                          I would totally be okay with Quincy!

                                        3. re: treb

                                          Pizza should be easier to do than a French bistro or sushi, but the proof is in the pizza. I like the clam pizza at Coppa by the way though it is not cheap.

                                          there are lots of strip malls not far from downtown Boston, ie Cambridge which might fit the bill.

                                    2. Hope it's good. The Pepe's expansion in Danbury, CT is just so-so. Went a couple times, and not particularly memorable, not as good as New Haven. In Ridgefield, CT two pizza places have recently opened which serve wood-fired oven pies. Prefer both of them to the Danbury Pepe's.

                                      1. Ok 'Hounds, here's the skinny. Yes, the ingredients have to be good, but its the oven, not the person making them that make them taste great. Regina's Thatcher St. oven is sooooo saturated with the many years of tasty ingredients that you could almost throw a work boot in there and it will come out tasting like a mushroom and pepperoni pizza. An oven with experience.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: CocoDan

                                          Couldn't agree more, I often tell people that that oven is magic.

                                          1. re: devilham

                                            At Pepe's and Reginas, the ovens have been seasoning for 75 years or more. Some things take time.

                                          2. re: CocoDan

                                            I am not a pizza expert but I love great pizza. I imagine it is great to have a well seasoned oven that's 100+ years old. That said, one of the best pizzas I have had in my life was at Tony's Napoletana in San Francisco. The owner is an 11 time World Pizza champion (according to his website), USA Today named his pizzeria the "best" in the US and I can't imagine that the ovens are that old (he has built 7 different ovens for the restaurant for the various styles and temperatures that the pizza cook at).

                                            1. re: bakerboyz

                                              Great pizza is not always about the ovens. A place here in Connecticut has great pizza, and uses a standard gas oven.

                                              Pizza is the whole package — the crust, sauce and cheese.

                                              Pizza made in coal-fired ovens (Pepe's, Patsy's in East Harlem, for example) is quite special.

                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                Agreed. Max & Leo's in Newton has a coal fired oven that is no more than a few years old and for my money they are turning out some of the best pizzas in Greater Boston. The oven could be a factor, but great pizza is available from ovens that aren't decades old if it is made properly with quality ingredients.

                                          3. Most of the better pizza places in NYC are less than five years old. I think this "old oven" thing is a red herring.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: Blumie

                                              You are, no doubt, correct. Then I hope beyond hope, the management trains staff and maintains standards in the new places.

                                              I once had a pizza in one of the Pizzeria Regina outposts that made me sit there and wonder how they could not be actually embarrassed to link it to the downtown site. When I brought the unfinished pizza back to the counter and expressed my incredulity the manager shrugged and said "most people like it" and dumped it in the trash in front of me.

                                              One of the few times in my life I was actually speechless.

                                              1. re: Blumie

                                                Old oven = better pizza = red herring...

                                                I agree.

                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                  Years of practice can't hurt.

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    That I agree with!

                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                      All that being said, I wouldn't put herring on a pizza. Especially red herring! I'll still opt for the old ovens. I know they produce the best pizzas.
                                                      I'll Enjoy Mine, You Enjoy Yours,

                                                      1. re: CocoDan

                                                        I had smoked trout on a pizza last summer and it was amazing

                                                        1. re: CocoDan

                                                          Anchovies are pretty closely related to herring ;-)

                                                    2. re: StriperGuy

                                                      Great Lake in chicago (which closed) was about 5 years old but was generally numbered among the best in the country.
                                                      Sure, practice makes perfect. If a place has lasted 100 years, they must be doing something right.

                                                  2. Bottom line is.........you haven't lived until you've had a white clam pizza from Frank Pepe's.