Friday, September 17, 2010

Food Field Trip: A Tale of Two Pizzas -- One Famous the Other Infamous

Over the last few years a diversity of pizza places have proliferated in DC, with the introduction of, say, Pete's Apizza, Fireworks, and  American Flatbread.  So with a decent comparison point, we enjoyed two radically different pizzas a few weeks on our trip to Cape Cod.

The first, Frank Pepe, was actually a pit stop in New Haven on our drive up 95.  And a testament to this restaurant's pull, we ran into a fellow DC friend and foodie while waiting in line outside.   Pictured below is a small New Haven-style pizza which is ample eating for two, with a split of fresh tomatoes atop a traditional red sauce and then a white base with plenty of chunky garlic and clams.

The pizza had a nice char, with a chewy bite.  The large chunks of clams were somewhat overwhelming, whereas the fresh tomato side was textbook.  The service was surprisingly friendly given the volume, but the clientele was kind of depressing.  One man, who we watched with awe devouring a large pizza for himself alone, barely fit into the booth and and his gut overfloweth onto the table.

Is this worth the stop on a drive up 95?  Yes; as long as you don't have to wait in line for more than 30 minutes.  We had intended to try their main competition, Sallys Apizza, just down the street but, alas, it was closed for lunch.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana on Urbanspoon

While in Provincetown, we lunched twice at a local favorite: Spiritus. This seemingly unassuming pizzaria in the heart Commerical Street, is infamous for the 1990 riot, and as I understand it, is still a gathering spot for hundreds of gay men after midnight.  But in addition to this storied history, which really has nothing to do with food, their pizza is really good.

The whole wheat crust is the best of its kind I've had anywhere, adding flavor, texture, (and makes the pie feel a little healthier).  The thick-cut pepperoni is excellently spicy, and both the zesty tomato sauce and the Greek white pizza pack a lot of flavor.  At lunchtime, when B and I visited twice this past trip, the vibe is mellow with a diverse mix of customers and the counter service efficient.

Slices, available in cheese, pepperoni, and Greek, hover around $3.50.  Whole pizzas are also available.

Sundae School Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I disagree on Frank Pepe - I heard the hype, read the reviews and this pizza pretty much sucked. It was thin, tasted like cardboard and was COLD. Granted the line was out the door, but I won't go back!