Taste of New Haven

There’s a lot of debate in this country today over which Pizza style is better, “New York” or “Chicago”. But most people don’t realize that, just like you can always vote libertarian, there’s a third choice in the pizza world. Yes, you can eat your pizza “New Haven” style. The reason you don’t know this is that outside of Connecticut it was pretty rare to find. But not anymore! Way up on Connecticut Ave (a coincidence…?) a new New Haven-style pizza place just opened last week! Yes, the inexplicably named Comet Ping Pong (5037 Conn. Ave.) is now serving New Haven-style pizza.

So what is New Haven-style pizza? Well, according to my sources (aka wikipedia), it has a thin crust that varies between chewy and tender and must be baked in a coal or wood-fired brick oven. Another characteristic of New Haven pizza is that the default version is a “white” pizza topped with only garlic and hard cheeses; customers who want tomato sauce or mozzarella cheese have to ask for them explicitly. The quintessential New Haven pizza is a white clam pie.

Everyone gets a personal pie at Comet Ping Pong, so you don’t have to share. I got mine with peppers, olives, and smoked mozzerella. The wait-staff is almost exclusively made up of hipsters, which would have given the place a cool vibe had the patrons not been mostly families and their screaming kids. Other bonuses to Comet Ping Pong include a game room with ping-pong tables to keep the kids occupied, and the hardest to find bathrooms in the DC Metro Area!

Comet Ping Pong is easy to miss, as they don’t actually have a sign or nothing, but it’s in the same strip mall as Politics and Prose, and the inexplicably named “Buck’s Fishing and Camping“, which is owned by the same person.

5 Comments so far

  1. Doug (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2006 @ 3:39 pm

    Is there such a thing as Vermont pizza? Probably not, but if you visit a Whole Foods or a Balducci’s you can find American Flatbread pizzas in the frozen food section. Far and away the best frozen pizza I have ever had. Pick up some salad ingredients while you’re there and you will have a meal ready at home in ten minutes.

    Conversely, frozen pizza in a mind-boggling array of selections at most national chain grocery stores is bad, just plain bad.

  2. Don (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

    It’s funny you should say that; I was thinking the other day what a difference there is in the quality of frozen pizzas out there now. In my youth it was all cruddy cardboard. Now there’s store-brand pizzas in Trader Joes and even Giant that’s pretty tasty. While the Trader Joes varieties are a little better right out of the box, even the Giant brand is not bad once I sprinkle some banana peppers on it. The crust is tasty and crisp w/o being stale and the cheese is not bad.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess.

  3. Mike (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

    Re frozen pizza — there have always (always = 15 years) been bagel bites, which are decent. The Safeway premium brand mini-frozen pizzas are solid. The best I’ve had lately is the Linda McCartney artichoke frozen pizza. Good stuff. Does anyone remember the Pizzaria Uno brand frozen pizzas? Those were the bomb diggity.

  4. Doug (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2006 @ 6:24 pm

    After my original comment it sounded so good (and so easy) that’s exactly what I had for dinner.

    Regarding the other suggestions, I will have to give them a try, in particular the Linda McCartney. Of course, being a rabid artichoke lover, you could serve them with mud I would probably eat it. Steamed artichokes (in-season) with hollandaise sauce, yummmm…

  5. Husband (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    My wife and I lived in New Haven for two years while she was at Yale. I can safely say that any claims that New Haven has to having great pizza are vastly overrated. I’m a midwesterner by birth, but have equal parts love for New York and Chicago Style pizza. I’m convinced New Haven pizza legend, either Pepe’s or Sally’s, is born of drunk Yale alumni’s memory of a slice after a good soaking in beer. Forget Yale’s influence in politics or various other sucesses, this is where the ivy league is leading us astray!

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