Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!!

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billyboy
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2011/08/13 12:02:50 (permalink)

Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!!


I just turned 40 this past May and my truly awesome friend and running coach, Doug, bought us tickets to see the Red Sox take on the Mariners at Fenway Park on Saturday, July 23rd!! Early that morning we busted out a 6 mile training run in Forest Hills, Queens starting at 6:30am and ending at 8:00am with the temperature being 90 degrees!! A couple of hours later, we were on our way and realized we had time to make a detour into New Haven. Going to Frank Pepe's for some classic New Haven style apizza has been on the short list for a while but the timing just never worked out until this day.  My excitement level was high when we turned on to Wooster St.! 
 And saw this sign just a short walk from where we parked.

 It appears that the folks over at Roadfood have gotten wind of this place as well!!  ;)

 In case you wanted to know...

 What exactly is a Tomato Pie at Frank Pepe's?  I heard of the name in other regions and every one usually meant something different.  We arrived around 1:00pm waited in line for about 20 minutes and by the time we walked in the line had grown considerably longer. 

 Love that their menu is so small and they focus on doing one thing and doing it well.

 Finding our booth was easy enough, just look for the number the hostess gave us on the wall in the booth.

 I started out with a very crisp and lemony Foxon Park Gassosa soda.

 Lots of history here...

 

 Thankfully Doug and I think alike when it comes to apizza.  We split a small white clam pie which came charred so perfectly!  We both dig in and really loved the chewy, crispy, briny goodness of it all.  There was such a wonderful balance of flavors and textures to this and no one element dominated.  I could have eaten this all by myself.  I was totally blown away by how amazing the crust was!  Jerry Seinfeld once said that people should look to the cookie (the black & white cookie) as an example of how different people should be able to live side by side.  I think if more pizza places could make crust like this then the world would be a much happier place!

 We also split a small bacon and mushroom pie.  Wow! That bacon was thick, with a nice chew to it and the mushrooms were good too.  I love their tomato sauce.  It has a sweetness to it that balanced out the bacon.  The fresh mozzarella had melted quite a bit making for a somewhat sloppy pie but we greedily consumed it!  We both had wished that the crust on this was more charred and had more crispness to it.  However, between the sauce, bacon and mozzarella the crisp factor was bound to be lower than that of the clam pie.  An excellent crust nonetheless. 

 I was hoping for a shot of the oven doors while open but I didn't want to stand there clicking away forever, looking like a hopeless nerd so you'll have to settle for this "action" shot.  I can't wait to return to New haven and try other pie places and sample some more of Pepe's!!
 
More to come...!

#1

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    billyboy
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 12:45:33 (permalink)
    After leaving New Haven, our bellies full of that wonderful apizza we made a beeline for our motel.  Doug found a Red Roof Inn in Southboro, MA for $69.00 a night and it was just a 20 minute drive into Boston.  A short nap later we drove over to Davis Square nabe in Somerville, MA before the game to stop at the RF reviewed Kickass Cupcakes.  Much thanks to Chris & Amy for having this on their itinerary in the Finding Boston's Roadfood Gems tour which gave me the idea to stop here.  Doug was all in as we both thought these would make for as nice surprise for his wife and our friends back in NYC.

    I was hoping to try one of the Root Beer Float cupcakes that The Travelin' Man loved so much but none were available on this day.  I picked up a half dozen.  From the top left:  The Green Monster (chocolate cupcake with a beer ganache center topped with a Sam Adams Cream Stout frosting and cocoa nibs), Creme Brulee (vanilla cupcake with a pastry cream center topped with caramelized sugar and a dollop of fresh whipped cream), Lucky Cupcake (Lemon cupcake with a white chocolate buttercream, candied ginger and a fortune on top), Vegan Ginger Peach Bellini (spicy ginger cupcake with peach champagne frosting topped with a fresh raspberry), Chocolate Fluffernutter (chocolate cupcake with a sweet peanut butter center and marshmallow frosting with Fluff drizzled on top), Super Chocolate (chocolate brownie cupcake topped with a bittersweet chocolate ganache and chocolate shavings).  The leader of this pack was Chocolate Fluffernutter with a nice balance of flavors.

    Doug picked up 6 as well.  From top left:  Mojito (vanilla cupcake soaked with rum, sugar cane lime frosting and mint), Chocolate Fluffernutter, Creme Brulee, Caramel Mochiatto (chocolate cupcake, caramel center and mocha frosting topped with chocolate covered espresso beans), Super Chocolate and a Cinnamon Chai Pecan Sticky (spiced up cupcake covered with gooey caramel pecan topping).  The Mojito was a very close second but the Caramel Mochiatto finished in a moist and rich first place!

    Doug picked up a carob peanut butter "pupcake" for Bella, his Westie and I picked up a pair of cheesy catnip "kittycakes" topped with Goldfish for my two cats, Magik and Oliver.  I love the idea of this, however, Magik quickly lost interest and Oliver played with it like a catnip toy resulting in me vacuuming crumbs from the carpet!

    Love this place and hope to make my way back soon to sample many more of their flavors.  Up next:  continuation of the Kick*ss theme as the Sox go to town on Seattle!!
    post edited by billyboy - 2011/08/15 03:23:34
    #2
    mar52
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 12:57:44 (permalink)
    Swooooon!
     
    Jealous.
    #3
    ann peeples
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 13:17:37 (permalink)
    Fantastic!!
    #4
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 16:54:51 (permalink)
    Good Lord that all looks so incredible! I need to go there.
    #5
    Root-Beer Man
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 17:46:01 (permalink)
    That was some great looking pizza! Wish I had one of those Gassossa's right now!
    #6
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 21:18:06 (permalink)
    Heading that way in a few weeks and getting ready for that clam pie!
    #7
    lleechef
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 22:58:41 (permalink)
    I lived in Boston for 15 years and always wished I had been to Pepe's but never made it.  Now, I have a friend who is originally from New Haven and swears that he will take me up there one day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Looks like fabulous pizza.  Nice photos and trip report!
    #8
    HDtravlr1
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 23:04:44 (permalink)
    Awesome pictures and trip report!
    Thanks
    So is running the secret to eating all that and staying slim?
    #9
    joerogo
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/13 23:26:38 (permalink)
    Twinwillow
    Heading that way in a few weeks and getting ready for that clam pie!

     
    Twinwillow, I always order double clams on my pie.  Even with all that weight, the crust stays crispy.
     
     

     
    billyboy, Looks like the beginnings of another great eating tour.
    #10
    billyboy
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 00:10:35 (permalink)
    HDtravlr1, what is this 'slim" you speak of?  If anyone were to ever call me "Slim" I think it would be ironically, in much the same way someone might call a bald guy Curly!!
     
    leechef, good to see you on the boards again!  I think you'll love those pies!  Just outstanding.
     
    joerogo, that pies looks great!  This was just a short jaunt to Boston.  I have pics from Fenway and one last RF stop for one of my favorite North Shore foods and that's all she wrote!
    #11
    billyboy
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 02:31:50 (permalink)
    Doug and I stopped by a Rite-Aid store to pick up a small cooler and a bag of ice to keep our tasty cupcake charges cool during this brutally hot weekend and luckily they traveled well.  Doug has the best "parking karma" I have ever witnessed.  He constantly finds choice parking spots in NYC that are free or low-cost.  Tonight was no exception as we passed lot after lot of $20, $30 and even $50 parking, he found a metered spot in front of the Star Market on Boylston across from Fenway Park and we only had to put in $1.50 until the meters stopped at 8pm.  SCORE!!  It was still pretty muggy but much more bearable as the sun started to go down and Mother Nature painted quite a beautiful picture.

    Strolling down memory lane...

    Jackie Robinson's number as it was retired from baseball in 1997.

    Billyboy and The Spendid Splinter

    Indeed.  A little nod to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline", played at Fenway each home game.

    Teammates.  I think the four are Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio.

    I'm so happy that more flags have been added to this collection in recent years though I wish I had moved to NYC in 2005 instead of 2003. Would have loved to have lived blocks from Fenway in the wake of that 2004 World Series Championship!

    Classic.

    Oh, how I miss the "T".

    I think Mike Lowell threw out the first pitch.

    A nice nod to the ladies who took it far and gave it their all. I recently read an interview with Abby Wambach (2nd from left) and she seems really cool.

    And the iconic Green Monster. When he first arrived in Fenway, the ever quotable pitcher, Bill "The Spaceman" Lee, asked, "Do they leave it there during games?"

    Doug was craving some ice cream so he picked up a sundae in a mini Boston helmet. Maybe there IS a chance that he will come back from the Dark Side (Yankees fan) and get with the Rebel Alliance!

    The Sox had a nice moment to acknowledge Mike Lowell's contributions during his years with the team, especially his World Series MVP run in 2007.

    I love how relief pitchers have their own "entrance music".  Mariano Rivera has "Enter Sandman" by Metallica and he certainly earns it on the mound.  Jonathan Papelbon has "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by The Dropkick Murphys, a great song that gets the crowd pumped up and seems to fit with Papelbon's wild card personality.  The game was scoreless into the 7th until Beckett let a home run slip by.  The Sox then had a bottom of the 7th rally started by team captain Jason Varitek and by the end of the inning, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury had scored from third on a wild pitch making the score 3-1.  Papelbon sealed up the victory in typical fashion.

    The Pru (Prudential Building) after the game.

    Right in the middle of Red Sox Nation!

     
     
    post edited by billyboy - 2013/07/24 11:11:24
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    billyboy
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 03:16:53 (permalink)
    I was experiencing some feelings of guilt as the Roadfood part of my brain had secretly wished the game would end early and we could make it to Rancatore's in Belmont before they closed at 11:00pm for ice cream and homemade hot fudge that Cecif has been telling me about for some time.  However, with the Sox surging in the 7th the game ended around 10:30pm and it was not to be on this night. I did have another stop in mind anyway.  We did hit quite a bit of post game traffic and some construction along Rte. 1A on our way to the RF reviewed Nick's Famous Roast Beef in Beverly, MA. 

    Ahh, the Stern's have been here as well!  ;)

    I started out with a chocolate shake which had me concerned when I saw them pour it from a commerical extruder (shake mix instead of handmade).  It was tasty enough but not of the highest calibur, however...

    When I dipped the McDonald's-like fries in it, childhood memories were brought back to me.  Neither the fries or shake were special alone but together they completely worked.  I'm guessing Doug did not share those memories judging by the arched brow he cast in my direction when I was dipping and double-dipping the fries.

    We split an order of the onion rings and while the coating was super crunchy and there was just the right amount of salt on them they were lacking in onion flavor and came across as rather bland.

    The reason to come here! I had been here many years ago and was really craving one of these sandwiches.  My Super Beef with red onions, BBQ sauce and horseradish sauce.  There are too many adjectives swimming in my head right now to do this justice but in the words of the people I used to work with in Southie, "That is one frickin' wicked sandwich!!"  Piles of thinly sliced roast beef with rivulets of spicy sweet bbq sauce and sinus clearing horseradish sauce on a sturdy yet pliant toasted onion roll.  It was definitely a messy, multi-napkin affair but one I relished whole-heartedly.  A taste of the North Shore that I dearly miss.  It was fairly empty when we arrived at 12:30am but by the time we left about 45 minutes later the place was packed with local high school/college age kids looking to get their beef on before calling it a night1
     
    A sign on the wall inside.

    There was a slide show on a TV screen showing all of the places people had taken pictures with their Nick's bumper stickers.

    And about four of these framed murals on the wall with the various locations across the globe.  One of the employees saw me taking pictures of my food and handed me a couple bumper stickers.  I hope to bring one to Yankee Stadium and get a shot with the pinstriped Statue of Liberty inside or maybe in front of a picture of Derek Jeter with homemade sign above the sticker saying  I'd Rather Be At (Nick's Famous Roast Beef)!!

     
    The 411
     
    1.)  Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana 
          157 Wooster Street
          New Haven, CT
          Ph # 203-865-5762
          Website:  www.pepespizzeria.com
     
    2.)  Kickass Cupcakes 
          378 Highland Avenue (Davis Square)
          Somerville, MA 02144
          Ph# 617-628-2877
          Website:  www.kickasscupcakes.com
     
    3.)  Nick's Famous Roast Beef
          139 Dodge Street
          Beverly, MA
          Ph # 978-922-9075
          Website:  www.nicksfamousroastbeef.com
     
    That's all for this trip!
     
    "Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2011
    post edited by billyboy - 2013/07/24 11:13:00
    #13
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 06:51:49 (permalink)
    billyboy -
     
    Had to comment on the first two stops...they both looked perfect!
     
    I would have ordered the same...
    #14
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 09:21:07 (permalink)
    Nice trip report, billyboy!  That roast beef sandwich looks great.  I don't know where I could find one like that around here...
    #15
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 09:56:36 (permalink)
    Wow...sign me up for a white clam pizza and a Nick's beef sandwich if I ever find myself out east!
     
    Brad
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    lleechef
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 12:59:53 (permalink)
    Dang, billyboy!  You are making me homesick.  Nick's was about a mile away from my restaurant in Hamilton.  I passed by there every day on the way to and from work and often stopped for a roast beef sandwich.  They are truly delicious!  
    #17
    Pigiron
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 16:09:10 (permalink)
    Interesting that "ass" is spelled three different ways here.  You wrote a** in the title; the store calls itself Kick *ss; and you referred to it as Kickass. 
     
    Eh, maybe it's not that interesting. 
     
    I need some Pepe's right about now.
     
    #18
    ann peeples
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 16:38:40 (permalink)
    That roast beef has me drooling!!
    #19
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/15 17:20:52 (permalink)
    Billyboy
     
    That clam pie from Pepe's makes me want to drive the 90 miles to New Haven right now
     
    Although I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes after taking a look at your photos from Kickass , I could easil become a convert.
     
    I wish I could share the same enthusiasm as you about Nick's Roast Beef.
    When I visited back in 2008, I asked for medium rare and got well done- 
     
    Great report.
     
    #20
    i95
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/16 09:57:14 (permalink)
    billyboy

    Jonathan Papelbon has "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by The Dropkick Murphys, a great song that gets the crowd pumped up and seems to fit with Papelbon's wild card personality. 

     
    That song has such a great intro and there's nothing like it when it's played while at Fenway, seeing the bullpen door open onto the field and then seeing Papelbon march to the mound. Truly electric!
     
    (Oh, and great write-up, as always, billyboy!) 

    #21
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/23 21:17:18 (permalink)
    billy, i think you might be the only person at Roadfood whose orders I could just wholesale copy.  It all looks perfect.
    #22
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/23 23:15:44 (permalink)
    joerogo

    Twinwillow
    Heading that way in a few weeks and getting ready for that clam pie!


    Twinwillow, I always order double clams on my pie.  Even with all that weight, the crust stays crispy.
     
    Thanks, Joe. I will remember that!
     





    billyboy, Looks like the beginnings of another great eating tour.


    #23
    CajunKing
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    Re:Freshly Shucked & Kickin' A** in New Haven and Boston!! 2011/08/24 17:15:42 (permalink)
    Billyboy
     
    Oh my!!! You are killing me.  That clam pie looks like pure heaven, NOTHING and I mean NOTHING like it anywhere near here.  I can close my eyes and dream of that wonderful taste.
     
    That roast beef sandwich has me drooling and my stomach aching, I am stuck here and no access to food for another 3 hours.  
     
    Fenway is my second favorite place to watch a baseball game.  It is the way baseball should be seen, up close and personal.
    (Wrigley is my #1 - They don't call it the friendly confines for nothing) 
     
     
    post edited by CajunKing - 2011/08/24 17:26:15
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