Sunday, May 25, 2008

We say Goodbye to Boston and Hello to Ridiculous Diversion Dedicated Solely to the Pursuit of Sushi which was further Diverted in the Pursuit of Pizza

It is, sadly, our last day in Boston, and it is, of course, the most beautiful day of them all. Katie J went to Whole Foods to grab some breakfast and some snacks before she got on her train while Erin and I packed. (I totally wasn't kidding about her being obsessed.) The packing got harder and harder along the way because not only did we buy more clothes, but we also were no longer wearing our rainboots. Up until Boston, we'd pretty much worn them everywhere so there was no need to try to cram them in our little carry-ons, but now I had to try to make those things fit in with everything else. Erin, smarty pants that she is sometimes, had bought a new tote bag, but I was basically screwed. I threw then in a shopping bag and prayed it didn't break before I made it home (which was still a good 4 1/2 days from now).

As we said goodbye to Boston, we also said goodbye to Katie J who headed back to Delaware that morning. She would not be joining us on the next leg of the trip. Although Erin and I were sad to see her go, we couldn't blame her. The next leg of the trip was a bit ridiculous. Erin was going to be heading back to DC and I was eventually off to NYC, but first we took a pit stop in New Haven that not only cost us an extra train ticket but also considerably delayed our progress forward. (Delayed as in I got into NYC at 2 am on Thursday morning instead of some normal time on Wednesday afternoon.) All this for a taste of the creative sushi combinations at Miya's. I swear, it's that good.

So we ended up taking the 1:40 from Boston and got into New Haven at 4 pm, and then we took the 12:27 out so we wouldn't have to pay for a hotel there over night. Our dinner reservations weren't until 7 pm but we amused ourselves for the first half of the afternoon by trying to talk some random guy into watching our luggage and then figure out where the heck we were going. The random guy, despite standing behind the sign that said Amtrak Luggage Desk, insisted that this was not his job, but considerable pleading and a promise that we would be back before 10:30 eventually convinced him that today watching luggage was in his job description. I was a bit nervous leaving all of our stuff with him seeing as he was not thrilled with us, but I was really happy to not have to lug it around as we searched New Haven for where we were supposed to be.

The train station was only a short walk from town. New Haven is not terribly big, but despite that it took a bit before we stumbled upon the New Haven visitor's center. Some super knowledgeable kids work there. We asked about Miya's and not only could the one kid give us directions, he also told us all about Bun, the proprietor, who happened to be his mentor in whatever his senior businessy thesis thing was at Yale. Then I mentioned that I had once seen a Food Network show that had mentioned a pizza place, and this guy new instantly what I was talking about. He was told us all about the place, Pepe's, and gave us great directions how to get there as well. So now we had wasted about an hour schmoozing with the luggage man and the Visitor Center man, but it was still only 5. We weren't quite sure what to do. So of course I did exactly what I shouldn't have and marched to Pepe's for a pizza pie before our massive dinner. It was famous! How could I resist?!

There she is. Just like Food Network promised. Check out that classic sign!

The pizza guys hard at work.

And here's me enjoying their work. We found Pepe's in the little Italy section of New Haven, which reminded me a lot of Dover, Delaware. I know that doesn't mean anything to the 99.9% of the world's population that has never been to Dover, but what I mean by that comparison is that the neighborhood was just a little too run down and plain to be considered quaintly historical. Instead, everything just felt old, but there in the middle of it is this world famous pizza joint that people will line up around the block for. It's not that Pepe's didn't fit the general feeling of the neighborhood. It was more that its fame didn't. It seemed like the type of place that locals loved and would faithfully dine at every Saturday night, the type of place where teens would congregate after a school dance, but not the type of place that's secret would have been leaked to the rest of the world. All the fame surrounding Pepe's gave the neighborhood an interesting dynamic.

I got my pizza just like the Food Network and the lady at the counter suggested: clams with white sauce and no mozzarella. It came on super thin crust, which made me a little sad because I loooooove doughy pizza, but the toppings were plentiful and delicious enough to more than make up for the lack of carbs. The pizza was everything I was hoping my 2 Amy's pizza would be and more. The clams weren't in their shells, unlike 2 Amy's. So not only did it save me time in eating, but it also allowed them to fit a ton more clams on! The clams weren't the only thing there was more of! There was more cheese (Parmesan instead of mozzarella) and more oil. Basically there was more pizzay goodness all around. I can see why Pepe's became so famous. They do thin crust so well that even a deep dish loving girl like me was won over. In the end, I think the pizza was too good because I said I was only going to have a few pieces and throw the rest away. In reality I ate everything but the crusts even though I knew our huge sushi dinner was right around the corner. I know, I know. I need more self control. You're right. I do, but what's done is done. So after I ate the pizza, I spent the next 15 minutes doing jumping jacks (and being stared at by dog walkers) as my half hearted attempt to work it off. Then around 6, we set off back towards Miya's and my second dinner for the night.

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