After the bus returned us to the hotel, a sizeable group met downstairs in the lobby for a return trip to New Haven. Since we had plenty of time for dinner, we decided to visit Modern Apizza (Roadfood.com review) first. Located on State Street—far from the madding crowd of Wooster Street and the Pepe’s/Sally’s nightly bottlenecks—Modern is the third member of New Haven’s apizza trinity, producing slightly charred pies that are just as wonderful as the aforementioned restaurants. After waiting 30 minutes for a table for twelve, we all filed in, took our seats, and got down to ordering. The plain cheese pie above was only the beginning…
WanderingJew put in a vote for an appetizer of a chicken parmesan sub, and we all heartily agreed. I’ve had their sausage and meatball subs on previous visits, but this chicken parm was classically fabulous: crusty bread, flavorful sauce, crispy chicken, and just enough cheese to bind it altogether:
In a bold move, Sandra requested eggplant on one of the pies. I was skeptical, thinking that the sliminess of the eggplant would detract from the pie’s flavor—similar to broccoli as a topping ruining a perfectly good pizza. What I didn’t know is that the eggplant was thinly sliced and breaded! This was a truly excellent pie, and I’ll be searching for eggplant cooked like this on future pizzas:
Our favorite—and one that Amy orders consistently—is sausage and hot cherry peppers, and Modern makes a particularly magnificent one:
The Italian Bomb is also one of our favorites, loaded with sausage, bacon, pepperoni, garlic, mushrooms, onions, and peppers:
No slice left behind! Everyone loved Modern, and it remains very difficult to compare to Pepe’s and Sally’s. Luckily, we don’t have to compare—we can love them all equally! Modern Apizza is truly one of the greatest Roadfood pizzerias, period!
Why not follow world-class pizza with world-class ice cream? (That is a Roadfood tenet, isn’t it?) Ashley’s Ice Cream (Roadfood.com overview) delivers the taste in spades…of some of the best butterfat-rich ice cream in the state. The group ordered around the spectrum of flavors, but our favorite is, and always will be, the unbelievably scrumptious Coffee Oreo:
Perpetually packed with locals and Yalies, all ice cream lovers, Ashley’s hits the spot again and again:
Now, about that leftover stomach space…could it possibly accommodate a few bites of a burger from Louis Lunch (Roadfood.com review)? It didn’t take much convincing of the group on my part, though the plan was strictly to share a few burgers. When I see the cross-section of a burger this beautiful, I feel sorry for all those who order them well done in other places. The cooks at Louis Lunch will tell you that they cook the burgers their way only, and there is absolutely no ketchup available! Still served on white toast, we ordered ours with the works: tomato, onion, and a schmear of Cheez Whiz:
We had no trouble downing these burgers, but afterward we all threw in the collective towel and climbed back in our cars to return to the hotel. A huge checkmark to this red-letter day of Roadfooding!
Next up: Day 2, Sunday, begins with footlongs…