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Finally, a Pittsburgh pizza for CT transplants


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Finally, a Pittsburgh pizza for CT transplants

Panini Guy | Feb 25, 2007 05:50 PM

Harry's in McMurray in Waterdam Plaza. I'm eating some right now and am ecstatic. Pittsburgh natives would probably not understand, but for all us transplants from the NJ/Boston corridor... this might well be the place you've been searching.

It was recommended to us by an employee who said it was simply the best pizza around. We asked "Why?" but she couldn't explain. On the way home from a long road trip, we found ourselves heading north on 19, so we called up and ordered a mushroom and sausage.

We arrived a few minutes ahead of the pie being ready. They offered us a free soda to drink while waiting. We opted for water. Then out of the corner of our eye, we saw a big, flat, ingredients-almost-to-the-edge pizza that, for the first time since moving here five years ago, we could say, "Now THAT looks like pizza."

We begin reading an article about the place... turns out it is a branch of Harry's from West Hartford, which at one point employed someone who worked the oven at the original Frank Pepe's. And that's what the pizza at Harry's looks like.

Upon looking at the menu, our jaw dropped. Not only did Harry's offer eggplant, zucchini and ricotta as possible toppings, but they offered a WHITE CLAM PIZZA. We know what we're trying next trip.

As to the taste, is it Sally's or Pepe's or Modern? No. They use a conventional pizza oven, not masonry. Thus, the pies don't have those classic scorch marks on the bottom of the crust like the New Haven palaces. The very outside edge of the crust doesn't bubble and isn't singed. Still, those are but minor points in the overall picture .

Here's what tonight's pie did feature:
- a toothy crust, not soggy, not stiff, not cardboardy. You can taste the wheat.
- FRESH sauteed mushrooms - and lots of them
- sweet, not hot sausage (we believe a traditional fennel/garlic variety)
- tomatoes (could be San Marzano, we didn't ask) instead of canned pizza sauce
- quality mozzerella used judiciously, not overwhelmingly

Thankfully we need to go down that way once a week for other reasons, so there will be a Harry's night once a week in our home*.

*Note: We still love Il Pizzaiolo, but that's an artisan pie at a different level with different expecations - but if Harry's had a brick oven, it might be a much closer call.

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