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Restaurants & Bars

Ye olde New Haven warhorses....

mark | Jul 31, 200011:44 PM     28

Just moved out to the LA area (from NYC) -- a couple of days before leaving, one of my friends (a former Yalie) insisted upon our taking a field trip to New Haven, as I had once remarked to her that I wanted to get a white clam pizza from New Haven before I fled the East Coast.

For lunch, tho, she made a beeline for Louie's Lunch ('natch), proceeding to quickly order and scarf down two burgers "all the way" (everything on them, so she informed me). I downed a pair as well; dunno -- is it really THAT big a deal? I mean, the burgers were nice and drippy, not too tightly packed, and the Cheez Whiz gloop on top worked better than on any Philly cheese steak I've had so far, but am I missing something? Or is it simply the fact that I didn't go to Yale? (I went to their mortal enemy to the north, in that wee hamlet called Cambridge....)

Of course, then came the question of pizza. Or should I say, apizza, as so many storefronts in town spell it. (BTW, can someone explain the origin of this? I've never seen it anywhere else.) While we considered hitting one of the two Little Italy giants, Sally's or Pepe's, both were opening a tad later in the day than we could manage (my friend had to work that night), and she espoused her own feeling that another place across town, called Modern, was superior to either one. Sooooo....off we went. We ordered a small white clam pie and a small "Italian Bomb" (her choice), which resembled nothing so much to me as one of those Pizza Hut Super Supremes (a kitchen-sink type of pie). I'll skip detailed analysis of the "Bomb" pie -- suffice to say I found it a bit....busy.... The clam pie was nice -- pretty crisp, nicely charred, tender clams (though they could have been a bit brinier for my taste).

Anyone have any current feelings on the New Haven dining landmarks? Also mentioned with nostalgia (but not patronized) were the black bean soup at Atticus and the cakes at Claire's -- anyone able to corroborate their worth?

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