After a great day you need a great meal. I was completely starving by the time I left the Stowe/Twain campus. The rain and long drive had worn me out despite having thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Now it was time to eat. But what I did next to get to that aforementioned great meal will sound insane.
I drove approximately half way back to New York City. Rest assured I had a good reason. I never had any doubt it would be worth it, even though it was doubling my ride to Newport and the rain was just coming down harder. Once I finished this meal I patted myself on the back for always going with my gut, no pun intended.
If there is one travel rule I have it is that I always follow my itinerary (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/05/for-game-plan-part-i.html). I know that my itinerary has been well researched and thought out and when that day arrives and I am tired and cranky, I know that I will regret not following what it says. I even have a section for optional attractions and restaurants so I know what I can cut if even I can’t handle what I have planned. It is always good to have a backup plan so I never second guess my choices or anyone pointing out that we are driving the wrong way for pizza. But this wasn’t just any pizza. It was pizza from 1925!
If you have to ask why I wanted to go to Frank Pepe’s then I guess you live under a rock. Frank Pepe’s is an institution and now has several locations.
Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria is a mainstay on the Food Network Channel and in any tour guide you would read about the area. Famed foodies and travelers like Samantha Brown and Adam Richman were the first to bring it to my attention many moons ago. It has been in the back of my mind ever since. I knew I was going as soon as my toe was over the Connecticut border no matter where or what I was doing. It is important to note that when I promise myself something, I never lie. I am very committed that way.
When going to Frank Pepe’s there is never, ever a question why you are there. YOU ARE THERE FOR ONE REASON ONLY- THE WHITE CLAM PIE!! Anything additional is the cheese on the pizza (saying icing on the cake feels wrong here).
After I placed my order and settled in, the surrounding tables were crowded on and off. As soon as someone got up another party was ready to take the table. It was good we didn’t have to wait the place was pretty big. Everyone seemed to be eating the infamous pie and other delicious looking items. The smell was overwhelming and I was about to bite my arm off. But then our order arrived. The pizza Gods were on my side.
I have never taken food photos so fast in my life. I was simultaneously taking photos and bites of pizza at the same time trying to avoid getting greasy on my prized camera.
The white clam pie was better than I thought. I was afraid it would have chunks of clam which I would have hated. But no it was diced up small. It had so much garlic and flavor. It was a white pie and didn’t have marinara sauce. It was like having the best spaghetti and clam sauce dish of your life but on thin crust pizza. Just when you think you can’t eat any more you keep cutting pieces off until you eventually have eaten a whole slice. They are small so it’s easy to work your way around the pie.
Our second choice was a classic pie with bacon on it. This too was delightful. It was crispy and salty from the bacon, yet had sweetness from the sauce. I had a system down where I would take one bite from each alternating and that seemed to be the ideal balance. I ate until I was worried I wouldn’t fit back into the car and that was a problem because I had at least three hours worth of driving in a terrible storm to do.
Food coma doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt. I feel it now just writing about it. The memory still brings a smile to my face and stomach. I love that I always force myself to eat and sightsee my way across any state.
While I went to Frank Pepe’s for the white clam pizza, I stayed for the bacon topping on the original version. Either way you can’t go wrong. The only mistake you can make is having not gone at all. I suggest everyone starting mapping out there routes now!
For Frank Pepe’s Pizza:
Tomorrow- For My Birthday Getaway That Brought Me Back to New England: Part III/Rhode Island Activities………………………………………………………………………………………..