The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

New Haven Food Tour: Part 1 (Modern Apizza and Ashley's Ice Cream)


I wish I received emails laced with screaming insanity like that more often. Alas, it was one part of a unique email conversation I had with Charlie (who you may remember as our favorite Disneyland Paris overlord) during his last weekend of senior paper writing-hell, hence the Red Bull, which I assume is not part of Charlie's regular diet. Look at what college does to people! Just look!!! Aside from turn students into Red Bull users, four years of higher learning also gives them the power to serve as my tour guide for an awesome one-day food tour of New Haven. If they go to Yale, at least. (I heard a college education also has other prolonged debt and a general feeling of unprepared-ness for entering the real world.)

There are few things in this world that would give me the will to voluntarily hurl myself down I-95 at 70mph in a death pod car, Charlie's pizza tour being one of them. I didn't really have any requests aside from, "FEED ME," and asking him when I should show up.

Modern Apizza
Modern Apizza

At around 1 p.m., I safely exited the confines of my butt-rest for the previous two hours, got a quick look at Charlie's dorm room that, with its 0.005% visible floorspace, looked like it had been the site of a vicious ransacking (upon Charlie's request, I restrained myself from capturing the explosion of laundry and books on camera), and then followed Charlie as we headed to Modern Apizza for a late lunch.


The dark, woody interior reminded me of being in someone's basement. But full of booths. And pizza smells. What a fabulous basement that would be.

broccoli and garlic, half white half red
It's here!

Charlie ordered a small broccoli pie, half white, half red for us to share. As I'd see for the rest of the day, New Haven pizzas are generally served on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. These non-uniform specimens aren't the most photogenic pizzas you'll come across, but this has nothing to do with how they taste—unless the trick to churning out awesome-tasting pizza is to make them malformed.

a slice
Baby slice!

Not having heard of "white sauce" on pizza before (either because I'm not paying enough attention to pizzerias around here, or it's a regional thing; one of you must know), my googling directed me to Blake of The Paupered Chef, who says that white sauce is the drool-inducing trinity of olive oil, garlic and melted cheese. Ohhh, how we drooled. White sauce definitely won over red; the combined punch of garlic and gooey cheese just can't suck.

Le crust.
Le crust is thin.

But what's more important than garlic-infused gooey cheese heaven? The crust! The base of all things garlicky and gooey and cruciferous. The thin brick over-fired crust held up to its toppings; none of that soggy crap going on. There was nothing wrong with the slightly crisp, slightly chewy crust and its soft, puffy outer ring. Puffiness was the main thing that stood out to me compared to pizzas in New York, which don't strike me as the puffy sort. I'd describe the quality of "puffiness" as being a pleasant balance, air and gluteny wheat product. No jaw-aching chewiness here. There's more to it than that, but it's easier if you just eat it yourself so I can move onto my next paragraph.

For a restaurant that didn't require an hour wait, Modern Apizza was great. I could see myself going there a lot if I lived within walking distance of it, as opposed to a two hour drive. While I wouldn't say it was as "SWEET JESUS, THIS PIZZA IS ALL THAT IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD!"-inducing as Sally's or Pepe's (which I'll come to later), I'd rank it among the upper echelon of my pizza-eating experiences.

one of those secret societies..
Who needs windows?

As we walked back to Yale's campus, we passed the boxy off-white "tomb" of Berzelius, just one of Yale's many secret societies. As I had almost no knowledge of Yale's secret societies aside from that they existed, Charlie filled me in on what he knew. Aside from the members (or societies themselves) being frighteningly rich (not very surprising), I was most befuddled by the activity of giving bios, or talking about yourself for, say, 5 hours. Or less. I can't understand how or why anyone would feel compelled to do that. And that's just one of unlimited reasons why I could never be in a secret society.

rare books library?

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library looked like a whole lotta awesome, but it was closed due to construction. Maybe I'll get my chance to look at an original Gutenberg bible and peer through translucent marble walls another time.

some doors connected to the library...

Here are some ornamental doors that led to what may have been a garage of a building whose exact use I can't remember. Some buildings on Yale's campus are genuinely old, while some were designed to look like they crept out of medieval Europe. I think this one fell under the latter category.

grad school

Here's the graduate school. Maybe. The top floors of the central tower give the students the opportunity to peer down upon their minions. At least, that's what I'd do.

ice cream!
Mm, ice cream.

Upon my request for an ice cream chaser to our pizza, Charlie led me to Ashley's Ice Cream Cafe. Ice cream goes into another stomach unseen in medical diagrams. This is why it doesn't count as part of my daily caloric intake.

mm, downside watson...
Downside Watson needs it's own stomach.

I didn't go for the Downside Watson, "7 scoops, 9 toppings, and 2 bananas served on a frisbee," as temping as it sounded.


What do I love about American ice cream shops that their European counterparts could never match? A child's size in the US is still larger than a small in Europe. Usually. Yeah! OUR CHILDREN CAN EAT IT ALL!!!


The method I tend to employ when ordering ice cream (and I usually need to get two flavors to avoid suffering from taste bud fatigue) is to get one fruity flavor and one non-fruit flavor in order to reach some sort of balance between something "light" (the fruit) and something not so light (the non-fruit).

strawberry and peanut butter chip
I haz a bukkit!

Which is how I ended up with a small cup of strawberry and peanut butter chip. I would've liked more strawberry-ness in my strawberry, but otherwise the ice cream was satisfyingly creamy and smooth, with just the right amount of sweetness. Peanut butter generally tastes awesome in ice cream form.

Walgreens, here we come!

Charlie's friend Lydia (previously met during our chocolate hunt in South Norwalk) joined us at Ashley's so we could go to Walgreens and pick up some snazzy sunglasses that fit over their regular glasses. The sunglasses teetered on the large side of "huge" and perhaps had the capacity to filter out rays from a nuclear blast.

Topo Chico
Mm, Topo Chico

Although I love water, I prefer bubbly water for that extra bit of oomph that will result in me feeling gassy for the rest of the day. All I could find at Walgreens was Toco Chico mineral water, a Mexican brand I had never seen or heard of before. Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough, or perhaps it's only specially available at Walgreens. It got the job done; it refreshed me and gave me a case of the burps.

After Walgreens, we went to Lydia's apartment to recharge our bellies, accomplished mostly with the help of YouTube—more specifically by watching Winston the cat act like a cat—and then later with select episodes of Arrested Development.

And then we were off to the major pizza-eating part of our day. Stay tuned for PART DEUX!


Modern Apizza
874 State St
New Haven, CT 06511

Ashley's Ice Cream Cafe
280 York St
New Haven, CT 06511


Julie / May 27, 2008 11:02 AM

That library looks so rad!!! I wonder what the inside looks like, too.

I'd totally hit a pizza tour. Or ice cream/gelato tour. Diner tour, sushi tour, etc. You get the gist.

Dee / May 27, 2008 12:01 PM

Is pizza with white sauce the same as white pizza? Looks delish either way.

Carl / May 27, 2008 1:37 PM

Yeah thanks for the wikilink to the library - very interesting!
And good call on the ice-cream flavor pairing. I'll have to try doing stuff like that. It's kind of like you got peanut butter and strawberry jelly icecream. Sorta.

jane / May 27, 2008 2:26 PM

new haven has some amazing restaurants--so glad you're doing a blog post on it!! hope you get to try some other favorites (pepe's, bar [mashed potato bacon pizza!], miya's [peanut butter sushi rolls, sitar [naan and tikka masala buffet till you explode]..], the list goes on and on...). anyways, love your blog!

roboppy / May 27, 2008 2:27 PM

Julie: Pizza ice cream gelato diner sushi tour...I'm down with that.

Dee: I asked my pizza-loving co-workers and kind of got an answer. That is. ...Maybe, maybe not. There are a lot of different kinds of white pizzas. I guess you could look at the white sauced pizza as a white pizza. I've only had two white pizzas before (that had cheese on them, otherwise you can also have white pizza that's just like...cheeseless) and those two were different from one another. BUUUH!! On that note, I love Lombardi's white pizza.

Carl: Oo, if I had gotten sorbet that would've worked better! That's what I like to do when I get dairy, one non-dairy. I don't go for sorbet in ice cream shopts as much though.

Jane: Ohhh, Bar was on our schedule but we were too full (and it was kinda super crowded) by the time we made our way over there. NEXT TIME!! I'll get my chance. :D Thanks for your recs!

Ms. Blake / May 27, 2008 7:03 PM

We have a pizza place here in Portland, OR named Apizza Scholls and the pizza looks just like the one in the photos. "A-pizza" coincidence or conspiracy?

roboppy / May 27, 2008 11:18 PM

Trixy: English is funner when you make it French!

Jamie: Thanks for the link! I didn't know apizza had its own wikipedia page. YAY WIKIPEDIA!

Christina / May 28, 2008 12:59 AM

being in someone's basement. But full of booths.

I read that as, "But full of bombs." I knew that couldn't have been correct, so I read it again!

The pizza looks really great! I haven't had white sauce in a long time (the white sauce I had was more of a cheesey roux, though), and I need to try broccoli on pizza.

Ms. Blake / May 28, 2008 7:25 PM

Jamie--thanks for the link! We have a couple other pizza places out here who are making pizza in the same/similar style but without the A-pizza reference in the names of the restaurants. It's quite good but I don't know that I'd spend another hour and half waiting for it again. Have you been to the place near you?

reese / May 28, 2008 8:00 PM

I'll admit that I am no pizza connoiseur (I'll eat the equivalent of one large pie a year.) I def prefer the white sauce over red. Bertucci serves some good white sauce pizza, with shrimps and garlic all over the pizza.

Tony / May 28, 2008 9:55 PM

I know this old timer to Yale who recommends Louis' Lunch for burgers, Pepe's for pizza (looking forward to your review) and the Yankee Doodle for sandwiches.

roboppy / May 29, 2008 1:42 AM


I love broccoli pizza. With garlic. Yes. That's my new favorite thing.

Ms Blake: Ahh I just posted my next entry where I TOO WAIT 90 MINUTES FOR MY PIZZA. And I think it was worth it, although I'd rather wait less next time by going earlier.

Reese: Ahh, haven't had shrimp and garlic pizza. I'd eat it.

Tony: Part three will have Pepe's and Louis'! WOOHOO! Unfortunately, Yankee Doodle closed in the beginning of the year, so that's a New Haven institution I won't get to try. :(

Brownie / May 31, 2008 12:48 AM

Yum. Excellent post and excellent places. I was born in New Haven and I grew up on pizza from Modern and Sally's. We did a pizza crawl with our out of town guests on the night before our wedding.

Next time you are in New Haven, if you go back to Modern, I highly recommend getting the plain pie. It's just sauce with a little bit of parm (no mozz). Man, oh man. That is true pizza heaven. It's all about the crust and sauce interplay with the nice bit of saltiness from the cheese.

At Ashley's I love the Strawberry Oreo or the Coffee Oreo. They also make a mean Ginger, but I don't think it's on their regular menu.

roboppy / June 2, 2008 8:55 AM

Brownie: Ahh, I wish they had had ginger when I was there. I looove ginger.

Plain pie sounds good. Thanks for the rec!

Girlie / June 5, 2008 2:36 PM

Wow... your pizza extravaganza is amazing! And I see you've discovered the topo chico - it's all over the place down here in Texas, and is usually way cheaper than the pellegrino. And good, too!

Man, do I need to get up to Connecticut.

Allison / June 10, 2009 11:58 AM

I am in Austin,TX and Topo Chico is everywhere. I recently quit drinking diet sodas and topo chico hits the spot when I want something carbonated. It's fantastic in a glass bottle. It has way more carbonation than pelligrino. All the convenience and grocery stores in Austin carry it. I am currently looking for a topo chico shirt. I'm just in love with the stuff!

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