Unofficial Guide: Legendary pizza and original burgers in Hartford

June 17, 2014

__New Haven Style__The unofficial motto of the Unofficial Guide is "local delicacies and hangouts," or, the places you shouldn't miss when you make your first visit. You might feel a pang of Instagram regret if you miss a visit to world Pez headquarters (in Orange, CT), but if you come to Connecticut and don't go to the ancestral home of thin-crust brick-oven pizza in America, you've made a serious tactical error.

New Haven is 30 miles southwest of the TPC of River Highlands. You've heard of it as the home of Yale University, but you should visit for the places you can actually get into. When GQ food writer Alan Richman picked his 25 best pizzas in America, two pizzerias on the same block of Wooster street in New Haven -- population 125,000 -- made the list, and a handful of others in town are worthy contenders. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally's Apizza have been serving pies since 1925 and 1938, respectively, and simple combinations that end up on the battered trays at your table are essentially identical to what you would have eaten during the Great Depression --  homemade dough blistered in the original brick ovens at 600 degrees and topped with your choice of fresh mozzarella, chicken, peppers, pepperoni, sausage and even clams. Come during standard meal hours and you'll wait more than an hour for a table, and the service alternates between brisk and brusque. But fight it out and you'll be rewarded with one of those rare unique food experiences that live up to the hype. Pepe's has an outpost closer to the tournament, in West Hartford, but if you're going to make the commitment, do it right.