Tuesday, February 7, 2012
New Haven pizza has it's big three--the triumvirate of Pepe's, Sally's and Modern. Three of the oldest, three of the best. Bar Pizza in downtown New Haven burst onto the scene in the nineties, serving up classic thin crust plain 'za (no mutz) and clam pie, but writing a new chapter in the Elm City's pizza history--the creation of the mashed potato pizza and now, a pizzeria in Hamden is showing signs of besting Bar at their own signature pie...
Mashed potato pizza. It sounds gimmicky, but it truly is glorious. It's a white pie, topped with a layer of garlicky mashed potatoes sprinkled with oregano and thyme. You can get it at Bar with or without bacon, but why would you deny yourself crispy, piggy goodness.
Eli's in Hamden also makes a mashed potato pie that they call "The Big Spud" which consists of mozzarella, mashed potatoes, sour cream, garlic, bacon, and cheddar cheese. The addition of cheddar seems gratuitous, but it adds just the right amount of sharpness to the potatoes. Eli's Spud is heavy on the garlic and the sour cream lends an ethereal lightness to a what should be a gut-bursting pizza. It's not gut-bursting, it's habit forming. And if I stack up my last couple of visits at Eli's with my last couple of visit at Bar, I've got to say, the student has surpassed the master: Eli's wins the battle of the mashed potato pizza. While the big three (+ Bar) get a lot of the press as New Haven pizza musts, Eli's is well worth driving the few extra miles down the road.
Eli's Brick Oven Pizza
2402 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, Connecticut 06518