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Jerry's Pizza


Jason Perlow
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885 Washington St

Middletown, CT

Phone: (860) 346-5335

At the AFJ convention in Boston, AFJ President and SF Chronicle food columnist Bill Daley insisted that on the way home, we stop by at Jerry's Pizza in Middletown -- with one specific request, and that we try the "White Sicilian Pie". And oh yeah, you have to order it TWO HOURS in advance, because the dough has to be "proofed".

So on the way back from Boston, rachel calls Jerry's on the cell phone to tell them we'd be there in two hours. We had no idea what was awaiting us. Absolutely no clue.

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Here's the White Sicilian, just before going into the pizza oven.

What's on this thing? Well basically, its like a foccacia that is topped with this mixture of anchovies, tons of garlic, parsley, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. I know, I know, anchovies are gross. Theyre nasty, and they look like marinated eyebrows. But trust me.

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When cooked, the White Sicilian is transformed into an explosion of strong, aggressive italian flavors. The anchovies become assimilated into the greater whole, providing saltiness and seasoning and a complimentary flavor to the assault of garlic and chile pepper flakes. Outstanding.

Of course, when you are at Jerry's you gotta try their regular pizza too. Its awesome. I've never been to Sally's Apizza in New Haven (we tried to go there but it doesn't open until 5PM)

but this kicks the living crap out of just about every pizza (save for Patsy's in Harlem and Difara in Brooklyn) that I have had in NYC.

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It is absolutely depressing that Connecticut has deposed the once world leader of Pizza, New York. They are clearly kicking our asses in every which way.

And not only do they have amazing pizza, but their meatballs are kick-ass as well:

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These are all-beef balls that are seasoned with spices and parmesan cheese. I don't think there is any or little filler in them at all. They're big, and they have a nice crustiness outside and a dense, firm texture on the inside, because they are baked in the pizza ovens in big trays. These are then doused with Jerry's fantastic homemade tomato sauce and then used in heroes and on pizza and over spaghetti.

Here is Will Schiora, son of Jerry Schiora, making meatballs in the kitchen:

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Here's the pizza menu:

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Jerry's is located in a rather beat-up, run down looking strip mall in Middletown where a Home Depot is currently being constructed. You'd never know that amazing pizza and italian-american food is to be found in a rather average and un-assuming looking family owned pizza joint thats been around since 1968.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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It is absolutely depressing that Connecticut has deposed the once world leader of Pizza, New York. They are clearly kicking our asses in every which way.

Not "every which way" only in the medium-thick crusted variety. The regular pizza was good, but nothing like Kinchley's thin-crusted in NJ, and the "white" sicilian was unique, but doesn't beat out DiFara's artichoke pie in any way.

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It is absolutely depressing that Connecticut has deposed the once world leader of Pizza, New York. They are clearly kicking our asses in every which way.

Not "every which way" only in the medium-thick crusted variety. The regular pizza was good, but nothing like Kinchley's thin-crusted in NJ, and the "white" sicilian was unique, but doesn't beat out DiFara's artichoke pie in any way.

No, I disagree with this. The regular pizza is very, very good. It tastes like what New York pizza tasted like 20 years ago.

Mind you places like this 20 years ago were a dime a dozen in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and in Jersey. Not so anymore.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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That pizza is making me drool, however you'll find that it's a totally different genre of pizza from the New Haven pies served at Sally's and Pepe's. So you have another treat to look forward to. An embarrassment of riches in Connecticut.

By the way, Connecticut, like Rhode Island, has a very large Italian-American population. Nearly 3/4 of a million. Now, that's only half as many as New Jersey and less than a third of what we have in New York but Connecticut and Rhode Island are the two most Italian states in the US by percentage of population: 18.6 percent in CT and 19.0 percent in RI. Connecticut has a long pizza history dating back to at least the 1920s, and as far as I know Lombardi's is the only New York pizzeria that's older than Pepe's.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Sometime try Carminuccio's on Rt. 25 in Newtown, CT.... Their pizza is so good I used them to cater a VIP business luncheon and got huge raves... and the account.

i second this!

thanks again for the suggestion trish.

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Sometime try Carminuccio's on Rt. 25 in Newtown, CT.... Their pizza is so good I used them to cater a VIP business luncheon and got huge raves... and the account.

i second this!

thanks again for the suggestion trish.

Glad you enjoy Carminuccio's as well, River... It is much closer to me than the New Haven places and satisfies the urge for a nice little artisanal pizza fix.

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Just spoke to Will on the phone and got their hours:

Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 to 10:00. Friday and Saturday, 11 to 11.

He explained they need two hours to let the dough rise. It must be an incredibly thick and chewy base, quite different from the New Haven thin crusted pizzas.

Next Sunday, I will be driving north I-91 after a few days in New Haven. I plan to hit Sally's on Saturday night and perhaps on Sunday I will order the White Sicilian.

Forgive my ignorance, but what does AFJ mean -- American Federation of Journalists???

Didn't Bill Daley use to write for the Hartford Courant? He probably would know the answer to the Sally's question I posted elsewhere on this forum.

Edited by VivreManger (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Also for a great wood burning oven style pizza, try Julians in BPT. on Madison avenue, this kid has it down right. Not a flashy place but a little neighboorhood joint with a couple of scattered tables. I suggest you eat it there as it is the best right out of the wood burning oven. Also, try Mikes Eggpant parm to die for!

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  • 4 weeks later...
goddam that pizza looks good.  where the hell is middletown?

Its a suburb of Hartford.

I don't know how to reply (with quotes noting different posters) in one reply but..

first, thanks Jason,for mentioning, Jerry's Pizza. That is an old favorite I've been lucky to go to many times. Now residing in the SF Bay area, I definately need my East Coast, yeah, maybe even, CT, fix of pizza and GREAT basic antipasto platters... when I go back.

:raz: but, will add for other posters that, besides, err, Middletown being a suburb of Hartford, it is the third oldest (larger) town in CT. It's right on the CT river halfway or so between New Haven and Hartford off of I-91. Has a (still somewhat) wonderful downtown Main ST right off the river lined with old buildings. Sidestreets betweent the old buidlings afford glimpes of the CT river and at one end of the street, is O'Rourkes diner of steamed cheeseburger fame. Sloping up from Main St and the river is Wesleyan University, established circa 1800 or so. The city had a major influx of Italian immigrants at a later date (after the anglo-puritans), who I believe came mainly from a few towns in southern Italy. So,, there are some remnants of good Italian food here and there. Enough Middletwon boosterism, though, I need to probably start another thread on my true origins, New Britsky (er, New Britain) nearby.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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  • 4 months later...

I tried Jerry's last week. Called ahead for the white Sicilian and a meatball regular pie. The regular was good but a notch below Regina's or any of the top New Haven places.

The white Sicilian was "interesting" but I wasn't crazy about the flavors.

Glad I tried it though...funny thing, most customers were doing takeout with 2 or more pies.

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