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Frank Pepe’s Yonkers Review

November 10, 2009
The opening of the newest Frank Pepe’s Pizzaria in Yonkers has been a most eagerly-awaited event in the IT household.  You see, we’re pizza geeks.  Can’t get enough of the stuff, carbs, South Beach and Atkins be damned.  We love a lot of kinds of pizza, where it’s Chicago style, NY style, thin crust, thick….the only common demonator is that it be GOOD PIZZA.

We first went to Pepe’s in Fairfield last year and loved it.  For a die-hard born-in-the-Bronx girl to be raving about New Haven style pizza, it has to be good.  So when we heard they were coming to Yonkers, we were jumping for joy.  They were planning to set up shop at the site of the shuttered Ricky’s Clam House on Central Avenue.  So close to us, it was unreal. 

Our friends Dave and Julie decided that we all had to be there the day it opened.  A day off from work was contemplated, to be there when the doors opened just after 11, but it was decided that dinner would fit with our plans better.  Dave wanted to be able to say, “25 years from now that he was there the night the joint opened,” fully confident that Pepe’s would indeed be there in a quarter century. 

pepe

Where's my pizza?!?!

When we got to Pepe’s around 6pm, there were lines out the door both for sit down service and take away.  We were lucky in that we didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes for our table.  Of course, we had to wait a little longer than that for our pies, but that’s to be expected on the first night a restaurant is in business. 

pep

Pepperoni pie

We ordered two large pies, an original tomato pie with mozzerella, and the same with pepperoni.  We found both pies to have surprisingly thick crusts, unlike the thin crust Pepe is known for.  I didn’t care for the pepperoni – I ordered it because some at the table were asking for a topping pizza, and I threw it out there.  I don’t really like toppings on my pizza, prefering to keep them pure.  The cheese and the sauce were right on, and it was cooked very well.  Not greasy at all.  We commented to the guy who seemed to be the manager about how the crust was thick, and he agreed, saying he’s been trying to get the pizza makers on board with the right way to do things. 

No, the pizza wasn’t perfect, but we know they are capable of perfection.  It was their first night, so we definitely feel they can be cut some slack.

The following Saturday, Soccer Girl had a tournament that ran till the early afternoon.  When we got home, we were both wiped (not sure why I was so tired, as I certainly wasn’t playing) and I did not feel like cooking.  So, we decided to go back to Pepe’s. 

We got there at 4:30 to find a healthy line out the front door.  Our wait wasn’t more than 5 minutes, which was good.

upskirt

"Upskirt" shot

We ordered 3 pies this time (there were 6 of us, I will have you know).  A small “original tomato pie”, which is basically a pizza with no mozzarella, but a little grated cheese.  A medium “clam pie”, white sauce and no cheese.  A large tomato pie with cheese.  The first two came out after about 20 minutes.  I loved the tomato pie, even though I was a bit skeptical of a pizza without cheese.  The clam pie was well received by Mr IT and Julie – Girl found it icky, but who likes clams, anyhow? 

The third pie was a bit more, well, shy I guess.  After 10 minutes of eating, the manager came over to explain that they forgot to put our third pie in the oven, but it would be out in 10 minutes.  We dealt with it…really, we weren’t upset, and were rolling with the punches.  We had pizza.  It made us happy.

When the large pie finally came out, it was still a bit thicker than we have had in Fairfield, but it was good.  Not as greasy as other bloggers have experienced.  Just good.

So, it’s not pizza perfection.  Yet.  I feel strongly it will get there.  Many people are being hard on the place, expecting it to be at 100% from the get go.  Well, I’m sorry, that’s just not realistic.  We’re making the choice to have faith.  They expanded in Fairfield, and made it work.  They have another place in Eastern CT, and that too is working.  Yonkers will be there, and I’ll probably be on line to see it.  Heck, I’ve already made plans to meet a friend there on Saturday.  I’m getting addicted, and it’s happening fast.  It’s good to have a Pepe’s in the neighborhood.

* in the spirit of full disclosure, the second meal I refered to ended up being comped due to the issues I detailed.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2009 10:14 am

    Oh my. I had better make this a date with the pizza connoisseur hubby. Thanks so much for the review. I knew all about the talk but had no idea of the lines. Maybe I’ll do a way late review from one who has never had the original.

  2. dufmanno permalink
    November 12, 2009 12:41 am

    Man I miss NY pizza and bagels! It’s just not fair to make a girl raised in NY live in a place that produces vomitrocious food. (I love you DC, but you could use improvement in this area).

    • JACK permalink
      December 29, 2009 7:28 pm

      YOU R SO RIGHT WENT TO DC THIS PAST WEEKEND 12/27/2009 FOOD REALLY SUCKED AND WHATS UP EITH FINDING A DINNER FOR BREAKFAST IMPOSSIBLE CIAO.

  3. john permalink
    November 12, 2009 4:53 pm

    Pepes “officialy” opened November 2nd on that monday but it was opened Sunday and they gave out free pies ALL DAY, sorry you missed it.. i was there that Sunday and ordered a small pepperoni.. it was so good.. very thin crust , the pepperoni was sliced thick like sausage.. Def. one of the best pizzas I ever had..
    \\
    Then I went there yesterday with my girlfriend around 2:00 PM .. We ordered the half pepproni half sausage.. the pizza came out pretty average.. the pizza was alot thicker, more doughy than my small pepperoni i had a week and a half earlier.. It was still pretty good but not the pizza bliss from my previous experience.. But the medium Pie was HUGE…I hope they can make all the pizzas the same as the first one i tried there..

  4. Joyce permalink
    November 23, 2009 8:57 am

    I hate to criticize but I went to the Yonkers location on a Saturday night and it was terrible. Long lines for a simple pizza, no parking spaces, people complaining and it was chaos in the kitchen. It looked like young kids trying to make authentic Italian pizza and they were burning the pies, dropping them and throwing them away, slopping them in the pizza boxes, and they could barely handle the 8-foot peels. It was a mess and I won’t go back again because it wasn’t worth it. I didn’t find anything spectacular about the pizza.

  5. Jim Miller permalink
    November 26, 2009 1:22 am

    Went to Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria in Yonkers the other day and the pizza was GREAT! I had the original tomatoe pie and a shrimp and spinach with mozzarella pie and they were both EXCELLENT. I asked them to make the Shrimp & Spinach extra thin and they did, it was crunchy and very tasty. The Tomatoe Pie was delicious and very light without the mozzarella, it was a beautiful. The pies are charred I guess due to the coal oven but I liked the flavor. I will make this a regular stop for me and my family.

  6. T Hyatt permalink
    January 11, 2010 10:44 pm

    1. We ordered a large Vegetable Special pie. I was expecting vegetables, not essence of vegetables.
    2. When you have to wait for a table and the 4 seats by the maitre’d yare occupied, you are told to stand in the outer hallway – no seating and NO HEAT. IMO, that’s not a way to treat a customer.

  7. October 6, 2011 11:59 am

    C Tierney We went to Frank Pepes last night for the first time the waitress greeted us and explained anything we wanted to know her name was Kim very helpful we ordered a large pie half plain and half pepperoni & sausage it was absolutely deliscious the best quality ingrediants were used we also had a salad which was also great. I would recommend everybody to try this Pizza we are going to make it one of our nights out places to eat. Loved everything Try it you will like it also It was the Yonkers location on Central Ave.

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