On almost every top ten list of pizzas in America, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is listed. There are a few outposts: the original is in New Haven, CT, one in Bridgeport, one in Danbury, and now Yonkers, NY. They’ve been in Yonkers for a little while now, maybe two years or so. When it arrived, people in Westchester lost their damn minds. Everyone proclaimed it best pizza ever. Everyone declared that they would eat pizza nowhere else, it was Frank Pepe or bust.
MG and I went on a Sunday afternoon around 1pm. It was not crowded and we were able to sit anywhere. Booths line the perimeter of the interior, and they were filled, but all the tables on the inside were free. When this outpost first opened, it was packed at all times, but thankfully, some of the crowd seems to have dissipated.
The ovens are prominently displayed. As the place wasn’t too crazy, only one was in use.
MG and I got a large Peperoni Pie. We didn’t have to wait too long for it arrive, maybe fifteen minutes.
Check out the upskirt, well charred and crisp, very nicely cooked.
Normally, I would never write a review for someplace as popular as Frank Pepe. They do not need the press, and many people consider it the holy grail of pizza. However, I think it important for the sake of my other pizza reviews. Usually when I recommend a pizzeria to someone, I get the response “Have you tried Frank Pepe? They’re the best.” Well… here’s my review of what many consider the best. Before you give me grief and say, “This isn’t the New Haven location,” I will point out that many reviews have said that the Yonkers post is very, very close to the New Haven storefront. Some have even said that it is better.
So what do I think? It’s good. It’s just not great. It does not give me the eyes rolling to the back of the head splendor and euphoria that great pizza does. I’m simply not impressed.
The crust was ultimately underdone and chewy. The underside is very well cooked, but the inside was gummy. Yuck! The flavor of the crust was alright, but nothing transcendent. The sauce was nice, but did not blow me away. The cheese was good, but was neither soothing nor sharp. We ordered a peperoni pie, and they were pretty scant with the topping. That’s not the worst thing, but the pizza was incredibly oily. Granted, peperoni will add some more oil to the pie, but this thing was practically dripping.
Though this all seems damning, it’s not. I’m not going to say Frank Pepe is terrible. They’re not. However, I don’t understand the hype. In a pinch, I would stop in again. However, I sure as hell would not wait for 30 minutes to get a seat.
Was I there on an off day? Perhaps. I’ve also been to the Bridgeport location and I came away with the same impression, nice, but not incredible.
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
1955 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10710