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Tuesday, August 08, 2006


"Adventures in Eating!"

Many years ago... I'm talking 1973 or 1974... there was a commercial on TV that remains one of my favorites.

It was part of Schlitz' "When it's right, you know it" ad campaign.

The ad showed three guys riding around the streets of a big city in a Checker cab. They pass three or four hot, hip nightclubs, each with the velvet rope and the beautiful people outside. Two of the guys keep wanting to get out, but the third guy insists they continue in their quest.

Then at one point, as the taxi passes an dark, dingy alleyway, he yells for the driver to stop.

The three men get out and there's a banged up metal door at the side of an old brick warehouse with a small lit tiny sign above it. No cool people. No line of club-goers. The guy rings the bell and they go inside... and down a slide into the coolest, wildest, most partying nightclub ever.

And the guy says something like, "I just knew this was the place."

Now... ignoring for the moment the fact that this was a *Schlitz* campaign.. I had this exact same thing happen to me on Monday.

I had heard through the grapevine that the best pizza in the area was a place with the odd name of "Pyzzz"... and that this place was in the unlikely location of Putnam, Connecticut.

So... with nothing to do last night, I loaded the brood into the Family Truckster, and headed down 295 to Putnam, about a 25 minute drive.

Putnam is not a pretty place. Anyone who's been there knows that. It's wreckage left over from the industrial revolution. It COULD be something special, but the Northeast Corridor Megalopolis hasn't absorbed places like Putnam yet.

So we ride through the town, and find "Pyzzz", which is down a side street, attached to a warehouse, across from an old, and still-active, mill, with old mill workers standing on the loading dock for their smoking breaks.

Pyzzz is in a building that dates from the 1800's. It's a worn-in, comfortable place, with a lot of regulars. It can look a little intimidating, as Putnam has that apocalyptic wasteland look to it in the first place, and this is in a part of town that time and progress long ago forgot. Uh.. that's why it's so cool, of course.

And the pizza is baked in a brick oven, with an italian-style homemade crust.

We ordered two pizzas. One was four-cheese. The other was spinach, onion, sundried tomato and buffalo mozzarella.

Both were incredible.

The Wednesday special at Pyzzz: Six Rolling Rocks and two pizzas for $14. Holy Sassafrass and Fried Apples (as Ray Marion used to say)... that's amazing.

The pizza is as good as anything you'll get in New Haven. It's not the Greek pizza I grew up on in Worcester, but that's a different animal anyways.

Pyzzz is on 8 Harris Street in Putnam. It's dirt cheap. Lisa, the waitress, is great, and they have Magic Hat on tap. Well worth the trip on a summer's night.

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