Stop the presses. You know, harking back to a simpler, more innocent and racist time back when people printed things and didn’t blink an eye when both Irish and dogs weren’t allowed somewhere. Well, welcome back, Kotter, because I’m about to unveil one hell of a wormhole in the time/space continuum of New York. The name? Don Pepe’s. The place? Howard Beach, Queens. What the hell am I talking about? Well, I’ll tell ya.
Don Pepe’s is not only the best place to get baked clams, perhaps in the entire universe, but, it’s also like The Sopranos sucked you in to the TV and didn’t let go. If you’ve ever had a Goodfellas/The Godfather/Sopranos/the cooks from Lady and the Tramp-fantasy , this is where you need to go, like, immediately. Yes, Howard Beach is the very same place where various race-related murderings have taken place, and it’s super out of the way and probably not close to any train whatsoever, but I’ll tell you, when you end up eating 5 plates of baked clams, you won’t even care if you’re alive.
Oh, and the plates are family-style, which means that you can be a total pig and no one will be the wiser, AND the carafes of house red wine are only EIGHTEEN AMERICAN DOLLARS. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I don’t know if I’ve drilled this in enough, but the people-watching is un-fucking-paralleled. I think I literally stopped in the middle of my dinner to declare that I love New York.
One more tip: say it’s your birthday. Trust me.
13558 Lefferts Blvd
Queens, NY 11420
UPDATE: Done Pepe’s Is apparently in Ozone Park, not Howard’s Beach. Eh…close enough.