Saturday, November 24, 2007

Comet Ping Pong, Upper NW DC

So it was a warm Tuesday evening, two days before Thanksgiving, and Liza was after me to contribute to the blog. Liza has done all of the blog entries to this point, and I felt guilty. This is Liza AND Gary's Pizza Blog, after all.

Since I live in Northwest DC, where all the cool people in DC live, Liza decided to drive up from her home on Capitol Hill to meet me for some 'za. Nearby is the one and only Comet Ping Pong, a couple doors down from Politics & Prose.

Comet Ping Pong is known for its New Haven-style pizza. Liza says this kind of pizza is oblong shaped, has a crispy crust, and is a little oily.

We arrive around 8-ish. Parking is in the back. We walked around and saw the huge "COMET" sign above the restaurant. Can't miss it. Outside, there is a ping pong table set up. Get it? Comet Ping Pong!

We walked in and were greeted by a young male host who could not have been more than 20 years old. The tone was set. This appears to be college hang-out, for young and hungry American University students. It had a very trendy feel to it, too.

We sat at a table for two. Yes, all of the tables were made to look like ping pong tables. They were green, with a white line across the middle. Very clever!

Liza ordered some wine, while I ordered an Anchor Steam. You don't see many bars or restaurants with Anchor Steam, which is a pretty good beer in my opinion, so bonus points for Comet Ping Pong. By the way, there is a bar in the back, which looked like a cozy place to hang out. No TVs, though, so we won't be coming here to watch the Lions, Eagles or Spartans anytime soon.

Liza commented that the restaurant's decor looked a little too industrial. The walls were chipped, unpainted. It had a warehouse feel to it. Near the bar, on the wall, there were black and white photos of posing celebrities. Yay celebrities!

Comet Ping Pong appears to be striving for the post-apocalyptic among us. Perhaps that's why so many angst-ridden young people are drawn to the place. Beside our small table, there was a table of 8 college students strugglng to make sense of the world. They were busy chatting and text-messaging--at the same time. Marvelous!

Finally, pizza.

My first thought: These New Haven-style pizzas are shaped like footballs.

Liza had the butternut squash pizza with onions and garic. I ordered the smoky mushroom and onion cheese pizza. They were each sliced in about 8 pieces.

First of all, the pizza was a little droopy. I am not a big fan of droopy pizza. It was oily, as promised, so touching the pizza made my fingers messy. To eat my slice and not make a mess, I had to hold up the bottom of the pizza slice with my fork. The crust was crisp enough at the edges, though.

My pizza was very smoky in flavor. One taste, and I felt like I was in a smoke-filled log cabin in the West Virginia mountains. The onions were a little overpowering, too. There was just the right amount of cheese.

Overall, it was a decent pizza, but not spectacular. The pizza tasted exactly how it was supposed to taste, I just wasn't all that enthralled with it. A little too smoky for my taste.

Liza? You're up: "I thought my pizza was good, but the butternut squash flavor did not really come out." I have to agree. It was pretty bland. Very little flavor. In fact, the differences in our pizzas were startling. Mine had an overwhelming smoky flavor, while Liza's had almost no flavor at all.

So here we go. The score for Comet Ping Pong...

Gary: 3 stars
Liza: 2.5 stars

Now you know why I don't do these blogs as often as Liza. I ramble on and on and on...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My pizza might actually love me

My friend Sarah sent me this quote from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert:

"...Before I left room he gave me the name of a pizzeria in Naples that I had to try because it sold the best pizza in Italy. I found this a wildly exciting prospect, given that the best pizza in Italy is from Naples, and the best pizza in the world is from Italy, which means that this pizzeria must offer...I'm almost too superstitious to say it...the best pizza in the world? So Sofie and I have come to Pizzeria da Michele, and these pies we have just ordered--one for each of us--are making us lose our minds. I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair. "

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Pizza Wars" in the Washingtonian

Here's a pretty good article from the Washingtonian on the rise of "boutique" pizza parlors in DC:

Pizza Wars By Todd Kliman

Thanks to an explosion of boutique pizza places, 2 Amys and Pizzeria Paradiso are no longer the last word in tasty pies. Is this the start of a real Washington pizza culture? Or just a trendy boomlet?

Click here for the full article.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Red Rocks-- Columbia Heights

We're nothing if not trendy, so when we saw Red Rocks reviewed in the WaPo, we had to try the pizza at this new hotspot. We're also nothing if not geographically challenged-- when I told Gary we were going up to Columbia Heights, he looked at me strangely and said, "Is that in DC?" Yes dear, that is in DC.

Red Rocks really is a cute little place. It's in a converted rowhouse. We sat upstairs, and Gary mused that "we're eating in what used to be someone's bedroom." Indeed. I suggest asking to be seated upstairs; the downstairs was LOUD and crowded. They have some great happy hour specials, which we just barely made under the wire (we had the $4 house wines).

Service was a little slow, but friendly. I was a bit put off by the fact that every piece of dishware on the table had a chip or crack in it. But I digress. The pizza...

... was fabulous. I had my usual margherita, and Gary had a pesto pie.

The margherita was perfection. The crust was thin, light, chewy; the sauce had both a tang and a sweetness to it, and the cheese was SO fresh. The pesto pizza was good too, but that margherita... I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

Liza's rating: 4 stars, yes, 4 stars, people!
Gary's rating: 3.5 stars

As an aside, we went to Wonderland, a bar just down the street, for a drink afterwards. THEY HAVE MS. PACMAN. This makes Wonderland the best bar ever.