Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year from your DC Pizza Blog!

Hello all,
It's been a great year of pizza and happiness. Now we just need your suggestions. What pizza places should we review in the new year? Two on my list are a place in Crystal City everyone's been telling me about... I want to say it's called Cafe Pizzaiola? And Mia's in Bethesda. Any others?

Friday, December 21, 2007

American Flatbread -- Ashburn, VA

Ever since this place got a good review in the WaPo, I've been wanting to check it out. The problem? I hate the suburbs, and Ashburn is about as suburban as it gets. Now, I grew up in the 'burbs, mind you, so I am allowed to make fun. I just have one question for you suburbanites: why do you have such big cars? What the heck is that all about?

Anyway, my friend Maria, who has been living in Denmark, was stopping in DC for a couple days during her whirlwind Christmas tour of CONUS (which apparently refers to the "continental United States") and was staying in a hotel out by Dulles airport. And since Gary actually works out in BFE / Redskins Park / Ashburn VA, I thought, what better time to try out American Flatbread?

In spite of getting lost about a half dozen times (thanks Mapquest), and getting flipped the bird by two different guys (it's always a man, isn't it?) in gigantic automobiles, and me screaming, "I hate the *@#?!& suburbs!!" about twenty times along the way, we finally made it there in one piece.

The interior of the restaurant is really cute and cozy. We got a seat right next to the wood-burning oven, which was quite nice on a blustery winter night. AND-- we had no wait in the nearly empty dining room (okay, score one for the suburbs-- no wait-- NICE).

I like the philosophy behind the restuarant-- they use fresh, organic, locally grown ingredients. Always a good thing. And their menu items have funny names like "Evolution Salad" (which was quite good, I might add).

On to the pizza. Wait, no, it's not "pizza", it's "flatbread." Mmmkay. I don't know what the point of that is... but whatevs. We got a veggie one with mushrooms and carmelized onions, and a pepperoni and peppers one.

I can't say the pizza, er, FLATBREAD, was bad. But I can't really say it's good either. Whenever I asked Gary for his rating, he'd get a confused look on his face. I kept saying, "I don't get this pizza." I don't even know how to describe it, really. Maria, for her part, thought it was awesome. Apparently, the only pizza in Denmark is Pizza Hut, and it costs about a half a million dollars. And with the exchange rate with the Euro, that's nothing to sneeze at. I asked for Maria's rating, and she said, "Ten." I explained that the highest rating was four stars. She reconsidered, and said, "Ten." I think all those days of eating pastries and fish has muddled her palate.

The crust was really crunchy. It was kind of like eating a pizza on overcooked Cosi bread. Which isn't necessarily BAD, it's just weird. The toppings did taste fresh, and the onions were yummy. There wasn't a whole lot of sauce; in fact I could hardly taste it.

I guess my main issue with the pizza is that it sort of made me feel... blah. Like I ate a big brick of crusty bread. I didn't have my usual pizza afterglow. Sitting on my couch after we returned to the city, Gary looked over at me and said, "I'd make a pass at you, but I have a giant pizza sitting in my stomach." That pretty much sums it up.

So would I travel back out to the 'burbs for American Flatbread pizza? I'm thinking... no.

Liza and Gary's rating: 2 stars

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Italian Pizza Kitchen -- Van Ness

Last Friday Gary and I (yes, it's me Liza, back to writing the blog... AHEM GARY) ventured up to his neck of the woods and went to Italian Pizza Kitchen in Van Ness. Some friends of ours have been encouraging us to go there, and since we do happen to be DC's pizza experts, we decided to give it a try.

Let's just say right off that the service was horrible. And the restaurant was freezing. I had to wear my coat during the whole meal. This is not a good thing. But they were playing some old Italian movie on the wall, so that gave it some atmosphere, I guess.

But most important-- the pizza. I really liked the crust-- it was thick and chewy and crunchy. The toppings left a bit more to be desired; they didn't have a freshness that you'd expect on a quality pie. But the thick crust made it good for reheating the next day. In fact, I think I might have liked it better the next day. My suggestion for Italian Pizza Kitchen-- order takeout and save the leftovers!

Liza's rating: 2.5 stars
Gary's rating: 3.0 stars

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Deeeeeeeeeetroit Pizza, y'all

I know this is a DC pizza blog, but I found this commercial and couldn't help myself. Anyone who lived in the Detroit suburbs in the 70s will be singing along. Notice it's a square pizza, which is typical Detroit style 'za.