Friday, May 2, 2008

Pete's Apizza-- Columbia Heights

I'll start off this blog entry by saying that we know it's not really fair to review a restaurant the first week it's open. But we couldn't wait to try out Pete's Apizza, a new place serving New Haven style pizza. Gary and I have previously reviewed Comet Ping Pong, another local place that features New Haven pies... could Pete's measure up? Your bloggers were ready to find out!

We ventured out to Columbia Heights last Wednesday night. Even though it was only the third night it was open, Pete's was packed. All the tables were filled, people were standing around, and staff was running around frantically. We stood awkwardly at the door for a while until I finally asked another patron what the deal was. She said we needed to go up to the counter to order.

There's a large board with the menu above the counter, but unfortunately it was too small to read. Luckily there were takeout menus available, though. We decided that the prices for a full pie were a little steep ($20ish for an 18 inch), so we each got some cheese slices and a salad.

We got a number and found a seat, and runners came around with the pizza. The whole situation was pretty chaotic. Gary tried to get another slice at one point, but "5 minutes" for a New Haven pizza (white pizza with clams) to come out of the oven turned into 20... we finally left.

But these types of glitches are probably to be expected the first week. Unfortunately, the quality of the pizza suffered as a result. Our slices were cold and frankly, not very good at all. New Haven pizza is known for its crispy crust, but this crust was bland and undercooked. The sauce had a weird aftertaste. To me, this pizza was not at all reminiscent of New Haven pizza (and I lived there for two years, so I know what I'm talkin' 'bout!).

Hopefully Pete's can get some of its issues worked out in the coming months. Until then, Liza and Gary's rating is: Incomplete.


PaulB said...

My girlfriend and I went there 2 nights later (Friday) and experienced the same chaos. However, the pizza was very good. We opted for slices for the sake of variety. The cheese slice was excellent (born and raised on Pepe's/Sally's/Modern). The white clam was pretty dry, possibly because of oven temp and no sauce.

The owner greeted us and recognized my accent (I still insist that I don't have one). She proceeded to tell us all about the place, how it came to be, etc. She was genuinely interested in our opinions of the pies.

I think they are on the right track. If they can get the staff trained up, and get consistent with their pies, I think the place will thrive. I hope so, because nothing else around here comes close...

Liza said...

Paul, I hope you're right!

I could go for a Pepe's pie right about now... yummmmmmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Haven't been yet, but definitely will try it out. Still seems like they could add some authenticity by:

1. Import the wait staff from West Haven, not Northwest Washington. Have the waiters put combs in their back pockets, and give LA Looks gel to the waitresses so that they get that Poison video look still popular in the 'Hav.

2. Canolis. They're coming right?

3. Imagine walking into Sally's and asking for a "gluten-free" pizza.

4. Birch Beer

TPWP said...

I experienced the same chaos, but have been back twice and the pizza was perfect...not any less crowded though!!

Anonymous said...

Was searching for "Pete's" and stumbled upon this blog. Great stuff. Thought I would ask here - I don't see Pizza Paradiso on the list of favorites and was wondering if it had been reviewed by the experts.

Liza and Gary said...

Anon, we've been to Paradiso and think it's very good... haven't done a formal review yet though. Come visit the blog again! :)

Anonymous said...

Wen there last night and thought it was all good! We ordered a full pie (the slices all looked tired) and it was an enormous pie for $23... maybe I'm jaded, but the value seemed good as compared to Red Rocks or Paradiso. Nice beers (draught), wine list seemed fine (although I always love a cheap house red by carafe, like Moroni Brothers has), didn't try dessert. Missing changing table for babies in bathroom, and no delivery.