Monday, January 17, 2011

Delia's Mediterranean Grill and Brick Oven Pizza-- Alexandria

When we started this blog over 3 years ago, life was a lot different. We were newly engaged, Gary was living in northwest DC near the Cathedral, and I was in a basement studio in Capitol Hill. Life was carefree and we had lots of time for things like, well, blogging about pizza.

Now we're married, living in a house that actually has several floors (this is a big deal for former apartment dwellers!), and have an almost 11-month-old little girl. We couldn't have imagined how much she would change our lives-- and we certainly wouldn't have known how often we have to trek out to Babies R Us. Seriously. One would think there would be a good baby gear store closer to us, but alas. Many a Saturday afternoon is spent making the drive out to Bailey's Crossroads.

On one such occasion, after buying some stuff for Molly (including a $3 Sponge Bob plastic ball that has turned out to be her favorite toy ever), we decided to go to a restaurant we've wanted to try for a while-- Delia's in Alexandria. We thought this would be a quick trip from where we were, and it probably would be if we knew where we were going. Unfortunately our GPS took us on a rather, ahem, "ciruitous" route, but eventually we made it there.

Delia's is a family-friendly place-- we were definitely not the only people there with kids. It's also quite affordable, especially in comparison to other DC pizza places-- point in Delia's favor!

They have an extensive menu with plenty of pizzas, pastas, and other Mediterranean fare. They also have a really interesting list of appetizers-- goat cheese and potato poppers? Sounds tasty-- and we settled on an eggplant dip. It was SO good! After the dip and a yummy Casear salad, we were looking forward to our pizza.

Molly just ate her pureed pears and then hung out with us. Luckily Molly is pretty good in restaurants, so we gave her a couple of toys to play with and she went to town amusing herself and charming the wait staff with her cheesy (no pun intended) grins.

Readers of this blog will know that margherita pizza is my favorite, so Gary and I split one for our entree. The pizza was of generous size, and a small was perfect for two.

The sauce had a kick to it-- it reminded me almost of Matchbox. Spicy, in a good way. The cheese and basil was fresh and flavorful. The only part of the pizza I didn't care much for was the crust. It was a bit more done that I usually like it-- rather dry, actually.

We definitely will be back to Delia's for the good food and affordability. It seems to be a neighborhood favorite, and for good reason.

Liza and Gary's rating: 2.5 stars

Tagolio Pizzeria and Enoteca-- Crystal City

Wow, it's been a long time! Sorry we have been neglecting the blog, pizza lovers. We've had a busy fall at the Pizza Blogger house. We've still been eating lots of pizza, of course-- just not blogging about it! So we're going to try to rectify that by writing about a few places that we've tried in the last couple months.

First up-- Tagolio Pizzeria and Enoteca.

I learned about this place last summer and right away I knew I wanted to give it a try. There's already excellent pizza in Crystal City at Cafe Pizzaiolo, but you can really never have too many good pizza joints, right? The unique thing about Tagolio is that they have authentic coal fired pizza. Now, we'd not had great luck at our last coal fired pizza experience, but I was willing to give this kind of pizza another try. Actually, due to city regulations, there are no coal fired ovens in DC, so you will need to venture to Virginia or Maryland to get authentic coal fired pizza.

But, isn't burning coal kind of... dirty? From Tagolio's web site:

The Anthracite coal used in Tagolio’s oven comes from existing abandoned mines; not from newly environmentally damaging, excavated coal mines. Anthracite coal emits no pollution while burning, no smoke during combustion, and no smell — resulting in minimal environmental impact. Contrary to the image of some coal types, anthracite is one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly fossil fuels in the world — cleaner than wood fires or your backyard gas grill.

As we all strive to reduce our negative environmental footprint and reduce emissions impacts on the environment, Tagolio delivers a great pizza through an eco-friendly and efficient cooking process.
So there you go-- pizza you can feel good about eating!

When we arrived at Tagolio, Gary and I decided to sample the "enoteca" (wine bar) portion of the restaurant, and we each got a glass of pinot noir. We split a delicious panzanella salad, and my favorite pizza-- a margherita DOC. (Here's a good blog post that explains what DOC pizza is, in case you're wondering.)

I should also mention that we had great service-- attentive and friendly. It was one of the nicest restaurant experiences we've had in a while. A point in Tagolio's favor!

For us, the standout on this pizza was the sauce. It had a bright, fresh flavor. The cheese was also really tasty and fresh. The only thing that I didn't care for much on this pizza was the crust. Tagolio describes their crust as having a "lightly crunchy, yet sumptuously airy dough with a nutty taste". I'd say that's accurate, but it's just not my favorite. I tend to prefer wood fired crusts moreso than coal fired.

However, I'd still say to give Tagolio a try and see for yourself. It's definitely worth a stop.

Liza and Gary's rating: 3.0 stars