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2 Amy's?

Why does this place get such great reviews from the Washingtonian and Tom S?
Here's an exchange from one chat:

Bethesda, Md.: We stopped going to Two Amys a year ago, when we continually were served small, hard, burned pizzas with only a dab of tomato sauce, cheese, and basil as well as rice balls that were cold inside. Mia's is better so far.
Tom Sietsema: Okay, okay, okay. I went back to Two Amys recently.
My pie was:
Not "soupy."
Nor "burned."
Nor any less generous with its toppings than a true Italian pizzeria.
Just one man's experience.

Well, I was there the other day and I had the same experience as the Bethesda chatter. The pizza was bad (burnt outside, soupy inside, skimpy toppings), the service was disinterested, and the ambience was awful. (Notice it was Tom who first said "soupy", not the chatter - hmmmmm, a Freudian slip?) A good wine and beer list, some decent sides, and OK prices does not add up to much. There are many pizzas that are far better, including the near-by Vace store.

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  1. i went there last Sunday and thought my pizza and my appetizer, friend risotto? were both delicious. got the margherita and it was delicate, simple, flavorful and just yummy, overall. very worthy of the considerate praise it receives, that said service could be improved upon, i'm a stickler for service.

    1. I have never had a bad pie at 2 Amy's.

      That said, 2 Amy's does not serve American-style pies. They're Neopolitan-style pies, which does mean a well-cooked crust and spare toppings. If you want a big, hearty pizza with tons of stuff on it, this is not the place for you.

      I agree that the service could be improved, and I try to avoid peak times to miss the crowds and parking issues. But I've always been happy I went.

      1. Tom said soupy because that is what his complaint have been from months back if you read way way back in chats.

        I haven't been recently, but have never had that experience in the past year in which he has gotten those complaints.

        It is very neopolitan style which in Naples means there aren't mounds of cheese and toppings like we are used to in most US pizza styles.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          Are there not both neopolitan-style and more Americanized versions at Amy's? If I'm not mistaken, the former are a bit better. And no, I don't like "mounds of cheese and toppings" - I usually have no meat or veggies added. There were big gobs of cheese that overwhelmed the sauce. I've had pizza in Rome and pasta in Naples, and they weren't anything like 2 Amys. Also, I'd like to be able to actually taste the sauce, and not have it soak through the crust. And even in the most ghettoized parts of Naples, I doubt that burnt crust is welcome.

          1. re: foodcheck

            Well that settles it very different experiences then. Sorry you had such a bad one, especially at a place so many people really like. I think I keep disagreeing with you on different posts, but I can't quite remember if it is you. If so perhaps we should just go to places the other one of us hates if so... avoid Tallula and Eat Bar at all costs they are my favorites ;) Oh and Hook and Central... Sushi Kaz, all yours buddy ;) ;)

            1. re: ktmoomau

              Having studied abroad in Italy and spent many more weeks travelling there, I absolutely adore 2 Amys. That being said I admit that the last two times that I have been there the pizzas have not been as good as I've been used too. Both times they have been "soupy" in the middle, which never makes sense when you don't have a lot of toppings on them. And also the crust has been doughy. The last time it had a huge chewy ring around the outside, a small inside and a wet middle. Still, the flavor was still so good and I'll keep going and hoping the fabulous pizzas I know come back. The rest of the menu is so good it's worth it.

              1. re: zooly1

                Some people in Tom's chat have said they request theirs well done now and they turn out good, I have never had that problem, but if you have completely undercooked (not burnt and undercooked) maybe you should ask for that? Seems like from his chats it worked for some people.

        2. I don't think that they are BAD but they certainly are not worth the money, the time, and the crowd. I too have lived in Italy. Not worth it. One of my favorite pizzas comes from Pines of Rome (in Bethesda). Both their plain cheese/tomato pizza and their white pizza w/ cheese (which is a form of crack IMHO). The decor, service, and basically the rest of the menu is crap. But the pizza is SO good. Not "authentic" good ... but GOOD! Plus ... pizza varies so much around Italy itself, so as long as it tastes great that is all that matters to me.

          3 Replies
          1. re: clemsonkd

            Interesting. We've been going to Pines of Rome for 20 years and it definitely has its ups and downs. Sometimes we get two pies and one is great and the other stinks. It is always the large pie that stinks - no matter how much we plead for well-baked, crisp crust, the large pie has flabby, undercooked crust. It doesn't matter if the place is busy or not. And sometimes, one pie (again, usually the large pie) will have a strong chemical taste - but only in one or two bites - we've speculated that it might be garlic, even though we didn't order garlic, because it would be logical that some garlic might accidentally get on to the pizza. But it doesn't really taste like garlic. Add in the crowding and the hassle of picking up (Montgomery County balances its budget from parking enforcement fines), and the unevenness of the cooking, and sometimes it is just too much like work. Good place to spot celebs, though. Among the regs are Cokie and Steve Roberts and a variety of politicians. Although it has a different style of pizza (and everything else) we have recently fallen in love with Mia's and would rather go there. We have talked and talked about trying Two Amy's but it sounds as though the pizza is really hit-or-miss in a very noisy place where parking is a major hassle. Maybe that's a sign of a good pizza place - they are always in places where parking is a pain in the rear?

            1. re: Just Visiting

              I like this parking test, except it doesn't hold true for my ultimate favorite pizza joint, but that is in Davis, WV (don't laugh there are a lot of Italians that settled in that region due to the mining jobs that were booming) and comparitively for the area surrounding it, it is harder to park directly in front of it.

              Matchbox, Vace and Pizza Paradisio's all are in notoriously hard to park areas, as well.

            2. re: clemsonkd

              clemsonkd - I've heard about the white pizza from Pines of Rome for years. Is it really that good? Aside from the obvious (cheese) what else comes on it?

            3. We've only been to Two Amy's once last summer and both of us were very impressed by the pizza. One thing that surprised me though is that I unknowingly ordered an expensive appetizer and my Fiance got glass of wine that was sort of expensive and the bill was a little bit of a surprise. All in all it was a good experience though. Pizza seems to be very subjective - one man's trash is another one's treasure.