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Feb 7, 2009 07:02 PM

Remarkably decent strip shopping center pizza...

Well, so much for my credibility. Yes, I am the same person who recently posted this on the L. A. board, calling the crust at Pizzaria Mozza the best I have had anywhere: BUT, there is a brand new neighborhood pizza joint (that does NOT deliver) in the South Lakes Village shopping center in Reston called "Flippin Pizza." The pie is 18" across with "matzoh" thin crust. It tastes exactly like a better than average neighborhood pizzaria in North Jersey, the Bronx, Brooklyn, etc. No, I am not talking about Totonno's, Patsy's in Harlem, John's or Lombardy's. And, to make this all the more remarkable (and despite what it may seem-I do not have an affinity for West Coast pie), this is a franchise from the San Diego original.

Yes, a San Diego interpretation of a New York pizza....can I erode my credibility any more than I have? Well, I could note that their website may have been written by the same person who did Chuck E. Cheese:

But this is a really decent pizza in the suburbs that if someone asked me where can I get a decent pie that will make me feel at home and I am from New York I would unhesitatingly steer them to. (Can I also type a longer sentence without a comma?


I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT PIZZA BY THE SLICE which, yes, they have. We ordered a whole pie with pepperoni, onion, green pepper, mushroom and garlic. As basic and as "freshly made" as it gets. It was good. We will go back. And, order a whole pie, not a slice that might have been sitting out half the day.

No, it is not worth driving to from Arlington or Bethesda. Perhaps not even from Tysons. But for someone in far western Fairfax county this is a real find; especially for those reading this in Herndon or, say, Oakton. Not the second coming of Two Amy's but for those use to Domino's or Pizza Hut this could be a revelation. Of sorts.

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  1. Is it really open already? I was in that shopping center on Thursday, and it did not look like it was close to being ready.

    11 Replies
    1. re: SoxFan1

      We were told that it opened at 4:00PM on Friday.

      1. re: Joe H

        I saw the open sign but couldn't tell much more. With a name like that I wasn't overly anxious to try it out. Will do soon.

        Joe - have you tried the pie at Santini's yet? I tried a sandwich to try to compare with The Deli. Overall it came in a strong second to The Deli, but the lead is still healthy. The biggest thing Santini's had over The Deli was the toasted bread.

        Went back a second time to try the Reuben which fell flat.

        1. re: Dennis S

          Tried a sub at Santini's in Reston this afternoon and wasn't impress. Very portion skimpy...bread okay, and they left off the sweet peppers. Which is actually a pretty good review for a Virginia sub shop.

          1. re: justicat

            I'm just curious: many of the "Virginia sub shops" (along with the "D. C." sub shops and the "MD sub shops") use rolls from the Catania Bakery on North Capitol street. Now over the years I've tasted the bread from Rando's and the Atlantic City Bakery in A. C. and several places including a coal fired oven just off of 9th and Passyunk in South Philly along with Amoroso's. I am NOT claiming that a VA sub or even the one referenced at Santini's in Reston has anything in common with these. Nor, with say, what I would find in Bologna or Paris or even, Munich. But, having said this, and having a bit of loyalty to Catania (whose rolls I have eaten for over 30 years), what do you think of the many VA subs which are made on Catania rolls?

            I say all of this in reaction to your comment about "Virginia sub shops." Several of these, I think, are quite good.

            1. re: justicat

              Might depend on the sub. I had a reuben that was just okay. The Godfather was what I used to compare it with The Deli - just down the street a mile or so. Far second, except they toasted the bread. If The Deli did that, they couldn't be stopped (and I pit them against the Italian Store any day).

              1. re: Dennis S

                I agree that the Godafther is a little skimpy compared to the Italian (I can't remember the exact name) at The Deli. It is, however, 2 or 3 dollars less expensive than the comparative at the Deli, so it might not be a fair comparison. The one at Santini's is really good, the one at the Deli is better. I, too, will pit the Deli against the Italian Store on this sub.

                1. re: SoxFan1

                  The named sandwiches at The Deli are double portion, unless requested. I'm not sure how the price comparison stacks up with a requested single portion. I can't make it to The Deli today, but maybe by the end of the week.

                  The Hot Sicilian is my fave at The Deli, btw (fwiw).

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    Oh - and there's a place opening up in Tall Oaks - Paisano's. Looks sort of like it might be a chain of some sort. Seems like there are others in NOVA. Anyone know anything about it?

                    1. re: Dennis S

                      Finally got by The Deli again - on the price issue - a single portion Hot Sicilian is $7.32 incl. tax. So - a dollar or two more than Santini's but I think worth it.

                      Anyone know anything about Paisano's - which will open in Tall Oaks soon?

                      1. re: Dennis S

                        My wife and I just finised eating a "Brooklyn" with onion and green pepper (i.e. meatballs, sausage, mushrooms, etc.) and both of us agree: this is an absolutely outstanding suburban strip shopping center New York area pie...

                        I should add that we didn't have a slice. We had the whole pie.

                        It makes a difference.

                        1. re: Joe H

                          Still looking for an opp to have the whole thing. Have you seen that Paisano's is moving into Tall Oaks? Any Knowledge on them?

        2. I live in Tysons and I'm debating whether to try this place out. Better than Church St. Pizzeria?

          15 Replies
          1. re: Ericandblueboy

            We are going back tonight for a literal second opinion: could it possibly be as "decent" as we thought last night? There was a "taste" that I've thought about for 24 hours and can't stop thinking about. It's just unthinkable that truly "decent" metro New York suburban shopping center pizza could be 1.1 miles from our house. In the entire D. C. metro area!!! Unthinkable. Impossible. Unimaginable. I really want to be disappointed on our visit tonight.

            The thought also occurs to me that credibililty is truly fleeting and of the moment...

            1. re: Joe H

              I am sitting at my keyboard with the pizza on top of a table to my left as I type this. It is what I first reported. Excuse me while I reach for the next slice...

              1. re: Joe H

                I promise to check it out by Wednesday.

              2. re: Joe H

                They even serve garlic knots! Do they have tables for eating in?

                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                  three or so with four seats each and a couple of single seats.

                  1. re: Joe H

                    Limited seating in a dark tunnel, until they work out some bugs in their lighting (visited early Sunday afternoon). Due to time constraints/logistics, I had to do a carry out luhch order, and I also was only ordering 3 slices, not a whole pie. While the slices probably had not been sitting around too long, either or both of the reheating and trip home (5 mins.) may have taken a little out of the goodness. It showed a lot of potential, and next time I will order a whole pie to see how much better it can be. I thought that the sauce/cheese was not a lot different than Primo Italiano (Plaza America strip shopping center a little further west/north), but the crust was better. Primo's crust has always had a good consistency, but, as of late, has been utterly flavorless (a la cardboard).

                    Garlic knots were not overly garlicky (a good thing in our book), but were literally doused with olive oil (possibly they need to increase the garlic concentration in the oil, and use less).

                    Other decent pizza close by includes Uptown Brick Oven in Herndon (next to where Hard Times used to be), and Santini's is not too bad, either (Oakton, have not been to the new one in Reston, or the first one in Sterling). All are better than Church Street, to my taste.

                    1. re: SoxFan1

                      I'd also add the pies at Cafe Sano. While still good, they were much much better last year. They've changed the mozzarella they use, and the prosciutto is more like country cured ham - so my baseline rec is to get a pie W/O the "prosciutto".

                      1. re: SoxFan1

                        Went today. There is now a good amount of seating, though much of it is at bars lining the walls. The layout is odd - the dark tunnel analogy is a good one.

                        Decent pie. I only had the slices. They brought out complimentary garlic knots which were slightly oily, but not too bad. Good place. A drive from Arlington is iffy in its worth.

                        1. re: Dennis S

                          Please, I would NOT judge this place by the slices. It is ONLY the whole pizza that I have had and liked. It is also baked only once where the slices which may have sat out for hours are baked twice and result in a different crust. This is an excellent NEIGHBORHOOD pizzaria well worth going out of the way for if you live, say, within 10-15 minutes-but not from Arlington. Forgive me, Dennis, but I just want to temper expectations and also again note that it is only the whole pie that I liked. This is not American Flatbread nor Two Amy's or even the original Ledo's in Hyattsville. But for what it is I really liked it.

                          1. re: Joe H

                            No I gotcha. Just like a few years ago with chicken kabobs, we need to evaluate oranges to oranges. Why I specified today only slices - though still they're the best in this area (Reston), I believe.

                            At home for pizza we're on a great kick of doing our own thing, so ordering a whole pie will be a challenge, but maybe we'll try it out soon.

                            Despite the name, I can tell that I am glad we have it in the hood. I do doubt it's something for Arlington, DC or otherwise, but for Fairfax, it's a nice contender.

                            My fave aspect is that I really like Pomodoro. I now can drive <5 minutes instead of >20 to get a good pie, IMHO.

                            1. re: Dennis S

                              By the way, Dennis, I was really WRONG about Reston Kabob. I remember your championing it and my being critical. Now, after a dozen or more visits, I rave about it!! To the same neighbors who hear my incessant prat about Flippin' Pizza!! The bad part of this is that if they decide to grow "Reston Heights" Reston Kabob will be gone. Still, I go and shake my head, disbelieving that I once was critical.

                              1. re: Joe H

                                Update from my post above. I grabbed two slices of pepperoni at closing time tonight (9:00, ugh)--by the way, I am going to have limited opportunities to have need of an 18" whole pie, but I am going to try to orchestrate it soon. Very good slices, and the thin part of the crust held up well to the sitting out and reheating.

                                The dark tunnel is not quite as dark as last Sunday--apparently they had not finished the interior when they opened. Still sort of a tunnel, but faux brick on the right and a gray paint on the left have replaced what must have been just a black primer all around. The lighting also now seems to be in order. There are 5 or 6 tables for 4 in the tunnel, and an L-shaped eating counter (maybe 10 by 10 or a little bigger) back by the order counter.

                                This place could definitely end up being the go-to place west of Tysons out along the Toll Road.

                                BTW, JoeH, how could you have not liked the chicken kabobs at Reston Kabob? Even in an initial visit? I was regularly driving from Reston to Kabob Palace and Ravi Kabob in Arlington (much to my wife's chagrin), but Reston Kabob is good enough (different, and I still like aspects of the others better) to keep me from needing to go to Arlington. (does anyone else miss the chicken kabobs from Simply Grill--the other place that kept me from battling into Arlington?) Don't mean to hijack the original thread...

                                1. re: SoxFan1

                                  I sincerely miss Simply Grill. Excellent vegetable kabobs along with the chicken kabobs and the best hot sauce of any kabob place I've been to. Somebody told me that he opened in another location but I'm not aware of it. I believe Ravi Kabob are still the best but also really like Shamshiry-especially for the rice-and Amoo's as well as Kabob Palace. Reston's boneless chicken kabobs are the equal of any. Really, really flavorful and succulent.

                                  1. re: Joe H

                                    The Kabob debate was a matter of Joe and I comparing apples to oranges - Shamshiry to Reston Kabob. We both stood corrected after the fact (and the better for it!)

                                    1. re: Dennis S

                                      Also - Joe: I sure expect and hope that Reston Kabob would relocate rather than close down completely.

              3. I'd drive from Arlington for this, if you're accurate...

                1. Washington Post confirms Joe H's review: good, thin, NY pizza.