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Where to take a former New Yorker who is missing good pizza

My Florida friend claims that there is no good pizza in Fl. He is visiting for a short time. Would you recommend 2 Amys, Pizzaria Paradiso and Pete's New Haven on Wisc? I know that 2Amys and Pizzaria Paradiso are not NY style but they have great pizza. I would like to find something in Georgetown, upper Wisconsin, Dupont Circle or Conn. Ave. TIA for any suggestions.

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  1. PP if you order the Atomica.

    1. There is no *one* NY style pizza (e.g. coal v. gas, slice joint, etc.).

      I would just take your friend to 2Amys as I think they have the best overall pizza in DC.

      1. Vace in Cleveland Park if he wants NY style- take out only, but the only real "non-fancy" pizza in DC!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Meltlady

          Vace is great if you want to replicate a NY slice experience a la Sal & Carmine's.

          1. re: Meltlady

            I recommend getting a whole pie at Vace. In nice weather, eat it at a nearby picnic table in Rock Creek Park. Add onions, olives and red peppers. A warmed up slice is an ok substitute.

            1. re: Meltlady

              I just don't get the love for Vace. Sauce on the top? Ugh. Pizza Hut makes better pizza.

              1. re: The Big Crunch

                Tomato sauce on top is the predominant variant of tomato pie, justifiably popular in New Jersey. You don't have to like it, but you seem unaware of this style.

                1. re: The Big Crunch

                  I agree with you. It's okay, not great. Maybe it is better if the pie is fresh. I usually get a couple of slices for lunch that have been reheated.

              2. What did he like about NY pizza? If he misses the local street corner shop, you might take him to Flipppin' Pizza (a few locations). If he likes the thick doughy crust pizza, Valentino's (Landmark section of Alexandria) is a good example. If he wants to try a different kind of pizza that New York probably didn't have when he was living there, take him for a Neapolitan style with real buffalo mozzarella. There are probably a few in DC, but I know and like Pupatella and Orso in Arlington and Falls Church respectively.

                I've had Pete's once and thought it was good pizza, never been to 2 Amy's or Pizza Paradiso. They're all standard recommendations here.

                3 Replies
                1. re: MikeR

                  If he likes Patsy's/Grimaldi's, he should like Pupatella and Orso.

                  1. re: Bob W

                    Second Pupatella. Never been served "pizza soup" there.

                    1. re: Bob W

                      Pupatella in Arlington is the best in the area right now. Get the buratta pizza.

                  2. How about We the Pizza? Although the crust is too thick for my tastes, they do a decent job with slices, especially the white.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: VaPaula

                      Like Vace, I've just never understood the love of this place. I remember eating the BBQ chicken pizza and thinking, "Whole Foods makes a much better version of this." IMO, Spike Mendelsohn is a lousy chef but a great self-marketer.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          Oh, I've tried them. I think the honest truth is that Spike is a gifted hustler who knows how to sell product, but he's a lousy chef. Huge TV fame and his first moves are to open to mediocre fast-food style joints? Their success shows he knows how to make money, the beyond-mediocre pizza and burgers shows he's a lousy chef.

                    2. The only pizza in downtown DC I've had that's comparable to a NY slice is at Wiseguy Pizza.


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        +1 for Wiseguy. Get a whole pie and ask for it well done. Got a nice chewy crust, tasty sauce, and well done gives it a good char. Very reminiscent of Pizzeria Regina in Boston moreso than NYC. The grandma pizza is also really good, square sicilian style with a nice crunchy crust and fresh basil on top. It's *good pizza*. It's pizza that I look forward to eating, which is more than I can say about the vast majority of DC pizza. Most of the time after I moved here I'd get the pie, and just look at it and start crying.

                        1. re: wilbanks

                          If it is reminiscent of Regina (where I just had a pie at the N End location two weeks ago), then it is very good indeed.

                          1. re: lawhound

                            If you don't get it as a whole pie well done, I can't vouch, nor for slices other than the grandma style, which is sicilian. The ovens are new, unlike the Regina (the N location was my steady takeout for 10 years - those ovens have had generations to add depth). BUT - the style, the execution, the aspiration, they're similar enough that I get legitimately happy when my wife says let's eat pizza now. I just wish they had the sausage that makes a Regina pie transcend. Also the interior is kitschy kitschy so I only do takeout.

                      2. 2Amys, and Vace serve good pizza however none of them can get the crust like a NY pizzeria

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: agarnett100

                          That is true. And even in NY, it isn't what it was. Real (Neapolitan) pizza is only of two types, with a special crust and with real mozzarella. Real Sicilian is unavailable currently.

                        2. Take him to NYC. There is no good pizza in DC either.

                          (ex-New Yorker)

                          1. I am in MD, so these are all a little suburban, but all metro-accessible. For classic greasy streetcorner pizza, we like Mamma Lucia's. Nothing fancy, and would only be "ok" in NY, but for my ex-NY wife, it hits the spot. For excellent Neapolitan style pizza, we love Pacci's in Silver Spring.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: aletnes

                              We lived in Rockville and I second Mamma Lucia's - but only the pizza, and it was tolerable. Went there for dinner and ordered chicken marsala and it was god-awful.

                              1. re: mrsbuffer

                                Depends on the location for Mamma Lucia's - generally the Federal Plaza does pretty well on red-sauce Italian stuff (including pizza) but the other locations range from mediocre to god-awful.

                                1. re: DanielK

                                  The one in Bethesda is horrible. Flavorless, undercooked pizza. I agree that the one in Federal Plaza is much better, but the bar is pretty low.

                            2. Let's not forget that while there is a lot of great pizza in NYC, there is a ton of lousy, greasy pizza in NYC. People who think they can walk into any pizza shop in NYC and walk out with a world-class slice are in for a rude awakening.

                              A few years back the NYT reviewed many of the Rays/Famous Rays/Original Rays clones. For one place the comment was: "Forget the napkin, bring a towel."

                              1. PP and Petes are pretty damn good....Also Wiseguys down in the Chinatown area.....and Mama Lucias for a damn good sicilian slice....

                                1. We ended up at Pete's New Haven and it was great. Just what we were looking for. I had not tried it but will definitely return.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: beanodc

                                    I think this is a first for the DC board of Chowhound. A definitive report / positive outcome for a post about a jaded NY pizza maven.

                                    Now you have to buy a lottery ticket.

                                    1. re: beanodc

                                      I love Pete's. For the price, it's one of the best quick eats in DC. Shame you didn't make it to PP though. Great beer selection and the Bottarga might be my favorite pizza ever.

                                    2. haven pizza bethesda..new haven style pizza. pretty good

                                      1. L&B Spumoni Gardens on 86th St. in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

                                        1. I have to agree with the person that reminded us that there is a lot of mediocre pizza in NY. I searched Chowhound for great pizza in New York and went to the best place in the Bronx since the place that sounded best, in Brooklyn, had long lines most days. So I get to the place in the Bronx and ordered a slice of the white and of the house special. And it was boring, greasy, pedestrian pizza that I could have gotten for half the price in Herndon.
                                          And there were people standing in line for it. Just odd. Maybe if I had ordered a whole pizza?

                                          42 Replies
                                          1. re: Ziv

                                            There are lots of mediocre pizza places in NYC because there are lots of pizza places in NYC. Law of averages, so to speak.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              New Yorkers are not immune from the pull of empty-minded trendiness. What passes for pizza has evolved in the USA from an obscure ethnic food to fast food. even the best in NYC is different than the Neopolitan staple or Sicilian.

                                              NYC has deep Italian roots, DC doesn't. There has never been a truly top notch pizza in DC as there is no real Italian tradition.

                                              1. re: law_doc89

                                                Disagree. Dig up a copy of "DC Confidential." There was a "real Italian tradition" in DC up until the early 1960s with places like Gusti's and AV and Roma and Italian Inn, but then began a slow decline as Italian families left the restaurant business and the area. Similar situation with Chinese food in Chinatown. Were they comparable to what you'd find in 1960s NYC? You'd have to ask an oldtimer like JoeH.

                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                  No! There has never been a real Italian community in DC. Baltimore, yes. You need more than Italian run restaurants (Roma was the best) you need Italian clientele to sustain quality. Chinatown was a completely different situation.

                                                  1. re: law_doc89

                                                    Sorry, but you're wrong. The eastern area around Judiciary Square was an Italian enclave around 1900, settled by Sicilian and Italian stonemasons who did the work on the Federal buildings. Over the next half century, the community dissipated as residents assimilated throughout the rest of DC and the suburbs. The area was razed to build 395. So there was a thriving Italian community in DC a century ago, but it died off just like the Irish community in Swampoodle.


                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                      Monkeyerotica is right, DC used to have a sizable Italian community. My ex-girlfriends parents were Italian and lived downtown and her father worked for a series of Italian owned businesses before he achieved his share of the American dream and bought a single family house in McLean back in the late 60's.
                                                      DC's historically is a lot more interesting city than I had thought. I remember the first time I realized that 3 of the churches near Chinatown used to be synagogues. Seeing the star of David all over stonework of the Calvary Baptist Church was a useful clue...

                                                      1. re: Ziv

                                                        There were a lot of Italian families and businesses in Falls Church and Arlington when I was growing up. There was a great Greek pizza place in what is now Eden Center, Pizza Castle. There was another good one called Airborne Pizza in Westover, now occupied by Lebanese Taverna. And, of course, Mario's on Wilson Blvd. I'm told Anthony's is closing to make way for more over-priced housing and retail space.

                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                          Sorry, tp disagree, but this was a very transient presence, a tiny enclave, and the city has never been ethnic like NY or Baltimore. I didn't say there were no Italians.

                                                          New York was and is heavily Italian, with many ethnic qualities having worked themselves pervasively into being New York, same with Jews, Chinese, and several lesser influences. Never been like that in DC, no inculcation.

                                                          Here is the most that is readily available on the topic:


                                                          An enclave of 3000 is not the same as what was going on in New York.

                                                          1. re: law_doc89

                                                            You said there was "no real Italian community" in DC. There was an Italian enclave east of Judiciary Square, complete with churches and markets for over half a century. It wasn't as big as Philly or even Baltimore, but to say it didn't exist or wasn't "real" is wrong. But hey, don't take it from me. Read the interview with Joe Mangialardo [pdf] where he pretty much explains how the Italian community ceased to exist in DC the 1940s. By the time he started his store in the 1950s, all his customers came in from the suburbs to buy his imported Italian items.


                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                              I will repeat: Yes, there were /are Italians in DC.

                                                              But DC is not a melting pot, and NY is. SO there is a cultural tradition within NY that absorbed Italian features. Not so in DC. That is my point.

                                                              DC has a history of southern segregation, grew as a result of technocratic needs of the government, and reflects that to this day. NY continues to be the main point of entry for foreign born, with continuous blending of culture.

                                                              The difference in food culture between the 2 cities reflects that difference.

                                                              The food traditions in NY are much more organic in their genesis, blend, and traditions. DC is much more scattered, reflecting a technocratic origin.

                                                              Therefore, you do not have the kind of Italian immigrant clientele that supported an ethnic food tradition.

                                                              Hence, a trendy 2 Amys.

                                                              I have no problem with cuisine that is "inspired" by an ethnic tradition, but calling it ethnic is wrong, it isn't, and those who don't know the difference, should.

                                                              1. re: law_doc89

                                                                "But DC is not a melting pot, and NY is. SO there is a cultural tradition within NY that absorbed Italian features. Not so in DC. That is my point."

                                                                No, it isn't your point. You previously said "There has never been a real Italian community in DC." Which, as has been pointed out by several already, is wrong.

                                                                You consistently criticize DC area dining generically without any actual restaurant criticism. It's tiring. We get it - we're not NY.

                                                                1. re: DanielK

                                                                  OK No presence OF ANY CONSEQUENCE! There.

                                                                  And, actually I did provide a detailed review of one restaurant and got ridiculed for typos instead of addressing the content.

                                                                  You bet I criticize DC restaurants and food tradition. It is not unique to me, it is a poor tradition and noted for poor quality and sophistication, that it deserves. Many good things in DC, food not one of them. Improving, but poor. Will it improve? That depends on whether people are defensive or open minded. But, it is DC, where people dig in heel, defend the team they are on and never actually listen to those who are suggesting real advice.

                                                                  If you find my comments tiresome, I suggest you don't read them.

                                                                  1. re: law_doc89

                                                                    As the Chesapeake Bay was for eons the most productive estuary in the in the world, DC's food tradition was primarily seafood. That tradition is now lost, along with nearly all the local fish stocks that created it. Nevertheless, there's plenty of good quality food in DC, which includes its suburbs and exurbs. It may not be New York, but it ain't Salt Lake either.

                                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                      Sadly, much of what you say is true. DC has really been a southern city, and much tradition is gone. There are black traditions that continue, mostly in Anacostia and PG, but the trendy crowd eschews that.

                                                                      I have never eaten in SLC, so I cannot comment. I am more chagrined by militant ignorance that precludes learning and improvement. DC cuisine is improving, and dining out can be satisfying, but truly, when was the last unforgettable meal anyone has had in DC? It could improve it the clientele (as a group) was more interested in learning than in fitting in.

                                                                      I must delineate that I am referencing the core DC. I suspect that the Virginia suburbs are in an evolutionary process increasingly divorced from core DC.

                                                                      In DC, so many jobs in govt and related require extremely narrow technocratic expertise, not true education, so too many people who work here don't have that larger context from which to approach an experience on an individual, descriptive basis. In other cities, NY, Paris, others, there is both creative competition, but a clientele that is assertive and individualistic, but more experienced and educated.

                                                                      1. re: law_doc89

                                                                        "when was the last unforgettable meal anyone has had in DC?"

                                                                        I eat tremendously delicious and memorable things on a weekly basis. Most recently: The Seoul Hot Dog at DC-3 and several Bengali dishes at Gharer Khabar, including the moghlai parotta, fish curry, and the roast chicken.

                                                                        Granted, it doesn't take much aptitude to remember something from last week.

                                                            2. re: law_doc89

                                                              DC ain't what it used to be, but you can't say it "never was". That's just incorrect. Truthfully, it was the riots, "urban renewal" and the Reagan administration that spelled the end of the old, somewhat static ethnic neighborhoods. But, the cycle continues and new ethnic communities come and go at blinding speed, only to be supplanted by the next group. It's happening right under your nose. And the same is true, by the way, of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and all the rest. As they move up, they move out. That's America, bub. The rest is nostalgia.

                                                              1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                Flavr, I am not sure what to think of your comment about DC being affected by the "riots, urban renewal and the Reagan Administration". I spent a few short days in DC in December of 1982 and DC was a pestilential slum of a city. By 1992 the improvement in the city was like night and day. The potholes were fewer, my car didn't get vandalized as often, fewer of my neighbors were robbed, the boarded up businesses (in the downtown areas) were nearly a thing of the past and the entire city simply seemed to be on a better path. 1982 to 1992 were some of the best years DC has had in the past 50 years.
                                                                I guess my comment would be that the riots were an unmitigated disaster, the urban renewal was a mixed blessing at best, and the Reagan years were such an amazing recovery from the dismal Carter years that there is probably no chance that the next President can do the same thing with regards to recovering from Obama's legacy.
                                                                Sorry to inject politics into Chowhound.

                                                                1. re: Ziv

                                                                  I didn't say the city was better or worse for those events. I said they spelled the end of many of the old ethnic neighborhoods. I grew up here while all that stuff was going on. Things really changed. Anacostia was a white middle-class enclave before the riots and lower Georgetown was pretty scummy. All of downtown was rough. Chinatown went all the way to 12th and Mass, where we went to church. The riots ripped the city in half and a lot of people (black and white) made a run for the 'burbs.

                                                                  Things were actually pretty sweet during the Carter administration because we dumped Nixon, the war was over and the whole city was happy for a while. When the Reagan administration got rolling (about the time you showed up and the time I left) rents had more than doubled and condo schemes (urban renewal) displaced more people, a heroin epidemic was underway (later crack) and many more people were pissed off and out of work.

                                                                  So, yes, those were changes that forced the displacement and destruction of the old ethnic enclaves. In other cities, like Baltimore, those changes happened gradually over a long period of economic decline, weakening ethnic communities but not displacing them entirely. Ever since, ethnic immigrant communities in DC are much more transient and tend to fragment more quickly. I could give some examples, but it's getting late and I'm losing interest. Anyway...

                                                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                    And Capitol Hill was called "Little Africa."

                                                                    Actually, I have been here longer than you think (pre-Carter)

                                                                    1. re: law_doc89

                                                                      Folks, this has been an interesting digression, but we are a food-centered site, and we'd like to get the discussion back on the original question.

                                                                            1. re: law_doc89

                                                                              About his impression of the city when he first came here in the 80's.

                                                                      1. re: Ziv

                                                                        Food has a context. It is not just gustatory, it is cultural and social, artistic, sensory. So politics is not necessarily irrelevant.

                                                                        Remember, in the 90's the city was under a control board and actually run by Alice Rivlin.

                                                                  2. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                    in that old anthony's spot, flavrmeistr? how can anything fit there, as it is adjacent to the post office.

                                                            3. re: monkeyrotica

                                                              I can vouch for Roma's pizza. It was great. I also miss the grape arbor garden they used to have.

                                                                1. re: law_doc89

                                                                  Yeah, I was trying to forget the stuffed animals. I can't remember whether they were in Roma or Poor Robert's or both!

                                                                  1. re: Mulan

                                                                    It was wall to wall taxidermy with your pizza in DC.

                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                            ipsedixit, the whole point of my stop in the Bronx was that I was going to a place that Chowhounders liked, which carries a lot of weight in my book. I should dig out my GPS log and figure out which pizza place it was and see if it is still popular. I would bet even money, in retrospect, that it was sold a couple months before I went. Or that I just don't like white pizza, regardless of how good it is.
                                                            But I have to agree with you about the law of averages, except in Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average! :-)

                                                            1. re: Ziv

                                                              I've been letdown by 'Hounds before (and expect to be again in the future).

                                                              Approval by 'Hounds is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition to earn my imprimatur of a good eating spot.

                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                When the hounds are on a board you frequent it's much easier after a while to see how you align. But visiting a different city pretty much destroys that advantage with the boards.

                                                                1. re: Dennis S

                                                                  When I have a trip out of the area, I check the appropriate board regularly. I go to Maine once or twice every summer, so I frequent the Northern New England board. There are not a ton of posters, but the ones from Maine who do post are very helpful.

                                                                  On the other side of the spectrum is the New Orleans board, which regularly features novella-length trip reports from visiting hounds, as well as requests from people planning trips that usually get lots of responses. Mouthwatering reading!

                                                              2. re: Ziv

                                                                There was probably nothing 'wrong' with the rec. Heat lamp pizza can't hold a candle to a freshly made pie.

                                                                1. re: Ziv

                                                                  Maybe Mario's? When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle lived near the VA; I think it was Jerome Avenue. Every corner pizza place had terrific pizza. But I don't think we ever went to Mario's because Arthur Avenue was on the other side of the Grand Concourse and there were plenty of good places much closer. But I remember hearing over the years that Mario's is the place to go in The Bronx.

                                                                  I thought AV had really good pizza and we schlepped down there all the time, even when that area was dicey.

                                                                  1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                    Grew up in the Bronx. My neighborhood pizzeria on Allerton Ave. was my favorite. There's another in the same spot now, and it has good reviews (not that many) on Yelp - Domenick's Gourmet Pizzeria. I took the bus to high school (Bronx Science), and there was a mom and pop place on Befrord Park Blvd (btw Jerome and Grand Concourse) where I could get a nice slice and a bottle of coke for 75 cents after school. Oh, those were the days.

                                                                    FWIW, Pomodoro's in Fairfax does a pretty good job of a NY pizza in the few times I've been there. I always get a whole pie, and I ask them to burn it to get that extra crispiness in the crust.

                                                                    1. re: dpan

                                                                      dpan -- the crispiness aspect is what I like about the slices at the Italian Store. I consider their pizza to be great car pizza -- when you hold it by the crust, it doesn't flop, so you can eat it with one hand without making a mess in your lap..

                                                                      I know many NY pizza fans like their slices floppy, but I grew up in RI, where one of the most beloved pizza parlors (Twins in North Providence) asks you if you want your pizza medium or well done.

                                                                    2. re: Just Visiting

                                                                      Loved AVs white pizza. Sort of a flatbread with fontina because the family was Ligurian, up near Switzerland. I wish they left the recipe behind.

                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                        Yes. They always put a few squares of white and tomato pie in the bread basket. I loved that.

                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                          It's done the same way at Vicino's in Silver Spring on Sligo Ave. Guy got his recipe from AV.

                                                                          1. re: poncedeleroy

                                                                            Interesting. I'll have to give this a try next time I'm there. Every time I see white pizza, it's always with ricotta or provolone or some blend. I never see fontina by itself.

                                                                2. One decided benefit of 2 Amys is all the small plates they also offer...along with good pours at the bar

                                                                  One decided negative is the noise!...Upstairs or the bar is so much better....and preferably outside of "kid-friendly" hours

                                                                  1. I'd recommend that he stay on the train until it reaches Penn. Station.

                                                                    33 Replies
                                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                      Heck, stay on the train and get off at New Haven :)

                                                                      1. re: dpan

                                                                        People forget New Haven and that it's pizza that is equal in quality to NYC.

                                                                        And New Haven pizza plays a critical role in "Splendor in the Grass!"

                                                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                                                          It's much better, IMO. Pepe's white pie w/fresh clams and bacon is worth standing in line for an hour and a half. In the rain. But, the guy wants NY pie, so...

                                                                        2. re: dpan

                                                                          what defines new haven pizza's style? i've never had one, and there is a "pete's" new haven pizza place here in arlington. if it is good, i'm ready to try it. i love pupatella, so that is my standard "very good pizza."

                                                                          1. re: alkapal


                                                                            If you like neapolitan, you'll probably like New Haven style. I find they tend to be on the crisp side so they hold up well to toppings, particularly wetter ones like littlenecks.

                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                              monkeyrotica, any opinion on that "Pete's" place?

                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                Haven't been to the one in Arlington, but the Friendship Heights shop is decent. Better than the one in Columbia Heights.

                                                                                Agree with The Big Crunch below: not as good as Pupatella, but good, eat inside, get it with clams.

                                                                            2. re: alkapal

                                                                              Though I haven't been to the one in Arlington, I love the Pete's in Friendship Heights. That said, it's a bit of a step down from Pupatella.

                                                                              New Haven style is defined by having a very thin and crispy crust. My friend Sharon, who grew up in CT, says that the crust at Pete's is a little thicker than you'd get in a good New Haven place, and I personally think the crusts have gotten thicker at Pete's over the last 3-4 years. Another typical New Haven thing is the white pizza with clams.

                                                                              My advice about Pete's is to eat it there. Do NOT let it see the inside of a pizza box or else it will steam and the crisp crust will become soggy.

                                                                              1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                Fresh clams and bacon. Good god almighty!

                                                                              2. re: alkapal

                                                                                New Haven is a thin, crispy pie from a coal oven, which burns hotter than most gas or wood ovens. Pepe's coal oven is close to 100 years old and is mostly brick and tile. The ingredients are very good quality. The pies tend to be irregularly-shaped and a bit scorched on the bottom. I've been to Pepe's four or five times and I have to say it's the best pizza I've ever had. If Pete's is anywhere close, that would be awesome indeed.

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  New Haven crust is thin and rigid.

                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                    Well...maybe after a few days in the icebox.

                                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                                          steve, i know we are talking about pete's (i.e., new haven style)! i was trying to find an analogy to a crust i'm familiar with, and pietanza has what i'd call a "thin and crispy" crust.

                                                                                          i guess i just have to hop on over to pete's in clarendon and try it out! it does seem to be a popular place.

                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            Pete's is typical of the genre, so you'll see how different it is from Pietanza.

                                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                                        "New Haven crust is thin and rigid."

                                                                                        What's the appeal with that? I think that a pizza crust should have some character and not just be a plate that you can eat. I don't care for the Chicago deep dish style (that's too much bread for me) but I want something that's more than just a support for ingredients that I might as well be eating off a plate.

                                                                                        Could be that I like to think about a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup reconstructed as an open faced sandwich. (and no, I don't like soupy pizza sauce, either)

                                                                                        1. re: MikeR

                                                                                          I think the appeal is that a more rigid crust holds up wetter ingredients better, like clams or wetter cheeses, thereby avoiding the burnt pizza soup phenomena that plagues certain Neapolitan pie shops. Have you ever had a slice of pizza with too many toppings, particularly vegetables? They exude a lot of moisture. Anyway, New Haven crust isn't just a delivery vector for toppings, like Wonder Bread and fried fish. The better shops make dough with a great deal of character.


                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                            that makes sense about a crisper dough to deal with wetter ingredients weeping -- esp. green peppers, onions and fresh tomatoes. we'd ask for "well-done" crust at anthony's, to deal with that weeping veggie issue, then stopped adding green peppers altogether.

                                                                                            i'm anxious to try the clams and bacon pizza from pete's.

                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                              I know some of the most famous New Haven places have crust so thin that you have to eat it with a fork and knife, otherwise it will collapse, so tensile strength isn't likely an end-goal of the style.

                                                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                I can't recall experiencing the "soup" pizzas you describe other than once when I ordered a nightly special at Orso that had too many toppings. Clams? Why? Pineapple???? One or two toppings is about all my wallet or taste buds can tolerate.

                                                                                              2. re: MikeR

                                                                                                The appeal is that thin and crispy is tasty. Isn't that enough? :)

                                                                                                1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                  It's enough if you think it's tasty. I prefer something that tastes and like bread rather than matzoh.

                                                                                                  1. re: MikeR

                                                                                                    Or, if you really want a big crunch, use a matzah or a saltine.

                                                                                                2. re: MikeR

                                                                                                  I didn't say the crust didn't taste good or was like a plate. It is, to some extent, a mastery of structure. Delicious thin crust with no tip sag.

                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                    Pepe's cuts their Dali-esque pies in squares, which I prefer to the wedges.

                                                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                                                      The "wet" pizza that I had at Orso a month or so ago definitely had "tip sag," and middle sag too. It tasted good but it was definitely not finger food.

                                                                                                      I've been pretty happy with Flippin' Pizza. Since I'm nearly always alone when I go there, I get a couple of reheated slices. I once got a whole pie and as expected, it was better. But then I had a bunch of slices to reheat at home, and they do that better than I do unless I fire up the grill. ;)

                                                                                                      Speaking of that, does anyone here have one of those pizza oven attachments for a Weber? I'm not contemplating getting one for myself, but it's an interesting idea.

                                                                                                      1. re: MikeR

                                                                                                        Have not used one but they apparently work pretty well in conjunction with the Pizza Steel. I used to use my Kamado grill, but have had good results using a WSM, a grill elevator, and Lodge Pizza Pan. Burns through a LOT of charcoal to get those high end temps.


                                                                                                        1. re: MikeR

                                                                                                          orso has a floppy crust, no matter how few the toppings. in fact, maybe i'd even say a soppy crust.

                                                                                                          mike, you don't like pizza directly on the grill? i've had easy success.

                                                                                                          and if you wanted, you could use a pizza stone on your grill, and just cock the lid up with a brick or something. my pizza (8" or so) cooked nicely without the stone -- and the toppings warmed and the cheese melted fine with only a short time being covered. there was a nice little char on some of the crust's bottom, too -- even some on the crust's top and edges.
                                                                                                          as to that grill pizza "kit," that kind of money for stuff one already has or can get cheaply makes no sense to me.

                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                            I've never tried cooking a pizza on the grill. I've reheated pizza on the grill and I prefer that to using the oven, but since I use charcoal, it seems like a lot of bother for a slice or two.

                                                                                                            I might try cooking one just for kicks. It's true that most of those grill accessories, once the concept has been introduced, can be made at pretty low cost with some backyard engineering.

                                                                                                            1. re: MikeR

                                                                                                              Most specialty tools are "unnecessary." They usually offer marginal benefit, but they are fun.

                                                                                                              1. re: MikeR

                                                                                                                a cast iron skillet is a great way to reheat pizza and -- with a touch of oil for extra crispiness -- french fries.

                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                  I've indeed used a cast iron skillet to reheat pizza. It works fairly well but it can't be too hot. Otherwise the bottom of the crust burns before the top gets heated through.

                                                                                                                  I used to reheat left over french fries from Five Guys with some oil in a wok, but I found that on a baking sheet in the oven worked about as well without the mess to clean up. Now I've quit ordering fries when I go there for a burger as a protest against their far too large "regular" order. Sure, I can throw some away, but I'd rather get less and pay less (which is why I nearly always get pizza by the slice rather than a whole pie).

                                                                                              3. I love a good pie! Pacci pizza in silver spring, MD. Best pizza around

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Mawood

                                                                                                  Is that the place by the Forest Glen railroad crossing?

                                                                                                  1. re: Mister Big

                                                                                                    It's on Georgia north of Sligo. Not NY slice style, but one of the better Neapolitans.

                                                                                                    1. re: Mister Big

                                                                                                      Same family. Can't recall if they have pies on the menu, though.

                                                                                                  2. Although I'll probably be accused of having no taste in pizza, and just buying into hype, my GF and I went to 2 Amy's last night and enjoyed our pizzas immensely. Bread was nicely crisp on the outside and light on the inside with just enough chew. The basic margherita was delicious.

                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                      I have never been to 2 Amy's, but my brother Orson W. -- who grew up in RI, has lived in NYC for 30 years, and writes an excellent food blog (www.eatwellslivewells.com) -- goes there regularly when he visits DC on business and likes it a lot.

                                                                                                      I hope people are not refraining from posting on this board for fear of getting insulted. That would be a sad day.

                                                                                                      1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                        I am a longtime fan of 2 Amys. The last two pies I've had went from not ok to lousy. I don't know if this is temporary.

                                                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                                                          Just curious as to how you define "lousy" pizza. I'm not sure I've ever had lousy pizza. Maybe I'd call Papa John's lousy, as the dough is flavorless, too thick, and tastes undercooked while the toppings are always a mass of inch-thick gooey cheap cheese with a thick floater of grease and little flavoring other than sodium. Are you saying your 2 Amy's pizza was at that level? Basically inedible and making you feel nauseous after a bite? I often wonder how bad a meal really is when people use such harsh, negative descriptions and what exactly made it "lousy", rather than just "below average" or "underwhelming".

                                                                                                          1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                            It was burnt, completely soupy, and had an off flavor, though I'm not sure from what. I regretted ordering it. the previous one I had was just not good, though not lousy.

                                                                                                            Anyway, this is after having about a dozen great pies there, but two bad ones in a row make me think I should trust what some critics have been saying for a while: the pizza is no longer the reason to go to 2 Amys.

                                                                                                            1. re: Steve

                                                                                                              I've been praising 2Amy's burnt pizza soup for years now. If you can find more super-most-authentic burnt pizza soup, I'm all ears. Their fried items are still good, though.

                                                                                                              Thank god for Pupatella.

                                                                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                Did you notice if the soupiness was being caused by the water content released from the cheese? I'm not defending 2Amy's but it's not uncommon for that to occur and is a matter of preference.

                                                                                                                1. re: shake N baik

                                                                                                                  I've had about a dozen great pizzas at 2 Amys, and I have never had a pizza less than excellent at Pupatella. But the last two at 2 Amys were a major decline. When it tastes mostly of water, that's when you have a problem, and I don't think it's a preference at that point.

                                                                                                                  2 Amys is a minimalist pizza, so when it goes off it really is a negative.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                    I've done 2Amys half a dozen times. Three of those were burnt pizza soup trips. I've been to Pupatella about the same number of times. Every pie has been consistent: excellent char on the firm crust, no sogginess, no soupiness. Every eatery is going to have bad days, some more than others.

                                                                                                          2. re: Steve

                                                                                                            Can you be more specific? While they can handle crisping a crust, the quality of the cheese seems to be of the more mass commercial grade "pizza cheese" type rather than the higher quality mozzarella etc. The flour used for the dough is also a factor. The sad thing is that there is OK stuff here, just not authentic. You will notice that some engage in all-or-none reactions, such that any deficit becomes total condemnation. That, unfortunate , as that attitude precludes learning. Pete's in Tenley makes a pleasant, but also unspectacular pizza.

                                                                                                        1. So funny to see the Washington Post take up the defensive cry:


                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                            Complaining about the lousy NY slices in DC makes about as much sense as complaining about the lousy halfsmokes in Manhattan.

                                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                              I was going to say that. Anyway, who cares what the NYT has to say about DC pizza?

                                                                                                              1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                He! He! That was the Washington Post!

                                                                                                              2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                I think no one would ever say that any French restaurant in DC rivals anything 3 star in Paris. One might describe reminiscence of Parisian. For DC pizza, one might legitimately say that there is DC pizza, NY style or inspired, but it is totally illegitimate to say there is something a New Yorker would recognize. Some explanations of why that is have been deleted, so we are left without a true explanation. However, you will not at this time have anything in DC that a New Yorker would say is truly reminiscent of New York. What is more interesting is why that is so threatening? DC has always been a largely southern city, and only very recently been moving away from that reality. Experiment away, imitate away, but don't deny the reality of what drives DC tastes.

                                                                                                                1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                  Honestly, your portrayal of DC as a "largely southern city" is really, really dated.

                                                                                                                  When I arrived in Baltimore (also an allegedly southern city) for a college tour in 1978 (yes I am old), the first thing I did when I got to Penn Station was to order a "barbecue" sandwich from the snack bar (price: $1.00... the things we remember) because I, a RI boy, figured, "Hey, I'm down south. I've read my Calvin Trillin. Time for some real southern barbecue."

                                                                                                                  Can you say, "sloppy joe"? 8<D

                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                    What I said was: " DC has always been a largely southern city, and only very recently been moving away from that reality. " You should respond to what I say, not what you think I say.

                                                                                                                    It was still possible to find "wop salad" on menus in the 1980's and at least one "Dixie Pig in Alexandria till the mid 1990's.

                                                                                                                    There has been so much change so fast it is really hard for those who either arrived recently, or kept to narrow areas to get a sense of much here is new. But that is why it becomes so egregious to try to say you can find NY pizza in DC. Maybe DC pizza, but not NY, anywhere.

                                                                                                                    1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                      Some random thoughts:

                                                                                                                      While I couldn't possibly care less about this whole NY vs DC thing, I do note that there's more bad pizza in NYC than there is pizza in DC.

                                                                                                                      Since I didn't put what you said in quotation marks, I find your second sentence rather odd. I am perfectly within my rights to interpret your remarks as I see fit, and my response is that DC moved away from being a largely southern city a long time ago, not "very recently." Given that, one Dixie Pig is a pretty thin reed on which to base anything.

                                                                                                                      Finally, you can still get wop salad at Rocky & Carlo's in Chalmette, LA. You might want to check that place out some time.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                        That certainly could be true. But there is more NY pizza in NY, and none in DC.

                                                                                                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                          Well, there it is. There's good pie and there's not-so-good pie, regardless of origin. Next...!

                                                                                                            2. NY pizza can only be found in NY!! You just need to find a good pizza joint and enjoy it or go to NY. If you can fold the slice...it's usually a good sign for the crust itself.

                                                                                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                  no it is so sad that people would lie to themselves instead of learning. But, then, the Honest Tea stunt this week demonstrated that DC is the most dishonest place in the USA.

                                                                                                                  The Washington Post also is running this about the poor quality of food is DC and the lack of discernment by the diners:


                                                                                                                  1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                    People have been bashing DC from it's very existence. It's an industry unto itself. Yet, people have been pouring in here over the past two centuries to complain of the high prices, lousy food, unbearable summers and lack of character. No one has ever found it to their liking, yet they never seem in a hurry to leave. Oh, well....

                                                                                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                      Always a great job market. As John Prine once said, "Everbody needs somebody, that they can look down on."

                                                                                                                      1. re: Mister Big

                                                                                                                        I believe that was Kris Kristofferson, but yeah. It was always thus. I always get a kick out people from Gary, IN or Pine Bluff, AR telling me how much they hate DC.

                                                                                                                2. I'd recommend the Chinatown Bus.

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