Pizza


Primarily in international locations around the world, DC-metro area has the only Vapiano restaurants in the US (so far).  Their menu is here: Menu Page 1 and Menu Page 2.

  • Food:While their pasta is homemade and their salads look fresh, I always get the Crudo pizza with prosciutto di parma, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.  On top of the pizza are big hunks of parmesan cheese which gives it a bit of a strong, but perfect taste.  The crust is crunchy and thin.  There’s not a lot of tomato sauce which means the toppings are the star of the pizza — and appropriately so.  I think it’s a 12″ pie.

Vapiano Crudo Pizza  Vapiano Crudo Pizza

  • Service: There are no servers, only bussers.  Immediately after walking through the door, you get a Vapiano card.  Walk to the right and you’ll see the kitchen with huge chalkboards above with fun sayings.  The first section is salad, middle is pasta, and the end has pizza.  You walk up to whichever section (me, always pizza at the end), put your card against the register, and then order your food from the kitchen staff.  You then get this little buzzer and when your food is ready, the buzzer goes off (usually within 10-15 minutes).  When you’re ready to pay, give them your Vapiano card at the register at the front door. 
  • Atmosphere: With bright red accents and light wood interior, it’s a casual dining establishment.  During lunch, it can be tough to find a table!
  • Attire: Casual 
  • Price: $
  • Overall:I love their $9.25 crudo pizza and would be tough to change my mind.  I have tried their homemade pasta, but I didn’t enjoy it.  I prefer mine to be al dente.  Oh, they also have the little 8 oz Diet Coke bottles. 

Happy Hour: They offer house wines (Pinot Grigio and Merlot) for $3.50/glass from 5-8 PM Monday-Friday.  In addition, they have p.i.n.k. vodka for their ladies’ night martini happy hours on Wednesdays from 7-10 PM for $4.95.  In their ad, they say the Manolo Tonic is the new “it” drink and we’ll be seeing it in the Sex and the City movie.     

Details:

  • Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11:00 AM- 11.00PM; Fri. 11:00 AM-12:00 AM; Sat. 12:00 PM -11:00 PM; Sun. 12:00 PM-10:00 PM
  • Address: 1800 M Street N.W.; Washington DC
  • Ph: 202-640-1868
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One day I was tried, hungry, and did I mention tired?  So I didn’t want to make dinner and didn’t even want to stop on my way home one day to pick up dinner. 

Instead, I ordered pizza.  Knowing I really enjoyed Duccini’s, I also wanted to try Alberto’s Pizza, since I had heard good things.  Yeah…

  • Food:I ordered their “thin crust” Roman pizza with chicken, pesto, and Romano cheese.  I have to give it to them for great presentation.  I mean, look at the pizza.  It looks good right?  Before I even opened up the pie, I could smell the garlic.  While there were marks on crust from being stone oven baked, the crust was soggy.  Considering it was supposed to be thin crust, if it’s not crunchy, forget it.  That doesn’t mean burnt, but it does mean there’s got to be some snap factor.  The toppings were really small — almost microscopic.

Alberto's Pizza

  • Service: I ordered over the phone so it was fine.
  • Atmosphere: No idea since I ordered delivery.
  • Attire: Casual 
  • Price: $
  • Overall:I won’t order from here again.  I’d rather order from Duccini’s with their big topping chunks and their perfect crust. 

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Tues 11 AM-11:30 PM; Wed & Sun 11 AM-12:30 AM; Thurs, Fri, & Sat 11:AM-2 AM
  • Address: 2010 P Street NW; Washington,  DC  20036  
  • Ph: 202-986-2121  

I came home from Seattle with no food in my fridge.  I was starving and decided I really wanted some pizza.  As you may have been able to tell, I don’t like eating at chain restaurants — EVER.  I will if I have to, but I do try to avoid it if possible.  I can appreciate chain restaurants and believe they have a role in our society, but I personally prefer local places.

So, all that was needed to basically say that I don’t order from chain pizza places.  It was also raining in DC so I didn’t want to leave my apartment.  I also prefer thin crust. 

That’s when I decided I’d try Duccini’s Pizza

  • Food: Since I’ve never had one of their pies, so I figured I’d have to try their “Unique Pizza,”with secret sauce, ground beef, Italian salami, onions, black olives, fresh tomatoes, and extra cheese.  Wow friends, wow.  I can see why they have such a loyal following.  It was insanely good and really hit the spot.  There wasn’t too much sauce (a little heavy on the cheese which makes me think their normal pie would be perfect).  What I loved more than anything though was the fact the crust was still crunchy — even though it was delivery!  Plus, there were big chunks of topping.  The side salad was fine but definitely unmemorable (felt I needed to eat leafy greens).  I forgot to take a photo when I got it (again, super hungry) but here’s a couple of slices that I had re-heated.  Oh, and they let you order online!  

duccini

  • Service: I ordered over the phone and the person who took my order was polite.   
  • Atmosphere: No idea.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Definitely suggest putting this place on speed-dial/bookmarking!  The crust is crispy with great big coarsely chopped ingredients — what else can you ask for?  OK, super thin crust…still trying to find that in DC.

Details:

  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 AM – 1 AM; Fri-Sat 11 AM – 2 AM
  • Location: 1778 U St NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-483-0007

Last week, I went to RedRocks Pizzeria with some friends in Columbia Heights.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, since I’ve read and heard a bunch of mixed reviews.  I thought their menu looked decent and reasonable. I already knew all about the brick-oven pizza.  I also read Tom Sietsema’s review which gives more information on the owner. 

My verdict? It was decent.Was it like the pizza I had when I was in Italy?  Absolutely not. 

  • Food: Based on the reviews I had seen, the sausage and pepper pizza was the best of them all.  I thought it had a decent flavor which means there wasn’t too much sauce or cheese that masked the flavor of the sausage and peppers.  I also ordered a small mixed green salad, which was fine.  There was nothing remarkable or memorable about it.   We also ordered the “Burrata Buffalo” with olive oil and sea salt.  Now here was an appetizer that didn’t last long on our table.  The buffalo mozzarella, for those who may have a preference, had been soaked in water.  It was still very tasty!  
  • Service: I know others have criticized their service, but our waitress was very nice. She refilled our water glasses on a frequent rate and our food came out at the appropriate time.  

  • Atmosphere: We sat inside in the back.  It was definitely cozy though so make sure you like your dining companions!

  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: It was fine.  I won’t ever suggest going, but I’d go again if someone wanted to go.  I’ll definitely never crave their pizza though.

RedRocks Pizzeria  RedRocks Pizzeria

They have a separate take-out menu, but do not deliver.  Their wine list is not impressive, it’s definitely more of a beer place.  You can tell when you see their drink menu.  On tap, they have Chimay and Allagash White. Finally, they have alfresco seating.

Happy Hour: It’s daily from 5pm-7pm and 10pm-12am.  It’s 1/2 priced cheese pizza, $4 rails, and $3 glasses of house wine

Details:

  • Reservations are accepted and recommended during “peak” hours. 
  • Hours: Mon-Thu 5 pm-midnight, Fri 5 pm-1 pm, Sat 11 am-1 am, Sun 11 am-midnight
  • Address: 1036 Park Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20010
  • Ph: 202-506-140

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