The Washington Post claimed in a tweet late last month that D.C. is now a “pizza city” – but understandably, that title is difficult to believe.
As New York and New Jersey natives, we were skeptical about this assertion because D.C. pizza has not matched our standards of the thin-crusted, greasy pizza back home. We put seven campus GWorld vendor pizzas to the test to determine whether our dining options live up to The Post’s claim.
We ordered the classic American Honey ($10.25), which manager Andre Eboko said is ordered by more than half of customers. The dish had all the components of a good pizza – thin, toasty crust and quality sauce – but it tasted more like a flatbread with toppings than an actual pizza.
Crust: The crust is thin with a crunch on the ends. Although the crust resembled that of a flatbread as opposed to a pizza crust, it still had a satisfying chew and crisp.
Sauce: The spicy tomato sauce has a sweet taste that goes well with the spice of the pepper flakes and hot honey.
Cheese: The cheese consisted of only a smattering of mozzarella, so it does not have the traditional cheesiness that you would expect with most pizza. We would have preferred a heavier load of cheese, given that it’s the most essential element of most pizzas.
Toppings: The arugula was a healthy touch to the pizza, adding freshness and crunch. Unmelted goat cheese crumbles coated the pizza to help tone down the spice of the hot honey and add creaminess.
DC Pizza’s bold and straightforward title sets a high bar for this small pizzeria. Located just a few blocks from campus, DC Pizza is set up as a design-your-own pizza shop. Like French fries and milkshakes, honey and sriracha are two things that sound like they shouldn’t mix but work together surprisingly well in the honey sriracha pizza ($9.99).
Crust: A thin yet soft middle, the crust maintained satisfying crispiness at the ends which met my expectations for a standard pizza crust.
Sauce: A sweet and spicy blend compared to a traditional tomato sauce, the honey sriracha sauce stands out among other flavors. It complemented other flavors of the pizza, like the sweet cheese and savory bacon.
Cheese: The three-cheese blend consisting of mozzarella, provolone and cheddar merged with the chicken and bacon, producing a spicy, sweet and savory taste. The sweetness of the provolone and the cheddar worked to balance out the modest spiciness of the meats and honey sriracha sauce, while the subtle presence of the cheddar added a pleasant sharpness to the slice.
Toppings: The artful texture and flavor of the honey sriracha slice were products of the combination of the toppings. The chicken and bacon supplied the savory aspect of the slice, while the red onions give a crunchy texture to the otherwise doughy and meaty surface.
Located on K Street just a few blocks from campus, this sports-bar themed pizzeria barely lives up to its catchy and homey title. We ordered the Strongman Meatlovers ($13.99), one of the most popular pizzas on the menu.
Crust: Doughy, slightly chewy and lacking crispiness at the ends, the crust’s main flaw was its disconnection to the rest of the pizza. At times, we wondered if we were eating a cheese and meat platter slapped onto some bread.
Sauce: The sweetness of the tomato sauce balanced out the saltiness of the cured meats. But wait a few minutes before your first bite because the pizza is served fresh out of the oven.
Cheese: The mozzarella took a backseat compared to the other flavors and toppings. By itself, the cheese was gooey and stringy, but the other toppings overpowered its flavor.
Toppings: In this meat lover pie, the toppings took center stage. Pepperoni, salami, bacon and housemade sausage merged into a delicious combo of salty and savory. True to its name, the Strongman Meatlovers will not disappoint meat lovers.
Pizza Movers & Calzones
Pizza Movers’ jumbo slice of cheese pizza is the right choice if you’re on the go, but its simplicity will make you want to come back and stay. For only about $5, this jumbo slice of classic cheese pizza, cut into two ample-sized pieces, is a traditional and tasty treat.
Crust: The firm chewiness of the crust balanced out the thinness of the rest of the slice, ensuring a filling and satisfying finish.
Sauce & Cheese: The creamy tomato sauce combined with the melted mozzarella worked to create a traditional, practical slice.
Toppings: No toppings were necessary on this basic slice. The beauty of the Jumbo Slice lays in its simplicity. Minimal ingredients were blended together to produce a classic slice of cheese pizza.
Paisano’s is located a short trip away in Georgetown. This pizza is a greasy delight. We were recommended the Meat lover’s pizza ($11.99) by an employee because it is the restaurant’s most popular one.
Crust: The crust is soft and fluffy. It doesn’t have that satisfying crunch we were looking for, but it was not undercooked and it mixes in well with all the other ingredients.
Cheese: The cheese was plentiful and stringy, which we enjoyed. It had that picturesque cheese pull that you get when you lift up a slice.
Sauce: The sauce was nothing too special, but it worked well with the saltiness of the rest of the pie.
Toppings: Obviously, this is a good choice if you love meat. The meats were a bit too salty, but presentation-wise, this pizza looks just how you’d expect a greasy mess of meat to look.
A little closer to home in the District House basement, you’ll find Wiseguy pizza. We ordered a slice of the Penne Vodka pizza ($4.29), the vendor’s most popular slice. The pizza was loaded with toppings and grease, which is slightly overdone if you’re hoping for a classic slice of pizza, but it brought some more creativity compared to the other restaurants.
Crust: The crust is thin and crunchy, but it is slightly intense with all the dough of the pizza and the pasta mixed together.
Sauce: The sauce was your classic red sauce: flavorful with a sweetness that mixed in with the oregano flavor of the pasta sauce that acted as a topping.
Cheese: The mozzarella cheese was just the right amount of salty. It was a little hard as opposed to the gooeyness that we prefer, but the ricotta topping offered a balancing creaminess.
Toppings: It’s an odd topping choice, but we appreciated the ricotta cheese and extra tomato sauce on top. The pizza itself is a little greasy, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your mood.
Del Popolo is new to GWorld – opening only a couple of months ago – and worth a trip. We ordered a simple margarita pizza ($11) which was fresh and not greasy. The pizzas are made in a wood-fired oven which adds a smokiness to the flavor.
Crust: The crust is thin and crispy with a taste of the smokey flavor from the wood-fired oven.
Sauce: The sauce has an acidic taste to it that blends well with the other toppings of the pie.
Cheese: The cheese is minimal but up to par. It consists of chunks of mozzarella that are evenly spread out over the pizza. Like the rest of the pie, it carries a smokey taste from the oven. All the ingredients are fresh, which is evident when you taste it.
Toppings: A simple classic, the only additional topping besides the mozzarella is basil leaves, which bring a light freshness to the pizza.