Monday, December 3, 2012

Local Favorite Vace Returns to Grace

Mention the name Vace to anyone who lives or works in Cleveland Park, and you're likely to elicit a big smile. Since 1976, the popular deli has been delighting locals with its assortment of meats, pastas and pizza. I can't tell you how many times I've run down to grab a slice or two for lunch or a late dinner, when I'm too tired to even heat up a can of soup.

Lines get pretty long at lunch and dinner times, and all day Saturday; but the efficient staff always manages to keep things moving along. Slices are available for less than two bucks ($1.70) in plain, pepperoni, mushroom or white pizza with onions or spinach. You can eat your pizza as is, or ask to have your slice(s) heated up.

For review purposes, I ordered a slice of pepperoni. Despite missing a few pieces of the aforementioned meat, my slice was close to perfect. Nice and hot, the crust was crispy and delicious. Vace is unique in that they put their cheese under the sauce. I have no idea why, but it makes for a tastier slice.

I've had countless slices over the years at Vace, but today's ranks as one of my all-time favorites. Maybe they've turned a corner... or maybe I was just hungry. Either way, Vace just jumped up a place or two on our unofficial rankings.

Atmosphere: B (As far as delis go, this is as authentic as you get in the nation's capital. Don't even dream of eating inside... there's no room.)
Service: C+ (If you're looking for small talk, think again... They're way too busy. "Next!")
Crust: A- (Ask for crispy. What made today's slice so delicious was the extra couple of minutes in the oven. Pizzas need love (and heat.)
Toppings: B (The whole sauce over the cheese thing makes a difference.)
Taste: B
Overall: B (I almost bumped it up to a B+, but I'd like to get the same slice tomorrow. Consistency. Consistency.)