Sunday, February 10, 2013

Alberto's Food Review

Sausage and pepperoni pizza at Alberto's

Alberto's: Great Crust, Not Much Else

There's a world of difference between eating a late-night slice at Alberto's and having that same slice during daylight. Alberto's Down Under has been around for more than a decade, thriving I suppose in it's cellar dwellings at 2010 P Street, NW (just west of Dupont Circle.) For me, it's the kind of place you head to, when everything else is closed. It might also be home to the best crust in DC!

Say what? More on the crust later. After forking over $5.45 for a 1/4 slice of sausage and pepperoni pizza, I was asked to wait a couple of minutes in order to have it heated up. No problem: It gave me time to take inventory of my surroundings. The verdict? It's a dump. Not only is it small, dark and dingy; but the tiles are literally cracking on the dining counter, and the walls are covered with fading/peeling paint. Can you say refurbishment? This place is begging for it.

As for the pizza, it arrives piping hot (almost scalding.) The crust is super thin (almost cracker-like) nicely charred and delicious. Unfortunately, the pie's so hot, it's near impossible to handle and eat. The toppings were an epic fail: The cheese wasn't cooked nearly enough; and the amount of sausage and pepperoni was pitiful (I couldn't even see any sausage.) The sauce was nice and zesty, but if you can't be generous with a notoriously affordable topping like pepperoni, you're in big trouble.

I couldn't help but notice a wall covered with cheap, laminated paper signs... displaying random (authentic?) reviews by Yelpers and the like: It screamed poor. Their website isn't much better, featuring some of those same reviews (only out of focus.) Perhaps if they splurge for a couple of cans of paint and some new tiles; they could toss a few dollars at a website that looks like it was created in the 20th century.

Alberto's is definitely a place for people who don't worry about atmosphere. Me? I guess I'm a bit more discriminating. I'll gladly walk down a few steps for good food and atmosphere... just not for this.

Atmosphere: F
Service: D (They seemed disinterested, even when I praised them on their crust afterwards.)
Crust: A
Toppings: D- (Sauce has a nice flavor: Otherwise, yuck.)
Value: D
Overall: C+ (It's not good; but how do you overlook such a great crust?)