Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Washington Deli Food Review

Where'd My Seat Go?

Having lunch downtown, often means settling for one of DC's many neighborhood deli options. I've never been a big fan of such places; but one in particular, Washington Deli has received more than its fair share of positive buzz. After bypassing it earlier today (way too crowded) I stopped in for a late afternoon slice and a soda. It didn't take long to regret my decision.

I didn't expect hot & fresh at 3:40 in the afternoon (Washington Deli closes at 5) but why bother opening, if your heart's not in it? For starters, two employees were stacking chairs and closing the outdoor "dining area" almost an hour & a half before closing time. I wandered in (no other customers) and took inventory of WD's pizza selections. Their web site advertises 20 different choices, but I found less than half that (some stacked on top of others... hardly appetizing.) I ordered a carry-out special (one slice, medium fountain drink) for $4.50 + tax. I can't say much for the available options... most looked greasy or unwanted: I settled on a sun-dried tomato, which the cashier gladly heated up for me. 

I asked her if it was OK to eat upstairs, since there was no longer a place to sit outside. She nodded in the affirmative; but I soon discovered, there was nowhere to eat upstairs either. Slight disappointment, but I have to wonder if she understood my question to begin with? I wound up going outside, where I ate my underwhelming slice of pizza while standing. At least those two clean-up guys could take it easy for the rest of the day... I feel better already.

Unfortunately, my pizza didn't make up for the lack of a "sit-down" lunch. Although the bottom of the crust was nice, the overall pizza was far from crispy. It also had zero flavor, probably because WD is stingy with the toppings: Little sauce, almost no cheese (half the slice had none) and you could count the tiny sun-dried tomatoes on one hand. Good thing I was standing... otherwise I may have fallen asleep from boredom. Scratch another awful slice off my bucket list.

Atmosphere: D- (Retail 101: Don't pack up shop before closing time.)
Crust: C- (Not crispy)
Toppings: F (What toppings?)
Service: D- (Misinformation on top of lackluster service. Thanks.)
Value: D ($4.50 for a slice and a soda sounds good, but if the pizza's no good...)
Overall: D- (What happened to all those positive reviews? Did I get the name wrong?)