Friday, September 27, 2013

Meat in a Box Food Review

As if Adams Morgan didn't have enough places to buy a jumbo slice, add one more to the mix... Meat in a Box, at the corner of 18th & California Streets. Difference is, Meat in a Box is a nice place to sit and enjoy your oversized slice of Italy. Combined with friendly, courteous service and a sparkling clean interior, I'd much rather eat here than Boli's, Duccini's or any of the other lookalikes.

Trouble is, the pizza doesn't look any different than anywhere else. Ditto for the taste, save for Meat in a Box's excellent (and gooey) cheese. The moment I grabbed hold of it, the sausage balls began rolling off... the result of being added too late in the cooking process. Speaking of late, what's up with the uncooked cheese tossed on at the last minute? It's identical to what Duccini's provided me two days earlier (and I said they served the worst jumbo slice in town.) Note to all you "pizza chefs" out there: If you pull out the pizza, and some of the toppings haven't melted or settled yet, put it back in! We (customers) won't mind: In fact, we may even thank you.

I brought mine home, and put it in my oven for a few extra minutes. That extra time allowed the sausage to settle inside the cheese (no more rolling!) and the cheese to cook through. It's still pretty unremarkable; but the cheese ranks tops amongst every other jumbo slice in DC. Before I left, at least half-a-dozen 20-somethings came in to order a slice, so they must be doing something right.

As for the look of the place, it's a new space and looks terrific compared to similarly sized eateries on the block. Shiny orange stools are interesting to say the least... They slide down when you're not looking, and the legs move too easily. I literally had to hold it with my other hand, to keep from falling off. There's plenty of room for customers though (great maximization of space) and it's warmly lit with good Persian music, playing at a nice volume (not too loud.) The owners took turns bringing my food to me, wishing me well on both occasions. Great service = return business. Smart. The pizza needs work; but I love their wings, and their Shish Skewers (at their main location in Falls Church) are absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, this review is for pizza only: Check back soon for a look at the bulk of their menu.

Atmosphere: B (You'd never know you're in Adams Morgan: That's a good thing.)
Service: B (Owners are engaging, and work hard to make you feel comfortable.)
Crust: C-
Toppings: B- (Cheese is terrific. Sauce & sausage? Not so much.)
Value: C+ ($5.25 is cheaper than Boli's & Pizza Mart, but overall taste holds it back.)
Overall: C+ (Good service & atmosphere help; but I recommend ordering something besides pizza.)