Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lia's Food Review

Lia's Burger with House Frites

Timing is everything... at least when coupled with an informative/kindly hostess, like the one at Lia's, the Chevy Chase leg of Chef Geoff's local, culinary empire. I left the Taste of Friendship Heights hungry (that's what happens, when half the vendors pack up early and split) and in desperate need of a burger and fries. It's been a while since my last visit to Lia's, and their outdoor patio looked extra inviting: Sustenance, here I come.

The aforementioned "hostess with the mostess" set me up outside, pointing out the difference between the price of a burger at a regular seat ($12.95) and a nearby, taller stool ($5.95.) I don't care much for stools; but for 7 bucks, I'll stand on my head. I ordered a Lia's Burger (pancetta, grilled onions, provolone) minus the cheese, which comes with your choice of house frites, chips or balsamic greens. Flush with extra cash, I went overboard and ordered a Straight Up Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil) for the discounted price of $8.95 (normally $11.95: I just love a deal) and a Diet Coke.

Straight Up Pizza Pie

Sitting on a stool for more than 20 minutes isn't my idea of fun; but that's how long I had to wait for my burger and pizza. Granted, it's a small price to pay for a Happy Hour deal; but it's worth noting. My server was wonderful, refilling my $3.50 soda and giving me a heads up about my food's arrival. The burger & fries looked impressive, although they went overboard (there's that word again) with the grilled onions. Great char on the bun (both sides!) perfectly cooked (MEDIUM, as asked for) with killer pancetta: Not enough seasoning on the meat, however. Fries were delectable... hand cut, crispy and flavorful (Some of the best I've ever had.)

One of the drawbacks to ordering two meals at the same time, is that one usually gets cold. That was the case with my pizza, a solid effort with a brilliant exterior (flaky) crust. It fell apart in the middle though, making it difficult to handle. Toppings? More cheese would have been nice; but the sauce was bright red, and rich. Two entrees, a couple of sodas and great service for just under $20 before tip. Sold!

Atmosphere: B (Great location, under the shade. Stools are stools, but hard to argue with a beautiful day.)
Burger: B (Salt & pepper, less onions and we're talking a B+)
Fries: A- (Worth $5.95 on their own.)
Pizza: B- (I let it get cold... my bad.)
Service: B (Great hostess and server. Long wait, though.)
Value: B+ (Happy hour rocks!)
Overall: B (Chef Geoff does wonders with bacon, and Lia's Pancetta doesn't disappoint. Great fries too.)