Friday, September 19, 2014

DC Pizza Food Review

Apparently, three-minute pizzas are here to stay in the nation's capital. DC Pizza is the latest player in what's fast becoming a culinary phenomenon. Ideally located near the busy corner of 19th & L Streets, NW, DC Pizza proves it has what it takes to keep up with established competitors &Pizza and Custom Fuel; ultimately winning my approval, despite a silly (yet irritating) mistake.

I stopped by on a Saturday afternoon for a late lunch; and was warmly greeted, and told to fill out an order form for my custom pie. DC Pizza gets mighty busy during the week; but ideally I prefer to see my ingredients (a la Chipotle or Subway) before deciding what I want. No worries; as I chose a sauce (spicy Italian) dairy (fresh mozzarella) and up to four toppings (proteins & veggies) for $8.62. I selected red onions, tomatoes and Italian Sausage for a total of three. I asked the guy on the line if I could have double sausage, to make four; and he said, "no problem."

Assembly is fast, and done right before your eyes. I was told my pie would be ready in another 2½ minutes, so I went around the corner to pay for it (and a fountain drink.) The cashier read my order form and told me I had five toppings. I explained what I actually had (the form was filled out properly, as well) but the cashier double-checked it, and still charged me for five. Rather than argue, I went along for "the ride," but an extra dollar for something I didn't order, rubbed me the wrong way. Is there anything worse than being corrected by someone who's obviously wrong, gets called on it and still denies it? Argh. P.S. It also cost me an extra buck... something that hasn't happened at either &Pizza or Custom Fuel.

The margin for error is slim, especially in this neighborhood. The aforementioned &Pizza is opening a new location at nearby 1215 Connecticut Avenue; and California-based Pizza Studio will soon move into the former Baja Fresh location, less than two blocks away. Meanwhile, walk another two blocks... and you'll find Custom Fuel, just north of Dupont Circle. Options = potential trouble, if you make the same mistake twice.

As for the pizza itself (all four toppings of it) it was pretty darn good. 150 seconds is plenty of time to produce a piping hot pie; but I wished it wasn't so wet. Hot sauce is messy and... hot (not fun to handle.) Flavor-wise, the sauce was delicious (but hardly spicy, as advertised.) Fresh mozzarella was just that... fresh, and delicious. I also loved their sausage; although double meant barely one piece on each "slice." Fresh basil (you have a choice of finishes) was generously applied; and the finished product looked mighty impressive. A tiny bit more sausage, less of a mess and the correct price would have me running back for more. Unfortunately, I have a habit of focusing on easily avoidable mistakes/negatives.

That said, DC Pizza is still relatively new to the block (just over a month) and their pizza is affordable ($.15 more than Custom Fuel, and $.24 less than &Pizza.) Fountain drinks are a steal ($1.29) and service is quick (but not necessarily friendly.) To be fair, the same cashier was much nicer to the other two customers (both female.) Perhaps his "critic-sense" was tingling? Who knows? To be fairer, maybe I'm just too picky? Only one way to find out. Repeat visit. Stay tuned.