Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Zeitoun Food Review

Two-Topping Jumbo Slice at Zeitoun

The Watergate is steeped in history; but I prefer to dwell on its interior courtyard/shopping area. It's not the same as it used to be (Safeway, we miss you) but there are still gems to be found... and not nearly as pricey as you'd think. One such place is Zeitoun, a charming Mediterranean eatery that puts the "neighbor" in neighborhood haunt.

My first visit was late, technically after hours; but that didn't stop Zeitoun's kindly staff from taking me in. Think about the last time, any business left you in after closing: That's a big deal in my book, and worth mentioning (over and over again.) Unfortunately, it also meant slim pickings from their ├╝ber-affordable menu. Said menu features a wide variety of Mediterranean favorites, including hummus, kibbeh, Tzatziki, etc. I planned on trying several items; but all they had left were two varieties of brick oven pizza. Lucky for me, they happened to be my two favorites... cheese and sausage/pepperoni.

Cheese Jumbo Slice

In regards to price, you'd be hard pressed to find cheaper (and we're at The Watergate!) Zeitoun offers enormous Jumbo slices for a mere $2.99 (cheese) and $3.30 (two toppings) respectively. Extra hungry? You can order an 18" pie for just $13 (+$1 for each topping.) That's almost unheard of anywhere else. Almost as impressive, soft drinks will only set you back $1.59 (with free refills.)

As for taste, don't expect miracles. The thin crust is a bit doughy, but sports top-notch mozzarella cheese and a generous ton of toppings. Don't believe me? Look above, and see for yourself. The pepperoni was garden variety (not much flavor) but nice & crispy, which makes a big difference. The sausage had almost no taste, and fell off the top with (too much) ease, but you can't accuse the kitchen of holding back in terms of quantity. Looking back, it's quite possible they topped it off at the end (since I was their last customer.) No complaints.

Atmosphere was harder to decipher. For starters, it was very dark inside; but that kind of fit in with the medieval castle-look they appear to be going for. It may not match the cuisine very well; but it felt awfully cozy. No music (again, after hours) but plenty of seating, given its relatively small footprint.

Would I go back? Most definitely. A Turkish spicy lamb flat bread (Aizmer) for only $4.25? A Kalamata Panini, featuring grilled eggplant and olive spread for $5.99? How can I say no? Final verdict on the pizza? Affordable, generously sized and great cheese. And don't forget... super service. Sold.