It’s a funny thing about DC. You can get almost every kind of ethnic food here, and yet you can hear every kind of whining that you “just can’t get decent ______ in DC.”
I hear it a lot about pizza, and always from people whose idea of good pizza was formed in Chicago or New York and not, you know, Italy. I usually think those people are full of crap- I’ve had plenty of perfectly tasty pizza here, and it seems to me that anything served on a platter, family style, and eaten with the hands is the ultimate anti-snob food.
2Amys is widely regarded as the best traditional Italian-style pizza in the area. And I’d have to agree, but I hardly ever go there because it’s a pain to get to by public transport AND by car.
So when a friend of ours enthusiastically recommended Piola on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, we were pretty excited and headed there last night. It’s in Rosslyn, right near where Rosslyn meets Courthouse, next door to the perennial Arlington favorite Cafe Asia. Piola is an international chain- ordinarily I don’t get excited about chain pizza, but when the chain’s country-of-origin is the same as that of the type of food they serve, I make an exception.
We chose to sit outside due as much to the fantastic weather as to the too-loud jazz trio that would have required us to shout across the table to be heard. Upon opening our menus, a single sheet of paper slid out of mine, describing that evening’s “Non-Stop Pizza” special for $11.95. The special, as you might guess, is all you can eat for approximately the same price as a single pizza. There’s a list of pizzas that are available on that night’s special, and when you order it, the wait staff just starts bringing you slices of whatever they happen to be carrying from the list. So it’s good if you’re hungry and want to try a lot of different kinds. They do it every Sunday night. (Yes, I know these kinds of specials are designed to ensure that the less fresh ingredients get used up as the restaurant re-stocks for the week. Do I care? No.)
The pizza itself was really tasty- very thin crust, as opposed to the slightly thicker Neapolitan style crust at 2Amys (Piola does Neapolitan style pizza as well, but I haven’t tried it). The variety of toppings is interesting- particularly this odd, creamy, Brazilian cheese that appeared on one of my slices with chicken. When fresh tomatoes are one of the toppings, the tomatoes are added after the pizza is baked, leaving them cool and fresh as they sit in the melted cheese.
Having thoughtfully chewed through a slice or two, Tom and I concluded that Piola’s pizza is “80% as good as 2Amy’s, but 100% more convenient, which counts for a lot.” We would have provided photos of the pizza itself, but honestly, it didn’t stay on the table long enough for a decent photo.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs