‘Outdoor Ping Pong’
courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’
Over the last couple of years, I’ve eaten in a lot of nice restaurants. And after the foie gras, the caviar, the course-upon-course of decadent food, what have I learned? I’ve learned I love pizza. I really love pizza. I love it in all its forms – artisan Neopolitan right down to the new crust at Dominos. But if I have to pick one incarnation, it’s always going to be the personal pizza with the funky toppings. That leaves me with 2 Amys, 7th Hill, and my personal favorite, Comet Ping Pong.
The first time I tried Comet, I had high hopes for the pizza. The food didn’t disappoint, but I was most impressed with the feeling of the place. It left me a little bummed that I wasn’t, ahem…a few years younger and that I couldn’t turn this restaurant into my high school hang out. My Peach Pit, if you will.
Not only because I think it would be a great place to perfect my ’50s waitress character when my stupid twin brother makes me take over his shifts, but also because it is the type of place where you can be loud and laugh as hard as you can and spill a little on the table and not feel too bad about it. And did I mention there’s ping pong? And great pizza? Nat would be so mad he didn’t think of that.
And it really is all about the pizza. The crust is salty and crisp, and the combination of toppings are downright inspired. I really recommend sticking with the signature pies, they’re signature for a reason. The “Softie” is a real mid-Atlantic treat, with softshell crab, melted leeks and garlic, Old Bay and lemon. And where are you going to find a pizza with squash blossoms? Well, here as a matter of fact. The “Blossom” has the aforementioned squash blossoms with ham and mozzarella. But my personal favorite, the “Time Out” is the one I always end up ordering. Its got merguez sausage, melted onions, potato and gorgonzola. I’ll be the first to admit it’s not for everyone, but trust me and try it one time. I fell in love with potato pizza in Rome, and I’m glad to find someone who feels the love for extra starch like me.
I’m not a big dessert girl, but it does seem a shame to pass up the list of unfussy sweets Comet offers. Don’t come here if you’re in the mood for something you’d expect from Citronelle, but if you want an ice cream sundae or a cookie or a blood orange soda float (trust me, if you like floats you’ll like it) this is the place for you. And what is the last restaurant you ate in that had chocolate milk on the menu? Yes, I know it’s probably for the kids, but I’m sure no one would judge you if you ordered it for yourself.
I think I appreciate Comet more now than I would have in high school. Why is that? That would be the beer list. I’m the first person to admit I’m by no means a beer connoisseur, but I do like that they have pitchers available as well as a concise list of solid beers. I think I enjoy my fancy pizza a little more when I’m not chasing it with lukewarm Miller Lite.
And in the end, I appreciate a restaurant with great food and a ping pong table. I like a little competition with my dinner, and seeing how many pieces of pizza I can eat in ten minutes is getting a little old.
Comet Ping Pong is located at 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. Closest Metro stops are Friendship Heights and Tenleytown (Red line). For more information, call 202-634-0404.