By Ben Adler
In the past I may have dismissed Pete’s Apizza, the relatively new pizzeria in Columbia Heights, a bit too rashly. After a very underwhelming first visit, and months of keeping my distance, I reluctantly went back. I was pleasantly surprised. The crust is crispy, intensely flavorful and not too thick. The difference from my first visit? Instead of getting a plain slice I got a peppers and carmelized onions. They add sweetness to what is otherwise a slightly bland topping, due to the lightness of the tomato sauce.
A New Haven purist might reasonably take exception to Pete’s’ claim to “New Haven”-ness. New Haven pizza, as I recall, is cooked in a pan, which Pete’s does not do. The crust is even thinner and more burnt than at Pepe’s, and the slices are cut in odd random shapes in New Haven. Some of these concessions to pizza normalcy made by Pete’s might be good things. In any case, the slices are, while a bit slow coming out, faster than Radius, which is Pete’s only competitor for best slice in D.C. Combined with a fact that you can find most of the appropriate toppings, such as garlic powder, at Pete’s, I’m going to say that it’s my favorite place to get a slice in D.C., stupid lame pun name notwithstanding. (This is D.C. after all, home of Thai Tanic, Thai Phoon and The Grill from Ipanema. How I’m supposed to take myself seriously and eat at a place with a name like that, I have no idea. I suppose it’s the same way people in the rest of the country go out to eat in strip malls, you just get used to it. But four years into D.C. and I still haven’t).