A lot of good pizza was had in 2016. It seems to me that the focus has been on only finding the better slices, the better pies, and the better experiences. If something is really horrific and worth talking about it will be talked about here. But the emphasis will always be talking about quality za and giving you a valid reason for you to visit. If not then this defeats the whole purpose.
Of course I’m just one person with an opinion. Not everything I like will be agreed with and vice-versa. And the pizzas I’m a little critical of might be one of your favorites.
For me it’s traditionally based on what I’m feeling at the time, not necessarily what I’m thinking. It could be an idea about a place, or yes, a preconceived notion that may skew an opinion a little more towards one way or another than it otherwise wouldn’t. This is why today’s pizza I discuss is so fascinating.
Before this past day after Christmas, my one and only ever visit to Pizzeria Paradiso was back in 2000. Yes 16 years ago. And this was at the Georgetown location. Needless to say, being much younger the pizza was fine but I didn’t see what the big deal was. I can get pizza anywhere I said. Now whether this was my actual reaction is merely a reflection of my past self. I can only speculate but it’s something similar to what I would have said.
It was a lifetime ago so I don’t know exactly what I ordered, but I remember the company I was with. That’s one I’ll leave for myself. But it wasn’t the best experience. I remember paying a lot more for pizza than I may have ever had before. Because of that I wonder if that’s the main reason of why I never went back.
Many times and many years over I’ve found myself walking past the Georgetown and Dupont Circle locations and not thinking much of it. And that’s neither a good or bad statement. There’s so many options to eat, let alone ones specific to pizza.
But something about the Old Town Alexandria location seemed so much more welcoming and approachable. There is a heavy bias here. I was born in this beautiful town, just minutes away from Old Town. So I have loads of attachment and love for this place.
Even still things would come up for the universe had other plans for me when I visited Alexandria. I’ve been to many restaurants and many places along King Street and the surrounding areas, but never here.
Well the wait and fate finally crossed paths. All it took was a little Christmas Cheer and a peaceful drive to one of the great towns of America.
So how was the pizza this time?
It was busy. Christmas was observed on a Monday this year and the town was buzzing. People had off and made the most of their post Christmas time. Well that sounded like safe yet dramatic thing to say. The restaurant was packed and the staff was busy. Did that affect the pizza in any way? That I don’t know.
Even in a frenetic setting my pie turned out really good. I ordered the Genovese which consisted of parmesan, pesto, and potato. How about that combination?
Now I wasn’t sure how this was going to look but I loved it. These were real slices of potato. If you’re thinking that I ordered this in light of a Christmas hangover and hoping for mashed potatoes, you might be right.
And that pesto tasted fresh, authentic, and from somewhere magnificent. Where that is I don’t know. But I like to think there was a lot of care and soul put into creating that pesto.
That wood fired crust was tremendous as well. I’ve heard friends say it’s the best pizza they’ve had in all of DC. That’s a tough one to decide on. It’s all relative. I will say the crust was fantastic and I’m craving it now as I right about it. It just had the perfect burnt and charred taste to it. And that thin crust was shaped perfectly. And a thinner crust was needed on this day.
The overall experience, ambiance, and service definitely made it even better.
For how busy the restaurant was, I was still able to get diner style seating and enjoy my meal in solitude. I got to sample a couple of red wines before deciding on a favorite. I was pleased with my decision.
I was pleased with the pie. I was only able to have half, which was fine by me. I got to enjoy the rest later. For a personal pizza this was a hearty sized meal. You could easily get two meals out of this without question. Or maybe my stomach has been feeling the effects of all the holiday eating that it was a reminder to slow down and take it easy. And to enjoy the peace and spirit of the holidays. They’re not technically over yet.
So I enjoyed my time in Old Town like I always do. I took some pictures of the nearby historic streets and even one by Pizzeria Paradiso. I hope you enjoy just like I enjoyed my pizza.
They’re one of the major players in the Washington, DC area when it comes to pizza. And I’m glad to have ended the year with one of the more soothing and peaceful dining experiences I’ve had in a while.
I promise it won’t be another 16 years till the next visit. How about I revisit this again in 2017. That’s a promise.
Here is their story, their beer menu and online ordering info for those nearby.
I look forward to what 2017 brings. That feels weird just typing that.
Happy What’s Left of the Holidays,
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