For those friends and other peoples that have lived or spent time in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, right outside of Washington, DC, you’ve seen change right before your very eyes.
Whether those changes are for the better is probably not even up for debate. That may sound defeatist and helpless but in the past 10+ years this neighborhood is hardly recognizable compared to how it used to be. This is an overly sentimental person viewpoint which is what I’ve always tended to have. I’m not sure what the rush was but it’s happening all over and the best we can do is either embrace it; seek out the local, the character, and the older style businesses, or move somewhere else.
Well I never lived here, but I did hang out here quite a bit. I never fully felt like I belonged here but I appreciated (and still do) my friends who live in and around the area. And can still appreciate the gems that still exist, when I visit. And there are gems. As I write this there’s more than I realize within in all the chains, the sameness of the bars and restaurants, and the box stores.
There’s still plenty of good in a place where the good seems to be vanishing.
This brings me to Bronx Pizza & Subs that’s smacked right in the heart of everything, where heart might not always be in the right place. With plenty of restaurants (many new, many have been entrenched before massive changes) in the vicinity, maybe you just want a slice, something quick to eat, and something you don’t have to think about.
Bronx Pizza would be your place. I was in the area right after most people had lunch, so the wait time was even shorter and there was plenty of room to sit. But I just wanted a couple of slices to go as I had some exploring and adventures to partake in throughout the day. But this isn’t about me, it’s about the pizza. Well it’s about me too haha.
I ordered a cheese (Bronx Pizza) and a chicken carbonara, which they call the Tremont Avenue Chicken Carbonara. Both slices and a soda came out to about $7. For the location you can’t complain about that.
But I was a bit surprised as the size of my slices. I saw others on the counter for both pies that looked larger. Maybe that’s the luck of the draw and those are the breaks. However, quality is what’s paramount and I think something was off.
The cheese just tasted like a cheese pizza. There was a spark, some inspiration, and a taste that was lacking, I just didn’t feel anything from the cheese, the sauce, and the crust. It was good enough to finish. Actually no, I think I saved it for later and I don’t know what happened.
Same goes for the chicken carbonara. I just didn’t feel that wow I want to feel from a slice, or anything that I eat. Maybe I was expecting too much.
There’s a couple things I find surprising to me. I didn’t realize they’ve been open for almost a decade. Have I been here before and not realized? They’re open late night, which for the location is a pure money maker. When the bars pour out I’m assuming many folks walk in for the their late night cravings.
What this also says is I don’t hang out enough here, and I’m not sure what I’m missing if anything. It also tells me that if I were to have their pizza again, I would once again want it to be during the day. I’ve rarely written about late night eats because unless a pizzeria is known exclusively for their after hours slices, I don’t think that’s the correct judge of a places’ character.
Even though these slices were not my favorite, I would give it another go, because I’m all about supporting local business, and local is the way to go.
For those in the area or are going to be, here is Bronx Pizza’s Menu, their story, and their contact information and hours.
Unless things change I think this adventure will continue footsteps away at another Arlington/Clarendon pizzeria.
Thanks so much and Happy 4th.