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rbh

Wiseguy NY Pizza, Pizzaiolo Nuri Erol's Pizza by the Slice on 3rd Street and Mass Avenue NW, With A Second Location In Rosslyn

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rbh   

Saw a sign for "Slices on the Walk" next to Clyde's in Chinatown. Looks to be where the Auntie Anne's used to be. Not clear if this is related to Clyde's at all (they used to have a nice lunch spot Clyde's on the Walk). Would be great to have a decent place to grab a slice of pizza in the neighborhood (Bistro Med and Fuel don't do it for me).

Also in the neighborhood, a couple blocks to the east, Wiseguy NY Pizza is supposed to be opening this week..... sandy willing.

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mnnchas   

Slices on the Walk isn't showing any signs of life, but I managed to stop by Wiseguy's today (3rd and Mass).

A bit out of the way, but the two slices I had were pretty tasty. Reheating in their oven produced a crust that was a little too crispy for folding over, but my cheese slice satisfied my pizza craving,. My pepperoni slice was lacking in flavor; I like my pepperoni to have at least a little punch. Nonetheless, I'd say this is the best pizza by the slice in the neighborhood (Fuel is inconsistent and still disorganized; Pizza Bistro Med is a spongy grease bomb). Cost was just north of $6, which seemed a bit high, but probably about what I should expect for this area.

I'd like to go back and try some of their other offerings. They had some Sicilian squares and a margherita pizza that looked inviting.

[sorry to go off topic...my search for a separate thread on this place brought me back here...too stupid to realize until I wrote this out]

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Has anyone been to Wiseguy recently? I'm planning to stop by tonight after a reading at the newish Busboys. I'm from Queens and love a good slice... but I'm trying to manage my expectations.

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We got three pies the other day as part of an office lunch. I thought they were excellent. We had a veggie pizza (which i didn't try), a buffalo chicken pizza (really tasty chicken, sauce and crust), and another called something along the lines of Mama's original (it was square, deep-dish-ish, and quite good if a bit oily). i can't find a menu to offer the details I forget. I did think it was some of the best pizza I've had in DC, which I don't mean to be damning it with faint praise. It was expensive as balls tho...$80 for three large pies. Yikes. I look forward to explaining how I managed to spend $80 on pizza for an office staff of 7. D'OH!

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Adam23   

We went a few weeks ago. Excellent pizza. Agree it is very expensive. The closest thing to NY style pizza i've been able to find in DC.

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rbh   

I work across the street and have grown to really like the white pizza. I find that the tomato sauce based pizzas can be a bit hit or miss... I expect the crust to be able to hold up and not sag with the toppings... which sometimes happens, sometimes doesn't. White pizza's been very consistent. I've tried several of the pizzas by the slice. Buffalo chicken was ok. Pepperoni and the meat lovers will draw me back more often. Agree it's a little expensie. Two slices of the 'specialty' pizzas was something like $8.34 including tax.

Do I like it better than Italian Store or Pete's.... no. Would I trek across the city for this pizza? no. But will I go back when I'm in the neighborhood.... absolutely.... definitely in my lunch rotation. For those interested, they also have garlic knots, side salad, some type of pasta, and a smattering of desserts.

There's also a place opening next door called Carving Room. There's a sign out front saying they're hiring.

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I had the meatball/ricotta special slice and garlic knots and my friend had a white slice. Overall very good for DC, would be fine to good in NY. The crust tasted good but was not quite crispy enough for my taste -- I like to fold a slice and have it only droop a little at the end, if at all. The sauce was a little sweet and the cheese tasted off. I think they use fresh mozzarella instead of the processed mozz most slice joints use. Normally I'd commend a place for using the freshest ingredients, but it resulted in a slice that didn't match my memory for "NYC pizza". Nostalgia can be a bitch!

The garlic knots were tasty and much lighter and crispier than the dough balls I used to love as a kid. The white slice was good, according to my friend. Like rbh, I don't think I'd cross town for a slice (whereas I would for Joe's on Carmine Street and some of my other faves) but if I'm in the area I'll gladly stop in.

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Marty L.   

Wow, have NYC slice standards really fallen this far? Had two slices today -- meat lovers and "margherita." Both entirely generic, mediocre . . . no character at all. Cost was more than $4 a slice, which is at least twice as much as it ought to be. For something resembling, say, DiFara's, I would pay such prices, gladly. But this was cafeteria quality. They'll make a fortune there because of all the students and other young people living within three or four blocks . . . but what a rip-off.

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Amazingly, both today and last Friday there were folks scarfing their slices outdoors at Wiseguy. Not sure if that says more for the pizza or the decor...

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Adam23   

Was down in Judiciary Square and stopped by for a slice for lunch.  At 2PM it was packed with local workers.  Have to say the most satisfying piece of pizza I have had in DC in a long while.  Thin crust, lots of cheese, nice sauce with a hint of garlic.  Reminded me of the NY style joints where I grew up.  Still consider this one of the best pizzas around.

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ArlNow reported that Wiseguy in Rosslyn (1735 N. Lynn St.) opened on April 1.  ArlNow also reports that they'll be open only for lunch for the new few weeks with full hours and service starting on April 20.

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JSnake   

I'm just going to come out and say that this is the best pizza to be found outside of NY. Wiseguys serves up a quintessential NY slice, one that brings me back to my childhood of skipping right over to 7 Carmine St in the West Village as soon as the school bell rang. The slice has a beautiful char to it, yet it remains pliant enough to be easily folded like a NY slice should be. There is no drooping or flaccidness here -- the crust remains sturdy and crispy the entire time. And what a crisp that crust has. When I first walked into Wiseguys and bit into my first plain slice, well, you might be expecting me to drop a cliche and say it was "a revelation." But a revelation wasn't what I was looking for and it certainly isn't what I got. Rather, what I felt was a warm sense of comfort, brought on by a crisp texture from the crust and a savory but slightly sweet flavor resulting from the cheese and tomato sauce. This is not a slice for those who think more cheese equals better pizza. The cheese is sprinkled on by a deft and careful hand, resulting in a slice where the tomato sauce visibly peeks out from underneath the melted mozzarella.

This is what a NY slice should be. I understand how some people prefer the neapolitan pies that DC so frequently slings but for this New Yorker, this is what pizza is. Those other pies might as well be completely different foods. :)

Also: never leave without ordering the garlic knots. They're great and a perfect oldschool complement to these oldschool pies. Keep in mind I am talking about the DC location. Have not yet been to the Rosslyn outpost.

Here's some pics I took from my last visit here

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post-11511-0-60174600-1430960199_thumb.j

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DonRocks   

I'm just going to come out and say that this is the best pizza to be found outside of NY. Wiseguys serves up a quintessential NY slice, one that brings me back to my childhood of skipping right over to 7 Carmine St in the West Village as soon as the school bell rang. 

Because of this post, I just raised Wiseguy nine slots in the Multiple Locations Dining Guide. Damn that slice looks good.

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Josh   

As another ex-New Yorker, I heartily agree. I had a couple slices (and garlic knots, of course) on Sunday. If only it was close enough to walk to...

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Jonathan   

As a pizza guy and a guy who has lived in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, I have to agree to disagree.

I went because Todd Kliman effusively praised the place and I was famished and it was 3:30 and I had just run 10 miles and I was famished (did I say that already?).

I got three different slices and thought them all to be mediocre at best. It reminded me of mediocre NY slice joints, not good Or great NY slice joints.

And after I ordered and ate and judged, I had the privilege of watching their delivery come in and was equally disappointed by the extremely low quality tomato product (see full red tomato sauce) and flour and cheeses that were being carted in.

Friendly people, just not very good food.

And the photo above, might have some dark on the bottom from the deck of the oven, but it has absolutely no char or yeasty goodness in the lip of the pie.

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DonRocks   

And the photo above, might have some dark on the bottom from the deck of the oven, but it has absolutely no char or yeasty goodness in the lip of the pie.

The lip is the top periphery? Yeah, I can see that. There's just something about that cheese, though, that looks so good to me tonight - it's because I'm hungry, and damn I wish I had a couple of slices to fold and scarf.

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JSnake   

As a pizza guy and a guy who has lived in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, I have to agree to disagree.

I went because Todd Kliman effusively praised the place and I was famished and it was 3:30 and I had just run 10 miles and I was famished (did I say that already?).

I got three different slices and thought them all to be mediocre at best. It reminded me of mediocre NY slice joints, not good Or great NY slice joints.

And after I ordered and ate and judged, I had the privilege of watching their delivery come in and was equally disappointed by the extremely low quality tomato product (see full red tomato sauce) and flour and cheeses that were being carted in.

Friendly people, just not very good food.

And the photo above, might have some dark on the bottom from the deck of the oven, but it has absolutely no char or yeasty goodness in the lip of the pie.

Tough to argue with the guy behind Ghibellina. But I stand by every word. ;)

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Josh   

It reminded me of mediocre NY slice joints, not good Or great NY slice joints.

Yep.  And I LOVED eating those mediocre plain slices several times a week in NY.  If anyone can point me to a joint putting out a great NY slice in DC, I would be forever in your debt.

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DonRocks   

[Let me *lightly* make a pre-emptive comment as moderator: I don't think anyone disagrees here. It's a matter of quality vs. comfort - there's room for both, and I actually find myself agreeing with every post I've read.]

I'm afraid to ask, but how bad *were* the ingredients? :mellow:

FWIW, I know of no great NY slice in DC. Come to think of it, I know of no great NY slice in NY.

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Jonathan   

Full Red Fully Prepared Pizza Sauce

As for killer slices in New York, I often inhabited Bleecker Street (especially their Sicilian) when I worked at the Spotted Pig, and La Pino Forchetta in Park Slope when I worked and lived in BK. Also DiFara if you just take it for what it is...a slice joint, not pizza nirvana.

As for DC...I'm stumped. If have to compare Alberto's or jumbo slice with wise guys when sober or drunk to evaluate.

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Full Red Fully Prepared Pizza Sauce

As for killer slices in New York, I often inhabited Bleecker Street (especially their Sicilian) when I worked at the Spotted Pig, and La Pino Forchetta in Park Slope when I worked and lived in BK. Also DiFara if you just take it for what it is...a slice joint, not pizza nirvana.

As for DC...I'm stumped. If have to compare Alberto's or jumbo slice with wise guys when sober or drunk to evaluate.

Really dumb question. Partly because my tastes shifted to Neapolitan-style pizza as an adult (from NY style slices years ago) and thus never really considered ingredients in NY style pizza as I do with most anything now.

Is Full Red "extremely low quality" because it's industrially produced and canned? Or, is it respectable since the ingredients are relatively few and clear? (i.e., seemingly no additives, artificial flavors or chem labs).

Can't expect NY slice type shops to be making their own sauce on site? Or should we? Honestly have no idea about this.

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Josh   

[Let me *lightly* make a pre-emptive comment as moderator: I don't think anyone disagrees here. It's a matter of quality vs. comfort - there's room for both, and I actually find myself agreeing with every post I've read.]

Oh, totally.  Jonathan and I are in agreement about the quality of the pizza.  I just meant that even when I was in NY, I nearly always opted for the convenience of the mediocre slice down the block vs. the good slice a subway trip away, and Wiseguy fills that same role here in DC.

Full Red Fully Prepared Pizza Sauce

As for killer slices in New York, I often inhabited Bleecker Street (especially their Sicilian) when I worked at the Spotted Pig, and La Pino Forchetta in Park Slope when I worked and lived in BK. Also DiFara if you just take it for what it is...a slice joint, not pizza nirvana.

As for DC...I'm stumped. If have to compare Alberto's or jumbo slice with wise guys when sober or drunk to evaluate.

Agree re: DiFara.  I only went a handful of times over my years in NY.  It was indeed a "good" slice, and not the revelation it was built up to be.

Can't expect NY slice type shops to be making their own sauce on site? Or should we? Honestly have no idea about this.

DiFara's did, as did some of the better slice joints around town, but I think they were in the minority (but I don't know that for sure).  You could definitely tell differences in quality even among the lesser spots.  Some had terrible sauce that was typically way too sweet.  Even though Wiseguy uses canned sauce, I don't find it to have that particular quality.

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DaveO   

Wow:  Wiseguy opening in Arlington is great news to me.  I'm always in the hunt for convenient NY styled Italian food, and in my experience there are few foods that come close to meeting  an elemental craving like NY styled pizza slices.  Hooray.  As to pizza in general, I agree with the above commentary:  there is room for all types of pizza;  and while NY style pizza slices are tops in my book...and have their own large following other terrific styles offer wondrous taste experiences.

In fact, from a leasing, location, and small business perspective I can't think of a better move by a food operator to take advantage of a large sized more or less underserved market for at least lunch pizza than that location. Lower Rosslyn has one of the largest concentrations of office space and office workers in the region, a relatively high density of office and other high rises, a large number of hotel and short stay rooms, and is sorely served for food, while focusing on an obvious midday clientele.  An above average to good operator like Wiseguy can kill in this area.

On top of that the daily Tripper (and other buses) that leave for NYC from the nearest corner can potentially add up to several hundred pizza slice eaters on a daily basis.  They already populate the Cosi's and Starbucks and other middling food places on that block.

I think that is a smart move by Wiseguy.  I hope they do well.  I know they'll get some of my pizza loving money.  ;)

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JSnake   

I was actually under the impression that Wiseguy made its mozarella fresh in-house daily. That's according to their website and also what they told me in person when I asked. Could that have changed or are they just fibbing? Or am I misunderstanding the comment about the ingredients entirely? Probably the latter.

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Oh, totally.  Jonathan and I are in agreement about the quality of the pizza.  I just meant that even when I was in NY, I nearly always opted for the convenience of the mediocre slice down the block vs. the good slice a subway trip away, and Wiseguy fills that same role here in DC.

...You could definitely tell differences in quality even among the lesser spots.  Some had terrible sauce that was typically way too sweet.  Even though Wiseguy uses canned sauce, I don't find it to have that particular quality.

I was actually under the impression that Wiseguy made its mozarella fresh in-house daily. That's according to their website and also what they told me in person when I asked. Could that have changed or are they just fibbing? Or am I misunderstanding the comment about the ingredients entirely? Probably the latter.

Glad I'm not alone. I'm a big ingredient hound; fellow readers who've read my posts in other topics know that. But, this (NY Pizza) is just a realm I've given no thought to in years.

Surely, if Wiseguy does, in fact, make its own mozz, that must be better than the bevy of cheese-product type things that roll off Sysco trucks across the land?  And, likewise on the sauce.  I'm near certain homemade should be better than canned/jarred/boxed because that's true with most anything. But, all cans aren't alike and the ingredients label on the Full Red seems relatively honest.  Need some expert opinion on this. Maybe something like that guy making the truly awesome pies at Ghibellina?   :D

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