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We, The Pizza, a Local Franchise in Several Area Locations - Run by Sunnyside Restaurant Group


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Coming in December or January next door to Good Stuff Eatery. Go at it, Spike-haters. . .

So I have Matchbox (putatively closest), Seventh Hill (just a bit farther), and We, the Pizza (several blocks more) in my neighborhood as of this winter? Good to know that the hub can return to his bachelor ways of subsisting entirely on pies... :(

I'm feeling a bit of pizza overkill myself, though. Who will out?

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Is this the hip food that he promised to bring to DC?

According to Spike, yes. From the Examiner article: "It's going to be much like the formula of Good Stuff," said Mendelsohn. "It's going to be really hip, really clean, it's going to be farm fresh."

He also promises "curbside delivery." On behalf of the many DC drivers who growl every time they pass double-parked vehicles clogging up traffic at assorted valet stations and envision the same with curbside delivery, I salute you, Spike.

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He also promises "curbside delivery." On behalf of the many DC drivers who growl every time they pass double-parked vehicles clogging up traffic at assorted valet stations and envision the same with curbside delivery, I salute you, Spike.

That whole stretch of Penn is already a double-parking nightmare. Even with a single row of parked cars, it's also right after the street loses a lane (headed eastbound) that is right-turn only; people also have to jog to make a left because they don't realize there's are two left-turn lanes (one dedicated and one not). It's an accident waiting to happen.

ETA: Yes, I pay a lot of attention to traffic patterns in general. I've never been to Good Stuff, and I have no particular feelings about Spike at this time.

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I am getting a little tired of burgers and pizza not that I don't love burgers and pizza, but it's becoming a little overkill. It would be nice to see a more healthy casual restaurant. He seems to have a west coast vibe, why not some causal, but healthy stuff served in a low key environment? I would love to see him cook something like that and show some real creativity.

And I would love a nice healthy casual breakfast joint near the Eastern Market as all the breakfast places over there are so crowded. Or a place that had as good of breakfast as places like Matt's Big Breakfast in Phoenix. You could do farm fresh breakfast and casual other meals of the day and I would be all happy, but pizza... no, I doubt I will be going there.

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The website's subtitle reads "GREAT PIZZA IN DC".

For some reason, that's enough of a turn-off for me to walk on by. (Full disclosure: I've never watched Top Chef and have never been to Good Stuff, either. :) )

Yeah, there's an overdose of obnoxious there, but I'll give him credit for an attractive, easy-to-navigate Web site, though, and for highlighting community outreach efforts. Good stuff isn't a total misnomer.

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Maybe it's just me, but I'm not terribly excited after seeing some of the pictures from whatever opening party was thrown here recently. I think those are a good deal smaller than what he intends to serve, but those pizzas just don't look good at all.

It is not the size of the pizzas that would turn me off, it is that it looks painfully doughy.

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It is not the size of the pizzas that would turn me off, it is that it looks painfully doughy.

That's what turns me off too; the size comment was more to say that I'm not sure how much I can read into anything I see, given that I don't think those particular pizzas would be on the menu.

But yeah, those particular pizzas definitely look closer to the individual pies served in my high school cafeteria than what you'd find at some of the other pizza options on the Hill.

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According to Spike, yes. From the Examiner article: "It's going to be much like the formula of Good Stuff," said Mendelsohn. "It's going to be really hip, really clean, it's going to be farm fresh."

Anyone know what he means about "farm fresh" pizza? Anyone ever seen this guy at a farmers market? I haven't.

You want more? Nonna can't spell "vegetarian". Modena's where you'll find terrific Romanesque sculpture, Pavarotti's relatives and expensive, syrupy vinegar, but there's no eponymous ingredient as far as I know. See Menu for more goofs that any decent copy editor would catch.

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It's all such complete bullshit. I'm sick of all this bullshit. Where's Peter Finch?

Whoa, a Network reference? Lay off those antibiotics, kid.

I can't pretend that I'm not prejudging the pizza. But honestly I want someone to explain to me the pun in the "We, Izings" part of the menu (wings). "Of thee I sing" maybe? It was a crappy Gershwin musical; it's not serving him any better on his menu.

(If I'm missing a better pun here, please enlighten me. I've been thinking about this all day to no avail. Wheezing? Zingers? If it's obvious, I'll take my hits for being obtuse ... because I'm really blind to it.)

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Whoa, a Network reference? Lay off those antibiotics, kid.

I can't pretend that I'm not prejudging the pizza. But honestly I want someone to explain to me the pun in the "We, Izings" part of the menu (wings). "Of thee I sing" maybe? It was a crappy Gershwin musical; it's not serving him any better on his menu.

(If I'm missing a better pun here, please enlighten me. I've been thinking about this all day to no avail. Wheezing? Zingers? If it's obvious, I'll take my hits for being obtuse ... because I'm really blind to it.)

"Farm fresh pizza" is bullshit. It's bullshit. And I'm mad as hell and I'm not... blah blah blah.

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Why? I'm curious as to why people try his food? As for burgers and pizzas, I'm 100% sure they're not the best this city has to offer. Patronizing his restaurants is what I call feeding the troll.

Sure, the burgers aren't, and the pizzas aren't likely to be either, but you're just going to assume it's not worth eating before it even opens? You're not only going to not give the place a fair chance, but chastise people who DO give it a fair chance? How can you offer anything resembling a worthwhile opinion if you're going to negatively assess places you won't even try once?

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Whoa, a Network reference? Lay off those antibiotics, kid.

I can't pretend that I'm not prejudging the pizza. But honestly I want someone to explain to me the pun in the "We, Izings" part of the menu (wings). "Of thee I sing" maybe? It was a crappy Gershwin musical; it's not serving him any better on his menu.

(If I'm missing a better pun here, please enlighten me. I've been thinking about this all day to no avail. Wheezing? Zingers? If it's obvious, I'll take my hits for being obtuse ... because I'm really blind to it.)

That puzzled me too. All I could figure is that it's supposed to be a combination of the "iz" from pizza with the "ings" from wings.

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Why? I'm curious as to why people try his food?

That's an easy one: "'We' means togetherness, unity, peace and good will. ... 'We' is the promise of better days and brighter futures and the opportunity to finally be ourselves because together, 'we' are one. ... Smells are richer. Sights are more beautiful. Sounds are clearer and Tastes more glorious with 'we.' 'We' brings meaning to the mundane. When 'we' joins together and puts another before 'I' and 'me,' the world becomes a better place."

Wee, the P add your own "sic(k)s"

Don, are you writing copy for him?

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"'We' means togetherness, unity, peace and good will. ... 'We' is the promise of better days and brighter futures and the opportunity to finally be ourselves because together, 'we' are one. ... Smells are richer. Sights are more beautiful. Sounds are clearer and Tastes more glorious with 'we.' 'We' brings meaning to the mundane. When 'we' joins together and puts another before 'I' and 'me,' the world becomes a better place."

MAKE THE BULLSHIT STOP!!!!

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WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! There are a lot of angry and judgemental people when it comes to "Celebrity" food and their restaurants. Lots of Haters as well...which is equally pathetic and sad :D Too many people , in their own minds, are the greatest armchair quarterbacks of food....... Unless you've actually eaten the food at any of Spike"s places ...you should keep your mouth shut...until you have actually tried the food. I have never been to any of his places, primarliy becuase I dont go over to Cap Hill much and I'm at my own place enough :) I do plan to try both places at some point and at that time only after I HAVE EATEN the food, shall I render a verdict....and either keep it to myself or share it in whatever forum. It is very sad that many people want to hate the place becuase of some perception of the guy....So unless you've actually met someone in person or tried their food, I recommend that you all keep your opinions limited..becuase I don't come to the bowling alley and tell you how to do your job :)

Pizza and burgers are such huge staples in our society and are so ridiculously subjective, that I actually dread hearing about them all the time

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WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! There are a lot of angry and judgemental people when it comes to "Celebrity" food and their restaurants. Lots of Haters as well...which is equally pathetic and sad :D Too many people , in their own minds, are the greatest armchair quarterbacks of food....... Unless you've actually eaten the food at any of Spike"s places ...you should keep your mouth shut...until you have actually tried the food. I have never been to any of his places, primarliy becuase I dont go over to Cap Hill much and I'm at my own place enough :) I do plan to try both places at some point and at that time only after I HAVE EATEN the food, shall I render a verdict....and either keep it to myself or share it in whatever forum. It is very sad that many people want to hate the place becuase of some perception of the guy....So unless you've actually met someone in person or tried their food, I recommend that you all keep your opinions limited..becuase I don't come to the bowling alley and tell you how to do your job :)

Pizza and burgers are such huge staples in our society and are so ridiculously subjective, that I actually dread hearing about them all the time

I actually am going to try the place, since the food sounds good. It's just the hype and bullshit advertising that's such a turn-off. Oh, and if there's anything worse than a pre-judgemental foodie, it's a self-righteous, holier-than-thou soapboxer.

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Why? I'm curious as to why people try his food? As for burgers and pizzas, I'm 100% sure they're not the best this city has to offer. Patronizing his restaurants is what I call feeding the troll.

1) I think the pizzas in the picture actually look good.

2) I'm interested to see how the egg cream compares to the toasted marshmallow shake at Good Stuff, which I find quite tasty.

3) I need to get out more.

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I don't know if I managed to miss this in the thread, but does anyone know when this place is opening its doors to mere mortals? I know there was a soft opening recently, but then I read that the real opening is July 19. Any confirmations on that? I guess everyone will crucify me for this but I enjoy Good Stuff Eatery, so I will at least give this place a fair shot. Thanks in advance for any info.

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I don't know if I managed to miss this in the thread, but does anyone know when this place is opening its doors to mere mortals? I know there was a soft opening recently, but then I read that the real opening is July 19. Any confirmations on that? I guess everyone will crucify me for this but I enjoy Good Stuff Eatery, so I will at least give this place a fair shot. Thanks in advance for any info.

Somewhere in the blogs about the soft opening there was a note that it would be one more week (so the 26th). I'll see if I can find a citation -- until then, consider it hearsay.

(Amazingly, after that last sentence, I'm actually not a lawyer.)

ETA: Wait, I'm wrong; the 19th *was* the pushed-back date. Haven't found any more confirmations (or denials) after that. (CapitalSpice via Young&Hungry)

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I don't know if I managed to miss this in the thread, but does anyone know when this place is opening its doors to mere mortals? I know there was a soft opening recently, but then I read that the real opening is July 19. Any confirmations on that? I guess everyone will crucify me for this but I enjoy Good Stuff Eatery, so I will at least give this place a fair shot. Thanks in advance for any info.

I was at his current place next door to this soon to open spot, and this was almost two weeks ago. It was still nowhere near openion IMO, but someone (an older gentleman) was hustling one of the workers to round up chairs to bring them in to the pizza space. It looked like there was still some work to do inside there.

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Oops -- yeah, the newly (as of Monday) announced opening is lunch on Friday. I thought someone had posted it here, but apparently not.

Missed this posting. Actually called their phone number and the message conveyed that they were open. Nope. Ended up at Seventh Hill Pizza. $12 for a margarita. Ok toppings, but crust bland.

They had good traffic tonight, wonder how it will be once We, the Pizza opens.

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I swear I am not in the tank for this restaurant (despite a certain young roomer of mine having seen Spike at the grocery store downstairs yesterday) -- I just wanted to post that now word on the street is, opening Monday. So don't go for lunch today without calling first!

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With the amount of hype regarding the mere opening of this joint, this pizza better be pretty f*cking good. :D

With the amount of hype regarding the mere opening of this joint, this pizza doesn't have to be pretty f*cking good. :)

:)

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With the amount of hype regarding the mere opening of this joint, this pizza doesn't have to be pretty f*cking good. :D

:)

Correct. The power of national TV is so much stronger than the power of this website, that Spike Mendelsohn is probably looking at us as a bunch of gnats. Give him credit for taking advantage of a situation in which, untapped, he would have remained a mere pawn on the network chessboard. I mean this as a compliment - not to his restaurants, but to his business acumen and moxie.

Good luck with the opening.

[And as Simon Says (I think it was maybe while panning Taylor Hicks), "This is a singing competition!" If the music is good, We, The Pizza will be praised here, but if it's not, We, The Pizza will be panned here. It will be interesting to see how the other "major" restaurant websites in the city handle this. Fame doesn't mean Jack Schitt to me; only substance matters.]

Cheers,

Rocks

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Correct. The power of national TV is so much stronger than the power of this website, that Spike Mendelsohn is probably looking at us as a bunch of gnats. Give him credit for taking advantage of a situation in which, untapped, he would have remained a mere pawn on the network chessboard. I mean this as a compliment - not to his restaurants, but to his business acumen and moxie.

Well, while it's all well and good to give him credit for taking advantage of a situation, I'm not eating in his restaurants to see what a good businessman he is...I'm there, if at all, for the food.

Look at another chef who took advantage of his situation - Mario. The food in his restaurants is good, very good and excellent. I don't eat there because he's the chef; I eat there because I like it.

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Well, while it's all well and good to give him credit for taking advantage of a situation, I'm not eating in his restaurants to see what a good businessman he is...I'm there, if at all, for the food.

Look at another chef who took advantage of his situation - Mario. The food in his restaurants is good, very good and excellent. I don't eat there because he's the chef; I eat there because I like it.

Except with one major difference-Mario was a chef who became famous because he was a talented chef. I'm not really sure why this other guy is 'famous'.

Correct. The power of national TV is so much stronger than the power of this website, that Spike Mendelsohn is probably looking at us as a bunch of gnats. Give him credit for taking advantage of a situation in which, untapped, he would have remained a mere pawn on the network chessboard. I mean this as a compliment - not to his restaurants, but to his business acumen and moxie.

Good luck with the opening.

[And as Simon Says (I think it was maybe while panning Taylor Hicks), "This is a singing competition!" If the music is good, We, The Pizza will be praised here, but if it's not, We, The Pizza will be panned here. It will be interesting to see how the other "major" restaurant websites in the city handle this. Fame doesn't mean Jack Schitt to me; only substance matters.]

Cheers,

Rocks

Fame may mean nothing to you, but there are already over 40 posts here and the guy hasn't even opened. That says a lot.

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Except with one major difference-Mario was a chef who became famous because he was a talented chef. I'm not really sure why this other guy is 'famous'.

Quite true. I think Spike is famous because of his ironic hat.

Fame may mean nothing to you, but there are already over 40 posts here and the guy hasn't even opened. That says a lot.

Right. The food and fame obsessed. What's surprising to me is that with his hamburger and fries so shitty, how good do we think the pizza can be?

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[i'm locking this thread until the restaurant opens. The conversation has degraded into trivial swiping (and my post last night probably didn't help; it would be my fault as moderator if I let things continue - they were only going to get worse). Cheers, Rocks]

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All right, looks like I'll be the first one to offer a comment on how the pizza Spike is putting out actually tastes.

Before that, a brief take on the rest of the place: Aesthetically, I actually like it a lot. While the pictures of Spike and Co. all over the walls aren't particularly attractive, overall I think it has a nice look, and their method of displaying the pizzas is smart and effective: they've got 15 or so round pedestals that each have a different pizza on them, forcing you to look them over whilst standing in line, making it considerably more difficult to decide since most all of them at least look good.

I was fine with waiting the 30 minutes it took for me to order and get my pizza. First day open, technical difficulties, crazy long line, etc. . . . It wasn't too big of a deal to me, though some of the frantic fans had gone from snapping shots of Spike expediting to demanding their pizza from the defenseless staff. By the time I got to the register, I'd decided to go with a slice each of the White Pie Today's ricotta, fontina, roasted garlic, Parmesan, mozz, sea salt, olive oil, fresh Italian parsley and the Roasted Potato and Pancetta Pie Roasted local spuds, pancetta, caramelized onions, our tomato sauce, mozz, fresh rosemary. Both were $4 a pop, and I skipped the house made sodas, despite the legion of people happily sipping on them while waiting for their orders to be filled.

So, after standing in a corner for about 10 or 15 minutes, drinking ice water and watching as the people working the counter tried to get a handle on calling out people's order numbers for them to pick up their food, I grabbed my slices and dug in. Without a doubt, the quality of the food and the length of the line going out the door and down the sidewalk are not at all commensurate. However, I've definitely eaten worse pizza before (i.e. Dominos, Angelico, etc.). Spike's pizza falls into the realm of what I consider NY style pizza -- floppy and heavy on the toppings, almost demanding folding if you want to eat it and not make a complete mess. Yet while the look and the feel of the pizza was accurate, eating it breaks the illusion: the crust just isn't quite there yet. It has too much chew (almost gluey) with only the slightest crispness at the end-crust, along with just decent flavor that might have developed further had the pizzas spent a little more time in the oven.

The white pizza was undoubtedly cheesy, and not doused in oil as often occurs with white pies. Yet their mozzarella doesn't taste like a particularly high quality product in comparison to other area pizzerias, and I got no hint of the roasted garlic. The potato and pancetta pie struck me as a unique concept, but wasn't all that successful: the chunks of potato looked like they might be crispy, but instead were soggy; and the pancetta wasn't browned at all, bringing only oil and chew rather than crispiness to the equation. The sauce, however, was actually pretty flavorful, and the hit of rosemary was well balanced and appreciated. Still, all those components, together with the cheese, brought way too much moisture to a pie that already hadn't received enough cook (the underside was pale).

Obviously, judging any place solely on its first official day of service is unfair, even if that day was a long time coming. And as one who has worked with pizza dough in a number of contexts, I know that each batch from the same recipe can somehow come out drastically different. But if the pizza I got today is what Spike was shooting for, based on how my jaw feels, I'd insist that no amount of appealing presentation and menu description can make up for an overly chewy crust. Much like Good Stuff's burgers, which have successful toppings but a terrible base (the meat), Spike's pizza reads well on the menu, looks good on display, and even has decent toppings, but misses the mark on the most foundational element. Yet while Good Stuff seems like a lost cause to me, I think We, The Pizza could possibly settle in and reach a point where $4 a slice doesn't sting too badly.

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So, GennaroE, I guess the 3-star dream isn't quite there yet? Sounds like the 'spuds' recipe was borrowed from next door.

I do take slight issue with your statement that you consider NY style pizza -- floppy and heavy on the toppings. That's not how it is at all at the great NY style pizza joints.

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Ditto to the review above.

I would just add that I also had the potato pizza and, with the exception of some rosemary flavor, it was really quite bland. I also had the buffalo chicken pizza which was also lacking in flavor, heat, or much of anything. The house made soda (I got the orange something) on the other hand was really, really great. It was like a creamy tangy orange crush. Delicious.

But, all in all, there was nothing really memorable about this place. By the way, as an indicator of either my lack of bias or lack of taste, I like Good Stuff and I am not a Spike hater -- maybe a fan. .

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