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Tonight, a snapshot in time, trying to shed some light on the ongoing debate.

I spent nearly five hours visiting 2 Amys, Bebo, RedRocks, and Comet. A basic tomato-and-cheese pie was ordered at each.

The results were clear:

1. Comet
2. RedRocks
3. 2 Amys
4. Bebo

Details - and pictures - forthcoming.

Cheers,
Rocks.

---

[The following posts have been split into separate threads:

Mellow Mushroom (turbogrrl)]

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Tonight, a snapshot in time, trying to shed some light on the ongoing debate.

I spent nearly five hours visiting 2 Amys, Bebo, RedRocks, and Comet. A basic tomato-and-cheese pie was ordered at each.

The results were clear:

1. Comet

2. RedRocks

3. 2 Amys

4. Bebo

Details - and pictures - forthcoming.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Dang! That's amazing. Rocks, the pies you and I shared at Bebo were faultless, I thought. Can't imagine better ones.

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Tonight, a snapshot in time, trying to shed some light on the ongoing debate.

I spent nearly five hours visiting 2 Amys, Bebo, RedRocks, and Comet. A basic tomato-and-cheese pie was ordered at each.

The results were clear:

1. Comet

2. RedRocks

3. 2 Amys

4. Bebo

Details - and pictures - forthcoming.

Cheers,

Rocks.

They must have seen you coming on upper Connecticut Rocks. The results for tonite may have been clear, but based on a lifetime of pizza eating Comet is not in the same league as Two Amys. Nor is Red Rock, though in my sole visit it showed better than any of my 3 visits to Comet. And then there is Sette Osteria (especially the Saisiccia a Cime di Rapa), the Rodney Dangerfield of DC pizza - in my view surpassed only by 2 Amys.

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And then there is Sette Osteria (especially the Saisiccia a Cime di Rapa), the Rodney Dangerfield of DC pizza - in my view surpassed only by 2 Amys.
Tastes and opinions differ. None of the pizzas that I have ever had at Sette were even remotely good, much less in the same class as 2 Amy's. I have yet to try Comet.
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They must have seen you coming on upper Connecticut Rocks. The results for tonite may have been clear, but based on a lifetime of pizza eating Comet is not in the same league as Two Amys. Nor is Red Rock, though in my sole visit it showed better than any of my 3 visits to Comet. And then there is Sette Osteria (especially the Saisiccia a Cime di Rapa), the Rodney Dangerfield of DC pizza - in my view surpassed only by 2 Amys.

Very interesting, can't wait to see the pics - I agree with hmmboy. Comet was easily the worst pizza I've had in DC the one time I was there...

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An interesting snapshot in time.

Worth repeating several times to see if the results hold.

I have had undercooked pizzas at 2 Amys once or twice (out of dozens) and awful pizzas at Comet twice but I have not been back after the second. The first time the dough tasted of chlorine and I suggested that they triple filter their water. I found the tomato sauce slightly bitter both times.

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Where da pics?

Click on Post #10

Some comments:

1) I've had several fantastic pizzas at Comet in the past, but my two prior to this visit were terrible, and mediocre, respectively. This pizza was fantastic in every way, and at $7.50? One of the best individual food values in town. The tomato sauce was revelatory compared with the other three pizzas, and although the cheese isn't "blotted" on in the traditional style, it's locally sourced from Blue Ridge Dairy in Leesburg and I thought it was terrific. Taste-wise, this was my favorite crust.

2) 2 Amys' pizzas have shown a consistent downturn in my last several visits, even though the "small things" keep rolling right along. This time, the crust had a bready consistency that was disturbingly similar to what I found at Pizzeria Paradiso the last time I went, though this was certainly better than that.

3) RedRocks' crust was what 2 Amys should have been (and used to be). Airy, chewy, and very complex, it was a pleasure to eat on its own. Texturally, this was my favorite crust.

4) The single best pizza I've had in the area was a Roberto Donna-made pie at Bebo. It was mind-boggling. I've had another one when he wasn't there that was also good, but not in that league. This one, however, was an unqualified disaster. Truly, it was not worth eating, and was the only one of the four pizzas that wouldn't qualify as at least "very good" - the photo makes it look better than it actually was.

Especially at Comet and Bebo, I've had high highs and low lows, and that's why it's important to consider this particular evening a snapshot, a moment in time; not a compendium, and not a final judgment (see my comment #71 in the DCist article).

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Nothing better NY Style. Not to be a total shithead, but for fuck's sake, if you're sampling pizza at Bebo, you're only 5 minutes from Pizzaiola. It is my understanding that Pizzaiola has a deal where they pay their employees, too!

yiouknow, gin just makes some people cranky. :angry:

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Click on Post #10

Some comments:

1) I've had several fantastic pizzas at Comet in the past, but my two prior to this visit were terrible, and mediocre, respectively. This pizza was fantastic in every way, and at $7.50? One of the best individual food values in town. The tomato sauce was revelatory compared with the other three pizzas, and although the cheese isn't "blotted" on in the traditional style, it's locally sourced from Blue Ridge Dairy in Leesburg and I thought it was terrific. Taste-wise, this was my favorite crust.

2) 2 Amys' pizzas have shown a consistent downturn in my last several visits, even though the "small things" keep rolling right along. This time, the crust had a bready consistency that was disturbingly similar to what I found at Pizzeria Paradiso the last time I went, though this was certainly better than that.

3) RedRocks' crust was what 2 Amys should have been (and used to be). Airy, chewy, and very complex, it was a pleasure to eat on its own. Texturally, this was my favorite crust.

4) The single best pizza I've had in the area was a Roberto Donna-made pie at Bebo. It was mind-boggling. I've had another one when he wasn't there that was also good, but not in that league. This one, however, was an unqualified disaster. Truly, it was not worth eating, and was the only one of the four pizzas that wouldn't qualify as at least "very good" - the photo makes it look better than it actually was.

Especially at Comet and Bebo, I've had high highs and low lows, and that's why it's important to consider this particular evening a snapshot, a moment in time; not a compendium, and not a final judgment (see my comment #71 in the DCist article).

Cheers,

Rocks.

I will be at the bar at Bebo tomorrow night at 8:00PM. I dare anyone to find a better pizza in the D. C. area than what I will order then. Show up and tell me that what I order is not the best in America. Not Two Amy's, not Comet, Not Paradiso but America! 8:00PM. And, yes, Roberto will be in the kitchen. And, I, at the bar. Hungry and thirsty...

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I will be at the bar at Bebo tomorrow night at 8:00PM. I dare anyone to find a better pizza in the D. C. area than what I will order then. Show up and tell me that what I order is not the best in America. Not Two Amy's, not Comet, Not Paradiso but America! 8:00PM. And, yes, Roberto will be in the kitchen. And, I, at the bar. Hungry and thirsty...

tempting..

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I will be at the bar at Bebo tomorrow night at 8:00PM. I dare anyone to find a better pizza in the D. C. area than what I will order then. Show up and tell me that what I order is not the best in America. Not Two Amy's, not Comet, Not Paradiso but America! 8:00PM. And, yes, Roberto will be in the kitchen. And, I, at the bar. Hungry and thirsty...

I am always ready for a challenge...If I am back from break fast by then....well, you are on my friend. This should be fun.

P.S. -Maybe we can drink an overated Wine Spectator Aussie Fruit Bomb to wash it all down, sound good?

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I will be at the bar at Bebo tomorrow night at 8:00PM. I dare anyone to find a better pizza in the D. C. area than what I will order then. Show up and tell me that what I order is not the best in America. Not Two Amy's, not Comet, Not Paradiso but America! 8:00PM. And, yes, Roberto will be in the kitchen. And, I, at the bar. Hungry and thirsty...

tempting..

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I will be at the bar at Bebo tomorrow night at 8:00PM. I dare anyone to find a better pizza in the D. C. area than what I will order then. Show up and tell me that what I order is not the best in America. Not Two Amy's, not Comet, Not Paradiso but America! 8:00PM. And, yes, Roberto will be in the kitchen. And, I, at the bar. Hungry and thirsty...

Biscuit Girl and I are in. Look forward to meeting you, Joe.

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I dare anyone to find a better pizza in the D. C. area than what I will order then. Show up and tell me that what I order is not the best in America.

Ummm...that doesn't sound pompous. Enjoy your pizza...and relax a bit. Food is meant to be enjoyed and bring a smile to your face...not a scowl. :angry:

Enjoy the pizza you enjoy and recommend your favorite place to others. This (or any other BEST debate) should not be about throwing down a gauntlet to say that your palate is greater than everyone else's. That just sounds ridiculous.

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Five of us shared six pizzas at Bebo last night. For myself Roberto confirmed my belief that he is making the best pizza in America and equal to what I have had-in its own way-at Brandi, da Michele and Trianon in Naples as well as Pepe's, Sally's and Modern in New Haven. The two best pizzas of the six we all agreed were smoked mozz, ricotta, tomato sauce and garlic along with a proscuitto and fresh mushroom pie. We asked Roberto to make a pizza that was "his choice" and we were served a remarkable and unusual bleu cheese with olives and ? I forget the several other ingredients but for the first time I truly believe that bleu cheese and pizza can coexist on a single plate. There was some variance in the crust from the various pies but overall, I thought with the exception of the smoked mozz, the other five were very consistent. I've long thought that Pepe's has the best crust in America. Last night Roberto approached theirs' with several of his. What puts him over the top is flavor: the smoked mozz was almost hauntingly, intensely delicious. Its flavor, like some wine, lasted in my mouth for seconds. Truly a sublime new dimension for what otherwise is a simple tomato and cheese pie. I cannot urge those reading this enough to try this pie: it is, simply, one of the great pies of the world. And, it is here in the D. C. area. I, and others, also thought the proscuitto and fresh mushroom was exceptional.

For anyone who feels that New Haven and perhaps Trenton are the closest outposts for great tomato pie I would direct you to Crystal City and Bebo. I strongly urge you to start with these two pies. Again, for myself, it is not just that Bebo is serving pizza better than Two Amy's, Comet or even American Flatbread (especially the one in Burlington). I continue to emphatically believe that he is in league with any pizzaria in the world.

Thank you, Roberto!

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Five of us shared six pizzas at Bebo last night. For myself Roberto confirmed my belief that he is making the best pizza in America and equal to what I have had-in its own way-at Brandi, da Michele and Trianon in Naples as well as Pepe's, Sally's and Modern in New Haven. The two best pizzas of the six we all agreed were smoked mozz, ricotta, tomato sauce and garlic along with a proscuitto and fresh mushroom pie.

Not to dispute your experience last night, but I would like to point out that the experiment Don and I conducted was based on the plain mozzarella and tomato. I do think that additional toppings can certainly add to one's experience. Might also help that he knew you were going to be there =D.

I strongly believe that so much has to do with the abilities of the fornaio, and perhaps we really missed out on something without Roberto there to man the oven. But at the same time, so much of a spot's ability to do pizza well is for the other fornaio to be well-trained enough that the pizza is consistently good. I revisited Comet last night and again had a well-cooked pizza and crust, even without Carole there. I actually saw TWO pizza crusts, because they accidentally gave me the wrong one initially =D (though the service I received from the bartender totally made it up from it). I would also say that even with Edan McQuaid at RedRocks they've figured out how to get it right and consistent.

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I revisited Comet last night and again had a well-cooked pizza and crust, even without Carole there.

Should have said hello; I was next door at Buck's (and Carole was there, and it was awesome).

Also I need to emphasize that despite the "unfortunate" pizza we had at Bebo, I think the pizza that Roberto made for me and Mark Slater (and yes, he's friends with Mark and yes, he knew we were there) was right up there with the best pizzas I've ever eaten, maybe as good as the one I had at Pizzeria Bianco but there's no way to remember. I'm certain that even if it was just a tomato and cheese, it would have been fantastic.

Interestingly and coincidentally, the October Washingtonian has an extensive article on "Pizza Wars," comparing and contrasting the best pizzas in the area. It's a fun read, was thoroughly researched, and it's worth buying the magazine for. (And Dave McIntyre continues to do a fine job as their wine columnist, I will add.)

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Not to dispute your experience last night, but I would like to point out that the experiment Don and I conducted was based on the plain mozzarella and tomato. I do think that additional toppings can certainly add to one's experience. Might also help that he knew you were going to be there =D.

I strongly believe that so much has to do with the abilities of the fornaio, and perhaps we really missed out on something without Roberto there to man the oven. But at the same time, so much of a spot's ability to do pizza well is for the other fornaio to be well-trained enough that the pizza is consistently good. I revisited Comet last night and again had a well-cooked pizza and crust, even without Carole there. I actually saw TWO pizza crusts, because they accidentally gave me the wrong one initially =D (though the service I received from the bartender totally made it up from it). I would also say that even with Edan McQuaid at RedRocks they've figured out how to get it right and consistent.

Plain mozz and tomato was one of the six pies. One of his pizza makers IS from Napoli. He is not the only one at Bebo who knows how to bake a pie. Simply, having eaten pizza literally all over the world for decades, I honestly believe that the pizza that Roberto and his staff are serving is the equal of any that I have had anywhere. Saturday was not an experiment for me-I was hungry and wanted to eat pizza. A lot of pizza, a lot of different pizza. And, we did.

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The dough for either the lunch or dinner service does get refrigerated - and I heard that from the man himself. I'll check my notes and confirm which one.

ETA: it's the dinner service, according to what I wrote back then. They make a large amount earlier, because they can't afford to run out of dough in the evening.

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Joe, how does the pizza at Bebo compare to Cafe Pizzaiola? I'd be curious to hear what you think about the positives and negatives of each. Of course, keeping in mind that there is a great bit of difference between the NY-centric specialty of Pizzaiola and the Naples-centric speciality of Bebo. I'm pretty convinced that Crystal City (and not just Bebo) is the new nexus of pizza in the area.

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Joe, how does the pizza at Bebo compare to Cafe Pizzaiola? I'd be curious to hear what you think about the positives and negatives of each. Of course, keeping in mind that there is a great bit of difference between the NY-centric specialty of Pizzaiola and the Naples-centric speciality of Bebo. I'm pretty convinced that Crystal City (and not just Bebo) is the new nexus of pizza in the area.

still not convinced of this destinations praise :blink:

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For anyone who feels that New Haven and perhaps Trenton are the closest outposts for great tomato pie I would direct you to Crystal City and Bebo. I strongly urge you to start with these two pies. Again, for myself, it is not just that Bebo is serving pizza better than Two Amy's, Comet or even American Flatbread (especially the one in Burlington). I continue to emphatically believe that he is in league with any pizzaria in the world.

Thank you, Roberto!

Hi Don Rockwell people!

Been reading for a long time, but de-lurked because couldn't resist talking about pizza and truly sorry to have missed the pizza tasting at Bebo's. I am a big fan of Roberto Donna and have enjoyed Laboratorio and Bebo meals many times. However we're talking about pizza- which is a serious topic!

Bebo's pizza is easily in the top five pizza places in DC and on any given night, the rankings could switch amongst themselves.

However, comparing Bebo's to Pepe's & Sally's isn't fair to either. It's like comparing apples and oranges. They've been making pizza for over 70 years and it's shows, other places just simply can't compete. Remember in many ways, they helped create and define American style pizza.

Bebo's pizza clearly is good. However like any rookie pitcher pulled up to the major league, sometimes the ball doesn't make it over the plate. Give it time, a few years to settle in before comparing it to those other legendary places.

In pizza, it's got to be good no matter who is manning the oven, what night of the week it is, or who you know, i.e...consistency.

Cheers!

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Hi Don Rockwell people!

Been reading for a long time, but de-lurked because couldn't resist talking about pizza and truly sorry to have missed the pizza tasting at Bebo's. I am a big fan of Roberto Donna and have enjoyed Laboratorio and Bebo meals many times. However we're talking about pizza- which is a serious topic!

Bebo's pizza is easily in the top five pizza places in DC and on any given night, the rankings could switch amongst themselves.

However, comparing Bebo's to Pepe's & Sally's isn't fair to either. It's like comparing apples and oranges. They've been making pizza for over 70 years and it's shows, other places just simply can't compete. Remember in many ways, they helped create and define American style pizza.

Bebo's pizza clearly is good. However like any rookie pitcher pulled up to the major league, sometimes the ball doesn't make it over the plate. Give it time, a few years to settle in before comparing it to those other legendary places.

In pizza, it's got to be good no matter who is manning the oven, what night of the week it is, or who you know, i.e...consistency.

Cheers!

Words of Wisdom all around. Welcome Lion!

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Bebo's pizza is easily in the top five pizza places in DC and on any given night, the rankings could switch amongst themselves.

In pizza, it's got to be good no matter who is manning the oven, what night of the week it is, or who you know, i.e...consistency.

This got me thinking...is pizza just a tough thing to get consistently right? So many little things can go wrong. Give it a few extra seconds in an 800 degree oven, stretch the crust a 1/8 inch too thin, add just a little too much of anything...

I've had pizza at Comet that was sublime, and another that was a burned, oversalted cracker. One of our pizzas at Bebo was the great, the other just "eh." I haven't been to RedRocks yet (having lunch there today) or Pizzaiolo so I can't comment on their efforts, but I would assume its much the same as the other places - a question of timing, skill, experience, and a little luck.

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I should add that Pepe's uses coal fired ovens something not permitted in this area (I may be wrong). It's my understanding that this is a preferable method to wood for achieving and maintaining proper pizza temperature. Again, this is not an expert opinion.

I think this calls for an excursion to Perry Hall, MD. A DCist commenter wrote:

NYC expats who want their coal-fired pizza fix now have an option outside Baltimore. The Phat Pug Coal Fired Pizzeria, 8814A Bel Air Road, Perry Hall, MD is about an hour's drive from downtown DC. If you're down on the burnt crust tip, this is your only option outside New York.
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Joe, how does the pizza at Bebo compare to Cafe Pizzaiola? I'd be curious to hear what you think about the positives and negatives of each. Of course, keeping in mind that there is a great bit of difference between the NY-centric specialty of Pizzaiola and the Naples-centric speciality of Bebo. I'm pretty convinced that Crystal City (and not just Bebo) is the new nexus of pizza in the area.

I have not had Cafe Pizzaiola's pizza.

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Pizzaiola's NY pies are indeed some of the area's best just as Bebo's Neopolitan pies are among the best of that style. One note: Pizzaiola uses a conventional convection pizza oven but Chef Ponzi told me that he lined the oven with clay tiles to increase the heat and maintain higher cooking temps..this at least simulates the cola oven effect and produces a nice crisp and chewy crust.

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I finally tried American Flatbread tonight. Nice place, good pizza -- excellent choice for dinner if you're on your way to or from Dulles -- but, on this night at least, not in the same league as 2 Amys. (And definitely skip the brownie for dessert.)

I've now had pizza from six of the majors in the past few weeks. 2 Amys remains clearly supreme, I think -- and the pizzas aren't even the best things there on most nights (sometimes not one of the five best things there -- the ice cream; the rabbit; the goat cheeses; the meats; the panini; etc.). Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown has actually been pretty good for me the few times I've been there -- and the Atomica remains a singular fave. Tried Red Rocks once, on a night Edan MacQuaid wasn't there -- and I thought it was very good, almost in the 2 Amys class for crust; not quite the same level of quality toppings. I've had an excellent pizza at Comet -- and an execrable (way oversalted) one. I think we have a consensus that it's the least consistent of the frontrunners. And my pizza at Bebo (no, RD was not there) was horrible -- crust had no taste whatsoever, and arugula and onions on top were insipid. I do not doubt for a second that Roberto Donna can make a world-class pizza. He's great at so many other things, too. But the service and consistency at his restaurants -- i.e., everything over which he does not have immediate, personal control -- is laughable (as in, I actually laughed because I thought the staff was trying to outdo its bottom-dwelling reputation). When he's hands' on -- Laboratorio, the Galileo lunch sandwiches, pizza for Joe -- there may be none better. But what are the odds you'll be so lucky at Bebo?

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But what are the odds you'll be so lucky at Bebo?

Exactly. I don't eat out more than a few times a month, so consistency is definitely much more important to me than upside.

It sounds like Bebo (or Comet) has the potential to be the best on any given night, but if they are as hit or miss as some of you have described, I'd rather take the safer option. Which, in my experience, has been 2 Amys. Does the pizza there ever "blow me away"? No, but I don't think I've ever been remotely disappointed with my meals there either.

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Older son home on break, we did our bit for the pizza wars. Did not stick with simple tomato, bread and cheese, so the following is for what it's worth. We are ranking on the entire experience, not just the pizza.

Ranking:

Two Amy's

Bebo's

American Flatbread

Comet Ping Pong

Comet Ping Pong's smoked mozz, smoked mushroom, smoked bacon pizza toppings superb, satisfying, the crust texture was good but no flavor. The pepperoni, peppers and sausage was so hot that I could taste nothing but red pepper. The industrialized interior was too hard, too cold, with sounds bouncing off metal and concrete. Green bean and chick pea salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil is a happy combination.

American Flatbread is very sincere, and the waitstaff is very earnest. Decent beer selection. Tomato sauce a mite too sweet and the flatbread had little flavor. The salad with the sesame seeds is very tasty.

Bebo's bread has complex flavor and the tomato sauce is superb. Our service was very attentive and skillful. But the toppings were sparse, and the pizza did not satisfy. Italian beer, well, the Italians are not known for their beer.

Two Amy's. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. The bread itself has a lot of flavor, and the sweet wood smoke adds to it. Comfortable surroundings and the little dishes are a big plus. I had fresh sardines and roasted olives, which put right me with the world.

Bebo's is the closest to where we live, and we like the rest of the menu, so we'll definitely go back, but not for the pizza.

American Flatbread and Comet Ping Pong strike me as places which are great to have in your neighborhood, but not worth the trip, which, for us, is about an hour each way.

Two Amy's is worth the trip.

JMHO

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I usually pick 2Amys because it's close to my house, and the lady ended up there this weekend after we discovered that Comet is not open for lunch (boo-urns).

However, though I'm usually quite satisfied with the pizza there, this Saturday's was dissapointing. I decided to get the margherita as usual, but opted for the addition of mushrooms and olives. Though taste-wise, I enjoying it quite a bit, the pizza (which I asked for well-done), was quite soggy in the center just being floppy as a whole. Either I just noticed it this time or something was off.

Still, 2Amys convenience factor can't be beat, nor can the small plates.

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