I recently returned from a road trip to the Midwest during which I visited seven different pizza places. I had the opportunity to expand my pizza horizons, trying a variety of different pizza styles and topping combinations. Some were excellent… and others… not so much. But by the time the excursion was over, I felt confident that I’d gained a solid understanding of the pizza landscape in a number of new places.
There were a couple of pizza places to which I designated “must visit” status during our trip planning sessions; one of those places was We, The Pizza which was opened in Washington, DC by Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn. Although only in business for three weeks, I had extremely high expectations for the pizza there… expectations that were, perhaps, unfounded.
You see — We, The Pizza is situated next to Mendelsohn’s other spot: Good Stuff Eatery. I’ve been having a love affair with the burger they serve ever since I tried it last summer. In college, I studied the notion of spontaneous trait transference in which one might mistakenly make assumptions about one person based on information they’ve gathered about a similar person. This is essentially what I did with Mendelsohn’s food. Because the burger at Good Stuff Eatery is so mouth-wateringly amazing, I inferred that I’d have a similar reaction to the slices at We, The Pizza. Not quite…
Everything I ate at We, The Pizza was delicious. But unlike Good Stuff Eatery, it wasn’t a transformative experience. I wouldn’t send someone out of their way to eat there. But it could very well be the best pizza in the area. The pizza scene in DC is growing quickly, and Mendelsohn has certainly put his stamp on it.
Anyone that has been to Good Stuff Eatery will notice a similar layout and design upon entering We, The Pizza. Orders are placed at a counter and walls are covered in catchy signage, while black, white, and red are the predominant colors used in the space. I got to meet Mendelsohn (more on that later) and he told me about how much effort went into the brand of the restaurant. He hopes to one day open more locations, so it was important to create a captivating logo and set up the space in way that can be easily recreated.
As far as the pizza itself — I tried six slices. You can order a whole pie (a medium pie with six slices is $16.00 and a large pie with 8 slices is $18.00) or maximize your options by ordering slices. All slices are $4.00 other than a simple cheese slice ($3.00). Right now, there are ten slices on the menu in addition to a couple of “Cast Iron Pies.” Here’s what I ate:
(wild forest mushrooms, truffles, mozz, fresh thyme)
Spinach & Artichoke
(béchamel, sautéed spinach and roasted chokes,
aged provolone, Parmesan cheese)
(chunky tomato sauce, mozz, fresh basil)
(ricotta, fontina, roasted garlic, Parmesan,
mozz, sea salt, olive oil, parsley)
Fresh Buffalo Mozz & Roasted Tomato
(fresh mozz, oven-roasted tomatoes,
tomato sauce, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil)
It’s worth nothing that so far most reviews on Yelp have been poor (53 reviews have garnered a total rating of just 2.5 stars). One reviewer writes: There are just so many problems with the layout and ordering system that i can’t go back anytime soon. While another notes: The pizza was atrocious. If I wanted Sbarro’s, I would have gone to the mall, and maybe back in time 20 years. But after opening such a delish burger/shake joint, how can you serve such garbage?