By Rachel Morrison
My love for pizza runs deep. Despite being a native New Yorker, I don’t have a favorite type. To me, the perfect slice is not just about the food but also the place where it’s served and the people who are there to enjoy it with you.
Nearly a decade ago, I challenged myself to find the best pizza in the DMV and include as many friends as possible. To keep people in the loop, I set up a Tumblr account to record my thoughts. What started as a casual excuse to break up the work week eventually led to more than 70 pizzeria visits and reviews over the course of one year, each time with friends in tow.
Now I’m an Alexandria resident and my quest to find the perfect pizza continues.
To me, the perfect slice of pizza is all about balance. The sauce, cheese and top- pings should be an even ratio, one without overpowering the other, while the crust, whether it is thin or deep dish should align evenly with whatever you choose to have on top. I think it’s easy to find balance in all types, whether you fancy a Chicago-style or Neapolitan.
Food always tastes better when the experience is enjoyable. Adding a “family style” setting when devouring the pies only makes the experience that much better.
With real estate as my full time gig, it’s easy to come across new locations in my line of work, and luckily for us, Alexandria has tons of great pizza options.
My friends are back too, visiting pizzerias with me and scoring them on a 5-level scale based on cheese, crust, toppings, and location which includes price, uniqueness, cleanliness, and other factors.
To keep things somewhat scientific we always order a “control” pizza (usually cheese or margherita), to set the standard across the board. We also rate the restaurants’ specialty pies. Upon completion of each event, participants are provided a link to provide their scores and comments and the official rating is posted on my Instagram page within a week.
Pie Me to the Moon Part Two had its official launch this past June with a tasting at a hometown favorite, Red Rocks in Old Town.
Red Rocks set a high bar. Below is an excerpt from our review:
“This was the first stop of the year and the people, place and of course the pizza, did not disappoint. First and foremost, we have to give huge kudos to the staff. They were friendly and efficient and made it a breeze to host more than 30 people in their downstairs bar area. Overall consensus? Order the specialty pizzas (mushroom pizza for the win) and throw an order of garlic knots in there. You won’t be disappointed.”
While 2014 brought us to Alexandria favorites such as Valentino’s, Del Ray Pizzeria and Café Pizzaiolo, this round of pizza tasting adds in some entirely new places to check out. In the next few months, we plan to visit Andy’s, Stracci, Frank Pepe’s and Emmy Squared, with more Alexandria pizzeria locations to be added into 2024.
We look forward to review- ing as many as possible and highlighting Alexandria favorites along the way.