Friday, September 9, 2011

Potato and Pesto Pizza

I have to get used to this. This whole new geographic location thing. After being here for over a year, I am still amazed that there are STATES close by! And CITIES. Big cities: like DC and Baltimore. Oh! and beaches and malls and theaters. I am not knocking Michigan, because we're close to some pretty wonderful places as well. I mean, Chicago - hello! But let's face it, Michiganians, you don't hear people in DC saying, "I'm off to Lansing this weekend."

For the Memorial Day holiday a friend asked if I'd like to go to DC. A completely impromptu trip to DC for an evening of shopping and nibbling. I was in. I mean, how could I turn down the chance to snag another cupcake from Baked and Wired?

Three hours later (traffic was a beast), we were in Georgetown. I love this place, I have to say. Being from Michigan means I'm allowed to love all places in the Mid Atlantic - I know there are rivalries between the cities, but I'm not sure who's involved or the details. I just enjoy myself. I love Georgetown's quaint cobblestone streets, the youthfulness of hopping along and trying not to get stuck behind a mob of high schoolers. I love the shops, all tucked away and housed in antique buildings. M street has a good mix of nice dining options, retailers, and places to rejuvenate and grab a quick snack.

For dinner we revisited a favorite of mine - Pizzeria Paradiso. I was first introduced to this place when I visited a friend who was working in the Smithsonian a couple years ago. The place is always busy and you're lucky if you don't have to wait a half hour for a seat. Tip from me: sit on the top level - the basement is kind of...well, they didn't take as much care in creating the same homey atmosphere down there. There is a huge pizza firing area and you can even eat and watch if you'd like. The menu is pretty short, but you can choose from a few pre-designed pizza options, or invent your own. There is a certain boldness factor when a restaurant has a short menu - it puts on the pressure to stand by their food and make it perfect every time.

I wasn't in the mood for a gooey, cheesy pizza. It was a little humid outside and I'd just had a Caramel Frappechino (hehe). So when I saw the Pizza Genovese, I knew I had to have it. They cover the crust with pesto, thinly sliced potatoes, and sprinkle on some really powerful Parmesan right at the end. The crust is amazing - nice and fluffy on the inside, super crispy on the outside. Perfect for dunking in a good olive oil (which they keep on the table as well). I'll admit, I've always had an aversion to potatoes on pizza because of the double dose of carbs, but the crust was so thin, I didn't feel bad about eating this. I think I'd like to try and make it at home because it was so simple and I might add some fresh basil to the top (I did this with my leftovers and really liked the punch of flavor).

Next time I go to DC, I'd like to find another place to eat - maybe a Thai restaurant. Because as much as I love the variety in RVA, I can't seem to find a Thai place I like. I'm open to suggestions, of course!

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