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Eating Through the DC area: holes, dives and joints

I love to cook and love to eat. Love innovative dishes, especially healthy ones. Live in Arlington, VA, so I eat there and in DC all the time. Also love my former hometown, Ann Arbor, and it’s super eateries too! Read my food blog,


La Creperie

 1201 S Joyce St
Arlington, VA

Take La Crepe

Last weekend when Julia and I were tottering around the trendy Pentagon City retail area known as Pentagon Row, we were drawn in my a little French restaurant called La Creperie. Being crepe fans and not often running into cool-sounding crepe places, we decided to head inside and make an early dinner out of crepes.

Though small and potentially lost among the myriad shops and eateries in the vicinity, La Creperie seemed quite popular yet efficient, with a grand total of two people serving perfectly as host, wait staff and bus-staff. The menu was equipped with a variety of French comfort foods including omelettes, soups, sandwiches on croissant and a bevy of sweet and savory crepes. We noticed a rustic potato gratin, a sweet crepe with crème de menthe, vanilla ice cream and walnuts and a savory crepe based on ratatouille. Additionally there were some classically known crepes like Nutella/banana and ham/cheese. Plus, the menu offered a nice value, with the crepes only running about $9.

We decided, that after walking around the chilly outdoors for over an hour, to start with some soup. Julia tried some tomato and I, some French onion. They were very nicely done for a starter, in little crocks – just enough to be an above average cup but not nearly a bowl. The tomato was very tasty without being too creamy – subtle and elegant. It had the rustic taste of well, real tomato, which is not always a given with tomato soups. The French onion was a little different than most, with a lighter, herbier broth rather than the beefy, richly onion broth I am accustomed to. It was a nice taste though, with a hearty amount of actual onion. This helped make it a more delicate soup where the onions themselves were providing the soup’s flavor rather than the broth. The customary cheese layer was not egregious and didn’t even have the crouton layer than many versions have. This was appreciated, at least in this case, where an extra thick layer of salty cheese and bread could have overwhelmed the nature of the soup. In all, both soups were tasty and intriguing opening bites.

The main story though were the crepes. We decided on savory crepes, with Julia ordering a spinach and brie crepe with an herb pesto, and I sampling the bacon and cheese crepe with tomato sauce. Julia’s crepe was very tasty, as expected. I almost ordered that one myself. It was actually pretty heavy on the spinach, with the cheese more of an accompanying flavor and the pesto just squirted on top. The crepes themselves were nice and big, with that light chewiness I look for when I eat a crepe. It has to have enough body to hold and stand up to the ingredients within and be a component itself, and this crepe did its job well.

My crepe was also tasty. You can’t really go wrong with a meat and cheese crepe. It had plenty of nice, smoky bacon in it, except it was all in bits. This kind of made it like sausage consistency, which would be fine, except that in a crepe that aspect causes the bacon to fall out of the crepe every time you cut a piece. This one was also a bit light on the cheese and the tomato sauce (squirted atop) so those elements weren’t able to hold the bacon inside the crepe any more proficiently. I think a little more tomato sauce to add more flavor contrast, larger pieces of bacon for ease of eating and a more noticeable variety and/or amount of cheese would have added to both the depth of flavor as well as the ease of consumption. With a crepe, you want it to be a delicate treat to savor, but when you’re chasing bacon bits around your plate it’s a little harder to savor.

In all, both soups and both crepes were tasty, if not perfect, the service was quick and friendly and the atmosphere cozy and inviting. All that plus the intrigue of some of the other menu items likely means that the two of us will be heading back to La Creperie soon and maybe often. Sometimes one of our PLACES need not be absolutely perfect, but more so pleasing to the five or ten or twenty senses that keep us thinking about that place long after our final bite of crepe. This place has that charm so far – the rest will remain to be seen.

Check out reviews of this and other restaurants as well as my recipes at

Tomato Soup


French Onion Soup at La Creperie

French Onion Soup


Spinach and Brie Crepe with Herb Pesto at La Creperie

Spinach and Brie Crepe with Herb Pesto


Bacon and Cheese Crepe with Tomato Sauce at La Creperie

Bacon and Cheese Crepe with Tomato Sauce



Harar Mesob

 542 23rd St S
Arlington, VA

WAT's so good about Ethiopian?

Whether or not you’re in the DC/NoVA area, you should definitely try out an Ethiopian restaurant. If you are in the area, then you can try out Ethiopian at a very impressive little joint in Crystal City: Harar Mesob. It is located in the block of 23rd and Eads in Crystal City (Arlington neighborhood) known to some as Restaurant Row. It is an eclectic strip of good quality neighborhood restaurants, and Mesob really adds to both the character and the quality of the area.

Julia introduced traditional Ethiopian cuisine to me over four years ago, something that she and her family had been enjoying in Ann Arbor for many years, at a place called Blue Nile. Ethiopian is very vegetarian-friendly, which was great for them, as vegetable dishes hold nearly if not a higher regard than meat dishes in that cuisine. Now that I have been eating Ethiopian for quite a while, I would definitely be missing one of my favorite cultural cuisines if I had not been introduced.

The key to Ethiopian, if you’re unfamiliar, is the plate and the utensils. They are one and the same — a flat, yet pillowy bread called injera. It is very simple, with a slight tang and is very often made with whole wheat flours. The food is served either family style or individually on a large tray or basket covered in injera. Simultaneously, you are served more injera on the side, which you literally use instead of a fork or spoon to scoop up and eat the various items on the injera-covered plate or basket. I found that Harar Mesob had one of the moistest and most “whole-wheaty” injeras that I have tried, which was very enjoyable. It makes for some pretty fun eating, but incredibly tasty as well.

What makes this relatively plain bread such a tasty messenger? It’s all in the wat! The what? The wat! Yes, that is the name of the different stew-like morsels of food that are served up atop the injera. The vegetable offerings found at Harar Mesob include spicy red lentils, mild yellow lentils, succulent collard greens, flavorful cabbage, a little potato salad, a cool, tangy tomato-onion-jalapeño-vinaigrette salad and various others. They are all very rich in spices and flavors and not rich due to excessive fat in their base. That’s what I love about Ethiopian cuisine, and Harar Mesob does it exquisitely.

I didn’t even get around to mentioning the meat wat yet. At Mesob, lean chunks of beef or lamb are used in most of the dishes. While several have clarified butter or vegetable oil in the base, many of them are simply sautéed in an amazing spice blend along with some jalapeño, garlic and onion. The meat sampler includes a chicken dish, called doro wat which is Ethiopia’s national dish. It is spicy and has chicken on the bone, stewed with a red sauce, and with a peeled hard boiled egg. It is quite a departure from a normal Ethiopian wat, which all seem a bit simpler, but is really quite a treat. All of the meat wat are filled with tenderness and flavor and really are to-die-for.

At a small price of $9-$14 for an absolutely filling portion of food, Harar Mesob not only does Ethiopian extraordinarily well, but quite affordably, cozily and pretty healthily. Not bad in my book. Maybe that’s why we walk up there at least once every couple weeks for dinner – probably the best endorsement I can give a place.

So in case you’re still in the dark about Ethiopian food and its finger-licking goodness, head to Harar Mesob, tear yourself off a piece of injera, scoop up some wat and eat it all in one bite. You will enjoy it immensely, and you won’t stop thinking about it. I sure can’t!

Read this and other reviews as well as my recipes at


Cafe Asia - DC

 1720 I St NW
Washington, DC

Second Review: Sticky Situation

Adversity is something that all restaurants face by nature, sometimes more so than others. Restaurants’ customers can have issues with just about anything, there is a strict health code that needs to be followed at all times, plus the industry is just tough to compete in. That is why excellent customer service at an eatery is a unique accent to a restaurant that helps it stand out in my mind. The rare times that I actually have a problem with my experience at a restaurant, action above and beyond the typical service expectations for a restaurant can quickly make me forgive and forget.

Like the other day.

Café Asia is a restaurant I really like. It’s a place I happily go for lunch or dinner to get sushi, plus I love their Happy Hour. So it was a bit disheartening when there was an issue with the sushi I ordered there recently. It wasn’t really their fault, as it could happen to any fish in any sushi restaurant and maybe it was just a rough day for an otherwise consistent joint, but let’s just say it was a little unsettling. Their reputation was suddenly on the ropes for me.

As I beckoned to the first waiter I saw, I relayed the information to him and he promptly imparted me a stony look of understanding and removed my untouched plate. After some time he came back and apologized, indicating that he had made sure that it was taken care of and was taking over our table. He offered to bring me a new plate of sushi or to bring me a cooked entree and then assured me that this type of thing had not happened before to his knowledge. At this point I wanted sushi and I wanted to complete my investigation, so I asked him for the sushi. He brought it, and it appeared he had brought me the best whitefish and tuna that they had. And upon noticing the sheer size and quality of the sushi, I ate the best plate of nigiri I have ever had at Cafe Asia. Nice bounce back for them.

But it gets better. After apologizing another ten-ish times, comping us the whitefish nigiri, bringing a dessert “on him” and taking another twenty percent off the entire bill, I wasn’t even that upset when I left. I actually felt better about Café Asia.

One of my biggest fears is having a fish-related problem at a restaurant because I love sushi so much. I’ve heard that once you have a bad fish experience, there is no turning back. That is why I tend to only eat sushi at reputable places. To think that Café Asia was heading down that road but used impeccable customer service to even improve my opinion of their restaurant speaks more wonder about their restaurant than any great dish. There will be a next time at Café Asia for me, and I recommend that there be a next time for you too.

Read reviews for this and other restaurants plus my own recipes at my blog,


Tortilla Coast

 400 1st St Se
Washington, DC

Tortilla Roast

Just kidding, but wouldn’t that be a classic title for a horrible and sarcastic review of a restaurant near the Capitol South metro station whose name is Tortilla Coast? (He grins widely to himself.) Luckily for Tortilla Coast, I quite enjoyed their place. It was a convenient one-metro-stop ride from Eastern Market, and the service was fast enough that Julia and I were able to enjoy a post-market lunch with friends Kate and Francisco without worry that our wares would spoil pre-fridge.

This place came highly recommended from none other than our market/lunch buddies themselves. This is one of their favorite places in DC for Mexican. However, Kate had me at hello, well actually barbecued chicken. As soon as I heard that they made quesadillas (and burritos and fajitas) with barbecued chicken, I was hooked to the idea of trying this place. Even if the rest of the menu was fairly mundane Mexican (which it was), I knew there would be at least a few items that were creative and intriguing and definitely order-worthy. I just had to try that barbecued chicken.

The place had a nice game-day/group gathering feel, which was good since it allowed me to catch the closest and most interesting part of the OSU trouncing of my Michigan boys without it being too loud to enjoy a conversation with my table. They had quite a few different beers and drinks and good chips and salsa too. But I might as well fast forward to the inevitable – my order of the barbecued chicken quesadilla.

What arrived looked like any other good quesadilla – crispy, flaky tortilla; cut into triangles; a little ooze; a little oil evidence (this one perhaps a little above average on the oil). But on further examination, there was the beautiful sight of the contents – cheese, chicken, barbecue sauce, red peppers. Even despite the oil, this was a treat to remember. It was that combination of smoky, tangy, salty, savory, spicy and just a slight bit of sweet that leaves you feeling wholly satisfied. The best part was probably the smokiness of the barbecue sauce – it had a lot of depth and wasn’t too sweet like some BBQ sauces can be. It just sort of melted in my mouth, so much more so than a traditional quesadilla, which I will rarely if ever order. This one was killer, no doubt about it. And that’s probably the reason why both Tortilla Coast veterans at my table went straight for the barbecued chicken selections as well.

There is nothing really left to say about Tortilla Coast. A pretty good place with a little niche that is probably just unique enough and darn delicious enough to get me remembering it and returning. Probably even good enough for me to rename this review, Tortilla Boast.

Nah. Just not as funny.

Read my reviews in more detail and other foodie articles at

Barbecue Chicken Quesadilla at Tortilla Coast

Barbecue Chicken Quesadilla


Chips and Salsa



Bottom Line Saloon

 1716 I St Nw
Washington, DC

Ten From Bottom

It’s hard to imagine going to a place enough times in five months to have had ten distinct dishes there. But then again, if a little lunchy pub with pretty decent, not-too-expensive food was around the corner from your work, making for a perfect Friday sit-down lunch spot for a group of you and your coworkers, then I’m sure you would have a much easier time believing that ten dishes is possible. And it is, at least at The Bottom Line near Eye Street and 17th Street NW in DC.

Soups, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, quesadillas, plates. Very lunchy. Very standard. Very dimly lit. But it has a unique charm and quality about it for its price that apparently keeps drawing me and my coworkers back on many Fridays. So now that you get the gist, without any further adieu, let’s see if I can really get to ten.

1. Cheddar Burger: Their burgers are what they are known for, and I can’t disagree. They’re a bit awkward, as they are served on wide hot dog buns and thus shaped a little oblongly, but I think that actually gets you more burger. Plus, it’s a great burger – always cooked to perfection with flavor and succulence. The mass of cheddar cheese they put on top, along with the standard burger toppings, makes this an awesome midday treat every so often.

2. Chalatenango Burger: They have about fifteen great burgers, but this is one of the more unique ones. It’s the same great cheddar burger but with jalapenos and salsa on top. It sounds like a bit much at first, but it’s not overwhelming and actually has a great flavor. The salt and spice really make it memorable for a burger.

3. Veggie Burger: Julia really likes their veggie burger, I think mostly because it’s actually not a frozen one, a rare thing to find. They say it is made out of oats, brown rice and mushrooms, so that itself is interesting. It always looks very pretty, with a single slice of Provolone cheese melted over the top. I tried a couple bites, and for a veggie burger, is actually quite nice.

4. Roast Turkey Sandwich: Bottom Line’s deli sandwiches leave much to be desired. The only one I ever ordered was supposedly roasted turkey on rye. It was actually bland, lunchmeat style turkey on the least rye-like, most Wonderbread-like pieces of bread I have had in quite sometime. Enough said. Not impressive.

5. French Onion Soup: I think I had seen every single one of my coworkers order this soup at least twice before I finally ordered it myself. It’s Bottom Line’s house soup, and I am a huge French onion soup fan, so it was only a matter of time. The soup itself was pretty tasty, but not nearly as rich and hearty and deep-flavored as other great onion soups. The other problem was it was shrouded in an obscenely thick layer of cheese. I am all about cheese and croutons on the French onion soup but this was pushing it towards more cheese than soup. Plus, it wasn’t an interesting French cheese like gruyere or fontina. I swear it was mozzarella.

6. Chicken and Almond Salad: Bottom Line actually has a fair amount of things that try to be healthy on the “lighter fare” section of the menu. The fact that that section contains the aforementioned French Onion Soup and Half A Sandwich makes me seriously wonder though. One of the healthiest items is actually not on that menu, but is the chicken and almond salad. It is hunks of barbecued chicken breast over salad with almonds, mandarin oranges, a little hard-boiled egg and tomatoes. With a light oil and vinegar, the salad was tasty, fresh and loaded with healthy components. A real winner for me.

7. Buffalo Chicken Sandwich: The grilled chicken sandwiches at Bottom Line seem to be quite popular. I bought into it once and ordered the Buffalo sandwich, a Buffalo-flavored grilled breast with some bleu cheese and Buffalo sauce. While it kind of tasted like Buffalo, it seemed a little forced. The flavor was pretty ordinary and the sandwich itself was a bit on the anemic side. The chicken was only like a quarter inch thick tops.

8. Cobb Salad: A pretty standard Cobb, how could they really go wrong? Well they didn’t except for forgetting my bleu cheese, which is kind of crucial to a Cobb. It did have nice thick pieces of bacon and avocado and egg and a nice light dressing that made the salad enjoyable and not too heavy. The bleu would have been nice, but I suppose it made the salad a little healthier that they forgot and it was still tasty.

9. Mexican Wrap: My coworkers are also quite fond of the Bottom Line quesadillas, although I have never actually ordered one myself. I did try from their Mexican-inspired section, a Mexican wrap sandwich. It kind of had all the elements of a burrito, but in a wrap – grilled chicken, cheese, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. I guess that’s it, but in retrospect that sounds only mildly Mexican or burrito-like. In truth it could have been a really good sandwich, but the cheese was shredded and unmelted, which gave it kind of a chalkiness, and the chicken was over-marinated in some sort of vinaigrette, which really took away from the Mexican mentality of this wrap. Not horrible by any means, but frankly I could do better.

10. Blackened Tuna Steak Sandwich: I was a little surprised when I saw this on their menu, but when I asked the waiter, he said the sandwich was great blackened or grilled and that the tuna was fresh and high grade. So I ordered the sandwich medium rare and they cooked it to perfection, with a great blackened spice crust on the outside and the perfect pink in the middle. For only $10, this was quite a bargain, in my opinion, for one of the better fish sandwiches I have had in a while, and probably one of the better pieces of tuna I’ve had in a while.

Check out my reviews of this and other places as well as my own recipes at!

Roast Turkey Sandwich








Mexican Wrap



They have great fries. Thin, crispy but well-seasoned. Well worth, well, the fried aspect.

Blackened Tuna Steak Sandwich


Cheddar Burger




Chalatenango Burger


Veggie Burger



Vegetate (CLOSED)

 1414 9th St NW
Washington, DC

Go Vegetate!

It may have taken a few months, but we finally discovered DC’s vegetarian restaurant, Vegetate. I suppose there might be others, but this one has the appeal of actually attempting to be upscale and vegetarian simultaneously. A rare and difficult combination. Sometimes those crowds aren’t quite looking for the same things in a restaurant, so a nice veggie joint has to wow the fine diners without the luxury of meat, or convince enough vegetarians that there is such a thing as a $17 vegetarian entree at a restaurant.

Vegetate starts working to rack up your bill with wine, cocktails and the cocktail pairing menu that they call the “bites” menu. Kind of like pre-appetizers. They also encourage you to patronize several “small plates” and a “large plate,” just like any restaurant but with a slightly larger focus on appetizers. That’s how they get you to spend over $30 on a vegetarian meal. Clever. But was it worth it?

We decided to get drinks but skip “bites,” since they were priced very closely to the supposedly larger “small plates.” After glancing at the risotto fritters, fancy grilled cheese and veggie sliders on the next table, I realized that the portions were fairly generous and perhaps we misjudged, at least for the sake of carbs.

We did order two of the better looking “small plates,” which were more interesting but only somewhat larger than the “bites.” The first was a turnip gratin in a romesco sauce with gouda cheese. It was very tasty. There was not an overwhelming amount of cheese, just enough to add a little saltiness, nuttiness and texture to the gratin. The romesco was the key, with its mustard adding a lot of character and depth of flavor to the turnips. The turnips themselves didn’t have a ton of independent flavor but added consistency and heartiness to the dish, beyond just being a sauce and cheese agent. We also ordered another “small plate” of wild mushrooms and cider-braised cabbage with a poached egg and toast. It was quite a novel dish and had an amazing combination of flavors. I especially liked how the perfect soft-poached egg interplayed with the tanginess of the cabbage.

For dinner, Julia ordered the vegetable risotto with truffle oil and cashew cream. It was filled broccoli and a few other vegetables and had a lovely creamy and deep flavor in the risotto. I couldn’t taste the cashew itself but Julia said she could. Julia’s dad and I each ordered the BBQ seitan, a housemade meat replacement, which was actually quite impressive. It was made out of wheat, but actually had the consistency and flavor of a pork tenderloin. It was pretty impressive – I actually had to use a steak knife to cut it. Plus, the BBQ sauce was very tangy and delicious, and it came with superb mashed sweet potatoes and some sautéed greens. It was incredibly unique and just fun and tasty to eat. Oh and get this! Both entrees, despite mashed potatoes in mine and “cashew cream” in Julia’s, were completely vegan. Of course our appetizers were not vegan, but they were clearly marked as containing eggs/dairy.

With dinner, we also ordered two of their sides. The first was hand-cut chipotle fries with scallions. They were tasty but did not have too much noticeable chipotle flavor. The chipotle was the reason we ordered them, so it was a little bit of a letdown. We also ordered some terrific Brussels sprouts though, and I’m not usually even a Brussels sprouts fan. They had a very flavorful broth over them and were tender and wonderful. I would definitely get those again.

Lastly, we had dessert. We were running out to a comedy show, so we ordered and ate quickly. The first was a raspberry mascarpone ice cream that was house made. It was very creamy, but it was not apparent what made it so mascarpone-y. The other was an awesome dark chocolate ganache with sesame seeds, lemongrass syrup and basil. You’re like, “wait! What?” But I’m serious. It was like a big hunk of fudgy goodness with all of these interesting savory flavors that enhanced and sharpened the amazing taste that blossomed from each bite. It was really worth staying an extra few minutes to enjoy.

I think we will definitely be going back to Vegetate to continue to try some of their other veggie fare. Plus, it seems that their menu varies by season and ingredients that are available freshly and locally, so that’s always a plus too. The creativity and flavor running throughout the menu is the true winning point here, and should hopefully show diners and chefs alike that vegetarian food can and should be done well and done often.

Hand-cut chipotle fries with scallions


Brussels sprouts


Raspberry mascarpone ice cream


Dark chocolate ganache with sesame seeds, lemongrass syrup and basil


Turnip gratin in a romesco sauce with gouda cheese


Wild mushrooms and cider-braised cabbage with a poached egg and toast


Vegetable risotto with truffle oil and cashew cream


BBQ seitan



Ashley's Restaurant

 338 S State St
Ann Arbor, MI

A beer place (and a food place)

Ashley’s, located on State Street near North University in Ann Arbor, is a surprisingly good Irish pub with surprisingly good food. The surprising part is that although it is “Irish,” its selection of imported beers, ranging from high-quality Belgium beers to Irish to local Michigan microbreweries, is astonishingly vast and cheap. They have a book of beers (with extensive lists of wines, liquors and mixed drinks in the back) that has beer descriptions, a taste guide and even flights. It is a fun place to go, which is likely why it is packed to max most evenings and nights. I even enjoyed having dinner at Ashley’s sometimes – it was a little pubby of course, but they manage to sneak quite a few interesting (and even healthy) dishes on their menu. Nothing spectacular like the beers, but definitely worth eating at if you’re trying to decide.

Read this and other reviews as well as my own recipes at


LE Dog

 410 E Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI

Le Soup

Le Dog is a tiny little soup stand (think less glamorous than Seinfeld’s “soup Nazi”) located on Liberty Street in Ann Arbor near Thompson. It is only open several hours per day during lunch, but it has a line every minute that it’s open – in rain or shine or sleet. Yes, they do have hot dogs, and I have heard they are quite good, but this place is known for its out-of-this-world homemade soups. Rich, thick and comfortable, these soups are worth any wait. The portion is certainly large enough for lunch, especially with a huge hunk of Zingerman’s bread that comes with it. The selection changes daily and is always fresh, ranging from Turkey Chili to Minestrone to Squash with Bleu Cheese. I have heard there are over 70 soups that rotate through the window, and I believe it. The absolute best is the weekly offering of lobster bisque on Fridays. A thin, flavorful, slightly-spiked broth encompassing huge hunks of lobster meat. Oh yah baby, that kind of comfort is well worth the $6-7. As for soups in DC, they have yet to inspire me, although I did try an extra worldly pumpkin and chorizo soup at the Bread Line in DC last week (Pennsylvania near 18th) that might have me changing my tune soon.

Read this and other reviews as well as my own recipes at

Lobster Bisque

This soup draws people out of hibernation. I think I once got an entire claw in there. The broth is so rich-tasting, I could literally just mop it up with bread all day long. Every meal. SO mouth-wateringly good.


Pizza House

 618 Church St
Ann Arbor, MI

Food good, Place great

This one is not so much for the pizza, although the pizza is actually very good. It’s about the atmosphere. Pizza House (Church Street near South University) is that comfortable, campus place that everyone loves. It’s huge so you can almost always get a table for any party; it’s open and delivers until 4AM every night; it’s got a huge menu filled with pizzas, bar foods and a full bar, desserts, salads, sandwiches, their famous chapattis (huge fresh pita stuffed with salad) and even steaks and other dinner entrees; oh and it’s pretty darn cheap. The place is hopping in the middle of the day, the middle of the evening and the middle of the night, and we used to go there whenever we needed to just get out for a little comfort and relaxation. Whether it was meeting friends or just us, this was our little hangout for years, and it will take quite a lot for another place in a big city like DC to quite have all that it would take to be our next Pizza House.

Read this and other reviews as well as my own recipes at

Super Thin Crust Pizza

Like eating a boodle of cheese on a little cracker. Good for the carb-conscious but that’s about it. Not a big fan.

Thin Crust Pizza

Nice happy medium here between too crusty and too little crust. I believe this is one of the crusts that can be whole wheat, so that is a plus.

Traditional Crust Pizza

Love this one for its simplicity, speed with which they can get it to you, nice crunch and chew and the fact that you can get it whole wheat. I don’t recommend “wetter” toppings like fresh mozzarella or fresh tomatoes as it can kind of make the crust soggy.

Deep Dish Pizza

So deep and so crispy and flaky and good. Tons of cheese too with all that crust. Not something you want to eat every day (or every year), and we didn’t. If this came in whole wheat, I’d give it that 5th star.

Chicago Stuffed Deep Dish

Ok this one’s a bit much. Only ever got it a few times. They say it take 40 minutes to cook this gargantuan mass of sauce, cheese, topping and crust, and that’s generous. I think I waited an hour once. For something that might cut a year or two off my life, I’d rather not wait an hour to eat it. That’s just wasted time!


Silvio's Organic Pizza

 715 N University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor's Best and Most Underrated Pizza

Authentic Italian organic pizza can be found on North University near State Street in Ann Arbor at Silvio’s. And this place is a hidden gem. Competing with endless bland campus pizzerias, this place is special. The taste of the pizza is, well, real. The crust is chewy and crunchy and endlessly flavorful. The sauce and cheese actually taste fresh and flavorful and interesting. A list of over 40 organic toppings range from shiitake mushrooms and raw fresh arugula to bacon, fennel and truffle oil. You can even get grapes or carrots, but most of the ingredients are organic variations on classic ingredients. Bottom line is this pizza place is unparalleled by any I have seen and is vastly underrated, even in Ann Arbor. Needless to say I have not found a pizza place that can match up in DC as of yet, but if I ever do, it will be good enough that you will be hearing about it.

Read this and other reviews as well as my own recipes at

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