DC has become a vegan pizza mecca so any new pizza place moving in has a pretty high bar to meet. Pete's Apizza opened up in Columbia Heights a few years ago. It took me a while to make my way out there, but I enjoyed the pizza the first time I went. This time, not so much.
Pete's Apizza prides itself on being New Haven APIZZA, which is pronounced "ah-BEETZ." What does that mean? It means that pizza from New Haven, Connecticut is its own style, according to this restaurant. New Haven style pizza has a thin crust that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Because of the way it is cooked, it develops a mix of tan areas and black spots on the top and bottom of the crust. What's interesting is that this is not a chain from New Haven, rather a DC-based New Haven style pizzeria.
We headed down on a Saturday night. We didn't have much time to spend at the restaurant so we called ahead and placed an order. When we arrived, they were busy, but not packed. For seating, there were many communal tables to choose from as well as a high bar area with stools.
The pizza was ready when we arrived so we took a seat on the stools against the window. This restaurant is
located across from DC USA, a big shopping center in Columbia Heights so
you look out on that shopping center from the window - not the best
view. The pizza, however, looked great - we ordered a 14" with broccoli rabe, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms on one side and garlic, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts on the other side. I was excited to see broccoli rabe, aka rapini, on the menu, but as soon as I bit into the pizza, I wished I hadn't ordered that. The broccoli rabe was way too bitter for this pizza. It was cooked well, but just didn't go well on the pizza. The rest of the toppings were great. What I didn't like about the pizza was that the crust was somewhat burnt and not very soft. So while the toppings and Daiya cheese tasted great, the crust did not...and that is a pretty important part of the pizza.
I washed it all down with a limonata Pellegrino.
While I was eating, I took a look at the menu. I was disappointed to see that they did not have a vegan specialty pizza already on the menu. It is great that they offer Daiya cheese, but I hope that they will consider offering a specialty vegan pizza with Daiya and toppings in the future. I was also surprised to see that they also offer pasta and paninis. Perhaps I'll try them next time.
In short, the pizza wasn't that good overall. The toppings were great, but the crust was burnt and hard. On top of that, it was pretty pricey - they upcharge for the Daiya cheese so a 14" pizza with 3 toppings is $21. With the vast array of choices in DC, I'd say that Duccini's, zpizza, and District of Pi are better choices than this one.
1400 Irving Street NW
Washington, DC 20010