Monday, November 14, 2011

COMET PING PONG doesn't bounce too well in my book (11-13-11)

Several months ago we bought a GROUPON for COMET PINK PING ( located on Connecticut Ave at Nebraska, NW here in DC. We had heard the pizza here was fab and thought it worth a visit. We finally went last night and arrived there just before 6pm to see a literal zoo of people inside and out. We were told the wait was 30-45 minutes and given a beeper.
It wasn't too bad, although Samuel (and we) hate waiting. We headed to the CVS and bookstores nearby and returned after just over 30 minutes to wait another 15 minutes for our table.
Once seated in the what I call gloomy interior I could not feel the ambiance was anything worth remembering. It's very noisy, though not unbearable, and loaded with families. The walls are what I call filthy-looking with totally raw decor. The concrete and lack of absorption don't help the noise factor. A huge sculpture of red and black oil rig/high chairs (no better way to describe these!) are hung upside down from the ceiling and a vespa hangs upside down at the rear near the crowded bar.
We ordered Sam a Dry Meyer Lemon Soda which he loved and his plain Tomato Pie was just his pace. The pies, according to our server Sarah who was most personable, are supposed to be 9-10 inches or so and the trays they come on are indeed that big, but they shrink up big time to below 7-1/2 inches. They are still large enough for one person, but the crust is quite thick around the edges with all the filling poured in the center...nothing light and delicate fill up on crust for sure!
Will and I split an order of the delicious TOASTED CAULIFLOWER and ordered a carafe of GRENACHE/SYRAH Cabardos, Chateau Jouclary 2008 upon Sarah's recommendation. I asked for a bottle and she corrected me saying all wine comes by the glass/ half-carafe or carafe. She opened the bottle nearby on the bar and poured it into the carafe, which seems to make little sense other than to let it breathe and add a more rustic feel to the lack of ambiance. The wine was perfect with the food having a hint of spice with nice body from the old vines.
Will and I ordered two pizzas to split.....
STEEL WILLS comes with SPINACH, RICOTTA, GARLIC, PARMESAN and KALAMATA Olives and had very little taste. We missed the garlic and the only flavor came from the 4 or so olives on the pizza. I sprinkled the red pepper flakes on lightly at first and it made almost no difference; after a generous shake, there was a hint of flavor, but this veggie option lacks everything a pizza could be in taste. We created our second pizza using the add-ons which run $1-4 per add-on. The anchovies were $1(that's a deal) and the SMOKED MUSHROOMS were $2 for our combo make-up. This pizza had more flavor thanks to the anchovies, but one was very poorly filleted and I got two bones in one bite!
So, was the $40 groupon worth the 45 minute wait? NO WAY, and we won't be bouncing back to Comet Ping Pong soon, especially when TWO AMY's is closer. Next week, PETE's New Haven Pizza in a small series of pizza reviews!