Last weekend was completely fueled by pizza. That’s right; I went nearly three days eating nothing but sweet, delicious baked pies.
It all started on Friday night, when I joined a group of friends for the Pizza Underground concert at Black Cat. Never heard of the band? It’s a Velvet Underground cover band starring none other than Macaulay Culkin.
There he was, slicked blonde ponytail, black Ray Bans, banging on a pizza box and singing “I’m Waiting for Delivery Man,” “Cheese Days,” and “All the Pizza Parties.” It was perhaps the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.
We decided that prior to this crazy concert, it was only appropriate that we have a pizza dinner party to get in the mood. You know, the classy kind with Homemade pizza, champagne, and Van She Pandora radio. Pizza for dinner; pizza for party.
Then Sunday my boyfriend and I met a couple of guy friends for brunch in Rosslyn. A no-limit pizza brunch. Was I trying to overdose on flatbreads? Can you ever really have too much pizza? The answer is no. You cannot.
The 14th Street Piola has recently become my go-to spot for a quick low-key dinner. It’s friendly, warm, tasty, and inexpensive. And it’s right around the corner from my house. It’s swiftly becoming my locale.
I decided to check out the Rosslyn brunch, too, since both of the friends I was meeting for brunch live across the bridge. Plus, I had just been at the location a few weeks prior for Piola’s fabulous Carnival celebration.
Wait. Brazilian party in an Italian restaurant? Yes. The chain started in Brazil, actually, so when they expanded in the U.S. they brought with them a ton of Brazilian fun. In addition to the rip-roaring party they host each year, the menu is infused with all kinds of Brazilian influences, as well.
The brunch deal is a great one: $16.95 for all-you-can-order pizza off their long menu. Cocktails are outside that prix fixe, but they’re not expensive. Bloody Marys, mimosas, bellinis, and rossinis are just $4 a pop, and you can get pitchers for $15. Oh, and there’s sangria, too. Obviously.
The pizzas themselves are small, cut into four slices, but that’s perfect for a no-limit special. Because, after all, you want to share the pies—and you obviously want to try them all. That’s exactly what we did. A table for four was the perfect size for brunch at Piola. We each got a personal-sized pie, and we just kept ordering.
The list of pizza options is huge, and there were no bad eggs in the bunch (trust me, we tried them all). But our very favorites, the ones that really stood out, are the Breakfast in Beirut, the Brooklyn, and the Malta.
First, the Malta, a white pizza made with mozzarella. It is layered with thinly sliced potatoes between the cheese and pie—a nice touch—and it’s sprinkled with garlic and rosemary. The result was a very tasty white pizza, which is unusual, as I usually find them quite bland.
The Brooklyn pizza was even a step up from that. It is your traditional pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella, but topped with gorgonzola cheese, broccoli, and grilled chicken. It was a medley of flavors, but they all went together perfectly.
The Breakfast in Beirut was by far the most unusual pizza. It was pressed together like an omelet, with lots of Zaatar, a spice, sprinkled inside. On the side, labneh (a yogurt), olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers to balance on top. It was pure Mediterranean delight.
There were plenty of other winners, but those were our favorites. You could get pizza with artichoke, pizza with spicy salami, pizza with roasted eggplant, pizza with smoked salmon and capers. The sky is the limit—they offer them all.
We did, also, venture off the no-limit pizza menu a tad. We just couldn’t help ourselves. There’s a selection of kitchen specials that are offered up as more carbs, if you need ‘em. We decided to give the crespelles a try.
The Italian-style dishes are filled with béchamel sauce and Parmesan cheese and baked. It’s like your mom’s casserole in a tiny dish, and you can get them filled with ham and mushrooms or Fiorentina, which is spinach, ricotta and tomato sauce.
For dessert, we had to order the sweet pizza on the menu: the Nutella pizza. Picture-perfect, the thin crust is covered in a thick Nutella spread. Then, slices of fresh strawberries are scattered on top, and the entire thing is sprinkled with powdered sugar.
It was messy and indulgent—in fact the entire pizza-fueled weekend was. But what better way to go pizza nuts than with a pizza-themed cover band, a pizza dinner party, all capped off by an epic no-limit pizza brunch?
The Bitches say: A. Love pizza? Need carbs for brunch? Head to Piola and get your fill. It’s a super chill, no-limit, no-frills brunch.
1550 Wilson Blvd.
Piola serves no-limit pizza brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.