Del Ray Pizzeria, Del Ray

One thing I believe to be true about Del Ray Pizzeria …

May we please pause for a moment, and each pay our own silent tribute to Claudia Gomez?

One thing I believe to be true about Del Ray Pizzeria is that they may have the strongest beer program in Del Ray (Evening Star Cafe would be in the running as well). I began my early dinner with a draft of Natty Greene’s Old Town Brown ($6.50) – a somewhat thin, but flavorful brown ale that isn’t nearly as fearsome as it looks, but also lacks a bit of depth – I’m glad I tried one; I didn’t go back for a second.

Since President Obama dined at Del Ray Pizzeria, they naturally have a section of the menu (entitled “President Approved Pizzas”) devoted to his orderings, and I suspect they’re all best-sellers, too. A Large (14″), Thin-Crust “Barack My World” ($19) was, I suspect, renamed after his visit. Homemade red sauce on homemade crust, with mozzarella, pepperoni, and house-ground sausage, this was – both in name, and in reality – a glorified sausage-and-pepperoni pizza. For a thin-crust-pizza, the dough was somewhat French-bread like, and thicker than I thought it would be. The pepperoni seemed like standard-issue, thin-sliced Hormel, but the sausage – scattered thinly in fine crumbs – was a step up. In execution, the pizza should have either seen a hotter oven, or should have been cooked longer because some of the grated mozzarella hadn’t fully melted out of its grated shape. (the kitchen should be vigilant with this). If I were in Del Ray, and were choosing between this and any of the national chains, I would choose this every time, but this was nevertheless pizza designed to serve masses of people, and wasn’t a destination pie.

Note that Del Ray pizzeria also offers gluten-free pizza. They don’t offer delivery that I’m aware of, but if they did – keeping a two-mile radius enforced – I suspect it would be fruitful: there are a lot of people living in this area, especially considering high-rises are limited.

For my second beer, I tried a draft of Terrapin Rye Pale Ale ($6.50) – get it? RyePA? – and this was more to my liking. I love the taste of rye in my drinks, and it was enough to offset any pale ale hoppiness that might otherwise intrude upon my happiness.

Del Ray Pizzeria has lots of TVs, with lots of different sporting events on – I was enjoying the UVA-Hopkins lacrosse game, sitting next to a huge UVA lacrosse fan. This restaurant is almost in sports bar territory, and it was kind of fun.

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