I ordered a whole pizza from the Rosslyn location of Wiseguy NY Pizza, and it seemed to confirm a trend I’ve noticed (which will undoubtedly raise the hackles on Nuri, but I’d be negligent if I didn’t at least mention it).
Almost without exception, the slices that I’ve gotten from here have been delicious when eaten in the restaurant; almost without exception, the whole pizzas I’ve gotten from here have been merely “decent” when eaten at home. Also, the further I get away from “plain cheese,” the less I like the pizza – so there seems to be two separate factors at play: 1) slices vs. whole pies, and 2) simplicity vs. complexity.
A New York Supreme ($25.99) is a very substantial, eight-slice pie with generous amounts of Grande Mozzarella, green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, red onions, sausage, and tomato sauce. I also got a Fountain Boylan’s Soda ($2.73, (?)) which I made 2/3 Diet Cola, 1/3 Regular Cola – drank down about half a cup, and filled it back to the brim before heading out.
Wiseguy states that their whole pies are “65% bigger than others 14″ Large Pizza,” and some simple mathematics resolves to an 18″ pie (their single-slices come from 20″ pies, which I assume would be challenging to package).
Okay, here’s the non-fun part: This was not a great pizza – everything about it was pretty ordinary. It was a *clear* step up, up, up from the national chains, so don’t even make the comparison, but I’ve become convinced that Wiseguy’s strength lies in its slices, not its whole pizzas. When the whole pizzas cool to room temperature, the cheese also becomes a lot less appetizing – they reheat well enough in the oven, but I’m just not crazy about the toppings – the meats in particular are very salty – and the crust just seems to lose something when it’s not eaten then-and-there, in the restaurant. I’ve probably been to Wiseguy closer to ten times than five, and I’ve ordered a wide array of pizza – slices, pies, simple, loaded, and have decided that I have a strong preference for simple slices eaten there, instead of loaded pies to go.
Why is this? I don’t know, but I detected a similar thing with Flippin’ Pizza many years ago, after several visits – the difference is that Wiseguy is absolutely better than Flippin’.
Nuri, I’m sorry – I wouldn’t even write this, but I promised myself that I’d make a game effort to write up my restaurant meals, and I’m desperately trying to keep up. I know you’re not going to be happy about this, but it’s what I experienced, and anything less than this report would be a lie, and (in my eyes) would be disrespecting our readership, you, and the fine work that you’ve done – I know of no New York slice in the DC area that I enjoy more than Wiseguy – some types of food are best eaten on-the-spot, and I believe Wiseguy pizza is one of them. That is a characteristic, not a flaw (think about a great, fresh baguette which dries out towards the end of the day).
The service, just as it has always been, was friendly and welcoming – whatever you’re doing in terms of training your staff seems to be working – I don’t think I’ve ever had an unpleasant experience at Wiseguy NY Pizza. The system didn’t allow me to leave a tip on my credit card, so I asked the cashier to change a twenty, and told him to keep a five (“It’s Christmas,” I said, wanting the staff to know they’re appreciated.)