Since becoming vegan, finding a meal in this city has been a challenge (I hear you haughty carnivores laughing already!). There are, essentially, two choices for me: go to a whispery eatery that specializes in whole-grain, organic local health food, or go to a “regular” (read: meat-centric) restaurant, apologize profusely to the server, ask that the chef whip up something for me (an oft-unwelcome request), and hope a cook doesn’t slip a slice of butter onto the plate as it’s being prepared for service.
It’s not easy being green.
But my visit to Pizzeria Paradiso the other week showed that we – the crunchy granolans and the red-blooded steak-lovers – can peacefully coexist. At Pizzeria Paradiso, everyone leaves happy.
I went in with my eye-rolling fiancé (he thinks that this whole vegan thing is endemic of a spoiled culture – no comment). Smelling like creepy river creatures (we’d just come from kayaking the Potomac), we were nonetheless graciously welcomed into the airy M Street location and seated at a low, wooden table in the center of the dining room.
We ordered a large pizza, his half slathered in oozy cheese and yummy meat, and my half adorned with a slightly less oozy (but still good!) vegan cheese, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. The pie was perfectly thin and crispy, the ingredients copious, the meal delectable.
On to the beer! Typically, if you order a beer flight in this city, you’re lucky if you get more than six ounces total, and the flight is less than ten bucks. Well, I hope some places pick up on Paradiso’s system: three FIVE OUNCE pours for NINE BUCKS. Excuse the shouting, but that much booze – for so few dollars – is reason to get excited.
And the selection! Artisinal American beers commingled with established Belgian breweries; it will knock your socks off! When I was there, I tried a wheat ale from California that tasted quite similar to, well, something green, pungent and very beloved. As a character played by that state’s disgraced former governor so succinctly stated:
“I’ll be back.”
|Address:||2003 P St., NW (Bet. Hopkins and 20th Sts.) Washington, DC 20036|
|Serves:||Lunch (Daily); Dinner (Daily)|
|Go for:||Margherita pizza; tuna-and-white-bean salad; Genovese pizza, with potatoes and pesto|