Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza, Tenleytown, Washington, DC

My trip to Comet Ping Pong has piqued my interest in what I’ll call Specialty Pizza places, also known as More Expensive than Mama Lucia’s, which I like. I was thinking of 2 Amys and Pizzeria Paradiso — I eagerly welcome your suggestions on places to try — but Nancy was using our car and I was on foot. What’s nearby? Our monthly Old Guys Lunch Group used to meet at Pete’s in Tenleytown from time to time, so I called up my friend and Not So Old Guy, Ken DeCell, and we met at Pete’s.

Ken was a natural choice. When we both worked downtown, Ken and I often got together for the Atomica Pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso, and that led to a great story. And Ken is an old friend. He and Florri moved from Capitol Hill, where Liza and Hannah were in a nursery school together, to Upper Northwest at the same time as we did, maybe in the same month. That meant another nursery school for the girls and Murch and Deal. Also, Ken, being from Mississippi, is one of the few people in the neighborhood who speaks without an accent, despite four years at Princeton.

To the food! Ken ordered a slice of pepperoni,

and I ordered a small Wooster Square.

The Wooster Square has one of my favorite combinations, broccoli rabe and Italian sausage, and they throw in slices of Milano salami and a dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Always thinking of my readers, I also ordered a slice — actually a square — of their Sicilian pizza with pepperoni.


Since I’d ordered too much, and since I wanted a second expert opinion, I shared a slice or two of my Wooster Square with Ken, who knows food. And we each ordered a glass of wine.

Ken enjoyed his slice of pepperoni, and who wouldn’t assuming that it has the same sauce as the Sicilian. Pete’s sauce is well seasoned, and the pepperoni is good. Still, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Sicilian. It had a thick crust and while I like pizza dough as much as anyone, the flavor of the dough only really comes out in the untopped edges.

Ken and I both really enjoyed the Wooster Square. I don’t think Ken had tried one before, and he was very impressed. It has a ton of flavor, with that beautiful contrast of the richness of the meats and the sharpness of the broccoli rabe, and a nice bit of heat. It’s an excellent pizza. The only shortcoming is that the outer circle of un-sauced dough, the bread I was speaking of above, is a touch flat and lacking in bready texture. It’s a step below Comet’s pizza, but then it costs $10 compared to the $16 Comet pizza. Ten dollars is a good deal, especially with hamburgers costing twice as much in the neighborhood, or close to it.

You may prefer the more expensive pizza, and that’s fine. All that I’m saying, is give Pete’s a chance.


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14 thoughts on “Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza, Tenleytown, Washington, DC

  1. Sounds great. Makes me hungry for a good pizza. I wanted to mention that today is the day for Liza’s Coconut Cake. I’ve had the ingredients for a couple of weeks, but due to my wonderful week of Covid last week and still recovering, just today is the first day I could stir up enough energy. So far, the smell of my kitchen tells me I’m past Covid. I will let you know how it turns out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John,
      OMG??? The coconut cake was sooooooo good. Liza could go global with this recipe! I may start a food truck in Austin just selling this amazing cake! Thanks for the tip!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete’s is always good, although it varies on each visit.  We’ve found the truest NY-style (i.e. good) pie around is Corner Slice in Bethesda.  Nothing fancy but darn good every time–no messing around.  The right mix of olive oil and cheese is key; the cheese should not be a think gooey slap like on tv commercials, but rather slightly broken up like tiny islands by the oil.  A great slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you tried the pizza at Edith’s Pizza in the Bradley Shopping Center? Jim and I enjoyed slices (J-pepperoni/me-cheese) this week. The crust was particularly good.
    The owner of Breads Unlimited in that same strip, opened Edith’s earlier this year.

    Liked by 1 person

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