Written by on June 30, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(pie-tanza.com) – Lee-Harrison Shopping Center neighborhood, Arlington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Looking for a quick bite and no hassel meal, Chris told me about a great, “wood-grilled” pizza place he had once tried, not far from his home. We decided to place an order for take-away and enjoy it, while relaxing at his house.

Type of cuisine:  Pie-Tanza serves gourmet wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza, fresh oversized salads, authentic Italian entrees, and hot & cold subs all made with the finest ingredients. pie-tanza also serves beer and wine. Don’t forget to leave room for our specialty desserts and espresso drinks.”

Ambiance: While we decided to order our meal to go, we had to stop in to pick up our order, not more than 15 minutes after we called it in. Located in a strip mall, the quaint character of the establishment is unassuming. The floor-to-ceiling windows of the store-front seem tinted, with the blazing sun setting behind us. Walking into the space, the large setting is evident with table and chairs available for dine-in on either side of the entry-way. A young woman greets us at the podium, but we point to the To Go Orders counter at the back of the store. Walls are painted with murals of the Italian Countryside, a bikeparked next to an old Tuscan home, set along tall grass and dusty roads, as well as painted decor resembling stone, an Italian flag and Welcome signs. The paintings give the clutterless space a cozy and warm feel. At the back, the take-away counter is lit with neon lights and a cashier completes the transaction of payment for food.

What I ordered: On this visit, we wanted to try something new and something typical. We started with the Spinach, Artichoke & Rosemary Chicken Calzone ($11.69) with fresh spinach leaves, chopped artichoke hearts and shaved rosemary chicken with ricotta, mozzarella, fontina and sweet tomato puree. And ended with the 12″ specialty pie: Primo Pepperoni ($11.89), a very thin base of pizza dough topped with mozzarella, fontina, parmesan and red sauce smothered with extra large sandwich style pepperoni and baked to wood-fire perfection.

What I loved: I loved the pepperoni pizza and would easily entertain the thought of eating it again, and again. The large, slightly spicy pepperoni added great flavor to each bite! The hint of tomato sauce allowed for the flavors of cheese and pepperoni to truly make their way out and enrich each finger-licking, mouth watering bite. I loved that the chicken in the calzone was abundant and the cheese a secondary, giving way to the flavors of the fresh vegetables and light sauce.

Why I loved it: The food was fabulous and surprisingly light for Italian food, the thin crust of the pizza grilled to crisp perfection with soft dough inside, the staff friendly and the wait time could not have been more doable!

Cost: Average to high ($10-$13 per 12″ specialty pizza)

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