Cheap Eats 2008: Comet Ping Pong

Why go: Chef Carole Greenwood, who also owns Buck’s Fishing & Camping next door, brings her earthy cooking philosophy to a pizza parlor. When the place is on, the results are as striking as the dining room, which grafts a college pizza joint onto a Soho loft.

What to get: The rustically misshapen, wood-fired pies with Blue Ridge buffalo mozzarella and sauce made from Toigo Orchard tomatoes. They’re even better with clams and garlic (sans sauce); a few tiny meatballs; or a mix of smoked mushrooms, sautéed leeks, and pepperoni. Comet’s spicy wings, done in a jerk-style dry rub and served with thick horseradish sauce, are terrific.

Best for: An impromptu weekend dinner (the space is so big that you’ll almost always find a place to sit, though you won’t necessarily land one of the Ping-Pong tables); noisemaking families; a casual date.

Insider tip: Comet’s bathrooms are in the vestibule between the dining room and Ping-Pong room, behind two unmarked wooden walls that you have to push open. What is this, Scooby Doo?

Open Monday through Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for lunch and dinner.

See all 2008 Cheap Eats restaurants

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.