Cheap Eats 2011: Pupatella

Washington has no shortage of Neapolitan pizzerias, all boasting about their Italian buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes. But husband and wife Enzo Algarme and Anastasiya Laufenberg were among the first to offer the thin-crust pies–and they did it from a cart by the Ballston Metro.

Just over a year ago, they left the mobile business, moved into an airy, graffiti-decorated storefront, and upgraded to an Italian brick oven, which turns out crusts with soft, doughy edges and a strong but not crisp center. Toppings–from peppery arugula to Spanish chorizo–are top-notch.

A real kitchen means there’s space to make panini, which come on house-baked bread–try the one pressed with sausage, sautéed onions, and mozzarella–as well as appetizers such as panzarotti, a delicious pair of potato croquettes with prosciutto.

Also good: Fried risotto balls with mozzarella and roasted eggplant; Margherita pizza with buffalo mozzarella; chorizo pizza with onion and roasted red pepper; prosciutto-and-arugula pizza.

Open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.

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 Logan Circle.