1815 Fredericksburg Rd.
“Would you like a table in the sunroom? The light is good in there.”
“Lead me to it.”
“Do you want me to turn up the air conditioning?”
“Sure, go for it.”
The friendly folks at Deco Pizzeria in the heart of the Fredericksburg Rd. Deco District are nothing if not accommodating. True, it was a little dark in the main dining room, and along with light in the sunroom came heat, but the gestures were welcome nonetheless. Plus, the staff didn’t have much else to do, there being few other customers on a Thursday at noon. Had I made a mistake?
There was time to ponder that and other weighty issues as I waited for a $2.99 pizza slice. The sunroom turned out to be a good place for waiting, if not pondering. DP is located at the nexus of the neighborhood’s recent renaissance, and much of it was visible from my table. Pale green with lavender, full-on orange with olive, brilliant leaf green adjacent to purple … the repainting and refurbishing that announces new life may not be traditionally Deco in character, but it’s refreshing to see that cautious earth tones haven’t been mandated. The food was going to have a hard time competing.
So, yes, the pizza was (fortunately) color-challenged in contrast, but the pepperoni and sausage combo otherwise had everything to be proud of: The crust was thin and just crisp enough, and the toppings were all in perfect balance. This was a classic no-nonsense pie unashamed of not being gaudily gourmet. I added just a few pepper flakes, the parmesan on the table being of the pre-fab persuasion, and wondered where everybody was. Maybe there was a fire sale at Taqueria Datapoint #5 across the way.
The Deco Meatball sandwich ($6.99), which I had anticipated eating only half of, wasn’t quite as convincing as the pizza — especially given the price difference. Oh, the meatballs were good enough, the tomato sauce had a touch of attitude, and the melted provolone was generous, but there was no Jersey Shore moxie. The usual Achilles’ heel, the bread, proved only adequate in holding it all together. Yet somehow I ate the whole thing, and followed it up with a very good Mediterranean salad sporting genuine Kalamata olives, good feta, and a spunky dressing there was only a tad too much of. (It is summer and the tomatoes should have tasted a little riper, however.)
I’ll have you know that I took home an order of seasoned and deep-fried wings. They survived the trip nicely but, being of the chain-chicken sort, didn’t thrill. The strident hot sauce was balanced by chunky blue cheese, but I was still left wanting.
Regardless, I think I’d return by night to check out the Deco Supreme with Canadian bacon, onions, and more added to the combo formula, hoping that it doesn’t tip over into excessiveness. Or maybe I’d better try the white pizza with garlic-infused olive oil, two cheeses, and black pepper instead. Perhaps a little Deco Sangria, too. Surely
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