Guest Review

[ 0 ] April 5, 2011 |


Etiquette Tuesday should be changed to “Venting Tuesday”.  I  love my readers because they share their loves, frustrations and all in between as it relates to food.  Below is a review I recently received about Casa Nonna, Z Pizza, Curbside Cupcakes and a couple of household favorites.  Disclaimer:  These are not my personal views, they were submitted by one of my readers.

So have you tried Casa Nonna?  I did recently and it was horrible especially for the price.   I got the Orecchiette with fennel sausage and broccoli rabe. The only good thing about this dish was the sausage and the broccoli rabe. There was way too much garlic and the pasta was chewy and dry.  For $18.00 I was not pleased.  I could have had the same dish at Vapiano for half the price and it would have been much better.

My guest had the “Funghi” pizza.  The crust was very chewy and tough and there were hardly any mushrooms on it.  The pancetta brought some life to it.

For dessert it was tiramisu which was flat and dry–needed more mascarpone.  I don’t think that I will make my way back there unfortunately.

Zpizza– The thumbs up.  For a healthy alternative in Penn Quarter, I recommend Zpizza.   You would think that a carry-out in downtown that offers mostly organic ingredients  would be extremely expensive, but it is actually reasonable.   The strangest thing though….the sandwiches, salads, pastas, and the flat-bread (rustica) pizzas are generous with the toppings, but the actual pizzas barely have any toppings.  For instance, one day when I was in a high carb mood, I ordered a slice of pepperoni with my arugula salad.  The salad had a fistful of candied walnuts and shavings of parmigiana-reggiano, but I only had two quarter-size pieces of pepperoni on my slice.  I thought perhaps I had gotten the step-child slice, but when I looked over at the pie, it may has well been a cheese pizza with a dash of pepperoni.

The chicken pesto pasta is tasty–not drowning in pesto and a portion large enough to satisfy your lunch appetite. The sandwiches are good and come with a large handful of kettle cooked chips.  Most sandwiches will run just under $7.00.  Anything green in this restaurant is crisp and fresh–no wilting here.  I have not tried all the sandwiches, but so far I like the turkey sandwich which is served with a cranberry marmalade–yum, yum.  My favorite rustica pizza is the Moroccan–roasted, paper-thin eggplant with pine nuts, caramelized onions and fontina.  In sum, I am not crazy about the pizza, but there are so many other good eats here that it does not matter.  I actually ate there for two weeks and never got bored.

Do you do a “things we love” segment? (*Johnna: No, but I will from now on!) Let me tell you a few things I love… (practically addicted to)–

Vosges white chocolate, lemon zest, and pink peppercorn bar- I am generally not a white chocolate fan, but the lemon in this bar just puts me in a good mood.

Bobbi’s Honey Chipotle Hummus– This savory hummus has the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.   I am thinking about ordering it direct from Bobbi’s because I am now starting to feel like a groupie at Whole Foods–Is it here yet?!  They usually sell out before I can get there.  This is also great on sandwiches if you want an alternative to mayo or mustard.

Curbside Cupcakes Carrot Cake Cupcake- Chock full of walnuts, moist cake and a cream cheese frosting that is creamy, but light.

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Category: Food.Fun.Stuff., restaurant reviews, Washington D.C.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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