When I want pizza in Borderstan, I call Manny & Olga’s.
Yes, there are great places to eat in Borderstan, good restaurants and cheap eats, but if we are talking pizza, I can’t help but think about Manny and Olga’s every time I am ready for a quick bite. I know it’s a franchised chain, but it’s a local one. The owner Manny, son of Greek immigrants, learned “hands on” how to run the business and give customers great service.
I have to say, even though Manny and Olga’s serves pizza by the slice and it’s very close to the house, I rarely go there unless it is for pick up. Their location on 1841 14th Street is not a sit-in location. The good thing about it is that after some seven years of calling for delivery, I feel I almost know them. Over the phone they are polite with that certain quickness that says we are working here to make it fast, and fast it is! The pizza pie always arrives hot and delicious.
Manny & Olga’s not only offers pizza, they have and extensive menu that includes subs, calzones, salads, Greek specialties and desserts. At home we have tried their lasagna, gyros and sandwiches — and the Veal Parmesan is always a crowd pleaser. We enjoy how great everything tastes and size of the portions. You definitely get your money’s worth here.
If you have been in the neighborhood for a while and haven’t tried them, you should. If you are new, you might just become a fan!
Manny and Olga’s: The Details
- Where Am I Going? 1841 14th Street NW.
- When Am I Calling? Sunday through Thursday, 10 am to 4 am; Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 5 am.
- Delivery? All the time.
- Paycheck Pain? $15 at the most for one person. (12″ basic pizza).
- Say What? Always there for you.
- What You’ll Be Eating: Great pizza, subs, basic Italian dishes and gyros.
The international Italian food chain Piola, know for its pizza, is opening at 2208 14th Street NW. The owner of the 14th street location, Nabil Ashi, says he hopes to open by mid-June; the restaurants are franchised. The menu will be very similar to the ones found in their other locations: authentic Italian cuisine, pastas and an extensive list of pizzas served in a casual space. Piola will also serve wine and beer.
The chain has locations not only in the United States, but also in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, Chile and Turkey. Some of you might have already been to a Piola, since they have a location just right across the Key Street Bridge in Arlington on Wilson Boulevard.
Piola is coming to the neighborhood after looking around the area for more than two years. For Ashi, the idea of bringing Piola to 14th Street NW came after having to wait over an hour for a table at another restaurant.
“The area is very trendy and happening, and we think Piola fits the environment very well. Most restaurants on 14th street are always full… with many young professionals living in the area and not enough restaurants to feed them all,” said Achi. “14th Street NW is where all the nice-good looking people want to go these days.” (Achi added a smiley face to his email on that last quote.)
However, there is another new pizzeria opening on 14th Street NW, south of T Street: Edan McQauid will be opening his new place at 1832 14th Street NW.
From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.
Edan MacQuaid is fairly quiet guy. He doesn’t have the bravado or in-your-face ego that most chefs exude upon meeting them. But once you get him talking about pizza, he starts to talk with his hands, he smiles and he gets almost… humble?
MacQuaid’s passion for pizza can be found in the details — details that have been well documented by the likes of Tim Carman and Don Rockwell. The delicate crust, the charred edges, high quality toppings and olive oil are all hallmarks of Macquaid’s work at the brick oven, and that work, as we now know, is coming to 14th Street: to 1832 to be exact, just south of Room & Board.
But DC almost lost him. See, MacQuaid seriously considered packing up and leaving life in DC to return to Maine. (His shuffles from restaurant to restaurant are also well documented.) He attended high school in Maine and has a buddy who owns a coffee shop up there; the perfect respite from the madness and sometimes incestuous drama of DC’s fine dining kitchens. After working in hotels in his youth, MacQuaid left Maine at the age of 19, with dreams of starting a band here in DC. And that’s when he landed at the original Pizza Paradiso in Dupont Circle.
The passion for pizza making stuck, while dreams of being a rocker went by the wayside.
MacQuaid has worked with a number of great chefs over time, but his no-fuss approach to food is what sets him apart from the rest. See, the pizzaiolo doesn’t really see eye to eye with most chefs. He’s not a fan of “silly plating” as he called it, saying that he prefers to “let good food speak for itself.” And where most would be talking about the amazing kitchens they’ll be installing in a new restaurant or the amount of steel going into them, Macquaid focuses on the flame.
“I like to cook with fire. There’s something very primal about it,” he said.
And he’s not talking about fire from a gas range, mind you. MacQuaid plans to invite a crew of Neapolitan builders for a 10-day brick oven building extravaganza. The oven won’t just serve the four to five pizzas on the menu — there will also be an assortment of small plates, oven cooked dishes like casseroles or roasted lamb chops.
Oh, and there’ll be a green salad on the menu too, though that’s not at all what I’m chomping at the bit to try. Daily specials will give the chef a chance to play around with locally sourced ingredients from places like Whipple Farms, with which Local 16 has a well established relationship.
While MacQuaid is working with local restaurateur Aman Ayoubi, both are quick to remind me that this spot will be uniquely MacQuaid’s. He’s 100% in charge of the vision and execution behind what will likely become our favorite neighborhood pizza joint.
What’s next for MacQuaid? While nothing’s in the works yet, he says he’d love to open a pho shop. Key word: yet.
For Borderstanis who work on K Street, you have a new pizza option at 16th and K NW. Fuel Pizza, the fast-casual pizza chain tested in Carolina and now in DC, opened on Wednesday. I am intrigued by crab dip pizza, Old Bay wings and all the other ‘local’ items on the menu, but right now I just want to eat a bucket of garlic knots.
With delivery slated to start within the location’s 16th and K Streets location, perhaps I can make that wish come true. Until then, Washingtonian has you covered with pics of the space, food and a closer examination of the menu. Another location is planned for 6th and F Streets NW.
The Monday-night soft opening that owner Payam Yazdani planned for Pizza No. 17 turned into a very busy night. Yazdani estimated that by 10:30 pm almost 120 people had been through the doors at 1523 17th Street NW. Not bad when you consider that the indoor area seats 23 and the outdoor seating was not open.
Yazdani closed his former place, Pasha Bistro, on January 31 to make way for his new restaurant in the space.
With a wood-fired pizza oven, the Pizza No. 17 menu includes nine different 8-inch pizzas ($8.50 to $12.50), two paninis and two salads. Beverages include 10 different beers ($5 to $6), and 12 wines, six red and six white.
Yazdani is offering carryout, but is not planning to offer delivery service. The patio area on 17th Street (with canopy) has an additional 30 seats. While the website for Pizza No. 17 is not up yet, you can check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Yazdani and his father, “Mr. Eddie,” are also the owners of Java House on Q Street just off 17th Street NW.
Further up 17th Street, Steam Cafe (northwest corner at R) added pizza to its menu last year, and Dupont Italian Kitchen also serves pizza.