Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pacci's Preview

Great news - after a few short delays, Pacci's Neapolitan Pizzeria on Georgia Avenue is on track to open to the public this Friday. Even better news (for me) - I got an unexpected sneak peak/taste of their pizza this evening. As my wife and I stood outside their door being nosy we were motioned to come inside, where we were asked if we wanted to try their pizza. Um, yes, please.

Pizza: I can only speak to the mozzarella pizza (pictured, with bite), but it was quite tasty. I eat pizza frequently - some might say a bit too frequently - and as previously documented on this blog, my favorite style of pie is Neapolitan, which makes the opening of a Silver Spring pizzeria with this specialty even more fantastic. Some might even consider its arrival a miracle.

The pizza's crust was excellent, as was the mozzarella, produced on the premises. I'd love to give a more thorough review, but restaurant reviews aren't really my specialty. Suffice it to say, it was good pizza. What's also nice is they can crank their pies out pretty quickly - the pizza only required a minute or two in their oven to cook fully.

Interior: This was still a work in progress, but I got a pretty decent preview of what it will look like. There's a long bar that begins by the front entrance, mirrored by additional bar-style seating facing the windows. There is table seating in the back of the restaurant, and this will be supplemented with outdoor patio seating during the warmer months. I'm sure plenty of shots of the completed interior will be available on the Internets by Friday.

Drive-Thru: To me, this was the most intriguing aspect of Pacci's. In fact, curiosity about this is what precipitated my visit this evening. I walked over there to try and determine the logistics behind this part of the operation. How does a pizza drive-through work? Would there actually be a window at which you'd order and collect your pizza? You'd think such a thing would be impossible, but this is America dammit, so of course this has already been done. (Those dual-wield pizza cutter guys are modern-day ninjas.)

Pacci's drive-thru isn't going to operate quite like this, however. What you'll do is order your pizza ahead of time over the phone or via their website, then pull up to the side door (pictured above), where you will be brought your food and, our MoCo Liquor overlords permitting, your wine or beer.

Delivery: This is also something I was quite interested in. For me pizza, while tasty, is a lazy food which I can have brought directly to my doorstep for a nominal charge. Right now, pizza delivery options in downtown Silver Spring and surrounding environs are somewhat lacking. By my account, the current delivery options include Domino's, Flippin' Pizza, Manny & Olga's, Pizza Hut, Mamma Lucia's (I think) and zPizza. Some of these pizzas are clearly better than others, but none of them are particularly appealing to me at this point. So will Pacci's be delivering to my house anytime soon? Sadly, no, but those of you who are fortunate to live a little closer to Pacci's may shortly be in luck. In about sixty days or so they plan to begin delivery service, but only within a small radius of the restaurant.

Maybe I'll just need to move.

UPDATE: Oh, one other thing I should mention - Pacci's will also be open for breakfast, offering fresh baked croissants and other breakfast-y things to go along with your espresso drinks.

Special thanks to Spiro and the Pacci's staff, who saved me from a healthy dinner comprised of grilled chicken and vegetables.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What'd I Miss?

I've been gone for awhile, so forgive me if this is all old news... I'm still trying to catch up.

- What an incredible coincidence that the Silver Spring home of murdered D.C. school principal Brian Betts is the same house in which a man and his daughter were brutally killed in 2002, an event which received significant coverage at the time. Homicides are pretty rare in Silver Spring, at least outside the University/Piney Branch area, making the odds of unrelated homicides in a single house pretty low.

Betts didn't know about the house's dark past when he moved in the year following the murders. After he learned about the crime, his Realtor hired two ministers to perform an exorcism on his home. Is this a standard service of Realtors?

Though the two crimes are seemingly unconnected, it's weird to think that had Betts known about the first one, he'd likely have not bought the house and would still be alive today. It will be quite interesting to see if/when this otherwise perfectly fine house sells again or if it will be torn down, à la O.J.'s former home in Brentwood.

Now on to lighter topics such as restaurant openings, which will always be the #1 topic of conversation in Silver Spring, save for the occasional brawl on Ellsworth.

- Can anyone confirm if Pacci's Brick Oven Pizza on Georgia Avenue is now officially open for business? The opening was originally scheduled for the 15th, but like all restaurant openings it got pushed back a bit. The last I heard it was slated to open on the 22nd. I'd like to get my Neapolitan pizza on this weekend, if possible.

- In other down-Georgia-Avenue restaurant news, SoCo Eats recently posted an update on the restaurant/bar eventually opening up in the old Silver Spring fire station. The restaurant will appropriately be named named Fire Station 1. Despite expectations (plans?) to the contrary, it turns out the restaurant isn't officially associated with the Hook & Ladder Brewing Company, which is based in Silver Spring.

Commenters on the SCE blog worry that plans to make the restaurant "kid-friendly" equate to emasculating what was anticipated to be a brewpub for grown-ups, something that could help fill the general deficiency in nightlife options in Silver Spring. (Though Jackie's new Sidebar could help assuage this situation, as well.) I agree that we don't need an Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag downtown, though I'll reserve judgment until it actually opens. At that point I will judge the hell out of it.

In the meantime, what I would like to know from FS1 is the following:

A. What will their total capacity be?
B. Will they be amenable to hosting the 2010 Zombie Walk pre-party this fall?

- Speaking of Silver Spring nightlife, the Gallery Nightclub in South Silver Spring was recently evicted. Can't say I ever went, but I do appreciate their interior design. Is anyone selling the furniture off? I could very much use two of those stools.

- The second Fenton Street Market of the year will be held tomorrow at the Corner of Fenton St. and Silver Spring Avenue. I missed last week's, so I'm interested to check it out tomorrow and see if it has evolved from one I made it to last fall.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

An extremely busy work and home schedule, accompanied by warm and sunny weather have resulted in the dearth of blog postings as of late. I'll also be away for a bit starting this week, though hopefully upon my return I will have the time and motivation to do something more of substance. In the meantime, here are a few miscellaneous items...

- Last month I missed the fourth anniversary of this blog's founding. A happy belated birthday to it.

- As I'm sure you are aware, 8407 (pictured below) is open for business, though I haven't had the opportunity to try it myself. Personally, I think it's best to give a place at least a month or two to let get the staff familiar with the menu and all the kinks worked out. Perhaps when I get back from vacation. Most reviews I've heard so far, including those on Yelp! seem to indicate a good start, though some clearly disagree (and in the process take the opportunity call me a "a gentrified Yankee-transplant so-called 'local'".)

Photo from 8407's Flickr Account

I certainly appreciate 8407's investment towards creating a clean and modern space for their interior. It brings a little more class to downtown Silver Spring.

- Also recently opened: The Sidebar, named for its spacial relation to Jackie's Restaurant, rather than its presumed future popularity with judges and lawyers. DCist has a first look.

- Did anyone hit up Silver Spring's Big Cherry Block Party, this past Saturday? How was it? While I had intended to attend myself, I later decided I needed to maximize the opportunity provided by the beautiful spring weather to complete some outdoor projects.

- The Silver Spring summer concert series will not be canceled after all.

- Someone (Cool Hand Luke?) busted open a bunch of meters in the county parking lot on the 8200 block of Fenton Street. The cops want to know if you've come across anyone "with unexplained large amounts of coins." Were it me, I'd be at the Coinstar redeeming the coinage for Amazon.com credit codes. Ha, ha, just kidding - everyone knows those machines are never actually in service.

- A week from Saturday, the lot at the corner of Fenton St. and Silver Spring Ave. will host this year's first Fenton Street Market, whose two dates last fall were apparently successful enough to justify making it a weekly event.