Restaurant Review: Timber Pizza Company

Every Wednesday, a long line of students winds through Red Square hoping to get a taste of one of the District’s most famed food trucks — Timber Pizza Company — at the farmers’ market.

Students, professors and other members of the community loosen their belts one notch and open their wallets in preparation for the full-sensory immersion of this gourmet pizza experience.

Timber Pizza boasts a wide range of wood-burning, oven-cooked artisanal pizzas. In 2014, co-founders Andrew Dana and Chris Brady began launching their savory pizza line at farmers’ markets across D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

The team became a local sensation, and was picked up by chef Dani Moreira. Moreira, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is the executive chef at the team’s first established storefront at 809 Upshur Drive, NW, Petworth, which opened its doors this past summer. With praises from The Washingtonian and DC Eater, as well as rave reviews in Zagat, Timber Pizza has become a new hit in D.C.

After stealing bites of my friends’ pies during farmers’ market each Wednesday, I decided to travel to Timber Pizza’s Petworth location to give it a try.

Timber Pizza’s environment and ambiance compensated for the 25-minute Uber drive, and made the long journey well worth it. The small storefront did not do justice to the large and expansive interior. The exposed white-wash brick is reminiscent of an airy New York City loft, while the wood-brick oven in the central hearth brings eaters into a Tuscan backyard. Metal stools and chestnut wood benches give off the feel of a Nashville barbeque joint, while the excellent wait staff and take-out service bring you right back to mom’s kitchen. The entire restaurant exudes a cozy feel — Dana, one of the owners, took my order, and the other owner gave me my food and held the door for me as I left the buzzing atmosphere.

Navigating the menu was difficult, as all of the pizzas are unique and loaded with a variety of ingredients, from sweet potato fritters and provolone on “The Ackley”($15.50), to 16-hour slow roasted pork and pineapple chunk on “The Lot” ($16). Eventually, I ordered “The Dunya” salad ($7), the “Cheese Please” ($12) pizza and the “Green Monster” ($15) to bring back to my two roommates.

“The Dunya” was a hearty appetizer, with leafy greens unearthing a layer of sweet potato, butternut squash, beets and pistachios.  The salad came with a za’atar vinaigrette, which I could have gone without since the leftover seasoning from the ingredients — mainly the potatoes and squash — gave the salad enough flavor. Each salad can be ordered for one ($7) or for sharing ($18).

Luckily, I was not full enough to pass on slices of both pizzas, which were happily shared and devoured among the three of us. Timber nicely combines a variety of cheeses on the “Cheese Please” pie, offering a provolone and mozzarella mix as well as classic mozzarella over the whole pizza. The provolone gives a mature flavor, which contrasts nicely with the sweetness of tomato and basil.

While the “Cheese Please” was a fresh take on a classic cheese pie, the highlight of the meal was the “Green Monster”. With a pesto sauce and feta cheese base, this pizza offered the perfect balance of leafy greens and aged cheese. Not to mention the kale and zucchini, which were crisped to perfection and placed on top of this already mouth-watering medley.

Prices are average for a 10-inch pizza, at $12 for the “Cheese Please” and $15 for the “Green Monster.” Yet, the high-quality presentation, flavors and combination of fresh vegetables and cheese make the prices seem like a bargain. The menu allows for add-ons, ranging from $1 to $3, for those who wish to customize their pizza with a personal twist.

Those who do not have time to trek to Petworth can stop by Timber Pizza’s mobile cart at the farmers’ market in Red Square, where getting gourmet food is as easy as pie.

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