I’ve found some great pizzas in NoVA. From New York-style to neo-Neapolitan, we’ve got our carbs covered. But Detroit-style, which has only really gotten national attention in the last decade, has been harder to pin down. Until now. Emmy Squared, a small chain that began in Brooklyn, touched down in Old Town Alexandria at the end of June, bringing with it pies that helped fuel the country’s square-pizza mania.
With a menu of meat-free pizzas and sharable salads, it’s easy for even the most avowed carnivore to dine at Emmy Squared and have a meatless meal without even noticing. The eggplant parm was sold out when I dined there, but that’s available as both a platter and sandwich. Not that I would have even considered missing the pizza.
But first, salad. I tried the Brussels sprouts, which are shaved into something like a fine slaw. Bits of cashew and chunky blue cheese lend a nuttiness that complements the tangy sweetness of dried cherries and pickled onions. Unfortunately, the miso dressing was so light that I questioned whether it was present at all, leaving the salad oddly dry.
There were no such issues with the pizza. For my first time at any pizzeria, I like to order a Margherita in order to try the place’s wares at their most basic. But Emmy Squared’s Margherita is anything but plain. First, there’s the thick crust (made with King Arthur Baking Company flour) with its cracker-crisp edges. There isn’t a pizza bone I would rather eat. Not that there’s too much of it; the thick, tangy tomato sauce rises all the way to the edge of the pie. So does the stretchy layer of mozzarella. Blobs of cream-filled burrata and basil leaves dress up the pizza.
There are plenty of other vegetarian pizzas at Emmy Squared–next time I have it on my radar to give the Angel Pie, with ricotta, mushrooms, and Truffleist mushroom cream, a shot. But this is one pizza that proves there’s nothing wrong with ordering the Margherita. 124 King St., Alexandria
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