Sunday, July 31, 2016


Four days ago, two p.m., Arielle and I have been working for about three hours on the L’Amérique rewrite. We are hungry, and over the last three weeks we’ve eaten at every franchise restaurant in a five-mile radius.   

Arielle says, “There’s a place called Angelico Pizza. I’ve ordered out, and it was pretty good.” She checks her phone. There’s one not two miles from my house on Lee Highway near Route 66. We drive there and it’s a typical storefront pizza place, with five parking spaces out front. It is now 2:30. We walk in. The small restaurant is totally, irremediably empty.

We order from a pleasant young man with heavily tattooed arms. Arielle gets a sandwich; I go for a bowl of spaghetti marinara with extra meatballs. We sit and wait. There are a couple of posters on the wall, five or six tables, a glass-front refrigerated case for drinks.

The food comes and it’s good; my spaghetti arrives with a large slice of excellent pizza and Arielle’s sandwich looks pretty decent as well. The price is more than fair, a tad less than twenty bucks for the both of us. We eat.  We remain the only customers. We leave.

Two days later we return. We are still the only customers and the tattooed young man behind the counter exactly remembers our orders. Arielle says, “I don’t think anyone’s been here since we came two days ago.” I think she may be right.

We discuss grammar, a recurrent theme in our editing of L’Amérique.  Arielle says mine is atrocious. I maintain it is actually inventive. We segue to the use of semi-colons, which I have a tendency to throw in whenever I am confused about using a comma or a period. Arielle says it is obvious semi-colons do not exist in France. I argue that they do, and they are called point virgule, which translates to period comma, and makes a lot more sense than calling something a half-something-or-other.

We eat. It is, once again, good. We are, once again, the only customers.

According to Google, there are six Angelico pizza places in the area. Four are in Washington and two are in Northern Virginia on Lee Highway.  I don’t know if there is a real Angelico or if this is a low-end franchise, but both Arielle and I thought the food was excellent and the price a bargain. A bonus: We could hear each other talk. No loud music or clatter from the kitchen.

So you should go there. I am all in favor of patronizing small businesses, and this was a whole lot better than any Pizza Hut, Domino’s or Papa John’s.

Oh. Neither Arielle nor I were paid for this endorsement.  Really.

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