Sure, it sounds like blasphemy, but it turns out that — gasp! — not everyone is a fan of pizza. Others simply may not be in the mood for it when their friends are, or may be avoiding the traditional pizza components for health or dietary reasons.
Fortunately, there are a lot of pizzerias that are also well known for their other menu items. These places also look beyond carb-heavy pastas or panini and calzones (which are just "pizzas that are harder to eat") to shake things up further.
The place: 2 Amys
The dish: Small pates
The deal: It's a controversial statement to make, but the small plates at 2 Amys often can eclipse the pizza. For the fans of anything briny, there are numerous preparations and varieties of anchovies and sardines. Or for those less into fish, tour the charcuterie and cheeses.
The place: Pete's New Haven-Style Apizza
The dish: Antipasti platter
The deal: The frequently changing, seasonal antipasti platter at Pete's Apizza often hits the spot. It features four different mini-salads that can contain ingredients like potatoes, pork confit, butternut squash, fava beans, cheese, or whatever the chefs feel like throwing together.
The place: RedRocks H Street
The dish: Entrees
The deal: The expansive Red Rocks on H Street in Northeast, offers a larger menu that could satiate the non-pizza lover. Try dishes like grilled shrimp drizzled with truffle honey, or a fire-roasted suckling pig with fried polenta and a tart green tomato marmalade.
The place: Matchbox
The dish: Mini-burgers and more
The deal: With the number of non-pizza entrees at Matchbox, it's easy to forget that it's main focus is pizza. Many visit for the sliders, but more elegant dishes like short ribs and scallops can please the whole group. Follow the individual locations on Twitter to check out the interesting specials each individual chef is whipping up for the day.
The place: Comet Ping Pong
The dish: Chicken
The deal: For those who want ping pong with their dinner, Comet Ping Pong offers a few great non-pizza options. Try the Comet-Wurst, which is a wood-roasted chicken and Hatch green chili sausage on a bed of white beans and pickled onions. Or go for the Comet wings with jerk seasoning.
The place: Pizzeria Orso
The dish: Meaty fare, salads
The deal: Chef Will Artley brings his previous restaurant experience to the menu at Pizzeria Orso. Dishes like grilled lamb kabob, lamb bacon sliders, and grilled octopus on white bean ragout might make it worth the detour, regardless of the pizza. The chef's recent health kick also means salads are made with care and attentiveness.
The place: Rustico
The dish: Gut busters
The deal: Rustico's non-food items can lean towards the heavy, but that's not necessarily a criticism. In winter, find rib-sticking dishes like their couscous carbonara. Additionally, the restaurant group's affiliation with Red Apron means high quality meats and crossover items like the Red Apron burger. No worries, dieters — there are greens like the Tuscan kale salad, too.
The place: Graffiato
The dish: Vegetables
The deal: Mike Isabella's restaurant draws plenty of patrons for its pizzas, pastas and prosecco on tap. But the restaurant has also drawn raves for its treatment of vegetables, whether it be roasted cauliflower or brussels sprouts.