The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2016 Spring Dining Guide.
Part rec center, part chow hall, Comet Ping Pong is what Chuck E. Cheese should aspire to, save maybe for the lackadaisical service: a pizza parlor for (discerning) kids of all ages. The industrial venue with the scarred walls and tomato sauce that smacks of summer takes its name from multiple ping-pong tables set up in the back. An igloo of a wood-fired oven near the bar dispenses puffy, plate-size pizzas decorated with the usual suspects as well as toppings that change with the calendar (this season, whole soft-shell crabs or springy lamb meatballs). Can’t wait for your pie to bake? Chicken wings are soft, spicy and messy; pureed cauliflower lends its profile to a novel “hummus” flanked with vegetables and breadsticks for dipping. And the proper cocktails are no doubt salve to those in charge of the many diners with sippy cups, particularly on weekends. The monosyllabic dude tending bar is the opposite of jolly, but he manages to crack a smile and an eye roll when we inquire about the gray, surfboard-size daggers suspended over our heads. “Sound proofing?” we ask. “Glaciers breaking apart” — climate-change art — he corrects us.
→5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-0404. cometpingpong.com.
Open: Dinner daily, lunch Friday, brunch Saturday and Sunday.
Prices: Dinner and lunch pizzas $9 to $19, brunch pizzas $13 to $15.
Sound check: 87 decibels / Extremely loud.
Previously (2009): 2.5 stars