For anybody who has not heard of Comet Ping Pong (which we hadn’t before seeing it on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives), you should look it up now. The entrance of the building is marked by a retro looking Comet sign, and the doors used as the entrance are hidden behind a square corridor of bushes. With a ping pong table constantly being used outside, this location is hard to miss.
The crowd inside of Comet is a mix of college students, families, and couples looking for a fun date night. The front room is set up with long tables where strangers are sat to eat side-by-side. Just past the open kitchen lies a second room filled with, you guessed it!, more ping pong tables. This back room is a great place to pass time while waiting to be seated (up to 40 minute wait). We enjoyed a few games of ping pong ourselves and were told the wait would be half an hour, but were pleased to be seated after only 15 minutes. The dining area has a huge television that shows nothing but ping pong matches–making even the least coordinated feeling like they can paddle the world (excuse the pun).
Now, onto the delicious food! As a trio, we decided to order an appetizer, two “individual” pizzas, and a single scoop of ice cream for dessert. A well rounded meal that totaled $40.00 with two soft drinks included. The appetizer of choice were the much talked about Comet Hot Wings w/ Dipping Sauce. We were not sure what to expect as our waitress told us that they “are like nothing you can imagine.” The wings definitely were a surprise. Char-grilled rather than the traditional fried, the wings had an Asian flare and a spice to match the black coloring. The meat fell right off the bone, reminding our guest reviewer of ribs. The dipping sauce that accompanies these tasty treats was a unique combination of horseradish and sour cream. Mixing the flavors together provided something satisfying for all of us. Although the wings are not for the faint of heart, they have the perfect kick–not too much to deter those who can’t handle spice, but just enough to satiate those who crave a slight burn. Overall, we give the wings high marks and suggest these as a must when ordering. [A couple next to use ordered the Homemade Meatballs as an appetizer and informed us that they were even better than the wings!]
The first pizza delivered to our table is called the Yallie and is a crowd favorite. The Yallie has a wonderful mix of fresh ingredients: Clams, garlic, melted onions, thyme, and parsley all spread out atop some of the best pizza crust that we have experienced. The crust is light and warm entirely through… it has a softness and taste that made us believe that asiago cheese may be mixed in with the dough before baking. All the ingredients used at Comet are fresh and local, causing a noticeable impact on the overall taste of the pizza. The Yallie comes with fresh lemon slices that are meant to be squeezed over the pizza. A little skeptical at first, we were delighted by the the effect the lemon had on the pizza. The Yallie is a great choice! How many times have you had clams and lemon on a pizza?
Our second pizza to be delivered was The Time Out. This pizza also had local ingredients. Topping this pie was Stan’s Local Merguez sausage, parsley, melted onions (this ingredient is on most of the pizzas), potato, and gorgonzola cheese. We only had one concern while ordering this pizza: Gorgonzola is a very strong cheese that is hard to work with due to its often overpowering flavor. However, the ingredients on this pizza complimented each other perfectly and the gorgonzola was the perfect touch! Once again, a highly recommended pizza.
Finally, dessert. Comet Ping Pong boasts that they have the best tiramisu ever. Although the tiramisu was a tempting choice, we decided to try their organic and locally made ice cream. Our waitress suggested another crowd favorite: Salted Praline. All we can say is that the ice cream was unbelievably creamy and every bite left us craving more! The salted praline flavor can be compared to a butter pecan… but, in our opinion, a butter pecan on steroids.
Overall, Comet Ping Pong was a fun and delicious experience. Our tips for ordering are to try a pizza that may be out of your comfort zone because the unique combos at Comet are more often a hit than a bust. We also suggest going with a friend, get an appetizer and one pizza, saving a little room for dessert. This way the bill is cheaper and you can try more items on the menu! Because all of the ingredients are local, fresh, and in many cases organic, you do pay a little more than anticipated. The food and atmosphere are all worth the extra cost!
As for getting to this awesome location, take the red line metro to either the Van Dress stop or the Tenleytown stop. Either way, you may have to walk some distance, but it is not an arduous walk by any means, so lace up and hit this great location!