Even in the midst of winter there’s plenty to see and do in the neighborhood. Our neighbor to the north, Ivy City, is experiencing a revival of its own with new businesses opening on a frequent basis. Allow me to make a few suggestions of places to visit.
Pidzza Serves Pizza with a Turkish Twist
Pidzza (http://www.pidzza.com, 2000 Hecht Ave. NE), a fast-casual restaurant serving “gourmet pizza with a Turkish flair,” opened its doors last month in Ivy City. The name Pidzza comes from combining the names of two delicious dishes, the Turkish pide and the more familiar pizza.
The menu features six signature pizzas, including the cauli, which comes topped with chicken, roasted curried cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, caramelized onion, shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped fresh chives and a roasted garlic cream cheese. I was impressed by the artichoke pizza, which includes its namesake, plus baby spinach, jalapeño, fresh mozzarella and a spinach artichoke cream.
Patrons can also create their own pies from a generous selection of toppings such as roasted brussels sprouts, pineapple, curried cauliflower, a Turkish beef sausage called sucuk, and vegan beef crumbles. The menu is vegetarian and vegan friendly, and even includes a gluten free dough. Salads come with dressing options like pomegranate-sumac lemon juice and cucumber tahini yogurt.
Those with a sweet tooth might want to order a dessert pizza. They offer one with a chocolate crust, Nutella, shaved white chocolate, almonds and seasonal fruits. All pizzas and salads run about $10. Pidzza is open 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily. This is Pidzza’s first location, but they have others in the works, including one on H Street NE.
JO Wilson PTA to Hold Silent Auction
The JO Wilson Elementary PTA (http://jowilsondc.org/jopta) will hold a silent auction Feb. 24 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (https://www.32auctions.com/JOWilsonAuction2017). Tickets are $45, which includes two drink vouchers. The auction will take place at Anthology (625 H St. NE, http://anthologydc.com). Grab a seat by the fire or face off against a friend at the pool table or dart board. Enjoy light appetizers with your cocktails, and remember that it’s all for a good cause. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event and silent auction go to the PTA to support school needs such as technology in the classrooms.
JO Wilson (http://jowilsondc.org), located at 660 K St. NE, serves a diverse student body with a range of academic, social, and wellness needs. It’s a Title I school, with over 90% of the student body qualifying for free or reduced price meals. Enrollment is on the rise, as are test scores, but the school still faces a number of challenges. They need your help to keep J.O. Wilson a beacon of opportunity for its students and families for years to come.
You can also donate funds outright, or sponsor the auction. JOWPTA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all gifts are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
ASL Trivia at the Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse
Local fans of pub quiz nights would be well advised to check out ASL Trivia (https://www.facebook.com/ASLTriviaDC) nights at the Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse Tavern (1356 Okie St. NE). It’s every second and fourth Monday of the month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., but teams are advised to arrive half an hour early to secure a good table. The wheelchair accessible space is well lit, and has round tables that make it easy to confer with teammates.
Questions are delivered in American Sign Language, but voice interpretation is provided so everyone can play. Play consists of four rounds, with eight questions per round. It’s a chance to test your knowledge, and maybe win a prize or two along the way. On a recent night the prizes included a round of free shots for the winning team, a $50 gift card, and the option to have your team’s tab covered for the night.
Geek Out with Nerds in NoMa
The popular free speaker series Nerds in NoMa (http://www.nomabid.org/events/nerds-in-noma) is back for another season. Upcoming topics for this season include a discussion of the role of the visual arts community in the District (Feb. 21), a look at NoMa-based think tanks and how they improve the neighborhood (March 21), and an examination of the importance of green space in the urban landscape (April 18).
The series runs from now through April every 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the speaking program begins at 6:30 p.m. Nerds in NoMa events take place at 1200 First St. NE.
Ari’s Diner Expands Hours
Ivy City’s newly opened Ari’s Diner (http://www.arisdiner.com, 2003 Fenwick St. NE) has added dinner service, expanding its hours from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. I stopped by to check the place out on a recent Saturday afternoon and I definitely plan to add it to my regular rotation. Ari’s offers your standard diner fare like monte cristo sandwiches ($12), and plates of pancakes with eggs, hashbrowns, and bacon or sausage. You can also order an adult milkshake ($11). I opted for a cookies and cream version with Bailey’s. It hit the spot, and was gone before I could tackle my eggs benedict ($13). My dining companion selected the crabcake sandwich ($17), accompanied by seasoned fries. Our friendly server made sure everything arrived promptly, and a cook alerted us to the chicken and waffles special that he said will soon appear on the regular menu.