A zest for zPizza

Oct. 19, 2006, midnight | By Erica Turner | 13 years, 8 months ago

New pizza joint brings Italy to Silver Spring

The first thing you notice as you open the pastel lettered doors of zPizza is the intense smell of pizza cooking in the oven, accompanied by vibrant red and orange colored walls adorned with pictures of different vegetables. Chefs stand in the open preparation area where salads, calzones, sandwiches and pizzas are made to order, and the big searing oven sits behind the registers where friendly employees wait to take your order.

The new Italian chain in Downtown Silver Spring doesn't offer anything unique in terms of decor. This place definitely gives off a chain vibe with its generic decorations and overhead lighting. Fortunately, the food makes up for any lack of originality in the interior.

After picking up a bite to eat, customers can find a seat among the booth and table arrangement throughout the restaurant to chow down. The Greek salad is nothing exciting, prepared with typical ingredients and what tastes like store bought balsamic vinaigrette. But the salad livens up as the veggies, especially the tomatoes, are surprisingly crisp and fresh. The pepperoni pizza is a tasty blend of hot cheese and delicious bread enhanced with a savory taste. The crust is thin and crispy, baked to perfection.

The fresh quality of the ingredients used in every dish is what makes the taste of the food so unique. zPizza is involved with the Healthy Dining program which means that nutrition experts analyze restaurant's recipes to make sure that they meet recommended nutrition guidelines.

The pizzas' dough is made with premium Montana winter wheat and the cheese, made from Wisconsin skim mozzarella, rests atop certified organic tomato sauce. The toppings are refreshingly unique with MSG free pepperoni, additive-free sausage and fresh produce. All of these ingredients definitely make all the zPizza menu items worth trying.

Unfortunately, good tastes and healthy benefits come at a high price. A medium cheese pizza with eight slices goes for about $13.20 and the average salad goes for $5.95. Even one slice of this delicious pizza is $2.70, which may tempt customers to walk down the street to Jerry's, where they can purchase a whole large pizza for $5 on any Monday night. But while prices are a little steep, the extra cash is totally worth the mouth-watering taste of gourmet pizza, hot and scrumptious from the zPizza oven.

zPizza is located at 815 Ellsworth Drive., Silver Spring. To contact the restaurant, please call 301-495-5536.

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