Faculty favorites: Mr. Singer’s perfect pi(e)

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Lucy Harllee

Jeremy Singer is much more than your average math teacher. He is a curling enthusiast, hydration devotee, Quizbowl fanatic, self-proclaimed weirdo, and an overall character, making him the perfect candidate to point me to a taste-bud-fulfilling restaurant. And so, the pressing question emerged: what delicacy could such an eccentric man indulge in on a night out? The answer? Pizza.

“My favorite is Pizzeria DaMarco in Bethesda. I don’t go out often, but when I do it’s there with my wife. We started going about two years ago,” Singer said with a smile on his face. “I like pizza, I like good pizza, and it’s a Neapolitan pizza place. Basically, what that means is the ingredients have to be really fresh in order for the restaurant to be named Neapolitan officially.” Singer recommended the Quattro Formaggi Pizza, which he described as an all-white pizza (with no tomato sauce), leaving me a bit skeptical. Pizza with no tomato sauce? Hard to get right—only living up to its expectations if the four cheeses complement each other nicely, are not overpowering or ‘too cheesy.’ While opening his can of Diet Coke Singer asked me, “Any more questions?” “Just one, a Diet Coke with that?” “Of course, Diet Coke with everything.”

A few days later, I hopped on the Red Line after school and took the train to Bethesda. The Pizzeria was about a ten minute walk from the metro stop and not in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Bethesda Row. When I walked in, there was a couple sitting at a table and a few singles seated at the bar. It was more upscale than I had anticipated, a little ill-fitting for a 4:15 p.m. post-school snack. But pizza is pizza.

The pizza oven was in view from the seating area, which was fun to watch, accompanied by the 1980s classic rock that was playing. The Quattro Formaggi ‘Pizza Special’ came out quick and hot, along with my ice-cold Diet Coke. The pizza was the appropriate size for two, and as I dug in, the cheese connecting the pieces pulled apart just satisfying enough, not to the point where you get frustrated due to the stringiness. Its crust was done to my liking, a thin layer of crispness with a light, puffy, cloud-like center; the perfect balance. However, if you like a thick and bready or thin and crispy crust, this pie is not for you. The fresh mozzarella provided a soft base, allowing other flavors to pop, the parmesan and fontina gave texture and a hint of sweetness, and finally, the gorgonzola topped the pizza off on a stinky cheese note. The gorgonzola was not my favorite because of its intense flavor, but if you are a pungent cheese person, it’s right on. Thanks to Singer, I had a chilled beverage to wash it all down, although I’m not much of a diet soda girl myself. Overall, this $13.95 pizza deserves a 7/10. Two hot takes: Better than a $13 Papa John’s pizza, but, I’m sorry to break it to you Mr. Singer, Pizzeria Da Marco is no Comet Pizza.