I had been hearing good things about Comet Ping Pong for a long time. Besides raves about the pizza and beer selection, the Chevy Chase eatery often garnered big thumbs-ups from parents for kid-friendliness. However, it’s location on the other side of town from where we live kept us from getting over there to check it out ourselves. That is, until LivingSocial came out with a Comet deal a few weeks ago. I snatched it up immediately; not only was it a great offer, it would get our family out there to finally see what the props were all about.
It didn’t take long to put the deal to use. We found ourselves with a nice chunk of free time over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and I swear I could hear the pizza not just calling, but singing, my name from across the city. So, Comet Ping Pong, it was.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect before we went; the whole Ping Pong thing kind of threw me off, and I kept trying to imagine what Two Amy’s would look like with a little table tennis action. But upon my first look as we walked in, I started to understand the hype from parents. It’s comfortable. Not cushy-comfortable with fluffy pillows and warm colors, but really, super casual, so you feel like you can go there wearing anything, with or without kids, the little ones could be noisy or hyper or having a major meltdown and it would be okay…that kind of comfortable. It’s a lofty space, with a somewhat industrial, bare-bones feel – simple wood and steel booths filling up the front area, exposed pipes overhead, concrete walls and floors. Music playing and chatter from patrons keeps the noise at a nice level. Beyond the tables, the bar and wood burning oven take up a fair amount of space, and in a room beyond that, there are three ping pong tables where anyone can play for free (balls are available in a vending machine for 25 cents).
While the décor might be plain, the food is anything but – as long as you like pizza. Besides about seven or eight signature pies (plus the option to make your own), Comet doesn’t serve much else other than a few salads and chicken wings. But that’s all you need. I’m not really sure what style you’d call the pizza, but it’s thin-crust, cooked in a wood-burning oven offered with a variety of toppings. Pies, which range from $12 – $17, are small and can be eaten solo (as my husband did) or shared between two people (as Owen and I did). My husband had the “Time Out,” with merguez sausage, potato, melted onions, sage, gorgonzola, and dates, while Owen and I had a white pie with proscuitto. We ate every scrap with gusto. And that was after polishing off salads – the Green Salad and the Jimmy the Greek split among us. We passed on the beers, but I do recall the selection was good, with several on tap and many more bottled.
Of course, I have to mention the Ping Pong. That was the ultimate deal-maker for us. While Comet’s pizza is incredibly tasty and the atmosphere inviting, we can get good pizza in a cool place close to home. But having an activity for the kids while they wait for their food is a special bonus. Owen had a blast hitting around with his dad, and there was no fuss as we waited for our meal. We saw plenty of other kids having just as much fun, and several grown-ups, too.
My only word of caution about Comet is the bathrooms, which are hidden. The doors blend seamlessly into the walls at the back, so don’t be fooled. We almost had a minor catastrophe trying to find them. But if we were to have that kind of mishap in public, Comet would be an okay place for it happen.
Comet Ping Pong is located at 5037 Connecticut Ave NW in Chevy Chase.