Pidzza will bring Turkish inspired pizza to Washington, D.C., when it opens its first flagship location in Ivy City at 2000 Hecht Avenue NE this winter. Owner Koray Bozkurt expects a Chinatown location to follow soon after at 736 6th Street NW. Inspired by one of the world’s favorite foods, the concept will serve up gourmet pizza with a Turkish flare.

“My team is thrilled to bring our modern take on pizza to Ivy City, one of Washington’s most watched, up and coming communities,” says Bozkurt. “I moved to the U.S. from Turkey in 2005, and I see a global community in my backyard. Pidzza is my way of introducing our culture to neighbors.”

Guests can choose to either build unique “do it yourself” salads or ‘pidzzas’ utilizing fresh, local ingredients, or order from a menu of inspired options unique to regions around Turkey. Everything from the oven will be crafted on one of two housemade doughs, one gluten-free, stretched to form traditional Turkish pide shapes and topped with an array of ingredients. Selections include The L.M.C., named for Lahmacun in Southern Turkey, where pide is traditionally topped with fresh ground angus beef, tomatoes, onion, parsley, green and red peppers, and a special spice blend. Other classic combinations include The Cauli, topped with roasted cauliflower, roma tomatoes, chicken and Parmesan, and Shrooms, a portabella mushroom pidzza with kale leaves, caramelized onions and shredded fontina cheese.

Open for breakfast, and available all day, Pidzza will also offer a pidzza topped with roasted cinnamon candied bacon, baby spinach, gruyere, and two fresh eggs. Those craving something sweet will relish in Pidzza’s S’more with marshmallows and chocolate chips on a graham cracker pide, or Hazel, a chocolate pidzza crust with Nutella spread, white chocolate shavings, almonds and seasonal fruit.

Pidzza will offer hearty salads topped with Mediterranean spices, fruits and nuts. The Roka is a bed of organic arugula with gorgonzola, sunflower sweets and pomegranate-sumac infused lemon juice. The Kioa takes organic quinoa and adds roasted curry cauliflower, chicken, cilantro, raisins, sriracha, and a cucumber tahini yogurt.

Pidzza will not offer alcoholic drinks right away, but will be one of only a few places in Washington where guests can find small-batch brewed Appalachian Craft Sodas. Guests will also be introduced to Turkey’s national drink ayran, a cool blend of fresh yogurt and mint, carbonated with just a touch of salt.

“Community and family are two important pillars of Turkish culture,” Bozkurt says. “At home every corner café and restaurant has a system to take care of their guests who can afford to pay for their meal. If someone has forgotten cash or simply cannot pay, it is part of our culture to take care of that guest whenever possible.” To that end, Pidzza is creating a "giving back bank" where management and guests will leave excess cash to pay for a neighbor’s meal later. “Our interpretation of this benevolence concept that started in Naples, Italy, continuing into Turkey and beyond, is what Americans would call ‘paying it forward.'” The restaurant is also in the process of selecting a local community partner to benefit from funds raised on opening day.

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