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Consider talking to your boss about scoring a longer lunch hour, because All Purpose is debuting mid-day hours starting Aug. 2. The Shaw spot, located steps from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, will serve lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Early fan-favorite pies are on the menu, like the “Buona” with pepperoni glistening in chili honey, but Chef Mike Friedman has tacked on additions exclusive to lunch. Those include two sandwiches: a sweet & hot Italian pork sausage and a crispy eggplant and mozzarella sandwich brimming with basil.
Most pizzas on the All Purpose menu are named after pizza shops Friedman frequented growing up in Westfield, N.J. Same goes for the Cape May pizza with mozzarella, parmesan fonduta, little gem lettuce, and anchovy dressing, except that it’s inspired by his trips down the shore. “You know me, I’m nostalgic and All Purpose is, in a way, a love letter to my youth,” he says. He recalls going to one specific place for lunch that served “salad pizza,” or pizza dough with antipasto salad piled on top.
Friedman put a twist on it. “What if put Caesar salad on top of it [instead of our antipasto salad], holy shit that’s a great idea,” he says. Friedman cooks down a mixture of roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and ricotta cheese before baking it in the oven and topping it with the cool salad. “It eats so well with the temperature difference,” he adds. It’s also an ode to his business partners, Gareth Croke and Colin McDonough, who hail from South Jersey.
The [solidcore] crowd will dig lighter dishes like a cucumber and summer peach salad with shaved celery, pecorino, hazelnuts, and tarragon dressing or heirloom tomato panzanella with summer squash, fresh ricotta, and balsamic vinegar. Finally, there’s the option to eat like a (well-off) farmer in Tuscany with the “Tuscan Farmer’s Lunch.” The attractive platter splays assorted cheese, house-made salumi, seasonal fruit, giardinieria, olives, and bread.
There’s even more news from the All Purpose crew. The pizzeria will open for Monday dinner on Aug. 29 and in the more distant future (next summer), a second All Purpose will open in the Navy Yard with a take-out shop, as Washingtonian originally reported.
All Purpose, 1250 9th St. NW; (202) 849-6174; allpurposedc.com