Restaurant Review: Toscana Pizzeria

Toscana Pizzeria
601 Summit Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 325-0877

My wife and kids ate at Toscana Pizzeria this past Saturday night due to (a) the proximity to the downtown REI store, and (b) a prominent ranking in Citysearch based on the “Kid Friendly” category.

The good: The pizza was excellent. Really, among the best-tasting pizza I’ve had in a while. I ordered a custom job with pineapple, black olives and green peppers and it came out hot and delicious.

The bad. Here we go. There were so many things to point out that I’m not sure where to start. Let’s do it in chronological order.

When I called to ask them exactly where they were the well-meaning but English-challenged waitress couldn’t really help me out. We ended up divining it after driving around west Capitol Hill for a short while.

Parking is…a real pain in the ass in that neighborhood. Looping around those blocks with two hungry kids, looking for a parking space with more than 6″ of clearance at each bumper is not my idea of a relaxing pre-meal activity.

The restaurant itself is tiny. The tables are small and cramped.

The staff? Not one person spoke English natively. They spent most of the time in the back, working on pizzas for take-out and delivery customers. I actually had to go up to the front counter and try to get their attention to place my order.

The whole place had what I might describe as a “pizza sheen” to it. They could do with bit more Windex or Formula 409 or something. The menus, the tabletops, etc. were all a little….slick.

It was silent, eerily so.  This place needs a little background music.

The tables didn’t have any napkins or utensils on them. With kids, you try to distract them with spoons so they don’t stick their fingers in electrical outlets. 🙂 We had to ask for both napkins and forks after our appetizer came out.

Overall: This is a place that obviously caters to the local take-out and delivery crowd. By my count, there were 5 take-out orders and two deliveries while we were there, vs. only one other dine-in couple. The pizza is great, and I would order from here in a minute if I lived nearby. But as a “kid-friendly” dine-in establishment it misses the mark. We won’t be returning via any other method except a phone call.

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