After establishing Classic Burger Joint as one of Beirut’s favorite restaurants, the guys behind it decided to open up a pizza place a few meters away: Tomatomatic Pizza.
The feedback I received from friends was either extremely horrible, or divinely good. So, Mika and I decided to try it for ourselves and he ended up waiting for me 40 minutes as I cut my hair in Dbayeh. Regardless, here’s what I think:
Tomatomatic was born with an over-achieving sibling, so naturally, a LOT is expected from this new restaurant. Surprisingly enough though, for me at least, it did live up to expectations. The interior and decor are very similar to that of CBJ, perhaps more minimal and of course a warmer red instead of the trademark bubbly yellow, but the same cozy seating arrangement where everyone having dinner is only centimeters away.
Before getting to the food, there’s really one thing that won me over: the pizza wheel you get with your fork! I was supremely amused by this ingenius contraption, and for once, it wasn’t just the pizza-baker who was having all the fun. Moving on…
The pizza was delicious. I had a swiss’n’mushroom specialty pizza. The dough is thick and fluffy with a generous dose of swiss cheese. The mushrooms were exquisite, but I could’ve definitely used some more. It’s the sauce though that’s the winner, being smooth enough not to scorch the roof of your mouth and throat, but with enough zing to remind you you’re not eating mankouchet jebneh with mushrooms.
If you don’t like your pizza thick and fluffy, you could order the non-specialty pizzas with thinner dough. However, if you do love it, you could always order the deep-pan pizza, with plenty of dough.
The staff are great, and much to my surprise, Teta was there! I guess you could call him the CBJ-Tomatomatic “midwife”, helping each branch get on its feet before moving on to the next branch/project.
Verdict: It’s only the second pizza I’ve ever had in Lebanon that did not fail to impress (the first is Napoletana’s Frutti di Mare pizza)
Price: The most expensive pizza is for 20,000 LL, so it’s not PHD-cheap, but pretty fair for the quality ingredients and toppings
Atmosphere: It’s smoke-free (WIN) and a bit more laid-back than the always-bustling CBJ
Staff: Courteous, knowledgeable and have a good sense of humor
Food: I’d recommend the swiss & mushroom specialty burger! And the dough balls to start off!