DUBLIN, Va. – When you walk into Basil Pizza, you see American flags draped from the ceiling and quirky signs like the one that says, “Say no to drugs & yes to pizza.” You’re greeted by Mohamed Al-Sayed who, just six years ago, was still living in Egypt.
Now, he says, “Dublin is my family…my second family.”
While Al-Sayed was looking for work, he tells us, “I was cooking, if I have time, at home with my wife…just trying to help.”
It was then that he realized his love for Italian food, which took off because of the variety.
“You can do pasta, you can do pizza and subs. It’s a lot.”
And it’s a lot that he has to offer on the Basil Pizza menu. The menu is massive with 16 specialty pizzas, stromboli, calzones, pizza, subs, burgers, etc. He does go beyond Italian food too.
“We also add some Egyptian food,” mainly in the form of Falafel.
Now, the key to most great restaurants is the effort and love put into the recipes and the food. There’s no shortage of either here. Everything from the dough to the sauce is homemade, but with a secret ingredient that isn’t so secret after all.
Al-Sayed reveals, “Basil is in everything in the main recipe.”
As he tossed the dough like a pro and layered the sauce and cheese, we looked on with watering mouths beneath our masks. When it came time to do our weekly taste test, I couldn’t help but wonder about the sauce. Having grown up around Italian food, that’s something I’m particular about.
After one bite, I said to Al-Sayed, “That sauce is perfect. ‘It’s not salty or anything. It’s really fresh.” And I meant every word of it.
Next up were the mini rolls and the cheesesteak, which he says have been top sellers in the past year and a half. And if you’re like Al-Sayed, he says he offers this other than just pizza because, “I love to make pizza more than to eat it. It would make me a little bit of fat.”
Basil Pizza is open 11a-9p Monday through Thursday, 11a-10p Friday and Saturday and noon to 9 Sunday.