Dear Slice: Ledo's in College Park, Maryland

Reaching in to the Slice mailbag, we've got a great piece of email from Slice'r Summerfield.


[Photograph: Tommy Marcos Ledo Restaurant Facebook Page]

Dear Slice, Letters from Slice'rsI recently got down to D.C. to visit my daughter and finally got to shovel in a 2Amys Margherita pie. My daughter lives within walking distance, which is nice. What can I say? The pie was probably one of the most dee-licious I've ever eaten, and no soggy center. I don't know why people knock this place. Go in the early afternoon, as I hear that evening dining is hectic.

But what I wanted to talk about is this, after reading the 21 regional pizza styles article.

There's a place in College Park, Maryland, called Ledo's that's been in business a long time. I used to eat their pizza frequently when I lived close by 35 years ago. They're franchised now, so I'm talking only about the original place in College Park [known as Tommy Marcos Ledo Restaurant].

The pie has a thin crust, almost crackerlike. I don't remember this, but from posts at Chowhound Ledo's uses a smoked mozzarella. Sauce might have been on the sweet side, probably a cooked sauce. The pie is cut party-style as in the picture of the Chicago thin crust pizza.

I enjoyed this pizza and have eaten many. But Ledo's takes a beating on Chowhound (probably from NY-style snobs — it's OK, I'm from New York), and I think unfairly because, in my opinion, it should be considered a unique style in its own right. Maryland style? College Park style?

Anyway...I'm suggesting that if you ever do get down to D.C. (where 2 Amys should be first on your list), you should try to break away and get to the original Ledo's in College Park if for no other reason than to see for yourself how Ledo fits in with the "21 regional pizza styles." They have a webpage.

On a different note, I had a chance to sample more pizza from Tomatoes Apizza in Farmington Hills, Michigan, this time from the coal-fired oven store. The pizzas, one cheese and one sausage, were perfect. Even after traveling 45 miles to bring the pizzas home, the pizzas still retained their deliciousness. Tomatoes is pizza crying out in the wilderness.

Yours in pizza,

------------------------------------------------------------ Summerfield!

Thanks for the email and the testimonial for 2Amys, Ledo, and Tomatoes Apizza.

2Amys: I've actually been. Once. Crust flavor was great when I went. (I went shortly after lunchtime, and there were 2 only other tables occupied in the place.) It's a beautiful space, especially during a slow lunch. Maybe it was "off," while I was there (though with no rush, I don't see why it would be), but my pizza was soggy. As it's Neapolitan, I've come to expect that, though. Everything else about it was excellent. I'm afraid I'll never be a fan of the "wet" center. From what I had, though, I would definitely give it another chance.

Ledo: I remember when Oprah did her "best pizza in the U.S." show and her friend, Gayle King, recommended Ledo — apparently Gayle went to the University of Maryland there and had fond memories of it. This was quite some time ago — here's an article from 2006 detailing Gayle's visit.

Tomatoes: Funny you should bring this up. While I was in Ann Arbor for that Domino's look-see last week, I made it to the coal-oven Tomatoes on 14 Mile Road. I am in complete agreement with you on its awesomeness. It was maybe a little heavily cheesed and sauced compared to its New Haven progenitors (maybe a nod to a hearty Midwestern audience — it's OK, I can say that ... I'm a hearty Midwesterner myself), but otherwise it was a dead ringer for some of the pizzas on New Haven's Wooster Street. I'll write more about it this week.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Hasta la pizza, Adam