I'm working on a post about some pizza I had in D.C. a little while ago, but I want to preface that discussion with some thoughts I had that were inspired by one of the places in D.C. that I visited. If you read the List of U.S. Regional Pizza Styles a while back, I guess this "style" might go in there, but it's not so much regional as it is contextual, circumstantial, or philosophical. I actually blabbed this out a bit in a blog-post comment during the holidays, but I wanted to highlight it here so I can refer back it a little more easily.
I won't go too much into [Maria's Pizza] here since I've already blabbed about it at length over here, but I do have something new to add, and it's something I've been thinking about the last couple of months. Maria's is archetypical pizza parlor pizza. After visiting a bunch of high-end pizzerias in October, I kept longing for what I'd call "pizza parlor pizza." It's not striving for sustainorganica toppings or Neapartisanal perfection. These places are just making pizza the way they've always done it--passed on from generation to generation.
I'm not going to try to define "pizza parlor pizza" too narrowly, but I keep thinking of something Mike Gebert (Sky Ful of Bacon) wrote in a really great blog post:
I had my heart set on pizza, because I saw a box which said "Since 1957," and one of my rules is, always try a pizza that dates back to the 1950s. There is always a small possibility that in the intervening 35+ years, they have NOT screwed it up by trying to make it more like Domino's or something.
And, so, I think that any place that has been opened since the '50s, still has the same family running it, and hasn't really changed much since then pretty much qualifies as serving "pizza parlor pizza" in my book. (Of course, I can think of some newer places with similar vibe.)
One of the "newer places" I'm thinking of that serve up something reminiscent of "pizza parlor pizza" will be mentioned in the post I'm working on. I'll blag that up here later today.
Update: Here, I've blog-blabbed it now — http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/01/pizzeria-paradiso-washington-dc-2-amys-mias-pizzas-bethesda-md-comet-ping-pong.html