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Feb 14, 2008 08:09 AM

Ledo's pizza? Vocelli's?

One just opened near me and I'm assuming it's a chain. There is a dearth of good pizza restaurants near me--Papa John's, Pizza Boli and Pizza Hut are the only pizza places. Is this worth trying, given our other options? What about Vocellis? Oddly, both just opened up in the same strip mall at the same time.

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  1. I'm grew up local to the original Ledo's in Adelphi, Maryland. I still crave the stuff. It is leaps and bounds above the other chains you mentioned. Pizza Hut? Though I have fond childhood memories of the free personal pans my local Pizza Hut offered if you showed them a B or above average on your report card, I can't imagine eating there now.

    Ledo's is a different kind of thing. The crust is VERY thin and crispy, almost more like a pastry crust than a traditional pizza crust. There's also something sweet about the pizza in general (I mean, it's not desert, but it's just slightly sweeter). If you're looking for a New York slice, this isn't it, but I would say it's like comparing Montreal bagels to New York bagels. I love them both, though they are different.

    Also, Ledo's is a franchise, so there's a certain amount of "you never know" depending on your location... but I can say that in the Howard County, Maryland (where it is all but impossible to find anything independently owned), Ledo's is the best game in town.

    1. Ledo's hands down over Vocelli's. As erns53 wrote, Ledo's is a different kind of pizza. Rectangular and cut into squares, people tend to either love it or hate it. I love it. Ledo's also has very good non-pizza entree's and good subs tas well. If they have the toasted ravioli appetizer, give it a go. A Washington, DC area classic. I also like the Italian salad with the excellent Ledo dressing.

      Vocelli's is just a run of the mill delivery pizza (though it sounds like you have eat-in as well). Nothing special at all IMO, and overpriced for what you get.


      1. Thanks--I'll give Ledo's a try! If it's one of the good franchises, I'll be excited to have good pizza w/out having to make it. Erns53, I can't remember the last time I had Pizza Hut but I remember it having a crust that tasted like it was fried from all the oil they use. I'll pick up a menu at Ledo's and check it out.

        9 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          It's true what Kevin says that people either love it or hate it. Hopefully you'll love it, chowser. Certainly worth a look-see.

          1. re: erns53

            It bears pointing out, however, that the original Ledo's in Adelphi MD is different from all the other Ledo's, as Joe H has, correctly and interminably, pointed out. The original owners sold the franchise rights to another group, but those others's pizza is different and their quality is not so good. So when listening to those who say good things about Ledo's, it really does matter whether they are talking about the original location or any and all of the rest, which are the franchise locations and under completely different ownership and business model. It is said all they share is the name and the shape of the pie. If you want the good stuff you have to go to the single original place, or so it is said.

            1. re: johnb

              I see--it's too bad he wasn't concerned about quality as he franchised but it is a business decision. So all they're franchising is the name? I wonder why people buy into it. I will give the local place a try. But, I'll pass on Vocelli's.

              1. re: chowser

                Apparently the story is the old guy was taken in by the ones who bought the use of the name, but I don't know the details. Anyway, if my understanding is correct, the original place just goes along pretty much as it always was and has no remaining tie to the others.

                1. re: johnb

                  Huh. That's a sad story. It's funny, because when I read the original post, I was surprised to hear Ledo's mentioned as a chain, and I assumed the OP either lived in Maryland (where I knew there were several locations) or was talking about a different Ledo's. I googled them and was shocked to see that they had franchised. But I guess they didn't exactly.

                  Well, maybe it would still be worth trying. I'd be interested, chowser, to hear how you like it, even if it is "fake Ledo's."

                  1. re: erns53

                    I'm in No Va so not too far but thought it might be a chain since I remember seeing one in MD. I'll give it a try and report back. It is sad that the quality of Ledo's won't be retained and even sadder that the original owner was taken.

              2. re: johnb

                I will confirm that the franchise Ledo's are indeed nasty. I've tried the one on Connecticut Ave NW and another near Tysons Corner: excessively buttery, greasy crust; diabetes-inducing sweet sauce; some kind of undercooked smoked cheese product on top. Imagine a Ritz cracker covered with catsup and that Hickory Farm cheeze log product on top.

                A friend got carryout from the original Ledo's in Adelphi. The difference was night-and-day: a light, airy, lightly buttery crust; a slightly sweet sauce with good tomato flavor; real smoked provolone on top cooked properly. I imagine that like Five Guys burgers, the quality of Ledo's will vary widely depending on the franchise owner, but I have no intention of going anywhere but to the original location.

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  Is the food at the franchises all the same, only different from the original? Or is each franchise run differently? I'm disappointed to hear the franchises you've tried aren't good. I'll still try them, just in case, and it can't be worst than the other options we currently have.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Ledos franchises work off the same menu: pizzas, salads, subs, Italian standards, etc. I doubt anything is made from scratch; the pasta tasted like anonymous Sysco product from a 30 lbs sack. No better/worse than Papa/Boli/Hut.


          2. chowser, did you ever make it to Ledo's? Despite some posters obvious disdain for the franchises, any franchise I've ever visited (and I've been to the original Hyattsville place many times - fear the turtle!) has provided good food and good service.

            Any problems were always addressed by the owners and I find the pizza to be much better than Papa John's, Pizza Boli and Pizza Hut. On the rare occasion I do order at Papa John's it seems it pains the slack-jawed kid behind the counter to have to speak to customers, let alone answer any questions.


            1 Reply
            1. re: KOK

              I haven't had a chance--we don't order out for pizza but I will try it next time we do. Papa John's had that Redskins special so we did that on occasion (on the rare occasion that they won and scored enough TDs) but it was something I could easily pass on.

            2. Ledo just opened here also,but I am familiar with it from my days in Maryland.The local branch recreates what I've had before perfectly.Admittedly,an unusual pizza.The rectangular (Tho advertised as square) pizza has the same cracker like crust that seems to need some salt,but is not unpleasant in texture.Theres the smoky flavored cheese which is hard to dislike,and I had it topped with sausage,which had a slight fennel hit and there was plenty of it (sausage).The sauce is tangy and pleasant,and not too abundant.
              They say the goal of a chain store is to present the identical food at every location.I guess I have been to maybe 6 Ledo stores in MD,PA and now DE.The pizza and service has been identical in all cases,and if its not a mind-shattering pizza,its certainly not garbage.And the bottom line is my small pizza with sausage cost 5.75.I'm satisfied.

              2 Replies
              1. re: billfish

                So good to hear positive feedback on the Ledo's chain. My experience mirrors yours.

                Ledo's is a popular target on Chowhound.

                1. re: Mister Big

                  Met a friend at the Adelphi Ledo's yesterday. The pie is still good. Anybody who grew up on these in the 60s/70s/80s will not be disappointed. The service, however, sucked. Wednesday night 6:00pm and there were maybe 12 people seated and there's a big WAIT TO BE SEATED sign. So I wait. And wait. It's a good five minutes before anyone even shows up. So I sit down. And wait. And wait. Fifteen minutes and I have to go to the bar and ask for some water. Which I get. And wait. And wait. Ten minutes before someone takes my app and beer order. And I wait. And wait.

                  I don't know if this was an off night, but I'll be getting takeout from now on.