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The 3000 square mile no-deep-dish zone

Can anyone please tell me where to find a decent Chicago-style deep dish pizza anywhere between Woodbridge to Towson, Leesburg to Annapolis. Seriously people! I've lived here my whole life, and after several recent trips to Chicago, I've come to realize it doesn't exist in this area. Can someone please prove me wrong? Bonus points if you can narrow it down to the 270 corridor.

Armond's and Uno's "Grill" need not apply!

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  1. What happened to your other post?

    Honestly, I don't think there's anything here for what you're looking for. Similar to the NY situation. And, like St Louis, NY or New Haven pie, I don't think you're going to be too happy unless you're actually there.

    I recently took a trip to Chi town and missed the opp to have good deep dish (had a pre-made lunch time special at Giordiano's). But - even people I was working with there said that Uno and Due are different there than any of the chains - much like the Ledo story here.

    So - like the St Louis, NYC & New Haven pie folks, the BBQ folks and the Tex Mex folks, you're outta luck, me thinks. BUT - if you open up to what is here, you can find some great stuff.

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    Ledo Restaurant
    4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

    7 Replies
    1. re: Dennis S

      >What happened to your other post?
      They deleted because I was being too political :-)

      >I recently took a trip to Chi town and missed the opp to have good deep dish (had a >pre-made lunch time special at Giordiano's)
      Funny you say that, I did the same thing the first time and was ready to write deep dish off as a tourist trap. Give Giordano's another shot when you have a few friends that can help you eat a real one.

      >Uno and Due are different there than any of the chains - much like the Ledo story here.
      Yup, I can confirm that.

      >you're outta luck, me thinks.
      :-(

      -----
      Ledo Restaurant
      4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

      1. re: sillyman

        Yeah, and they deleted my response in which I asked what characteristics make true Chicago pizza for you? Never having had pizza in Chicago myself, I can only describe what I've had with that moniker as being thick and slightly oily bread with pizza ingredients on top, which doesn't excite me.

        But if we knew what specific characteristics you're looking for, perhaps someone can suggest a local pizza that at least gets close to what you're seeking.

        1. re: MikeR

          Can't answer for sillyman, but what I'd be looking for is a slightly more pastry-like crust, possibly with cornmeal, with a high straight sides, a nice thick layer of mozzarella on the bottom (hopefully part-skim and not full-fat or it won't stand up in that fried-mozzarella-cheese-way like it should), a layer of toppings over that, probably heavily featuring crumbled hot Italian sausage, and a hefty layer of thick rich tomato sauce over that.

          1. re: Raids

            That sounds just like what I remember from the Uno in Georgetown maybe 30-35 years ago. They served, and probably baked, it in a cast iron skillet.

            But I'll bet they've changed.

            1. re: MikeR

              The Uno's I've been to around our area have really gone downhill in the last five years, to the point I won't go anymore.

              1. re: ktmoomau

                The last time I was at an Uno was when what's now the Dogfish Head Alehouse was an Uno. I wasn't in a pizza mood that visit (it was someone else's choice) and I was surprised that, other than the deep dish pizza on the menu, the menu was pretty much along the same line as Applebee's or Chili's of the period.

                1. re: MikeR

                  I had the great fortune to eat at the original Uno's in Chicago in the 80's. It was sublime - one of the best pizzas of my life. The Unos that have sprung up around the country don't come anywhere near touching the greatness of the original.

    2. My brother mail ordered one, I forget from which company will have to ask, but it was very tasty. So perhaps consider that if you don't want to make it. The ingredients hold up pretty well to freeze/thaw depending on what you order.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ktmoomau

        I know for sure that Giordiano's does and I think Gino's does as well.

        1. re: Dennis S

          It might have been Gino's that sounds about right. We ate it post-Christmas when leftovers were running low but the house was still full. It went over very well, although, none of us are from Chicago so we might have low standards.

        2. re: ktmoomau

          Thirty years ago I carried four half baked Giordano's stuffed and Uno's pizzas on an airplane and within four hours finished baking them in the pizza ovens at Jerry's in Bethesda. They were probably 75% as good as what they would have tasted like in Chicago. When Uno's opened their first store on M street in Georgetown it was not as good .I think the analogy to Ledo's and their 55 year old Adelphi store which closed July 25th (vs. the franchises) is accurate. There is something to be said for the room that you eat them in; actually sitting in Uno's or Due's or Giordano's (say, on W. Irving Park) really does make a difference.

          Ledo's should have received more recognition on here. The original was a great, unique pizza. Not a single mention of its closing last Sunday. Wonder how long the line was to get in?

          -----
          Ledo Restaurant
          4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

          1. re: Joe H

            It's too bad Ledo's became a chain. I haven't been to the original but finally tried a chain a couple of days ago (had a coupon). The sauce was overly sweet, the crust bland, typical chain pizza. It was bad enough that even my kids didn't like it. I thought kids liked all pizzas, even bad frozen ones.

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            Ledo Restaurant
            4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

            1. re: Joe H

              Even with the original Ledo's, people either loved or hated it. I liked it ok, but I had to be in the mood for it. (And waiting outside an hour in the cold made it taste better.)

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              Ledo Restaurant
              4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

              1. re: Joe H

                I didn't know this! Shame! B/c of your posts I knew the original was different (much proof in many posts here). Jeez!

                1. re: Dennis S

                  I didn't know that Sunday was the day they closed. I'm mad at myself for not knowing this and following up with a visit on their last day.

                  Well, at least Crozet pizza is still open. We'll certainly have to make a trip there before it is reputed to close.

                  1. re: Joe H

                    Ledo's is just moving to College Park. At least that's what their website says: http://www.ledorestaurant.com/. Having grown up on the original, one of these days I need to schlep out to the new and improved version. (Assuming they still have the University Blvd. address on the tag below, that is wrong--the new address is available on the website.

                    )

                    As for Chicago pizza, I don't think it exists outside of Chicago. I spent three years living off that stuff many years ago, and what I principally remember is that it has a very "short" (i.e., high fat) crust, much higher fat than the weenies outside of Chicago can stand, as well as some incorporated corn meal. Recently, Cooks Illustrated ran a recipe for a Chicago-style pizza. As I recall, its principal feature was about a cow's worth of butter (not to mention a bit of cornmeal as well). If I didn't think my arteries would explode (not to mention my belly), I might try it. (Sounds like I am become weenie myself.) I also recall a Food Network special on one of the Chicago pizza restaurants where they put in about a pound of uncooked sausage at the bottom. With all the fat already incorporated into the crust, who could tell?

                    -----
                    Ledo Restaurant
                    4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740