Giuseppi's Pizza Plus

$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

Savoring a Slice, Minus the Guilt

By Eve Zibart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, Aug. 25, 2006

You know the thing about "if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't"?

Well, like every rule, except the golden one, there are exceptions, and here's one: good fat-free pizza. And pretty good "guilt-free" pizza. Let us give thanks for little miracles.

Giuseppi's in Rockville may not advertise its pizza as a healthful item, but it has developed a sort of special-interest style: a low-sodium crust and a tomato sauce that tastes pretty low-salt as well. That rather careful pinch makes the dough, which comes up quite nicely puffy and crisped from the hearth, a little less interesting on its own than it might be, but it may be a question of habit: There are those who swear it's just like their New York favorites. And again, if you do add one of those salty meat toppings, you won't notice. (Here's a suggestion: white pizza with fine, crunchy bacon, fresh spinach and fresh tomatoes, like a BLT by the slice.)

Giuseppi's also has a half-baked idea, but one worth remembering: You can get your pizza partly cooked in advance so you can get that hearth-grilled flavor but still have it hot out of your own oven.

In any case, Giuseppi's has survived a test many small family restaurants would not: transplantation by Metro-area redevelopment, and around the repeatedly redeveloped Rockville Metro at that. Its storefront alongside the Regal Cinemas may not have quite the homey appeal of its former digs on North Washington Street, but the family attitude is the same. (Giuseppi's also has a branch in the Kentlands.)

There are outdoor tables and a microphone system so that you can order, go outside to a table and be called in when your order is ready. Be cautious, however: The mike works both ways, so you may not want to spill all your most intimate secrets over the pepperoni. The courthouse is just around the corner.