Ledo Restaurant

Pizza
$$$$ ($14 and under)
Ledo Restaurant photo
(Sean McCormick)
'

Editorial Review

2010 Spring Dining Guide

By Tom Sietsema
Sunday, May 23, 2010

Long before sausage came in flavors other than pepperoni, when buffalo mozzarella was just a gleam in a purist's eye, there was Ledo and its square pizza, prized for its flaky crust. The success of the original restaurant, opened in Adelphi in 1955 and still in the hands of members of the Marcos family, spawned dozens of branches around the region. (All of the franchises are owned by another corporation, however.) For sheer nostalgia, nothing beats the first pizza parlor, which whisks its customers to "Happy Days" with the help of wood paneling, tight booths and an Italian-American menu that goes beyond pies to include lasagna and liver and onions. Honestly, a lot of the food is just fine. The chicken wings are crisp and juicy, but also tame, while the fried ravioli could pass for canned pasta, save for its thick and sweet tomato sauce. French fries taste frozen, but the coleslaw plays fresh. You want to go elsewhere for crab cakes, but that lasagna is an enormous slab of cheesy, beefy comfort, and that turkey, heaped on a baseball-size scoop of stuffing and garnished with a candied apple ring, is the real deal, from fresh-roasted birds. The pizza never disappoints. Its crust is as rich as a pie's, and it's slathered with smoked provolone and tomato sauce that's made right there every day. Complete the canvas as you wish, choosing from 20 or so toppings, the most exotic being jalapeno peppers. (There are also specialty pies, including white pizza with garlic butter, and taco pizza scattered with crumbled ground beef, tomatoes and shredded lettuce -- Betty Crocker by the slice.) On my last visit, "You Belong to Me" provided apt background music. For a taste of yesteryear, you gotta hurry: Ledo is relocating from its spot in a faded shopping strip to 4509 Knox Rd. in downtown College Park this July. "The ovens are coming with us," says Tommy Marcos Jr. "We're thinking of having a parade."