Slice of Olde Towne

American, Pizza
$$$$ ($14 and under)
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The quintessential neighborhood pizza joint.
Mon-Thu 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
(Gaithersburg)
301-330-9099
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Editorial Review

A pizza place from yesteryear
By Justin Rude
November 5, 2010

Though I had never been to Slice of Olde Towne, walking through the doors was a nostalgic experience. The red-checkered tablecloths, the smell of cooking dough, even the Coke machine - it all reminded me of the kind of neighborhood pizza places I went to with the team after soccer games growing up. Then, not a half-hour after we arrived, a little league team poured through the doors, filling every possible seat. The ensuing jostle for seats, enthusiastic calls for a slice and group trips to the soda fountain to fill cups with a mix of every flavor perfectly completed the picture.

On the menu: Restaurant owner and kitchen manager Chuck Blessing didn't start out with plans to run a pizzeria. When he bought the property it held a steakhouse, but the way the economy was going that didn't seem like a viable long-term option. Reacting to his own disappointment with the local pizza scene, Blessing chose instead to renovate and reopen as a New York-style pizzeria, selling by the pie and slice and also carrying a good selection of pasta and subs.

Blessing makes dough fresh daily, and thin-crust pies are the better for it: The crust is light, salty and slightly sweet. The 18-inch New York-style pizzas are neither over-sauced nor over-topped and, despite the nostalgia, taste a lot better than the soupy, doughy pies I remember from my youth. The Pizza Bianco is a favorite among regulars and is topped with olive oil and garlic with freshly sliced mozzarella, ricotta, basil and oregano.

Slice of Olde Towne also sells calzones, stromboli, simple pastas (think fettucine Alfredo) and subs. Don't overlook those subs just because they aren't highlighted in the restaurant's name; both the Italian sausage and peppers hoagie and the Philadelphia cheese steak are winners, and probably worthy of naming rights at a store with less exemplary pizza. After all, Blessing has roots in the Philadelphia area, and the man knows his way around a cheese steak.

At your service: Orders are placed on the counter, and diners wait for their name to be called. Not just a dinner spot, Slice of Olde Towne can also fill up with local office workers around the lunch hour.

Wet your whistle: Beverage options include Coke products, a handful of house wines and the domestic and import regulars (including Bud, Miller Lite, Heineken and Stella).

Bottom line: Family-friendly, low priced and tasty. Gaithersburg has a neighborhood pizza joint that should make other 'hoods jealous.