Hours: Mondays through Thursdays, noon to 11:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 1:30 a.m.; Sundays, 4 to 11:30 p.m.
Atmosphere: It's chez Pinocchio with pizza, where the strings attached are made of mozzarella.
Price Range: From a serves-at-least-two, thin-crust pizza at $3.25 to a mama-mia grande Sicilian deep-dish for an army at $13.25.
Credit Cards: American Express, Bank of Virginia, Diners Club International, Master Cahrge, Visa.
Reservations: It wouldn't hurt to call ahead for a traffic report.
Special Facilities: Accessible by wheelchair. Seating for teenies can be worked out. Street parking is a test of faith and circumstance.
Were we to compile an anthology of pizzas we have known and loved, the depth of our emotions would be approximately one inch below pan-level in a deep-dish from Geppetto in Georgetown.
That is the pepperoni-and-spice gist of what our fast-yellowing Family Out report of late 1977 said -- and we hereby play it again, adding little more than a pinch of inflation to the original ingredients.
For those who would like a synopsis for an appetizer, we portrayed the Geppetto of yore as a kind of living pasta monument to the puppeteer of Pinocchio fame -- a rather intimate cafe where good taste prevails from the decor to the eye-watering slices of pizza.
This time we did break one rule of the road, which says that you do your Georgetowning on a weeknight and preferably early. It was a Friday, and though our parking-spot cruise panned out surprisingly well, we didn't realize that the fans milling around outside the Geppetto door were already signed up to be seated.
In a flash, a reassuring hostess popped out to add us to her list -- which this time was a party of two adults, their 10-year-old daughter and her fast-friend-and-fellow-Family-Outer, Becky.
In short order we had a table, equipped with a waiter in puppeteer apron who swooped over for a howdy and was greeted with requests for colas and beers, along with questions about the soup of the day. You'd ask, too, if it were -- get this -- strawberry soup, $1.95.
Strawberry? The girls' comment was a predictable, grimacing "eee-you." But why not check it out?
The lone bowl ordered came with spoons for all. And as Becky was quick to note, it tasted like dessert: a heavy-cream pink yogurt that our young tasters had to admit was somewhere in the neighborhood of terrific.
It certainly does make a great cool summertime-and-fall soup, especially if you don't have time for dessert.
My wife remembered a smashing appetizer from our last time here, and her single order came with the requisite number of tools for a four-way assault: fried mozzarella, $2.15, with four forks. There were six cubes of breaded and warmed -- but not at all gummy -- cheese, which, when passed around, somehow came out to two pops apiece for the girls and one each for the adults.
By now there was a sea of faces peering in from the sidewalk, reminiscent of the downtown New York gawkers who used to press their noses up against the window of the "Today" show years ago.
No wonder -- for the pizzas here are something to behold. Thank goodness we beheld one when we first sat down, for that told us not to order the "grande" model unless we were thinking of calling in the whole sidewalk crowd for sharesies.
"Normale" is ample, thank you, and it would in fact prove more than a match for my wife and the young ladies. They went for deep-dish, with pepperoni, $6, and are still talking about it. Even with a little help from a big friend, some of it wound up in a bag.
I was at work on veal piccata, $6.95, one of six specials for the day, all of which were at this price or lower. My order was heralded with a fine-looking salad: alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and a small pitcher of house dressing -- all of which my companions took turns leafing through.
This was veal covered in mushroom sauce, framed by slices of zucchini stuffed with spicy bread crumbs. Even with all this help, the dish panned out as uneventful; maybe pizza is really what to stick to here.
The mandatory dessert at Geppetto, as friends had told us and we had found out first time in, is the ricotta pie, $2.25. This is chocolate, toasted almonds, graham-cracker crumb crust and whipped cream, topped with genius. It is also a work of fattening art, but then the two slim youngsters who split a slice had no reason to hold back; those of us who did stuck to coffee.
The check for this fortunate foray, totaling $27.10 plus tip, came with an alarming bit of detective work by the waiter. Somehow he had cut through our cover -- he wanted to know if we were the Family Out People. The puzzled shrug-of-an-air that we put on was, in retrospect, unfair. You were right, my man -- but if Geppetto keeps up its good work as well, we'll be back when you least suspect.