Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vince & Dominic's Pizzeria -- Bethesda, Md.

Time for a sentimental journey.

Gary here. Back when I moved to the Washington, D.C., region--this was 1996, folks, so call me a Washingtonian now--my first job was at a marketing communications firm in Bethesda. The office was a hop, skip and a jump from the Montgomery Mall and a few strip malls, where I spent many a lunch hour discussing the future of mankind, philosophy and professional football with co-workers.

We would frequent a pizzeria called Vince & Dominic's, called "V&Ds" for short, and I grew fond of their pizza slices.
These were jumbo slices. I remember my first time at V&Ds, I ordered two slices expecting a normal size. Instead, they brought out two jumbo slices--I was nonplussed. I somehow managed to consume both slices, and I wasn't hungry again for two days.

I was reminded of V&Ds when Liza and I were at the Travel Channel's "Food Wars" taping for Jumbo Slice vs. Pizza Mart. Faithful readers of this blog know well that one of my pizza peeves is droop. Well, Jumbo Slice and Pizza Mart jumbo slices have major league droop. V&D slices? Almost no droop.

So I decided to take Liza and my lovely lil' Molly to the Montgomery Mall for some shopping--we had a Crate & Barrel gift certificate to spend. Of course, we had to stop in at Vince & Dominic's, situated in a strip mall across from the Montgomery Mall.

The restaurant has not changed a bit. The decor is reminiscent of the pizzerias of my youth, with pictures youth leagues on the wall, as well as a few signed photos of celebrities. Yay celebrities!

The procedure for ordering: you put in your order and you grab a table. You may have to clean off the table yourself, and that's okay. There are no waiters and waitresses here. Sometimes you have to work for your meals. Get over it.

V&Ds strives for authentic Italian food. The pizzeria was established in 1983 by a family originally from Reggio Calabria, Italy.

On their pizza boxes is the slogan, "A Little Bit of Italy In Every Bite." V&Ds takes pride in their red sauce, er gravy.

Says their web site: "Here at Vince & Dominic's we know Italian, because we are! If you're looking for that perfect Gravy on your Pizza look no further! Our Gravy, or sauce, is old fashioned Italian and is perfect for not only your pizza, but also with your Meatball Parm, Mozzarella Sticks, and pretty much anything Italian! We all know what makes Pizzeria is great, and that is authentic Italian ingredients!"

Liza and I each ordered a slice and a soft drink. Our food was brought over by one of the cooks, an Italian gentleman. The pizza was straight out of the oven. There was a decent amount of red sauce--er, gravy--and a generous layer of mozzarella cheese baked on top.

Still no droop.

How do they do it?

More from V&Ds web site: "Our slices have a crispy bottom layered with sauce and an abundance of cheese. The reason for the crunchy bottom is, we cook The Special 25 Inch slice pie in our oven about 3/4 cooked with sauce only. When a customer places an order for a slice, we cut it and customize it with the topping or toppings of their choice. Our slices take 7-10 minutes to finish cooking and melt the cheese."

Now this all sounds pretty glowing of V&Ds. While I have fond memories of the pizzeria, I must judge the slice as a pizza afficionado.

As mentioned previously, V&D slices have a thick, toasted crust that stops droop. The crust at the end of the pizza was very bland and a little too crunchy, a mild disappointment but expected given how they cook the slice.

The sauce, er gravy, was spread thinly on top but you could still taste it in every bite. It did have a simple, authentic taste to it--emphasis on simple. While it was a decent flavor, it didn't have a lot of spiciness to it. Still, it seemed to go well with the thick crust.

I liked V&Ds a bit more than Liza, but that may be because I have a history with the place. Their slices are memorable, but I have to acknowledge that this is not high quality pizza.

I like V&Ds pizza, though--I grew up on it.

Gary's Rating: 2.5 stars
Liza's Rating: 2 stars
Molly's Rating: 0 stars...I drink milk.

1 comment:

RWeTherYet? said...

I am planning a trip to Bethesda in the fall and apart from booking my hotel on, I haven't made any plans. Being a sucker for good pizza, I will definitely be putting this place on my itinerary!