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Pelano's, Lee Highway and Jermantown Road in Fairfax - Featuring the Operatic Meatballs

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Went to Pelano's on Monday night for dinner. I have been wanting to go there for months, solely because it is around the corner from my house. I also want to see what became of the Tuesday's space, the only barber shop/restaurant that I have ever seen in my life! Since Tuesday's closed (maybe seven years ago?) it has been a pilates studio, some campaign headquarters, a halal butcher (I think) and maybe a few more places.

Anyway, Pelano's is small and generic. It is family run, which was nice to see, we even had their third grader take our drink order when we got there on Monday night. He couldn't take our wine order, so he had to call in the big guns (mom). They have one white and one red, she couldn't really explain what either of them was, but we ordered the red anyway. It ended up being a merlot/cab/sangiovese blend from Italy that was served way too warm, but a few minutes in the fridge solved that problem (the wine still sucked).

Food was a mixed bag. Actually, let me rephrase that. The white pizza that we had ($14.95) was awesome! Clearly, this crust is not in the same league as Orso or anyone of that ilk, but it was damn good with great toppings. The rest of the food (spaghetti with meatballs, chicken parmesan) was what you would generally expect of a local Italian restaurant in Northern Virginia - overcooked pasta, sweet sauce, processed meat.

But, in the end, I will go back to support the family business and get the white pizza again. I will likely try other pizzas there in the future, if I can ever get over the crazy pricing structure that they have there ($9.95 for a cheese pizza, $13.95 for pepperoni, $14.95 for sausage - WTF!?).

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Pizza, pasta, okay... but you didn't try the chips & salsa? Apparently it is such a big hit (with Italian food?) that the salsa is available in quart-size to-go containers... :huh:

Ha! We actually did get chips and salsa, I just didn't really have any because I was feeding our newborn at the time, so I can't speak to it, but my wife said that it was average, at best.

My wife commented on how it was ridiculous that they had chips and salsa, because it is an Italian place, and one of our dining companions decided to order the appetizer anyway because it says on the menu that "it's super famous" (or something like that). He is one of those guys that is oblivious to his surroundings and would walk by a restaurant with a sign that said "World Famous Burgers", and he'd go in there and try one of the burgers because the Hamburger Board of the World deemed them world famous.

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