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The Broiler, Old-School Pizza and Sub Hut on Columbia Pike in South Arlington since 1955


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Okay folks,
I was having a discussion about pizza tonight at the bar with DR. I mentioned the Broiler, which is a little orange topped store on Columbia Pike in Arlington. Its been there since I was a kid and its one of my favorite pizzas of all time. I love the Italian store- White pizza with proscutto, I like Geppettos for deep dish pepperoni, and I just tried a new place called Valentino's in Alexandria, on Beauregard Street, near Temp Asian, and really liked the pie. However, The Broiler is a little institution that I visit once a month. Their large and extra large pizza is a rectangle of thin crust, spicy tomato sauce and just the right amount of grease on the bottom of the box. Their sausage is a homeade recipe from the original owners who sold it about 4-5 years ago. It's awesome. Some may think it wont win any awards, but for this type of pizza i think it's one of the best around. It's also pretty well priced at $10.40 for a large-12 squares-with 3 toppings. You simply have to eat a piece on the drive home-or you can eat it there, but its a no frills place. Their subs are pretty good as well, especially the sausage and cheese sub with the crinkly cut french fries that are hot as hell and salted just right. If you have never tried this place, I highly recommend it. It's located at 3601 Columbia Pike-1 block West of the Intersection of Glebe and Columbia Pike. Anyway just my opinion and my first topic i ever posted, so hope you can try it.

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I went last night after dinner and got a large sausage, pepperoni and green pepper. This is a success within its genre - 1950s-type rectangles baked in a good, hot oven. Canned tomato sauce, lots of cheese, housemade sausage which has a good kick. The pepperoni and green peppers were a bit lost underneath the cheese. The crust is thin and very dense, almost as if fifteen sheets of paper were in a stack - it's a very heavy and filling pie for its relatively small size. Despite being so thin, my crust was actually undercooked, probably because I got there before it was ready and they opted for efficiency over doneness. Good, comforting, dive pizza. In terms of this style I prefer Dominic's in Colesville, but that's really more personal preference than any qualitative statement (trust me, we're not talking ultra-premium quality in either case).

Cheers,

Rocks

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After reading HappyGuy's post about the Broiler I convinced my wife that we should give it a try. We ordered a small pie with sausage, and a small steak and cheese sub. The small pizza is round, not rectangular, and it sort of reminds me of the old Pizza Oven style that was once prevalent in the area. This was much better than Pizza Oven could have hoped to be. The crust is almost like a cracker, while the sauce is not incredibly flavorful, it is fragrant, they don't skimp on the garlic powder, or dried oregano. I really liked the sausage and the kick that it added. The Steak and Cheese was flavorful, with plentiful amount of meat. It was one of the better ones I have had in the area, still not as good as the original Jerry's, but I have not found a sub yet that was that good.

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Excellent steak and cheese today. One of the best in the area. Horribly disappointing pizza that had nothing in common with the Pizza Oven, the former Pizza Pantry or any other local throwback to the '50's and '60's. Thick bready crust (a soft, 3/8" inches thick), bland cheese, greasy sausage-we ate a total of four pieces out of 12 and donated the rest. To a trashcan.

Perhaps our experience but the crust on the pie had nothing in common with the other posts in this thread. Or what a relative swore was the equal of the Pizza Pantry in its prime. Remarkably, my wife who was weaned on the Pizza Pantry and I on the Pizza Oven and Pizza Kitchens agreed. We stopped by the Pizza Pantry on our way home and noted that it was now selling "pizza by the slice."

A huge disappointment. To both.

Still, I'd go back for the steak and cheese. On par with any that I had "in the day."

Steve: I remember the steak and cheese subs at Jerry's in Wheaton when they'd grill the onions all day long; totally agree with their being the best in the area. Great roast beef sub, too! I have a feeling that the pizza we had today had little in common with what you and several others had at The Broiler.

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I'm a huge fan of this place and have been going for years. I've had both the pizza and subs - not a big fan of the pizza. I typically get the cheese steak, hamburger sub, or the chicken cheese steak. All really good. I miss the days I used to be able to walk to it - now I have to drive from DC, but it's well worth it.

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My neighbor is the original owner of the Broiler - I'll have to ask him about the recipe the next time I see him out walking around. (He's nuts in an excellent old coot way -he explained to us that he knew the building was built in the 20s from the date stamped on the toilet that they thew out. I'm sure he knows what's in it off the top of his head.)

Personally, I hate the pizza (if you want that kind of pizza, go visit Salvo's, across Walter Reed from the Drafthouse), but if you want what frozen pizza is supposed to taste like, get yourself over there.

The Broiler is a dangerous few blocks from the house, and it has a great chicken or cheese steak, exactly not-gourmet as it should be. Big puffy rolls, lots of mayonaise, greasy, fabulous- half a 6" is plenty for me.

I love their frozen crinkly fries - they always fry them so half of them are crispy and half are a little soggy, which is how I like 'em.

They also have soft serve in summer - tastes a lot like the Mr. Softee truck that cruises around the neighborhood.

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Salvo's is the "new" name of the Pizza Pantry who, I am told, no longer serve the pizza that they started selling in the '50's. I think the Pizza Ovens in Rockville and East Pines (if they are still there-it's been several years) are the best remaining examples of this kind of pizza. This is NOT great pizza; just a unique kind of pizza that was popular in the D. C. area long ago.

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Hands down one of the best steak and cheeses/cheese steaks (whatever your preference I am indifferent) I have had. The crinkly fries also very good and remind me of elementary school. Walked out of there and all I wanted to do was wash my face - that's good grease my friends. I am not saying I could put one of these away every week or even once a month, but it is up there on my list of hangover-go-to-food.

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Anyone been here recently? I had a steak and cheese a couple years back that was good in a "this is greasy and will put me to sleep in about 20 minutes" kinda way. Thinking about giving the pizza a whirl but not sure it's gonna be worth it.

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Anyone been here recently? I had a steak and cheese a couple years back that was good in a "this is greasy and will put me to sleep in about 20 minutes" kinda way. Thinking about giving the pizza a whirl but not sure it's gonna be worth it.

The broiler still has one of the best thin crust/good grease ratio pizzas in town!!!!! been going there for 35 years. The Sausage sandwich is awesome...and the fries are frozen crinkley cut...but nothing is better than those salted hot fries out of the fryer and into your mouth. Sausage is an original homeade slightly spicy mixture...LOVE the Broiler Small pizza is round only and the large is the square wink.gif

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The Broiler's spicy sausage is generally pretty spicy, so take it seriously.

In my most recent order, however, it was SPICY! - to the point where I'm wondering if they changed brands. Holy moly!

On 2/17/2006 at 10:03 AM, Sthitch said:

After reading HappyGuy's post about the Broiler I convinced my wife that we should give it a try. We ordered a small pie with sausage, and a small steak and cheese sub. The small pizza is round, not rectangular, and it sort of reminds me of the old Pizza Oven style that was once prevalent in the area. This was much better than Pizza Oven could have hoped to be. The crust is almost like a cracker, while the sauce is not incredibly flavorful, it is fragrant, they don't skimp on the garlic powder, or dried oregano. I really liked the sausage and the kick that it added. The Steak and Cheese was flavorful, with plentiful amount of meat. It was one of the better ones I have had in the area, still not as good as the original Jerry's, but I have not found a sub yet that was that good.

I agree with Sthitch that The Broiler is something like Pizza Oven used to be (NB - does anyone remember Pizza Wheel?), but I think the pizza has gone downhill in the past ten years - I don't know if it's been a straight-line drop, or a zig-zag, or what, but my last couple of pizzas here just haven't been quite as good as they used to be (it was never great, but it was good, and very distinct, in a "pizza joint" kind of way). Specifically, the pizza sauce is canned, of course, but it now comes across as being *painfully* canned; more importantly, the crust is dense and flatter than a pancake, with absolutely no rise or crispiness - it's only a few millimeters thick and it's very floppy. This is fork pizza all the way - attempting to eat it with your hands would be a grave mistake.

For a point of reference, I now prefer the South Arlington Ledo to The Broiler. That said, they're *totally* different in style despite their rectangular shape and thin crust.

If you have problems with heartburn, stay away from The Broiler's sausage - it's no coincidence that Bromo-Seltzer was invented one week after The Broiler opened its doors.

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