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Tony's NY Pizza, Fair Lakes and Gainsville - Are Things Changing?


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Went there twice this weekend. Big, hearty Italiamerican fare. Best pizza I've had in DC outside my own kitchen (although I haven't been to 2 Amy's yet). The chicken parm subs ooze with red and white goodness. The pizza crust is exceedingly light, but with ample structure to not bend under the weight of the rightly measured toppings.

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It is the best pizza in our area.
I was surprised at the number of people on various review sites that said Pomodoro (in the shopping center at 50 & West Ox) had the better pizza. For my wife and I it was no contest.

We're just glad to have found a decent, locally-owned restaurant in this Land of Chains. The fact that it's a first-class pizza joint makes it even better. Now if only someone could do for the area what Michael Landrum did for Silver Spring, we'd be in business. :blink:

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Was out this way hitting Lowe's (not one, but two - what a pain) and remembered that there was supposedly good pizza nearby. Thanks to UrbanSpoon, I found it. It was satisfying, not perfectly NY for me, as a NYer, but the crust was close and it was served hot, satisfying one of my pet peeves for not hot enough. Had one slice plain, one slice mushroom and a San Pellegrino orange soda, which I love.

Service is very helpful, and chatted with one of the owners - Brooklyn born and bred. Won't make a trip out for it as I have Pupatella within walking distance (and it's very different than NY but I love it) but definitely will detour when I'm out that way to hit the big box stores.

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I've been going to the Fair Lakes location for many, many years. I want to say I first found it in the mid-90s. It's been a go-to for our family. Unfortunately, my last two visits there have been disappointing.

A few weeks ago, I called in a to-go order: large white pizza and a large antipasto italiano salad. They said it would be 20 minutes. I probably arrived at Tony's about 15 minutes later. It was a Friday night and they were really busy. The pickup line was back to the door. I waited in line, paid, and stepped aside to wait. At this point, we were probably just over 20 minute time since I called in my order. I could hear the owner telling callers on the phone that their orders would about 30-35 minutes while I waited, so I assumed might be a few minutes late. Not a big deal. I can wait a few extra minutes. After about 20-25 extra minutes (and seeing some people who ordered after me get their food), I asked the owner if he could check on my order. His response was, "Did we call your name?" I said they hadn't and he just told me that means it's not ready and they'll call my name when it's ready. A few minutes earlier I saw him dealing with an angry customer and just didn't feel like pressing him on my order with a response like "I ordered 45 minutes ago." Maybe 10 minutes after I asked about my order, they called my name and I was on my way out. Interestingly, at that time, my pizza was already boxed and sitting on top of the oven. They were waiting on the salad that whole time, as best I can tell, which seemed really odd. The pizza was no longer hot, so I popped it in my oven when I got home. The food was still good and I assumed this was just an outlier on a busy Friday night.

Sunday night, my youngest son wanted a calzone so we went to Tony's. They weren't busy at all. Only about half the tables were full and nobody was in line in front of us. My son ordered a meat calzone, I ordered a steak and cheese, and we added some cheese fries. The calzone came out in normal time. It's just reheated like the pizza by the slice orders. And then, again, the wait started. My son (9), who is not a particularly fast eater, finished his calzone before anything else was delivered to my table. The steak and cheese came out about 30 minutes after the calzone. When that was delivered, I said, "We also ordered cheese fries," to which he responded, "They are on their way." We received non-hot (but also not cold) cheese fries about 5 minutes after the steak and cheese. Interestingly, the subs and fries come from the same side of the kitchen as the salad that apparently took ridiculously long to make in my previous visit.

I'd prefer to keep Tony's in my local rotation. I'm sure I'll go again, but if I have to wait again 40+ minutes for a sub or salad or whatever, then I might have to move on. I hope it was just an unlucky coincidence in back-to-back visits.

I'm considering sending them an email, since I really want it to remain a good restaurant. Anyone familiar with how complaint emails are received in the restaurant industry? Are they taken seriously?

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I had a couple of pizzas delivered a couple of nights ago! We order every couple of weeks or so and the quality is usually good. There have been a couple of times where the pizza was undercooked and doughy, so we started ordering "well done", but then they were overcooked. Their salads are usually above average for a pizza joint in terms of quality ingredients, but they don't drain the lettuce enough which makes for a watery salad. YMMV.

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