Friday, January 27, 2012

Bowie Restaurant Project: (42) Cetrone's Pizza Place

Cetrone's is now closed.

Since this review was written, Cetrone's closed their dining room. It's still a good place to get takeout or delivery, and there are a few tables left if you want to eat there, but it's no longer a place to take the kids, or any party larger than about four.

For an explanation of the Bowie Restaurant Project, look here.

For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.

Cetrone's Pizza Place, 13631 Old Annapolis Rd.

Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 01/24/2012
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 7
Pre-Foursquare Visits: No
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Even using your GPS to find this unassuming pizza joint can be a bit of a challenge. The restaurant's menus list it as "13631 Annapolis Rd.", but on Google Maps and most other places, the stretch of "old 450" with Cetrone's is "Old Annapolis Rd."

Cetrone's wins the title of Best Pizza in Bowie almost by default. Bowie has Uno's, Three Brothers, Villa Pizza, Domino's, Papa John's and two-and-a-half Pizza Huts (I'll explain later). Other than the chains, T.J. Elliott's sells Ledo Pizza, but through a confusing arrangement it's not actually part of the Ledo chain. So if you want non-chain pizza in Bowie, I think you can say the choice comes down to Cetrone's and T.J. Elliott's.

Fortunately, Cetrone's takes the crown with style. They offer two versions: the "pizza wheel" thin-crust and the doughier New York style. The former is my favorite, but you can't go wrong either way. We've tried the calzones and the pasta, and while the stuffed shells were pretty tasty, the four-star rating is definitely for the pizza.

Definitely family-friendly!
The employees had always been nice to me when I went to pick up the pizza (or called to have it delivered), so I was looking forward to finding an excuse to bring the family in for a meal. We recently found one on my 40th birthday. I've never seen the place particularly busy, but 5:00 on a Tuesday was a great time to make sure the kids wouldn't disturb too many other patrons. Additionally, we were able to take advantage of one of their specials -- Monday for thin-crust, Tuesday for NY-style.

Service was very friendly and mostly efficient by a waitress who looked high-school-aged and was operating the front counter and the phone in addition to tending to the small customer base. She even brought some crayons and drawing paper, which the kids didn't get a chance to use, because the food was brought out quickly and piping hot. As much as I've enjoyed takeout and delivery, the food was especially good fresh from the oven.

In my mind, no matter where you live, you should have a go-to pizza place on speed dial. Cetrone's fills that niche admirably in Bowie.

(In a discussion of Bowie pizza, I'd be remiss in not mentioning "Happy Italian Delight," whose absence is much lamented by Bowieites. I had some good pizza from them back in the day -- I think Christina met me for lunch there on one of our first dates, but my memory isn't strong enough for a true comparison.)

I submitted this as an "Independent Pizza Restaurants" waymark. Thanks to Christina for the exterior photos used here and there.

Bowie Restaurant News

The Bowie Living blog reports that Jersey Mike's Subs is coming to Hilltop Plaza. I'm not sure why I'd choose to go there instead of the Chesapeake Grille two doors down, but I'll review the new place in due time. (I.e., when it opens.)

Bowie is also getting another Dunkin' Donuts location.  I'm not thrilled with the redundancy (it's a 5 minute drive from the other Dunkin' Donuts), but it could be worse.

Also, after further review, I am requalifying Simple Pleasures Ice Cafe, which I disqualified in July on the basis that they did not serve meals. Their web site says, "Our sandwich and salad menu offers any diner delightful choices of hot and cold sandwiches, and an assortment of salads." I look forward to visiting them again; I'll have to update my waymark from their old location. (Wow, a picture in my waymark even says "sandwiches", so I should have known better.) That raises the total number of restaurants in Bowie to 76, until the annual update of the restaurant guide came out. (Last year, it came out on January 20th.)

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