After visiting a client in Germantown, I drove past a strip mall and noticed a sign with "Aldo's" on it. My mind immediately flashed back to my childhood and wondered if this place was related in any way to the Aldo's I enjoyed in Riverwest many moons ago.
I didn't have time to stop in and ask that day, buy I vowed to return.
Around six months later, I did return to Aldo's, W156 N11058 Pilgrim Rd., and met owner Dwayne Ketterer, who has run Aldo's for most of the past 14 years, along with his wife, Judy.
Ketterer clarified that someone offered to buy the business from him in 2007 and ran it unsuccessfully under a different name until 2009, so he and his wife took over and re-opened as Aldo's in 2010.
Aldo's consists of a full bar, complete with two 40-inch flat screens, and a separate dining room. Ketterer wanted to keep a casual vibe, so booths were added to complement the tables in the bar and dining room.
Ketterer's background was in banking and finance, while Mrs. Ketterer worked for 15 years in the restaurant business running the "front of the house."
He knew he wanted to own a business one day, and that day came when he saw the restaurant, named Aldo's by the previous owner, for sale in an ad. The rest, as they say, is history.
The menu includes appetizers, pastas, sandwiches, soups, salads and pizzas. Nightly specials are featured for dine-in only. Tuesdays, for example, feature all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meat sauce for $4.99! Ketterer told me the spaghetti sauce is his mother's recipe.
My Monday night visit found 35-cent wings. The wings were big and meaty. Wing sauces include hot, barbecue, garlic parmesan, jerk and honey bourbon. I was intrigued by the honey bourbon, but decided on the hot wings and was not disappointed. This was a great value! Wednesday night's special brings one third-pound burgers for $1 and Thursday night is barbecued ribs night, but these aren't just any ribs.
Fans of Germantown's "Jerry's Old Town" will remember its well-known French onion soup and barbecued ribs. Jerry's closed in June, and Chef Tavo Vargas joined Aldo's soon after, bringing those recipes with him.
The Friday fish fry includes your choice of lightly breaded haddock, Italian-style breaded haddock or baked haddock, along with choice of potato, cole slaw and rye bread. Unfortunately, potato pancakes are not one of the potato choices.
Ketterer mentioned that the lasagna is his sister's recipe and has become one of the signature entrees.
Pizzas represent approximately 50 percent of food sales. Aldo's features a thin crispy crust, almost cracker-like, and it comes in 12 or 16 inches. Cheese pizzas are $11.25 and $14.25, respectively, with toppings available at $1.30 and $1.80 each.
The crust is baked with a very light dusting of cornmeal, which allowed me to taste more of the flour in the crust, which I prefer.
The crust was topped with a very thin layer of sauce, so I didn't really taste it, but I liked what little I could taste. I would have preferred a little more sauce.
The small chunks of sausage and the pepperoni slices had a great spicy flavor and sat atop a layer of delicious cheese that seemed thicker than the crust.
Aldo's pizzas are also sprinkled with their own blend of Italian seasoning that adds a nice extra layer of flavor.
Aldo's specialty pizzas include the Popeye with fresh spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, mozzarella and parmesan, and the Venetian with onion, green peppers, chicken, mozzarella, provolone and parmesan, all over an alfredo sauce.
They also offer catering for groups of 25 up to 400 people. In fact, Ketterer told me a story about his sister-in-law working in a daycare center eight years ago, and they ordered lunch from Aldo's. That led to a long-term lunch catering relationship that has since expanded to seven other daycare centers, totaling 300 lunches prepared each day!
My favorite part of dining out is when I have the opportunity to meet the owners and get their stories. Ketterer's story includes a few interesting sub-plots which made me even more grateful to have visited at the right time, so I could grab a few moments with him.
I hope to get back again to explore the other nightly specials, as well as its signature lasagna.
I live within walking distance of Aldo's but I never go there anymore. Since they reopend after Fazzari's closed it is a bit too "casual" i.e. "rowdy", more like a tavern that serves pizza. Owners are nice, food is good, but not my kind of place anymore.
Kelly, great suggestions. I suggest you should write your own reviews and then you can place all sorts of pizza pictures on your page! -- makes for a lot less writing! Or better yet, get off your duff and go check the place out for yourself.
Jaimers | Nov. 21, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. (report)
Funny that this article just came out I was just here early last week and loved the pizza! I"m a huge fan of thin crust, unlike my husband, so I loved it and he was just okay with it. Need to go back for the lasagne! Thanks for posting the article OMC!
I love seeing different pizza places but I have two suggestions...1) can you post pictures that show the entire pizza so we can get a good look at the crust and toppings and 2) sometimes I would like to see something other than sausage and pepperoni on the pizza! I know those are your favorites but maybe you could start bringing some friends too so we get a little variety :)
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