Located in a nondescript strip mall across from a CVS Pharmacy and Capital One bank, Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana is serving up pies that Eater has called “destination worthy.” And the The Washington Post claims that the pizzeria’s marinara pie is “one of the best pizzas anywhere.” I grew up 10 minutes from Gaithersburg, Maryland and on I recent trip home, I swung by to see what all the hype was about.
What’s Unique: Nestled among chains like Starbucks and Subway, it would be easy to drive by the strip mall where Inferno is located and miss out on the incredible pies that the pizzeria is serving. With no closing time posted on its door (“until the dough runs out”), it’s the kind of establishment you might expect to find in Brooklyn, not the suburbs. It reminded me of a place I visited in Charleston years ago named EVO, which took a similar approach to its high quality Neapolitan pizza.
What To Eat: The Inferno menu changes frequently and I recommend ordering whatever is in season. When I visited in summer I ordered a margherita pie, an eggplant pie (with tomatoes, lemon ricotta, and garlic breadcrumbs), and a roasted potato pie (with smoked mozzarella and rosemary). All three pies were delicious and filling. The Inferno website notes that they use a higher water content which allows their dough to puff up, bubble and char (as opposed to a more traditional Neapolitan pie which has a flatter and breadier crust).
What To Know Before You Go: Because of the pandemic, Inferno has been focused on takeout, with limited indoor dining on Saturday evenings. That’s subject to change, so it’s worth checking their website for the latest. The takeout pies I ordered held up really well and when the weather is nice, I recommend eating at the picnic tables near Kentlands Children’s Playground down the road. There are usually only a few pizzas on the menu, so get a small group together and try them all. Don’t sleep on the appetizers — they’re delicious too.
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