11725 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22030
PRICE Under $12
HOURS Open for lunch and dinner daily.
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By Warren Rojas
Nobody calls a pizza joint begging for salad, do they?
But I can share that the missus and I have recruited our share of converts to the cult of Ledo by merely showing up at gatherings with an Italian salad in hand.
The ingredients are no great mystery: chopped romaine, robust black olives, plump cherry tomatoes, quartered deli fixtures (pepperoni, salami, provolone), mouthwatering pepperoncinis and salty Parmesan. But once you add in Ledo's signature romano-herb dressing—a proprietary blend of aged romano cheese, buttermilk, onion, garlic, vinegar and turmeric so hardwired into the company’s DNA, no one at their corporate headquarters could even recall who first created it—all bets are off.
The tantalizing solution suffuses each bite of glossy vegetable matter with a creamy-tangy gusto impeccably abetted by the cured meats and zesty peppers scattered about.
It’s gotten to the point where friends and family members seem complacent about what type of pie to order (Cheese? Pepperoni? These questions elicit blank stares), but roar about the need for multiple salads and extra dressings (at least one entire salad per couple, and one extra dressing per every two salads seems to be the bare minimum).
And we're not the only ones.
A Ledo spokesperson says that the saucy Italian salad accounts for roughly 30 percent of all salad sales and ranks eighth in terms of all-time menu favorites. Meanwhile, four out of every 10 retail buyers reach for a pre-packaged bottle of the romano-herb dressing.