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Beyond Baltimore: The Gas and Go Gourmet 3

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It sounds to be an oxymoron: Gas station food. Gas stations don’t usually qualify as tabernacles of culinary excellence, but this local service station defies that conventional wisdom.

A Taste of New York

For something continental, try Columbia Waterloo Pizza & Subs, shoe-horned into the Exxon station at the corner of Little Patuxent Parkway and Governor Warfield Boulevard in Columbia, MD. Affiliated with Roma’s Pizza & Subs in Columbia and Ellicott City, Columbia Waterloo offers that rarest of gastronomic pleasures—real New York style pizza.

Forget the Chicago deep-dish imposters or the crowd of local poseurs; this is the real pizza: Thin, crackly crust, rich tomato sauce, and just the right amount of cheese that spins out in long threads with each bite. Expatriates from the Big Apple crowd Columbia Waterloo simply because the pizza reminds them of home.

“You don’t have to go to New York anymore to have that New York experience,” claimed Khalid Balajem, from his stand behind the miniscule service counter. “We have people who drive all the way up from Bowie just to get our pizza.”

In business for nearly 19 years, Columbia Waterloo also specializes in Philly cheesesteak hoagies and offers a selection of sandwiches, salads, and Italian entrees.

For recipes and more of Reed Hellman’s signature culinary adventures, visit his Website at http://www.reedhellmanwordsmith.com/. You can follow his monthly columns in Recreation News and read his feature articles in Business Monthly.

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