PEP-A-RONI'S Pizzeria & Grill, 816 Guilford Ave. in Mount Vernon Market Center. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. 727-4755.
This place has replaced the defunct Tony's in a neighborhood sorely in need of carryouts. Pep-A-Roni's makes a pretty pizza, with a tall crust drizzled with cheese. The traditional cheese model ($9 for a large with one topping) is comfortably bland and straightforward, with fresh mushrooms and a surfeit of mozzarella. The sauce is "too sweet," according to one lunchtime diner; another who partook of the same pizza praised its notable lack of salt -- especially compared to other pizzas on the take-out market.
A chef salad ($3.50) was edible, thanks in large part to the designer pepper Parmesan dressing, which is 50 cents extra. The greens were fresh and plentiful, but the ham and turkey tasted all too processed. And tomatoes in winter are just a contradiction in terms.