PEPE'S 6081 Falls Road. Open Monday through Sunday from 5:30 a.m. ''
midnight. Call 377-3287. Pepe's is a popular neighborhood establishment at the foot of Lake Avenue that sits just beneath the closed-for-a-year Falls Road bridge over the railroad tracks, which must cause its delivery drivers, as well as loyal customers to the north, fits.
Spacious and clean in the classic Formica and fluorescent style, Pepe's menu makes up in variety what it lacks in distinctiveness.
In addition to thin crust and deep dish pizzas, Pepe's offers a couple dozen types of subs, three pasta varieties -- spaghetti, lasagna and stuffed shells -- in six different sauces, a few Greek offerings and four types of salads, as well as a standard range of side dishes. Its early opening hours also allow for a full breakfast menu.
The food we sampled was fine, if not fantastic. The thin crust pizza, for example, had a tasty tomato sauce and generous toppings, yet the crust was a little chewy. But it was reasonably priced -- $5.50 for a 12-inch, $8.35 for a 16-inch. The deep dish is 75 cents more on both sizes. Add 90 cents per topping.
Among the subs, the shrimp salad ($5.25) is a standout and the Italian cheese steak ($4.50) is also quite good. The mushroom cheese steak ($4.50) proved to be a representative example of the genre, as did a chicken parmigiana sub ($4.05).
The salads are hearty and good, if a little pricey -- $2.85 for tossed, $4.50 for Greek, chef or Italian. Delivery requires a $5.50 minimum.