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Tomaro's

411 N. 4th St., Clarksburg, WV - (304) 622-0691
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/19/2015 5:00:00 PM
Clarksburg is a city with a strong Italian heritage and some fine restaurants to match. One of the most interesting expressions of West Virginia-Italian culture is the pepperoni roll, as made in several town bakeries. A short length of pizza dough baked around sticks of pepperoni scarcely bigger than wooden matchsticks, the pepperoni roll has become popular through much of West Virginia, and you will find versions of it sold in convenience stores, gas stations, and groceries. Tomaro’s makes some of the best pepperoni rolls: modest handfuls of silky dough risen and baked around the spicy pepperoni, becoming an irresistible combination of zesty, oily meat and fluffy bread inside the crust.

Tomaro's bread also is stupendous. Regulars know to ask for theirs with a regular crust or a hard crust; even the regular crust has a brawny chew. Serious crust lovers get the loaf that is here known as a "hard crust baked," meaning the same dough is baked longer, directly on the hearth. The bread emerges with an exterior as brittle as a bread stick (but silk-tender inside). Fredda Martin, Tomaro's sales manager, told us that some old-timers ask for extra-hard crust baked, the outside of which feels like hard tack. "The hard-crust lovers are fading," she advised. "New customers like it softer. And the soft does last longer." Fredda reminded us that Tomaro's motto isn't just clever word play. It's good advice, especially regarding hard crust loaves: "Eat Tomaro's Bread Today."

Tomaro’s has been a family business since 1914.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
pepperoni roll
Italian Loaf
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We tore open this pepperoni roll to show how the twigs of meat are enclosed in the bread and how, as it bakes, oil from the pepperoni seeps out and into the soft fibers of bread all around.
"We tore open this pepperoni roll to show how the twigs of meat are enclosed in the bread and how, as it bakes, oil from the pepperoni seeps out and into the soft fibers of bread all around."
Michael Stern





We had no cutting board and no knife, and nothing to sandwich between slices, so we simply gnawed on this hard-crusted loaf as we drove around exploring Clarksburg. It is everything a great Italian bread should be, and it is available with different degrees of hard crust, from barely brittle to wickedly crunchy.
"We had no cutting board and no knife, and nothing to sandwich between slices, so we simply gnawed on this hard-crusted loaf as we drove around exploring Clarksburg. It is everything a great Italian bread should be, and it is available with different degrees of hard crust, from barely brittle to wickedly crunchy."
Michael Stern


The pepperoni roll is the unofficial state snack of West Virginia. Here is a trio of Tomaro's mini rolls, each a 2-3 bite affair.
"The pepperoni roll is the unofficial state snack of West Virginia. Here is a trio of Tomaro's mini rolls, each a 2-3 bite affair."
Michael Stern


Tomaro's motto is no joke. Lack of preservatives insures that by the next day, one of these great loaves is good only for croutons, pain purdu, or bread pudding.
"Tomaro's motto is no joke. Lack of preservatives insures that by the next day, one of these great loaves is good only for croutons, pain purdu, or bread pudding."
Michael Stern


The retail area inside Tomaro's is quite small, so small that it is not uncommon to find a line of customers outside the door waiting to get in and buy their baked goods. Tomaro's has been an Elk Point neighborhood bakery since 1914.
"The retail area inside Tomaro's is quite small, so small that it is not uncommon to find a line of customers outside the door waiting to get in and buy their baked goods. Tomaro's has been an Elk Point neighborhood bakery since 1914."
Michael Stern


Janice Brunett and Natalie Tennant serving the 7 1/2 foot pepperoni roll at the Tomaro's 100 year celebration.
"Janice Brunett and Natalie Tennant serving the 7 1/2 foot pepperoni roll at the Tomaro's 100 year celebration. "
Mark Howell



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