It's all in the name at Pronto Casual Italian, where the kitchen staff puts a fresh spin on fast food. Every day before customers arrive, the cooks are busy preparing New York?style thin-crust pizzas, stromboli, spaghetti with meatballs, chicken parmesan, and breadsticks. The results of their hard work are then displayed before their patrons, who pass by behind a glass divider and customize their meals with the point of a finger.
At age 14, Michael Kidd and Cristopher Malita worked side-by-side at a local pizzeria and dreamed about what they might do differently if they owned one themselves. Today, more than 10 years later, they put their ideas into practice at Pudgies Eatery. The pair builds each pizza on a handmade crust rendered more flavorful by a special blend of rosemary and spices. Their roster of specialty pies includes the Pulled Pudgie pizza with barbecue sauce, pulled pork, cheddar, and onion, as well as the chicken bacon ranch pizza with white sauce and tomatoes. Instead of pitching them into a catcher's glove, the cooks toss chicken wings into housemade sauces ranging in flavor from Mississippi mustard and garlic parmesan to hot teriyaki. The kitchen team rounds out the menu with sub sandwiches stuffed with philly steak or meatballs and soft, fresh baked cinnamon rolls.
The DeCheco family feeds the masses that swarm into their pizzeria with from-scratch recipes. Their most popular pie combines creamy garlic sauce with tomatoes, banana peppers, black olives, and a smattering of herbs. Other creative endeavors include the chicken-bacon-ranch pizza with jalape?os and the potato pie topped with potatoes, sour cream, bacon, and green onions. Beyond pizzas, the chefs cook up hot wings, meatball sandwiches, and garlic breadsticks that can be dunked into marinara sauce.
First-time visitors to Chowder House Cafe often fixate on the dining room?s walls?or lack thereof, as every square inch has been painted over with electric flowers, guitar players, crowned kings, and other artistic testaments to the caf??s funky and unconventional outlook. This same outlook makes its way onto the menu, which features the namesake clam chowder alongside salads, sandwiches, and dinner entrees similarly inspired by the sea. Aside from the Sunday brunch?s traditional omelets and buttermilk pancakes drenched in fresh Ohio maple syrup, a crab cake benedict celebrates the weekend atop a toasted ciabatta roll. Regardless of the time of day, a considerate BYOB policy accommodates the sailors who often stumble into the caf? with unlabeled bottles of clam juice.
Before Talamo's Pizza even opens for business, the chefs are busy in the kitchen, kneading, rolling out, and hand tossing fresh dough for pizzas. Seven sauces?including fresh marinara and ranch?coat thin and thick crusts before chefs add such ingredients as steak, roasted red peppers, and meatballs. Orders of up to 100 pieces of fried chicken come with housemade garlic dip, and baked subs include BLT, chicken parmigiana, and gyro.
Domenic's Pub is a classic sports bar featuring a menu of pub fare that's served until late (11 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, midnight on Fridays and Saturdays). Chow down on pizza, sandwiches, and wings capable of filling stomachs with that warm, fuzzy feeling normally only achieved by hunkering down in a Japanese kitten pit. The sliced prime-rib panini slathered with horseradish mayo and provolone comes au jus to allow for the delightful juice-to-bread exchange ($5). Specialty pizzas such as the Mediterranean (olive oil, shrimp, roasted red pepper, basil, and fresh mozzarella, $6) provide pre-sliced pabulum for bicker-free dining among the mixed company of friends, acquaintances, and old-timey industrial tycoons. Prove your mettle by downing a basket of hot wings, which can be lovingly chased by a pint of Labatt Blue, Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat, Guinness, or Miller Lite, all on draught.