Honey-glazed pork ribs and specialty and gourmet pizzas headline Checkers Pizza & Ribs's lengthy menu of casual comfort fare. Chefs sling fresh disks of dough by hand before slathering each pie with sauce that, like NASA's formula for rocket fuel, is forged from an exclusive family recipe. In addition to pizza, chefs enlist hickory smoke to imbue flavor into pork ribs coated with honey-barbecue sauce, and they round out meals with pastas and sandwiches.
Over three family generations, the sauce-crafting cooks at Tony & Alba’s Pizza and Pasta have fed ravenous diners with a slew of homemade Italian items on its extensive menu. Committed to perfecting the art of pizza, Tony & Alba’s Pizza and Pasta expanded its menu to include a choice of crust options (standard, New York thin, Sicilian thick, 100% whole wheat, and gluten-free), as well as basic and gourmet toppings that allow diners to design their own version of pie perfection. House specialties include the Tony Special pizza, topped with pepperoni, salami, beef, sausage, linguica, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms, and the Keep Fit pizza, carefully concocted with low-fat cheese, bell peppers, mushroom, tomato, zucchini, garlic, and artichoke (specialty pizza prices range from $12.99-$29.99). Diners clamoring for Italian culture ever since Da Vinci's triumphant return from the grave can also indulge in a homemade sauce, like a creamy alfredo ($9.99), the tender clam sauce ($9.79), or the ricotta-tinged pesto ($9.99), each temptingly drizzled on top of your choice of pasta.
About 3,000 miles separate San Jose from New York, but one bite into a slice at Bibo’s and you’d never guess. This no-frills pizza shop sticks to simple but authentic New York-style pies. They make fresh sauce and hand-tossed dough daily, and also crown each pie with a pound's worth of their uniquely flavored cheese blend of buffalo milk and cow's milk. Even with all that cheese, the slices maintain New York-style pizza's signature trait: you can easily fold them to fit inside your mouth or an envelope addressed to a skeptical New Yorker.
With those elements as the foundation for every pizza, cooks load specialty pies with other ingredients such as garden-fresh mushrooms, fire-roasted tomatoes, and even grilled onions. But nothing ever gets too complicated; in fact, Bibo's recommends first-timers stick to the plain cheese in order to fully taste all the flavors. Aside from pizza, the shop also creates hefty calzones, sweetens meals with homemade cannolis, and pulls a monthly rotation of craft beers from its taps.
Tony Brierly has always loved pizza. As a child, hearing the words "pizza night" made him quake with excitement. Fast forward, and Tony is the brains behind Pizza California, a relaxed family eatery designed with comfort and fresh, local flavors in mind. Diners can choose from 16 pizza creations such as the Earthquake, with pepperoni, smoked ham, and salami, or the the thin-crust margherita, with mozzarella, shaved garlic, fresh basil, and tomatoes. There's also a create-your-own option, as well as draft and bottled beer.
The scene is a quintessential family pizza joint—rows of wooden tables line the floors, stained-glass hanging lights fixtures illuminate checkered floors, and a pinball machine beeps and clicks faintly from the arcade room. The Italian-inspired menu delivers classics such as thin-crust pizzas, hearty pasta dishes, and warm parmigiana subs. It's a place where friends gather over pies and pints of cold draft beer, children celebrate birthdays with pizza-making activities, and professional rugby players meet over plans to start up a knitting club.