In the midst of ever-multiplying chain eateries, Gabriel's Pizza embraces its status as a mom-and-pop pizza joint. Though the restaurant boasts patio seating and exposed-brick walls, owners Charley and Allen Eisenmenger generally avoid frills and instead focus on perfecting a menu that brings together New York’s thin-crust pizzas and Chicago’s deep-dish pies. Their fresh dough never sees the inside of a freezer or kitchen igloo, and it takes on a whole new layer of taste when chefs coat it with the restaurant's signature sauce. They top specialty pies with USDA-certified meats and produce largely sourced from a Charleston vendor, gracing dough with accessories ranging from classic pepperoni to rich artichoke hearts. The chefs also craft entrees such as baked spaghetti and ravioli.
Pizza Hut opened in 1958 and continues to sling its famed hand-tossed, pan, thin, and stuffed-crust pizzas alongside a menu of snack-ready eats. Aspiring pizza artisans can build their own pizzas ($3.48–$3.57 for a personal pan cheese, including tax) choosing from any of the protein-packed meat toppings including pepperoni, ham, pork, beef, italian sausage, bacon pieces, and chicken. Use veggie toppings to augment a meaty meal, or craft a rounded garden cornucopia of mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and banana peppers.
Colonel Eure opened his first pizza restaurant in 1964 and when time came to open another franchise five years later, he named it Gatti's Pizza in honor of his wife's maiden name. The Gatti's Pizza empire steadily expanded over the next four decades, thanks in part to a commitment to high-quality ingredients such as real cheese, yeast-risen dough made fresh daily, and a 16-ingredient secret sauce protected by Swiss bankers. Today, chefs prepare specialty pies such as the barbecue chicken and bacon double cheeseburger pizza and bake custom creations from a choice of 17 toppings and three crust options. Many Gatti's locations boast a dining room complete with a big-screen TV, and some include a Veggie Tales room, a sports room, and a game room.