When the first Pizza Patrón store opened in 1986, the Hispanic community felt welcomed by a staff that spoke their language both literally and culturally. Over the years, both the menu and the ever-expanding family of stores has come to reflect this Latin influence, seen in specialty pies such as the La Mexicana with chorizo, ground beef, bell peppers, and jalapenos. A spicy selection of sides includes lime-n-pepper chicken wings and garlic-con-queso wings, and dessert offers the Latin favorite, cinnamon-dusted churros filled with caramel. Additionally, the corporation’s owners are committed to going beyond simply marketing to Hispanic people, and instead, work to create a company that “respects and honors the multifaceted traditions and heritage found within Latin life.”
People looking for the best pizza in the world flock to two places: New York and Italy. Debbie, the daughter of Austin Pizza Garden's owner, and an award-winning pizzaiola, was no exception. To hone her culinary craft she visited both locales on a transatlantic quest for the perfect pizza recipe. Once she felt she'd mastered one?preferring the thin-crust variety for its unmistakable texture?she flew home to Indianapolis, where she founded Bazbeaux. In no time, the pizzeria took off, earning it a top spot in Indy's pizza scene, an honor that still endures nearly three decades later. To spread her success, Debbie taught her recipe to her family in Austin, who set up a pizzeria of their own in one of the city's century-old historical buildings.
Today, the chefs at Austin Pizza Garden still lovingly make pies using Debbie's carefully crafted recipes, and spice up the original flavor with their own distinctive spin. They throw jalapeno slices into the mix of the texas fajita pie, for example, which is crowned in fajita chicken and avocado and served with a side of sour cream. They've even expanded beyond the traditional pizza sauce, swapping out classic marinara for walnut pesto or black-bean dip. Whether baking up familiar flavors or unique creations, Austin Pizza Garden blows a longhorn of plenty that gathers Austinites near and far.
Since 1964, Blimpie has filled patrons' bellies with submarines packed with freshly sliced meats and quality toppings. Each of the coast-to-coast franchise's locations offers an assortment of bread-based eats ranging from classic deli subs to paninis served between warm ciabatta buns festooned with grill stripes or uneven tan lines. Subsmiths roll up fresh wraps and keep waistlines in check with Lighter Stuff, a health-conscious selection of menu items with less than 400 calories and 6 grams of fat. Kids' meals satiate the appetites of youngsters 12 years old and younger or adults with fake IDs.
At Alborz Persian Cuisine, diners choose Persian and Middle Eastern morsels off an extensive menu or construct an extravagant sampler plate at the buffet. Servers diligently stock the buffet for lunch and on Friday¬–Sunday for dinner, filling up hot trays of food with items from the regular menu, including lamb, beef, and chicken entrees in addition to a pair of vegetarian plates. For diners picking straight off the menu, the restaurant's eponymous Alborz family plate satisfies groups with skewers of cornish hen, boneless chicken, filet mignon, lamb, and ground beef finished off with a handful of sides. On Friday and Saturday nights, guests find the dining room animated by a crew of belly dancers shimming for nearly two hours swathed in costumes brightly colored enough to rival a parrot's favorite lipstick.
Salvation Pizza dishes up from-scratch New Haven-style pizzas in a cozy bungalow that's more than 80 years old. Every day, Salvation's expert hand-hurlers toss dough high and dice up fresh fruits and veggies with the help of an added arsenal of animatronic arms. Guests can elevate taste buds to rapturous heights with savory selections of thin-crust Neapolitan pizzas, such as the asparagus, bacon, and jalapeño pie ($12.50 small, $17 large) or white-clam pizza ($13 small, $18 large), each served with homemade sauces and dressings. A daily lunch special ($5.99) sates thrifty diners with two hand-tossed slices, a crisp, small salad, and 16-ounce soda. Salvation's adventurous staff encourages diners to propose substitutions and bring in their own gluten-free crust, soy cheese, and crushed-up Noid action figures.
Nestled inside a Blimpie sub shop, the chefs at Pizza Fresh Italian Eatery cover circular dough canvases with cheese and toppings to eat in-house or bake at home. Toppings range from simple pepperoni and mushroom pies to elaborate supreme or Hawaiian-themed medleys. The eatery also offers lighter pizzas that boast 35% fewer calories, 30% less fat, and 25% less gravity.