Sports stream from a fleet of televisions that line almost every wall inside The Spot Sports Bar & Grill. As diners root on their favorite teams and shoot pool, the wait staff hustles between high-top tables and stools with pulled-pork sandwiches, enchiladas, wings, and calamari. The eclectic menu also includes deep-fried peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and super nachos that pack a hearty mix of cheese, beans, vegetables, and choice of meat. A DJ busts out the latest tunes on Friday and Saturday nights, and families gather around the giant projector screen for Thursday karaoke, singing favorite hits or reciting the Latin phrase woven into their family crest.
Garlic Jim's menu was handcrafted with nothing more than a dream and an incredible reserve of pizza-making expertise. Open an order with some gourmet chicken wings, available in barbecue, garlic, and hot, before moving on to pizza territory. Put an end to eating Legos by piecing together a custom pie. Choose from the hand-thrown thick, garlic thin, or gluten-free crusts, slathered in one of seven sauces (from classic red to zesty chipotle pesto), and then slap on any of 15 standard and 11 gourmet toppings (14-inch large pizzas start at $11.99, extra-large $14.99; each additional topping for a large is $1.50). To achieve customization without the stress of having to choose, turn to one of the pre-determined specialties. Meat-maul hunger with the Hercules (salami, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, beef, spicy Italian sausage, and bacon; $18.99 for large, $21.99 for extra-large), or discover the secret of pizza-temperature fusion in your head with Jim's bacon-cheeseburger pizza (beef, bacon, red onions, tomatoes, mozzarella, and cheddar; $18.99 for large, $21.99 for extra-large).
Bellagios Pizza, locally owned and operated since 1996, brews ripe batches of tomato sauce and tosses fresh disks of dough daily at their Wilsonville location, while crews at each restaurant sprinkle pies with delicious toppings to create a menu loaded with pizzas, grinders, and calzones. Heaps of spinach, artichokes, and juicy tomatoes guide wandering bellies out of the desert with the Oasis pizza ($10–$19.99), while the Butcher Block throws a crust-top party of salami, pepperoni, canadian bacon, and italian sausage ($10–$19.99), coming together in hearty harmony like a chorus of lumberjacks. Diners interested in a wider variety of toppings or in teaching children about medieval class structure can opt for a pie cleanly divided down the middle, such as a half-cheese, half-pepperoni pizza ($8–$17.99). Slathered with pizza sauce and adorned with meaty toppings, the Bellagio grinder ($5.99) competes with a host of calzones ($10.99) for the silver medal to the pizza menu's gold.
If you don't know what a piadina wrap is, here's a rundown: It's an Italian flatbread wrap, served from unpretentious stalls throughout Italy, especially in the Emilia-Romagna region. It's part of a long tradition, too. As a writer from Saveur notes, in as early as the nineteenth century, poets were writing homages to the wrap, praising its smoothness and its often-impressive size.
Nowadays, Americans can get in on the historic trend, and dig into custom piadina wrap of their own at Strada: Street Food of Italy. Stuffed with delicacies from sausage to fried rounds of calamari, the wraps come dressed up in customizable extras, too. Pesto or marinara sauces smother more than 25 toppings, including Mediterranean specialties such as white bean relish, black olives, and spicy arugula. There's gelato for dessert, too, rather than the original frosty Italian treat, frozen pizza.
People need energy to play, so meals at John's Incredible Pizza Company might start at a salad bar with 40 different veggies and toppings, before proceeding to an inventive selection of pizzas including barbecue chicken ranch, spicy peanut butter, and standards like pepperoni and cheese. There is also a build-your-own pasta bar and a dessert buffet with everything from fresh baked cinnamon rolls to soft-serve ice cream cones?all of it is meant to fuel a good time. That takes place on bumper cars and interactive super-bikes. Old school arcade enthusiasts can engage in classic Pac-Man battle while redemption tickets whir out of machines, granting winners access to a prize counter stocked with lava lamps and Nintendo and XBOX 360 consoles.