The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Layering freshly sliced rib eye on signature italian bread, Ziggy’s Cheesesteaks crafts a menu of gourmet cheesesteak sandwiches as authentic as the ones born and raised in South Philly. Classic cheesesteaks, blanketed in your choice of cheese and served with or without grilled onions, pair perfectly with a side of whiz fries, a marriage of scholarly spuds and the eponymous creamy canned cheese ($2.49). Ziggy’s regional varieties take thrill-seeking taste buds on a gastronomic getaway with the Brooklyn, topped with pizza sauce and provolone, or the Jersey, stuffed with cheese and french fries. Herbivores and poultrivores can partake in a grilled-veggie hoagie or chicken cheesesteak. All of the eatery's made-to-order sandwiches come in 8-inch ($6.49) and 12-inch ($8.49) varieties for easily transportable meals. You get a variety of food groups in every bite without annoying utensil requirements, prep work, or cleanup.
As guests sit down to eat at Taste of Ethiopia, the first thing placed on the table is a bowl of steamy washcloths. True to the traditional style of Ethiopian cuisine, dishes are served family-style and without silverware; instead, patrons eat with their hands, using gluten-free flatbread called injera.
Jane Slaughter of the Metro Times praised the flavors of the menu, crafted by Chef Meskerem Gebreyohannes, as “so deep and so true … you’ve never really experienced a lentil or a collard so intimately.” Doro we’t, a spicy, slow-cooked chicken stew, celebrates generous amounts of onion as well as the traditional hard-boiled eggs it’s served with. Berbere, a distinctive Ethiopian blend of 12 spices, perfumes dishes of split red lentils and marinated cubes of lamb with rue seed, basil, cardamom, and other aromas.
In her article, Slaughter also relished the restaurant’s distinctive and convivial experience. To encourage the family-style experience, patrons rest around a traditional wicker table with their muskets in plain view, and chef Gebreyohannes makes frequent appearances in the dining room to chat.
Southern Smile’s roadmap of a menu teaches edible geography with a bountiful spread of southern comforts such as corn-battered Missippy and Cajun-spiced NawLeans fish. Steaming cups of jambalaya and gumbo ($4.29 cup, $5.49 bowl) target taste buds with a preemptive veggie strike, prepping palates for feats of protein such as the half-pound Yahoo Bayou black Angus burger ($6.99). Politely demand seafood ensconced in a puffy throne with the popular fried catfish sandwich ($6.49), or tuck into a platoon of grilled ocean perch ($8.29) flanked by a scratch-made corn muffin and two sides chosen from a roster of fried collards, mustard potato salad, and waffle fries. Toothsome slabs of pound cake ($3.50+) and à la mode southern peach cobbler ($4.75) nail the lid on appetites.
A certified green restaurant, Amici’s Pizza combines environmentally sound practices with gourmet pizzas and martinis—an effort Jane Slaughter of Metrotimes calls, “virtuous […] without a hint of self-righteousness.” Slaughter is just one of many members of the press to praise Amici’s, which boasts a martini bar complete with recycled materials and non-toxic cleaning chemicals. The pizza is made with organic products whenever possible, arriving in vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free varieties dotted with ingredients such as black beans, smoked corn, and scallions or artichoke, spinach, and walnuts. Traditional, whole-wheat, thin, or gluten-free crusts are topped with a bevy of cheeses, including soy cheese for those who follow a dairy-free diet or are fearful of mozzarella's association with the dark arts.
Amici's staff do more than pull pies from the oven, though—bartenders mix up more than 60 martinis ranging from old favorites such as the sidecar to new inventions such as the pina-tini with rum, vanilla vodka, and pineapple juice. Guests can enjoy libations at the martini bar or while savoring fresh air on the spacious patio.