Although they both hail from the Mediterranean, pizza and falafel don't often appear on the same menu. Diners at Rome's Pizza, however, might be prompted to wonder why?it turns out it's quite possible for one kitchen to carry both dishes off nicely. In a 2004 review, the Current's Alejandro P?rez praised the pesto pizza's "light, crispy crust and full-bodied flavor" and the falafel sandwich's "hot, crisp patties."
This juxtaposition isn't the only surprise on the extensive menu. Sure, you can get red sauce and pepperoni atop your pie, but Rome's specializes in white pizzas slicked with olive oil, herbs, and smoked garlic. Strombolis and calzones fold in on themselves to make for a hearty meal or a high-powered alternative to a water balloon, and sandwiches and pasta display the same love of big portions and off-the-beaten-path ingredients. On the Mediterranean side of the menu, there are also staples such as dolmas, hummus, and gyros.
Dotting the Texan landscape with pizzerias like so many pepperonis in a hopeful meat-lover's garden, Goomba's ‘za joints bake up New York–style pies with ingredients from Costanzo's Bakery and Sorrento cheese. Dough made daily from scratch lays the groundwork for such classic toppings as italian sausage, mushrooms, artichokes, sweet or hot peppers, and anchovies. Pasta specialties such as cheese manicotti and baked ziti swim—like an eccentric millionaire—in a house-made tomato sauce infused with fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil, and a selection of calzones, salads, hot subs lends rest to the pizza weary. Daily lunch specials quell midday tummy rumbles from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and most locations offer both dine-in and carry-out fare.
The cooks at Orderup focus on the classics: burgers, fries, and shakes. Wielding hand-pressed patties, they craft signature burgers such as the La Bomba, which comes with cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg on a buttered bun, or versions with chicken, pork, and fish. The menu also showcases more than 10 shake flavors, including Mexican vanilla, banana, and nutella. Sides of honey-coconut sweet potato fries or serrano cheese fries round out a meal.
The creative chefs at Mona Lisa's Gourmet Pizzeria aren't afraid to bedeck pizzas with unconventional ingredients. Eclectic toppings like deli ham, gyro meat, and black pepper-crusted meatballs join traditional toppings like pepperoni and spinach on crusts, making each bite truly a gourmet experience. The chefs put just as much attention into the menu’s sandwiches, from the parmesan-crusted California club to the smoked brisket on jalapeño sourdough. The Italian entrée selection contains classics like lasagna and penne noodles blanketed in mushroom alfredo sauce. Orders can be supersized to feed catered birthday parties or fill a mansion's disused spaghetti pool.
Since 1999, Rami's Pizza has packed its signature marinara sauce with fresh ingredients, filling calzones and topping pizzas, pastas, and Italian-style sandwiches made daily. Stone-baked pizzas crowned with traditional ingredients are made to-order, eliminating the need for tricks used by other pizzerias, such as hotboxes and adult-sized Easy-Bake Ovens.
Dough doyens at Capricciosas Gourmet Pizza adorn thin, crispy crusts with goat cheese, prosciutto, and other adventurous toppings praised by the San Antonio Express-News. Smoked oysters and spinach punctuate the Smokey, and, like a chef in a witness-protection program, the Milan pie conceals a savory pesto sauce. Though requesting a pizza that resembles William Howard Taft is inadvisable, patrons can customize their dough discuses with dozens of different toppings, including chorizo and fresh mozzarella. Slices share belly space with salads such as the Siena, which tickles prosciutto, artichokes, and goat cheese with crisp sprays of leafy greens.