In the mines of northeastern Pennsylvania, workers heave loads of clean-burning anthracite coal and ship them to businesses such as Coal Fire, where chefs scoop the same coal into their 900-degree ovens to bake pizzas and wings. Before baking the pies, the chefs hand-toss the aged dough, then cover it with one of three original sauces and thick, house-made mozzarella cheese, as well as only the freshest produce and toppings such as sun-dried tomatoes and pepperoni. Outside the kitchen, servers slide across the polished floorboards, delivering platters of steaming pizzas and frosty drinks from the full bar.
With a name that means the literal state of being pizza, Pizzaness isn't about to pull any punches with its bubbling, golden-brown pies. Oven-baked creations range from the traditional meat-topped pizzas to greek and barbecue chicken, and include a creation dressed in salami, ground beef, feta, and green peppers dubbed the "uniqueness." In addition, kitchen staff also prepare hearty cheese steaks and Italian cold-cut subs, as well as slabs of rich lasagna. Buckets of grilled chicken wings and customizable calzones, meanwhile, make the ideal meals for the one party that even the College Dean wouldn't shut down.
Before chefs at Carini's Pizza, Subs & Pasta pick up a single pepperoni or shred of mozzarella, they mix, knead, and hand-stretch dough and prepare sauce from scratch. Then, and only then, pizzas are personalized with more than two-dozen toppings, from chicken and bleu cheese to ground beef, sour cream, tomatoes, nacho chips, and mozzarella. But the menu also includes alternatives for guests who ate pizza for breakfast and lunch: pasta and sub sandwiches can stop them from consuming three round meals.
After working in family-owned restaurants in Italy for years, the chefs behind DiMeo's Pizzeria decided to open their own eatery in the States. Inventive specialty pizzas like the Philly Supreme (topped with rib-eye chopped steak) pop out of ovens before heading to tables alongside plates of veal parmigiana and lasagna bolognese.
Jos? Velasquez, the co-owner of Moroni & Brothers Pizza Restaurant, crafts the eatery?s dough himself. The mounds?blends of flour, yeast, honey, salt, and olive oil?then get hand-stretched into crusts that Washingtonian magazine laud as ?excellent canvases.? Upon those planes, custom combos of more than 25 toppings scatter, such as mussels and buffalo mozzarella, before baking in a brick oven. The result, raves the Washingtonian, is pizza with ?more finesse? and ?more soul? than its chain counterparts.
But pizza is only half the story at Moroni & Brothers. Rather than rounding out the menu with easily ignorable pizzeria eats or plastic food replicas, Velasquez includes zesty Salvadoran and Mexican specialties. On the Salvadoran side, the culinary team whips up tongue stew and saut?ed pork chops, as well as El Salvador's national dish: pupusas. On the Mexican side, cooks stuff quesadillas with spinach and fill tacos with grilled fajita beef to add a bit of zip to a common dish.