The pizza-making prodigies at Carmino’s cover their doughy palettes with generous layers of sauce and cheese before piling them high with succulent meats and crisp veggies, resulting in baked creations to appease enlightened taste buds. Myriad pie packers range from fan-favorite pepperonis, sausages, and green peppers to healthful heaps of broccoli, carrots, and zucchinis; or choose specialty toppings such as roasted red peppers and chicken. Customers conspiring to abscond the authoritarian reign of tomato sauce can choose between two tasty alternatives in garlic butter or butter sauce.
Steaming marinara and melted mozzarella are the glues that most often hold down Casamel's Pizza fresh toppings, although a garlicky white sauce is also available to unite pepperoni with fresh-cut mushrooms or ham with pineapple. Beyond the outskirts of hand-tossed pizzas, thick meatball subs join plump calzones, hearty pastas, and wings slathered in zesty barbecue sauce. Patrons can grab a seat and enjoy dessert cinnamon sticks in house, or request delivery service for a convenient meal at home, the office, or on a life raft.
Verso has expanded the traditional range of Italian fare to include Verso chips ($7), a deliciously seasoned stack of house-made potato chips heaped with provolone cheese, chunks of bacon, and green onion. Basic pizzas range from $6 to $16 to start, depending on size and shape (circle or sheet—sheets require 12 to 24 hours of advance notice to ensure their 800-thread-count goodness). Try a specialty option, such as a Caribbean ($18 for a large), topped with honey-lime oil, provolone, jerk chicken, mangos, caramelized onions, and cilantro. Sandwiches are available for easy gripping—bite into a chicken Philly ($7) with roasted chicken, sautéed peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheese served on a hoagie. Pasta ranges from $9 to $11, with meaty additions running an extra $2 to $3, and comes in every imaginable shape and length, including whole-wheat penne. Wash it all down with a variety of $2 beverages, or imbibe from the beer and wine lists ($4 to $16).
Named Best Gourmet Pizza in 2010 by Cleveland Magazine, Angelo's Pizza's experienced dough-flingers conjure pies with freshly made sauce and crust alongside other Italian eats. Pizza incarnations range from the basic original with choice of toppings ($8.19+) to pies of a more radical aesthetic, such as the chicken mac 'n' cheese ($12.95–$22.25) and Acapulco barbecue chicken with pineapple and cinnamon ($12.95–$22.25). Pasta seekers can revel in spaghetti, cavatelli, penne, or fettuccini with veggie or meat toppings ($6.99–$12.29), ideal for satisfying midmeal urges to jump rope. The drink menu boasts local brews such as Great Lakes Dortmunder, as well as whites, reds, and soft drinks. Committed to customer service, Angelo's insists that patrons not 100% pleased with their eats get a replacement dish or a credit for their next visit.
At Gillespie's Map Room, a glistening row of taps pours forth mouthwatering glassfuls of tasty suds while ovens roast cheesy discuses of thin-crust pizza to crispy perfection. Nestled in the Warehouse District, a stone's throw away from Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field, Gillespie's Map Room relishes in its location at the heart of Cleveland's bustling nightlife neighborhood, as well as the adrenaline gland of the city's boisterous sports center. A no-frills row-house façade decked in humming neon shamrocks and wood-lined glass panels exudes a heartwarming turn-of-the-century charm. Inside, an interior of rough brick walls, live acoustic music, and a roaring fireplace frames relaxing post-shift beers and hearty meals of chili-topped hot dogs or pollock-fillet fish 'n' chips with welcoming hominess.
The culinary technicians at Johnny Malloy's Sports Pub dish out a menu of palate-pleasing game-day specialties. Warm up injury-prone teeth with a quintet of wings ($4.25) in one of 15 flavors, from mild-mannered Texas sweet to saucy hot garlic buffalo. Carnivorous canines can chomp at the Malloy classic, a half-pound patty cloaked in melted swiss and sautéed mushrooms ($7.99) or a succulent half slab of ribs ($11.99). The mexican pizza, a dough disk painted in taco sauce, two cheeses, tortilla chips, and a multitude of south-of-the-border fixings ($12.99+), transports diners to the guacamole-paved streets of Cancun. A slice of creamy cheesecake ($3.99) sweetens the dessert menu.