Four minutes. That's about how long it takes the 1,000 degree ovens at Tony Sacco's Coal Oven Pizza to perfectly crisp each pie’s house-made crust without overcooking the sauce or toppings. To reach this volcanic temperature, the ovens are powered by pure anthracite coal from Pennsylvania, which burns hotter and cleaner than wood or old rags while lending a distinctive flavor to the pies.
The chefs add to this flavor by making fresh sauce daily from batches of Italian plum tomatoes and a closely guarded blend of extra virgin olive oil and spices. Every batch of dough is made using filtered water, and none of the menus' pizzas or sandwiches—made with wraps and flatbreads baked in the same ovens—is ever cooked with a microwave or fryer. Before any pie gets hit with heat, the chefs add as many as 19 different toppings, including bacon, roasted garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes.
The same love for pizza and beer that fueled three college students in 1974 transformed their lives as they expanded their business from one rundown building in Atlanta to 100 Mellow Mushroom restaurants across 15 states today. Each eatery owes its individual style to each location's being locally owned and operated, much like impressionist painters owed their individual style to their number of ears. In the kitchens, chefs assemble grilled and deli-style hoagies and bake calzones and pizzas in stone hearths using dough made with natural spring water. Though many of the restaurant's dishes have remained on the menu since its inception, the culinary crew frequently devises new, often gluten-free, dishes to keep senior-ranking pepperonis from becoming too powerful. Servers pair dishes with their location's own set of local brews, which are poured from 16 craft-beer taps.
Glowing neon against the horizon, Greenbriar Cinema Grill is a hybrid house that combines a movie theater and restaurant in one experience. From the outside, the destination looks like a retro diner—inside, patrons can sink into cushy maroon chairs at tables set up throughout the theater for family bonding and comfy noshing. Greenbriar Cinema Grill offers family-friendly picks that parents can enjoy, with recent options including The Other Guys, a blank screen between showtimes, and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. As you and a guest marvel at the audio-visual spectacle displayed in front of you during your choice of a matinee or evening show, you can relax with a classic tub of corn kernels that have been heated into fluffy nubs with a bucket of Monsters Popcorn ($3.99), freshly popped with your choice of no butter, butter, or hold-the-popcorn butter. Though food is not included with today's Groupon, pull up a menu and take advantage of the latter half of Greenbriar's namesake with a 12-inch pizza ($9.99–$14.50), sandwiches ($6.99–$10.50), or a giant root beer float ($4.50).
At Jet's Pizza, the pies pile gooey cheeses, sauces, and delicious toppings atop thin, hand-tossed, and rectangular deep-dish crusts. Customers will also find the ability to "flavorize" their crusts, adding ingredients such as parmesan, garlic, and sesame seeds to them. And glancing at the menu, they'll also find hot sandwiches, wings, and salads, in addition to specialty pies coated in toppings such as pepperoni, veggies, and feta cheese.
Pizza Pie Hole’s tantalizing variety of savory pizzas, subs, strombolis, and appetizers dangle from the cheese-covered branches of the menu. Hand-tossed, fresh-made dough provides the wheaty base of pepperoni-laden pyramids and cheese-piled ziggurats of flavor. Pie hole favorites like the chicken bacon ranch come in small ($13.99), medium ($19.99), or large ($24.99), much like chicken bacon ranches themselves, while the Chicago style deep-dish pizza ($18.99) packs up to three toppings into 14 inches of taste bud tickling flavor. To eschew the traditionally-cornerless form while retaining the topping-toting function of pizza pies, have a quadrilateral large Sicilian deep-dish ($16.99). Those adverse to flattened foods can take gastronomic solace in the big Pie Hole subs, with 6” ($4.99-5.99) or 12” ($8.99-10.99) varieties, as well as a list of sauce covered, garlic infused, and finger friendly appetizers.
Chefs at Apezza use fresh ingredients to craft their pizzas, breadsticks, and wings almost entirely from scratch. They hand-make batches of dough daily and adorn pizza crusts with three types of freshly grated cheese. Specialty pizzas such as the meat lovers slide out of old deck ovens sporting sausage made in-house from pork shoulder ground at Archer’s Meat Market. Garlic-butter breadsticks come with a choice of three made-from-scratch dipping sauces. These and other items from the menu eventually make their appearance at Apezza's polished wooden tables, where they're devoured in the glow of a wall-mounted flat-screen TV.