Couple Michael and Dora Sutcliffe proudly oversee a family staff inside their bustling mom-and-pop pizzeria. New York–style pies are made fresh and roll out of the oven crowned with toppings such as fresh veggies, barbecue chicken, italian sausage, and giardiniera, and homemade chicken tenders, garlic knots and sweet cinnamon knots complete family-size feasts. Delivery agents ferry pizzas, sodas, and mostaccioli with speed and aplomb.
At Ed Debevic's, every house burger, hot dog, and diner entree shares a not-so-secret ingredient: sass. The servers welcome guests to the vintage venue with tongue-in-cheek remarks and paper deli hats, seating them next to vibrant examples of what Centerstage calls "smart-aleck decor": fake autographs, old-timey ads, and signs that carry proverbs such as "Eat Now…Pay Waiter." The mischievously retro tone is cultivated in homage to one of the owner's favorite restaurants, Lill's Homesick Diner. Back in the '50s and '60s, Lill acquainted Ed with the classic flavors of comfort food cooked from scratch, showcasing the spirited moxie that made her a standout in the short-order world.
Ed chose to emulate both her classic cooking and feistiness at his own diner. Many of his menu items are housemade, including the meatloaf, mashed potatoes, the desserts, and the blue-cheese sauce on top of the Ed's Blue Moon burger. Milk shakes and malts pair well with a variety of hot dogs and sandwiches, especially when counterbalancing the effects of Atomic Mix: a blend of diced jalapeños, onions, and tomatoes that garnishes certain plates. The staff stays in comically impudent character throughout these meals. And every now and then, the servers pause to put on countertop dance numbers that are almost as exciting as the time your grandpa turned the lazy Susan into a zoetrope.
Cousins Pizza Pub boasts a menu of specialty pizzas padded with sandwiches and salads. Appetizers such as fried zucchini ($6) and mini tacos ($6.25) introduce pizzas founded on a range of crusts including thin, double-dough, pan, and stuffed. The cheeseburger pizza protects its cargo from roving Hamburglars by offering a pizza disguise to beef, american cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomato ($16.50–$24), and chicken alfredo pizza tops pies with grilled chicken and a cream sauce usually reserved for flavoring pastas and styling angel hair ($13.50–$20). The strip steak sandwich also offers an alternative delivery system for a forkable classic accented by onions and a choice of american, mozzarella, or swiss cheeses ($9.50), and the Julienne salad mingles turkey and ham with cheese and hard-boiled egg ($7.25).
Pizzeria Antica serves up a menu of made-to-order pizzas, each prepared with fresh ingredients and premium italian cheeses. Muffle the moans of rapacious stomach-sirens with an order of bruschetta crowned with tomato, basil, and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil ($4.75), before diving into the restaurant's array of specialty thin-crust pizzas ($12.95–$19.95). The Barese pizza adorns chop canvases with the colorful flavors of prosciutto di parma and panna, along with fresh ground pepper, shaved parmesan, and arugula, while Nemos of nourishment can submerge themselves in the Antico pizza, a spherical serving of tuna and capers frolicking in a cheesy pasture of mushrooms and onions. Build-your-own-pizza options are also available ($8.95–$14.95; $1–$2.50 per topping), as well as starch-surrounded fare such as the meatball sandwich or the italian beef sandwich ($4.95 for small, $6.45 for large).
Skuddlebutts Pizza, which opened in 1939 as a small tavern specializing in baked ham sandwiches, outgrew two locations over the decades and vastly expanded its menu to include an array of comfort fare. Diners begin to slow clap when the cooking staff performs piping-hot pizza preparation, hearty sandwich layering, and crisp salad tosses with fresh, homemade dressing. Polite and timely waiters parade thin-crust and Chicago pan-style pies into the dining room two at a time, as each pizza is sold on a two-for-one basis, and juggle an assortment of sandwiches and half-pound burgers. Skuddlebutts' catering menu makes gatherings of 10–30 friends and family members simpler with a selection of salads, sides, and entrees.
Nicodino's Pizza Co. & Café bridges the culinary gap between sweet and savory with a multipronged menu that couples sizzling pizzas with piping-hot café drinks, as well as cataloging gluten-free pizza and pasta. Fresh toppings adorn hand-tossed pizzas and run the gamut from succulent meats, such as italian beef and roasted chicken, to veggies, including green peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and jalapeños. The kitchen doesn’t restrict itself to making pizzas, though; chefs also grill chicken-pesto paninis and bake spinach calzones and mostaccioli. To complement the savory food, the café side of the eatery presents offerings such as mango smoothies and tiramisu. When it’s warm, Nicodino's Pizza Co. & Café invites guests to an outdoor seating area. In addition, the restaurant offers catering for those throwing a dinner party or a pizza-themed wedding in which all the toasts are cheesy and made with marinara sauce.