For more than 50 years, Round Table Pizza has fired up the appetites of flavor-starved foodies with a host of appetizers, crisp salads, and topping-laden disks. Dough is made from scratch using wheat sourced from the company's family farms, ensuring that the bready foundations of mainstays, such as the barbecue chicken pizza ($17.90 for a medium), are fresh and familiar with agricultural machinery. House creation King Arthur Supreme takes charge of nearby chompers, guiding them through an invasion of pepperoni, italian sausage, salami, linguica, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives, and more ($12.75 for a small). Meanwhile, the Wombo Combo tempts taste buds with crisp bacon, mushrooms, roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green onions, and a medley of magnanimously portioned meats ($7.30 for a personal size). Inspiration-stricken patrons can design their own pie or swing by the all-you-can-eat salad bar ($5.29) to adorn lush leaves with tasty toppings under the glow of the light bulb growing from their foreheads.
When her sister Zelda relocated from Chicago to Sacramento to open a pizzeria in 1978, Linda lent a helping hand. 32 years later, Linda decided to branch out on her own. At Linda's Pizzeria, she continues her sister's tradition of crafting Chicago-style pies topped with everything from savory sausage and Canadian bacon to seasoned spinach and crisp peppers. Linda and her culinary team whip up other classics like regular or gluten-free pasta tossed in meaty sauce to crispy chicken wings coated in teriyaki sauce. Beers and wine complement in-house feasts, though customers can also grab pre-cooked pies to bake at home or, if it's particularly hot, on their car hood in the parking lot.
The first Cool River Pizza opened 14 years ago with a mission to serve handcrafted pies made from fresh ingredients and California cheese in a family-friendly environment. All of the dough is made fresh daily and each pizza sports Cool River's homemade sauce accented with more than seven herbs, spices, and umlauts. Over the years, Cool River Pizza has grown from a solo outfit to a family of restaurants in California and Indiana. Inside each location, televisions illuminate dining rooms packed with long wooden tables and board games for families to play while waiting for their orders.
The chefs inside Godfather’s Pizza’s kitchen crown original, thin, and gluten-free crusts with fistfuls of more than 15 meat and veggie toppings. Predesigned pies simulate the flavors of other foods in configurations such as the bacon-cheeseburger pizza with beef, bacon, cheddar, pickles, and onions. Sandwiches and hot wings round out feasts. In the dining room at some locations, ice clatters cheerily from Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, which dispense more than 100 flavors of soda as well as resumé advice for robot bartenders. Delivery drivers bustle past, filling orders or toting catered fare, and Godfather’s Pizza brims with happy chatter during field trips that introduce students to the pizza-creation process.
It all started in Davis, more than three decades ago. Steve Wilkinson opened a single pizzeria that became the model for multiple locations and eventually an entire franchise. To this day, he still runs that original Steve's Pizza, serving up the piping-hot pies that earned him his success. The menus include more than 30 toppings that can be mixed and matched on traditional or gluten-free crusts, as well as Italian pastas, hot sandwiches, and flightless hot wings.
For many businesses, running out of dough would be a bad sign. For The Place, it's an indicator of their popularity and their insistence on quality—they stop making pizzas for the day once all of the fresh dough is gone. Until then, pies arrive dappled with Italian sausage and sweet caramelized onions, or grilled squash and roasted red peppers. You can also order many pizzas neatly packaged as a calzone.
As for the rest of the menu, it evokes Italy with handmade meatballs, lunchtime paninis, and classic meat dishes such as chicken marsala with seasonal mushrooms. Pastas range from linguine with clams in a white wine and lemon sauce to penne with pesto. To kick the feasting up to the ears, Friday and Saturday evenings see Michael Antuzzi weaving Italian and American musical influences into the atmosphere. The musician sets a romantic tone with the help of a little jazz piano and a dulcet dose of accordion.