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 their signature sauce and thick, house-made mozzarella cheese, as well as toppings such as sun-dried tomatoes and pepperoni procured from local merchants. Outside the kitchen, hardwood floors run past the warm, exposed brick of the ovens while servers slide across the polished floorboards, delivering platters of steaming pizzas and frosty drinks from the full bar.
Potomac Pizza’s chefs toss and stretch fluffy, nonfat, and cholesterol-free dough into pizzas lauded by the Washington Post for “returning pizza to its good name” in a world of national chains. The DC-area pizzerias create each pie with freshly-made sauce and a selection of 24 toppings, such as grilled chicken, eggplant, feta cheese, and Canadian bacon. Potomac Pizza’s kitchens also whip up calzones, and other Italian specialties such as lasagna and veal parmesan, served in Potomac’s dining rooms or nestled into boxes for takeout and delivery orders.
Each pie that emerges from Planet Pizza and Subs’ sweltering ovens begins as a pile of flour. Adding little more than pizza magic, in-house chefs pound this mound into fresh dough, and pies begin to take shape as the chefs stretch them into original, thin, or deep-dish crusts. A layer of scratch-made sauce and grated cheese anoints each new creation and cushions any combination of 26 toppings, which can also be packed into calzones for secure domestic shipment into hungry bellies. Many of Planet's other eats are also made by hand, including pastas, chicken soups, and cheesecakes.
Every pizza at zpizza is freshly prepared, hand thrown, gently coaxed into the oven using soft birdcalls and pheromone trails, and fire-baked to crispy perfection. The dough is prepared fresh daily from 100% certified-organic wheat, and z is also happy to offer certified organic and gluten-free crusts, sating the pizza desire of the allergic, dieters, and wheat sympathizers. Toppings include award-winning Wisconsin skim mozzarella, MSG-free pepperoni, certified-organic tomato sauce, additive-free sausage, and fresh produce. Try a large ZBQ pizza (with barbecue sauce, mozzarella, barbecue chicken, roasted pepper, red onion, tomato, cilantro, and sweet corn; $20.95 for a large) or a chicken curry and yam rustica (with mozzarella, curry chicken, yam, mango chutney, raisin, and cilantro; $8.95). Vegans can delight in the Berkeley vegan, a faux-cheese veggie pizza (with marinara, veggie burger crumbles, zucchini, tomato, mushroom, red onion, and bell pepper; $10.50 for a small), and traveling tongues can sate their wanderlust with a mouthwatering Moroccan rustica (with pesto, mozzarella, roasted eggplant, feta cheese, caramelized onion, and pine nut; $8.95).
Voted one of the top-10 best pizza places in DC in radio station WTOP's online poll, The Dons' Wood-Fired Pizza hand-tosses each pie before slathering it with fresh ingredients and baking it to a melted, golden brown. Divvy up slices of the The Dons' Original Offer pizza to practice geometry homework while sating appetites with tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmigiano, romano, and fresh basil ($9.99/medium, $14.99/family size). Or try the Lucky Luciano, which features roasted rosemary chicken, portabella mushrooms, and roasted red peppers tossed on a doughy masterpiece, topped with a bevy of cheese in the shape of the notorious mobster's tommy gun ($12.99/medium, $18.99/family size).
Since the first iteration of Jerry's Subs & Pizza opened in 1954, the staff has overstuffed its submarine sandwiches to ensure customers leave sated. In their specialty sandwiches, traditional or honey-wheat rolls are lined with crispy chicken tenders or crabmeat babycakes, and cheesesteaks get a flavor boost from ingredients such as spicy buffalo sauce, crisp, fried jalapeños, and bacon. Diners can also break bread with a New York–style pizza topped with crabmeat, grilled chicken, or jalapeños. Inside, the restaurant's interior sports stainless steel and neon lights, bringing the classic eatery into the 21st century without strapping it to a DeLorean.
Under the guidance of pie professionals Iris and Mike Wasserman, Pizza Stop's chefs handcraft batches of dough daily for pizzas in between artfully assembling subs, sandwiches, and pastas. The bacon pizza ($8.75 for 10", $14.75 for 16") rouses slumbering taste buds with a meaty wake-up call and the white pizza ($7.75 for 10", $12.75 for 16") eschews pigmentation for a savory, snow-hued canvas. Mouths can embark upon a Hellenic sojourn through the pita-swaddled chicken-souvlaki sandwich ($5.95), speckled with feta cheese, homemade ziti dressing, and tiny tomato Minotaurs. The steak-and-cheese sub ($5.75 for 7") quiets howling stomach sirens with a slab of 5-ounce rib eye and pastas such as lasagna ($8.95) toboggan down the esophagus. Diners can feel the breeze ripple through their knuckle hair in the outdoor eating area, weather and opportunistic clouds permitting.