In the kitchen at Mario’s Pizza, chefs heap cheese, steak, and sun-dried tomatoes onto oversize New York–style and sicilian pizza crusts. A white pizza covered in ricotta cheese, fresh garlic, and mozzarella reminds taste buds of eating a delicious snowman, and comes in sizes ranging from 10 inches to as large as 19 inches. Baked pasta and sandwiches, such as a philly steak or veal parmigiana, round out the menu.
Mike and Terry Schneider already knew what it took to run a restaurant when they opened The Loop Pizza Grill more than 20 years ago. Previously the owners of Jacksonville’s neighborhood hangout Applejacks, the Schneiders wanted to create a pizza place that was both elegant and laid-back, just like the Queen of England in a tracksuit. At each of their 14 locations, they and their kitchen staff whip up a menu of specialty pizzas, fire-grilled burgers, and verdant salads with fresh, handpicked ingredients, serving each carefully crafted selection on real china.
When guests sink their teeth into a slice of Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, there is a taste beyond the fresh Wisconsin cheese and made-daily pizza dough: there’s the subtle yet unmistakable flavor of a real wood fire. The brick ovens torch the pies moments before servers whisk them to diners, who dig into pizzas that come adorned with roasted chicken or artichokes. The meals easily conform to special dietary requirements by swapping in substitute ingredients, such as gluten-free crusts, vegan cheeses, and toppings that don’t contain an odd number of vowels.