In the midst of ever-multiplying chain eateries, Gabriel's Pizza embraces its status as a mom-and-pop pizza joint. Though the restaurant boasts patio seating and exposed-brick walls, owners Charley and Allen Eisenmenger generally avoid frills and instead focus on perfecting a menu that brings together New York’s thin-crust pizzas and Chicago’s deep-dish pies. Their fresh dough never sees the inside of a freezer or kitchen igloo, and it takes on a whole new layer of taste when chefs coat it with the restaurant's signature sauce. They top specialty pies with USDA-certified meats and produce largely sourced from a Charleston vendor, gracing dough with accessories ranging from classic pepperoni to rich artichoke hearts. The chefs also craft entrees such as baked spaghetti and ravioli.
Family Table's menu spans every daily meal and American dish imaginable. It even includes some specialties from the Italian and Greek traditions, such as philosophy and pillared architecture. Along with classic burgers and meatloaf, the kitchen team cooks calzones, Italian pastas, and chicken souvlaki on pita.
A border of red, green, and white checkered tiles runs beneath the soup, salad, and pizza buffets that encourage sampling and culinary adventure, and breakfast is served all day.
Pizza ChaCha's menu of unique pies, served with a salad in the middle, sates hunger for leafy and cheesy eats simultaneously, and the attached coffee shop, Jitterz, percolates a wide variety of roasted beans. ChaCha’s crusty circlets arrive bejeweled with bacon, spicy diavolo pepperoni, tofu, pesto sauce, roasted corn and garlic, and more ($1.10 per topping on 12" pizza). Crusts are available in hand-tossed, thin, or gluten-free varieties, and signature central salads fill the delectable dough enclosure, mimicking the way the earth’s core is also a salad. Hoagies (from $6.50) sate more individualistic hungers, and a range of domestic and italian suds (from $2.75) salve cheese-singed tongues.
Continuing the Italian tradition of pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice), Pizzeria Venti hand-tosses a handful of oven-baked, circular pies teeming with trans-fat-free toppings. Like a repertory theater, Venti's homespun crust acts as a stage for more than 20 pizza performances. The pillowy crusts are pedestals for varieties such as house-made italian sausage, seasoned with fennel, fresh basil, and herbs ($3.50 for a slice) or chicken vesuvio which touts a roasted breast of chicken, mushrooms, black olives and garlic ($4.75 per slice). Though pizza prevails as Venti's main attraction, the menu is also stocked with baked pastas ($6.50+), salads ($6+), and soups ($3+) to create a culinary lineup that is more well-rounded than a reconstructed Humpty Dumpty.
The talented chefs at Big Lane's Pizza silence tumultuous belly bellows by assembling fresh ingredients into mammoth, meat-laden pizzas served alongside classic Italian eats. Big Lane’s hefty pies, which come as big as 20 inches, anchor themselves to tables with a choice of more than 20 toppings, including banana peppers, ricotta, and grilled chicken. A variety of baked pastas vies for palate popularity and arrives accompanied by house salad and garlic knots. Hot and cold subs served on 12-inch italian rolls allow guests to repurpose forks into back scratchers, and vegetarian salads quell herbivorous cravings.
Some of the tasty pizzas, calzones, and strombolis at Roman’s Pizza share a surprising secret: they’re free of gluten. A separate gluten-free menu sets even sensitive tummies to rumbling for pizza, pasta, and calzones made from the chef's special gluten-free dough, which is tastier than traditional dough whose gluten has been dipped in invisible ink. The standard menu spotlights a range of authentic Italian fare, including Sicilian-style pizzas and hearty lasagna.