After spending years working for Dominos Pizza, Vince Schmuhl decided that he could do a better job of preparing and delivering quality pies to people's homes. He challenged the nationwide chain's dominance in the region by founding the first Blackjack Pizza on June 29, 1983.
Although delivering oven-fresh pies within 30 minutes was still a major goal for Schmuhl, he emphasized the importance of quality ingredients using sauce made from freshly packed tomatoes as well as hand-tossed dough that never sees the inside of a freezer or cryogenic chamber. This dedication to quality and speedy service allowed Blackjack Pizza to not only survive, but also thrive over the decades. The chain now includes more than 40 stores operating in four different states.
In addition to offering seven signature pies, Blackjack Pizza also allows customers to build their own order from crust to toppings. A choice of up to four savory, tangy, and piquant sauces form the base, topped with any of the 3 available cheeses, 7 meats, and 10 freshly diced vegetables. Regardless of the toppings, Blackjack Pizza respects the potential danger of food allergies by ensuring that none of its pies ever contain traces of MSG, peanuts, or peanut oil.
Fat Boys Pizza was born at an intersection of two dreams: to create authentic, quality Italian pies with the speed and delivery of chain restaurants. And on pizzas, the restaurant delivers: pies come topped with classics such as pepperoni or sausage. There is even a cheese pizza, the Gut Buster, that spans 28 inches and carries more than 8 pounds of flavor, feeding 10 to 15 adults or one Ninja Turtle. But pizzas aren’t all the eatery dishes out—13 hot and cold sub sandwiches present ingredients like salami, turkey, and bacon, while baked spaghetti and chicken parmesan pair up with salads and garlic bread.
Chefs at Pizza Time! hand roll their pizza crusts and pile each base with toppings including feta, salami, bacon bits, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. Bowls of housemade hot sauce wait to cover warm batches of chicken wings or a slapstick actor dining with his boss. A gluten-free menu brims with wheatless versions of pizzas, subs, and pasta. After dinner, dishes of freshly-shaven hawaiian ice ride in the palms of patrons meandering toward arcade games or to an outdoor patio with views of Pikes Peak.
The trained dough tossers staffing the ovens at Louie's Pizza bake up a menu of family-tested recipes that have pleased palates for more than 40 years. Rev up eating engines with an order of freshly baked garlic bread (starting at $3.35) before testing culinary creativity with a customizable pie (starting at $6.49) with piquant permutations of 15 toppings and seven flavored crusts, including butter cheese, garlic, and mantle. Stumped snackers are free to try one of the pretopped specialty pizzas ($16.99 for 14"), such as the veggie alfredo, a crisp disk blanketed in a creamy quilt of tomato and black-olive patches, or the meatball pizza, a two-dimensional interpretation of the pasta-based classic.
Roll like a cheese-covered circle to Billy's for pizza, pasta, and sandwiches. Billy's pizza comes cut thin and crispy ($7.75–$20.50, depending on size and toppings) or served deep dish ($14.75–$26.50) like they do in Chicago. This stuffed delicacy brings meaning to "pizza pie": it's full to bursting with traditional or creative toppings that aren't on top, making each forkful and knifeful a delectable surprise. Slurpable spaghetti comes with marinara ($7.25–$8.50) or meat sauce ($8.25–$9.50). No breaded bundle of meat from Billy's selection of sandwiches earns the adjective "finger"—sandwiches are mostly Chicago-style delights; try an Italian beef ($6–$6.60) and be sure to make it authentically Chicago-style by asking for plenty of dipping juice.
The NYPD menu, packed with appetizers, pizzas, calzones, pasta, heroes, and even dessert, revs you up to run down hunger in any number of flavorful vehicles. Dive into cheese with mozzarella sticks ($6.49), then float to the surface of a specialty mealwheel such as the Manhattan meat lovers' (10-inch, 14-inch, or 18-inch pie with pepperoni, meatballs, and bacon, $7.99, $14.99, $17.99). Or choose from more than 20 types of toppings such as fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes to craft the Staten Island stuffed pizza, any two toppings and mozzarella crammed between two layers of pizza dough (18-inch only, $25.99). For a circle-free entree, grab a convict cheese calzone (mozzarella and ricotta, $7.99) or an eggplant parmigiana hero ($6.99) before finishing your sentence with a slice of authentically creamy NY cheesecake ($3.99).