Gathering the Goodfellas, the Sopranos, and Don Corleone in a single kitchen sounds like the makings of a dangerous dinner party. At 212 New York Pizza, however, these famous gangsters merely lend their names to the restaurant’s specialty thin-crust pies. Each pizza's dough is hand-tossed and shaped to emulate Manhattan-style discs, then layered with a host of toppings. The Goodfellas, for example, skips the pizza sauce in favor of chicken, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and pesto, whereas the vegetarian Trinacria has cheese dappled with spinach, jalapeños, and fresh garlic. You have the option of enjoying an entire pie or ordering by the slice. Also on the menu: calzones and a host of appetizers, including the popular garlic knots, which are made by enrolling breadsticks in an evening yoga class.
Papa Murphy's was born out of the owner's frustration with the bad versions of pizza he tried at chain restaurants, which often tasted as if every ingredient was canned or frozen. With the ultimate goal of changing the industry, Papa Murphy's tosses every ingredient?all of which are never frozen?onto crusts right in front of customers before they grab them to bake at home home. Consider the goal met: that dedication to fresh flavor earned Papa Murphy's the top spot on Zagat's National Chain survey.
At any visit, visitors can create their own take on pizza or chomp into one of the signature pizzas, which range from meat-filled stuffed crust to calorie-conscious lite varieties covered in vegetables. Appetizers and desserts follow the same pattern. Customers order raw cookie dough or cheesy bread ripe for the baking, resulting in every course being fresh from the oven.
Premium meats and well-aged cheddar sit atop fresh dough rolled daily in the kitchens of Round Table Pizza. Meat-topped specialty pizzas such as the King Arthur's Supreme or the pepperoni-topped Wombo Combo share table space with artisan flatbreads such as roasted veggies and chicken, which arrives covered in mushrooms, zucchini, and Parmesan cheese.
From founder Bill Larson?s first quaint pizza parlor, which he opened in 1959, Round Table has grown to more than 500 stores, which sprinkle across seven states like pepperonis across a sizzling pie. Self-proclaimed purveyors of ?the last honest pizza,? Round Table cooks make dough from wheat grown on family farms in Idaho. That dough is rolled from scratch every day, in every restaurant, to pair with premium meats and fresh-cut veggie toppings.
Wood-paneled walls give the Fullerton location an old-school feel, which contrasts with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and robot chefs to replace the outdated steam-powered ones. The dining room?s ceiling fans whirl the steam from oven-baked pizzas in sizes from single-person smalls to 16-slice extra-larges that feed up to five. Besides create-your-own options, Round Table dishes up specialty pies named for medieval court characters such as King Arthur, Guinevere, and Frank, the little-known castle custodian
Bob Sadri opened Gumba's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria in 1988 and managed it for many years. He eventually retired, and turned his beloved business over to the trusted hands of current owner Tony Valle. But Bob never stays away for long: on any average morning, he can be seen at Gumba's, helping to prepare the restaurant for its busy day of pasta-, pizza-, and sub-slinging. This personal sense of ownership and connection informs every meal at Gumba's, where every dish is made with care and patrons are treated like family, with staff doling out free noogies at will.