It must have been kismet. Mitch Rotolo’s last name means to “roll” in Italian. As in to roll out dough. And that is exactly what Mitch did, founding his first Rotolo’s Pizza in 1996. His blossoming pizzeria—with 26 locations and growing—treats customers to pizzas crafted from housemade dough and sauce made fresh daily. The chefs top crusts with creative mixes, including a bacon cheeseburger pizza and the Muffaletta pie with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, salami, and olive salad. They also roll out an 18” crust with 10 different toppings that weighs a total of 5 pounds and feeds six people—more impressive numbers than seen at the Hulk's NFL tryouts. Pastas and warm sandwiches round out the menu, which customers can enjoy outside in the Italian-style cafe.
Tempting taste buds for more than 30 years, Godfather's Pizza crafts mouthwatering pies composed of 100% fresh mozzarella, an array of robust meats and veggies, and three varieties of baked crust. Like frisbees, Godfather's pizzas ($8.99–$15.99 for one topping; additional charges for two or more toppings) are ideally suited for enjoying indoors or at the park and are even more satisfying for teeth than they are for hands. Each delicious disk can be made with original, thin, or golden—extra warm and buttery—crust and comes smothered in the eater's choice of eclectic toppings, including beef, mushrooms, jalapeño peppers, and anchovies.
The same love for pizza and beer that fueled three college students in 1974 transformed their lives as they expanded their business from one rundown building in Atlanta to 100 Mellow Mushroom restaurants across 15 states today. Each eatery owes its individual style to each location's being locally owned and operated, much like impressionist painters owed their individual style to their number of ears. In the kitchens, grilled and deli-style hoagies are assembled and calzones and pizzas baked in stone hearths using dough made with natural spring water. Though many of the restaurant's dishes have remained on the menu since its inception, the culinary crew frequently devises new, often gluten-free, dishes to keep senior-ranking pepperonis from becoming too powerful. Servers pair dishes with their location's own set of local brews, which fit into a collection of up to 100 microbrewed and imported beers on tap and in bottles. Brewers such as Bell's, Abita, and Dogfish Head are also featured in regular beer events.
Tucked behind Leinkauf Elementary School, La Pizzeria has been lauded by Press-Register food editor David Holloway as "one of the best-kept secrets" in town. He praises owner Todd Henson's balance between Italian classics—pastas with housemade sauces and calzones among them—and creative menu contributions. A list of character-inspired gourmet pizzas includes the garlic-infused Bela Lugosi and the Sherlock Holmes, a mystery order whose toppings are chosen by the chef and cooked beneath a carefully aimed magnifying glass. Strewn with white tablecloths and still-life paintings, the low-lit interior features one private table, where Henson wagers "we've had a hundred proposals of marriage … over the years."
Cooks at all of the Buck’s Pizza Downtown franchise locations mix fresh dough each day and sprinkle crusts with pure mozzarella cheese. Founder Lance Benton selects the tomatoes for the sauce, which are sun ripened in the Central Valley of California and watered from springs in the high Sierra mountains. In the restaurants’ kitchens, chefs top pies with the carefully chosen, fresh-cut produce as well as barbecue chicken, aged cheddar, fresh basil, and marinated steak. They also construct pies that simulate the experience of eating a chicken club sandwich, spinach alfredo, or a bacon cheeseburger. Oven-baked buns for hoagie sandwiches brim with ham, hard salami, and italian dressing like the poetry of hungry castaways on desert islands.
The friendly pie purveyors at Vitolli's hand-toss New York–style pizzas in front of yearning customers who peer into the open kitchen. Customize a 14-inch or 18-inch pizza with your choice of more than 20 toppings ($10.99–$17.99), from regular toppings such as Canadian bacon and banana peppers to specialty selections ($1 extra per topping) such as artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. A 16-inch whole stuffed “really stuffed” pizza ($27) can be filled with five or more of your favorite pizza supplements, making it an ideal way to smuggle toppings past pepperoni-sniffing dogs. The pizzeria's large menu also offers a variety of unpizzas, with the abundant array of Italian favorites including a meatball sandwich topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella ($5.95) and lemon-and-garlic-shrimp pasta in a crispy bacon alfredo sauce ($11.75). Supplement the feasting by flooding your gullet with a domestic bottle of brew ($2.75) or a soft drink ($1.75) that won’t challenge you to a fight for calling it “soft.”