So successful were the three original Lamppost Pizza establishments that the eatery has grown to 37 locations since its inception in 1976. Friendliness and fun unite with the pizzeria's penchant for sports to make visits memorable. But as nice as big-screen TVs can be, the real magnetism of this haven for sauce and cheese lays in the pies spun in the kitchen. Beer and wine complement the menu, which also includes calzones, pastas, sandwiches, and grill fare such as burgers.
The words "Fresh, Simple, Delicious" are written across each menu at Aria, and they aren't empty of meaning. Let's start with "Fresh"?the culinary team sources its sustainable ingredients locally and crafts each of its Italian dishes in-house, from the pasta down to the bread. Just one look around the high-ceilinged dining room, with its exposed brick walls and framed black-and-white photos, is enough to see where the "Simple" comes from. And there's no denying that delectable options such as the butternut squash risotto and pork tenderloins with mushroom ragu are anything but "Delicious." Pours from an extensive wine list complement meals, which typically end on a sweet note with a scoop of housemade gelato.
The name Biggies Pizza & Wings isn’t an exaggeration. The cooks hand-toss fresh dough for pizzas as large as 26 inches across and then top the circular foundations with robustly flavored toppings such as chicken, bacon, and mushrooms. Specialty pies include the BLT and the Hawaiian Holiday, which piles canadian bacon and pineapple onto a style of crust that’s more commonly used to make hula dancers’ skirts. In addition to crafting pizzas, cooks toss regular and boneless chicken wings in sauces ranging from sweet chili to hot. To round out meals, patrons may opt to fill up their plates at the salad bar with single trips or unlimited pilgrimages.
The oven admirals at Straw Hat Pizza bake an extensive fleet of California-style pizza. The kitchen team prepares each crust to pack a flaky, crispy, crunch-causing texture, creating a sturdy foundation capable of supporting cheese, sauce, toppings, and hardbound copies of Mark McGwire's autobiography. A large chicken-bacon-ranch pizza saturates taste-sensory apparatuses with a dual-meat format and a vegetable cast of tomatoes and red onions, and the large aloha chicken merges chicken, ham, pineapple, and bacon on a highway of barbecue and red sauce (each $17.99 for a 15"). Vegetarians can imbibe the windfall of grown ingredients that fill out the large California veggie pie—a conference of zucchini, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spices, and white sauce ($17.99 for a 15"). Straw Hat Pizza also puts together an impressive roster of hot sandwiches, such as the sauce-packed meatball version ($5.49).
Bee-Bee's Asian Grill may only have one roof, but underneath it, the restaurant serves three distinct types of cuisine: Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese. The result is a menu that seemingly never ends, with dishes of each type of cuisine that include soups, noodles, curries, and rice plates. Tom yum noodle soup holds rank as one of Bee-Bee's most popular Thai dishes, and is the restaurant's go-to speaker at press conferences. It fills bellies with a mixture of lemongrass, mushroom, chilies, and green onion. Under the Vietnamese flag, meanwhile, awaits spicy servings of pho and meaty vermicelli, and the Japanese selection includes bento boxes, hibachi, and sushi rolls.
Hot and cold meats pile onto thick hoagie rolls at Tony Baloney?s Submarine Shops, where the flagship submarine sandwiches form an Italian-American trifecta with cheesy pizzas and spaghetti dishes. Throughout its 50-year history, the deli?s secret to success has remained unchanged: keep it simple. Traditional Italian cold cuts, ham and cheese, pastrami, and pepper-steak stand out among a familiar list of sandwich options, and spaghetti and meatballs continues to anchor the dinner menu. Glasses of wine wash down dinner entrees, and pitchers of beer give subs the chance to test their depth limits during lunchtime dives.