Warm, natural woods, terra cotta, wrought-iron fixtures, and exposed ceiling beams lend the upscale eatery an Old World charm studded with pops of contemporary green chairs, red lamp shades, and ethereal purple lights glowing above the bar. Overlooking scenic Big Walnut Creek and its surrounding park, the dining room is a romantic and comfortable spot for first dates that's free of the stuffy atmosphere and snooty waiters commonly associated with date-night fare. For an even better view and more intimate outing, hit the outdoor patio, where a fire pit casts flattering light and warm fuzzies on couples, old friends, and former P.E. teachers.
Each day the kitchen staff at Village Pizzeria creates the dough for its pizzas, calzones, and strombolis from scratch. But that's not the only ingredient that's crafted in house. The cooks also make the sausage that tops the Monster Meat pizza; the meatballs that line the meatball sub; and the lasagna, manicotti, and macaroni that quietly bicker amongst themselves over who gets the best sauce. Even the ingredients the chefs don't make in house come from premium food purveyors, such as Grande Fine Italian Cheeses.
Papa Murphy’s, the highest-ranking pizza chain in the 2010 Zagat Fast-Food Survey, serves up a tasty menu of handmade Take 'n’ Bake pizzas made from dough, cheese, meat, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day. After customers choose their pie, Papa Murphy's slice-slingers build the pizza in-store and package it for customers to bake at home in the oven, in a pottery kiln, or over a pile of burning cookbooks. Customers can select one of Papa Murphy's signature pizzas or customize their 'za ($9.99 for a large with one topping) to a more specific taste, choosing from four sauces, three crusts, and more than 20 toppings.
Game Day at Martino's Sports Bar & Grille is no laughing matter?well, unless your team is winning. The Dublin bar takes its sports seriously, broadcasting everything from football to tennis on TVs viewable from every table. The menu of classic pub food similarly doesn't mess around, with massive sandwiches and pizzas crafted from a secret crust recipe. And that's to say nothing of the wide selection of beers on tap, without which a sports bar would simply be a stranger's living room.
In 1974, the founders of Mellow Mushroom were self-proclaimed hippies who devoted a lot of thought to what the perfect pizza would be like. The overarching criteria was simple: make the most "craveable slice of pizza on the planet." The crew opened their first shop in Atlanta, and have since expanded across the country. Each of their pizza outposts serve up pies such as the Kosmic Karma with feta cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and a swirl of pesto. Mellow Mushroom's menu also includes hoagies with all-natural meats, as well as salads, "munchies," and beer, which can be sipped a la carte or as part of the restaurant's beer club.
Gracie's Pizza serves up slices of crackery-crusted pizzas and plates of savory sandwiches in a friendly neighborhood setting. Pies with 10-inch ($10) and 14-inch ($14) diameters start with a foundation of homemade dough and freshly made sauce, blanketed under a chewy comforter of cheese and delectable toppings such as pepperoni, spicy sausage, and meatballs ($0.50 each for 10", $1 each for 14"). Indecisive herbivores can opt to construct an all-veggie pizza ($12–$16), a gamut-running blend of eight non-meats including mushrooms, jalapeños, and red peppers, ideal for playing edible chess on the checkered tablecloths.