More than 15 microbrews pour from the taps at Old Town Pizzeria, where pints sidle up to pizzas topped with gourmet ingredients ranging from truffle oil and artichoke hearts to linguica and grilled chicken. The flavors of Rubicon IPA and Scrimshaw Pilsner play well with the nuances found within the Garlic Blues’ blue cheese, roasted garlic, onions, walnuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. The pizzeria also stocks a brawny selection of meats for use in pizzas such as the No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn, whose combination of mozzarella, ricotta, house-made meatballs, and basil is palatable to both beasts and boys. Hearty salads, hot wings, and breadsticks help round out the menu.
The cooks at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant grill up menu selections such as enchiladas and tacos as bartenders concoct signature margaritas from behind the full bar. Invite Mexican staples such as guacamole and bean spread to party in a chicken taco salad ($6.95) or savor twin bundles of tastiness with two enchiladas with beef chicana ($7.95). Diners can take taste buds on an undersea adventure with shrimp ajo sautéed in garlic and butter ($13.25) or relish the steaky succulence of tacos de carne asada ($8.50). Frosty margarita glasses sit on the table as well, enabling diners to cool off with strawberry-, melon-, and peach-splashed sips.
Cheesesteak historians trace the sandwich's ancestry back to Pat Oliveri, a Philadelphian who combined sliced beef and onions over a Italian roll; once someone made the ingenious decision to add cheese, the classic combination was born. Today, Cheese Steak Restaurant's sandwich-smiths continue that noble tradition with more than 30 cheesesteak varieties.
Take your pick of either the classic, a chicken version, or a hoagie-style cheesesteak (topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise), and you have the option to pile it with grilled onions, hot cherry peppers, or sweet bell peppers. Other varieties feature added ingredients such as roasted cloves or garlic, mushrooms, or teriyaki sauce. There's also a veggie-only option, and diners can order twister fries, steak fries, fried mushrooms, and zucchini sticks to as a side dish or in case they need edible confetti for a chef's birthday party.
The exterior of 1st Choice Pizza & Curry is somewhat non-descript; they let their unique blend of Italian and Indian foods define who they are. The fragrant spices of traditional Indian biryanis and curries mix with the smell of fresh pizza inside. Indian dishes come with add-ons such as boneless chicken or seasoned vegetables, and pizzas can get topped with barbecue sauce and chicken. There’s even a build-your-own gluten-free pizza option, which you can deck out with artichoke hearts and pineapple. Speciality drinks like the mango lassi and desert options like gulab jamun and soft serve in eight flavors round out the eclectic menu.
And while the Elk Grove eatery does have two separate menus for their two main food types, they also offer a handful of fusion items. Try the mango tango pizza, which has spiced mangos and spicy mango curry sauce paired with mozzarella cheese and cannolis; wash it down with a cold beer or a glass of wine.
For more than 30 years, the chefs of De Vinci’s Elk Grove have been hard at work perfecting the traditional Italian recipes that stock their deli counter. They begin every morning with their hands floury, crafting doughs that will form the base of housemade foccacia breads, cheese-filled ravioli, and custom sandwiches. Joined occasionally by a fluffy ravioli mascot in a toque, staff combine dishes into prearranged packages ready for the family dinner table or parcel out single dishes by the pint, quart, gallon, or 10-gallon hat.
As a high-school student working at a local pizzeria, John Schnatter often pondered how he would do things differently if he owned such a business himself. After graduating from college in 1983, he got his chance, knocking down the broom closet in his father’s tavern to create his own pizza-delivery business. Since then Papa John’s Pizza has grown to 3,500 restaurants in 50 states and 29 countries. At each location, cooks cover the signature hand-tossed crusts, made with high-protein flour and clear, filtered water, with tomato sauce from vine-ripened California tomatoes, then pile on locally sourced ingredients such as green peppers and onions. The emphasis on fresh ingredients extends to the 100% mozzarella cheese, beef, and pork, which are never artificially inflated with fillers or undeserved compliments.
In addition to delivering pizzas, Papa John’s reaches out to the community with charity involvement, including partnering with the Boy Scouts of America and Junior Achievement to teach US students about entrepreneurship and the best method of capturing a wild roma tomato.