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.
When it comes to specialty pizzas, Napoli's Pizza & Pasta bats for the fences. The pizzeria stuffs their menu to the breaking point with a whopping 15 different specialty pies that sate vegetarians, meat-lovers, and barbecue fans alike. Fixins such as salami, sausage, barbecue sauce, pesto, artichokes, and chicken crowd the crusts—crusts that come in regular and gluten-free varieties. The pizza Christonio, named after the owner’s son, leaves off the sauce completely and piles on four cheeses. Another pizza named after the owner’s daughter, Natalia, slathers pesto sauce atop the crust. And the chefs don’t just make pizza. They also boil potfuls of spaghetti and stuff meatballs and sausage patties into sandwiches.
Need a fix? That's what we do. We offer hand-crafted gourmet pizzas, authentic Italian gelato and sorbet (made fresh daily), baked-to-order cookies (in under 2 minutes), delicious oven-roasted sandwiches (served with homemade fries) and some pretty yummy appetizers too!
It may be called the Big Apple, but New York City is far more famous for another culinary export. Pizza practically counts as its own food group across the five boroughs, where the slices are thin and foldable. If the pies at Giant New York Pizza are any indication, Vallejo is staking its claim as New York's honorary sixth borough.
The pizzeria's chefs are decidedly old school in their approach, starting with housemade dough that's brushed with olive oil and slathered with a sauce that's also housemade. They take some liberties with their toppings, straying from New York tradition to create pizzas such as the Santa Fe (chipotle pesto sauce, chicken sausage, red onions, sweet corn, tomatoes, and cilantro) and the spicy Maui (white sauce, grilled chicken, pineapple, red onions, and jalapeños).
Though the flavorful combinations are seemingly endless, there's one thing you can count on from the pizza at Bravos Pizza & Italian restaurant: freshly baked crust topped with whole-milk mozzarella and creamy sauces. Chefs create a multitude of options by customizing pies from the crust up. They smear the pies with a choice of red, white, garlic, or barbecue sauces, which they then top with ingredients as different as pineapple and artichokes. To create their specialty pizzas, they combine complementary flavors, such as the seafood combo's shrimp, baby clams, and garlic over a white-sauce base. But the chefs don't just make pizzas. They also craft traditional Italian favorites, from veal scallopini to fettucini tossed in pesto. Diners can enjoy meals while sipping wine or beer as they watch the restaurant's big-screen TV to figure out which sports team has the strongest t-shirt cannon.
The appetizer list at Bravo Bistro touts a world of choices, almost literally. Fresh ahi tuna with crunchy wontons sits just beneath salmon carpaccio, giving way to shrimp and scallop ceviche and pomme frites drizzled in truffle oil. The international influence stems from owner and chef Habib El Jacifi, who learned to execute French, Spanish, and Mediterranean recipes growing up in Casablanca, Morocco. Contra Costa Times reviewer Ann Tatko-Peterson had admired Habib’s work at his first restaurant, Fiore, and a visit to Bravo inspired her to gush that the bistro is "proof that experience can lead to perfection.” According to Ann, diners might be loath to efface artfully presented dishes such as gamberi with tiger shrimp and crab, but in doing so will taste a creamy parmesan she likened to the best sauces from Italy. The menu’s entrees are mostly Italian, but patrons will notice subtly multicultural accents such as the apple chutney that sweetens the pork chops or the saffron sauce and caramelized onions that crown the oven-roasted chicken. Sunday brunch furthers the gastronomic globetrotting as diners trek through a prix fixe menu that has featured croissants, chicken penne pesto, quiche, and braised beef stew.