After spending years working for Dominos Pizza, Vince Schmuhl decided that he could do a better job of preparing and delivering quality pies to people's homes. He challenged the nationwide chain's dominance in the region by founding the first Blackjack Pizza on June 29, 1983.
Although delivering oven-fresh pies within 30 minutes was still a major goal for Schmuhl, he emphasized the importance of quality ingredients using sauce made from freshly packed tomatoes as well as hand-tossed dough that never sees the inside of a freezer or cryogenic chamber. This dedication to quality and speedy service allowed Blackjack Pizza to not only survive, but also thrive over the decades. The chain now includes more than 40 stores operating in four different states.
In addition to offering seven signature pies, Blackjack Pizza also allows customers to build their own order from crust to toppings. A choice of up to four savory, tangy, and piquant sauces form the base, topped with any of the 3 available cheeses, 7 meats, and 10 freshly diced vegetables. Regardless of the toppings, Blackjack Pizza respects the potential danger of food allergies by ensuring that none of its pies ever contain traces of MSG, peanuts, or peanut oil.
Chefs at Pizza Time! hand roll their pizza crusts and pile each base with toppings including feta, salami, bacon bits, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. Bowls of housemade hot sauce wait to cover warm batches of chicken wings or a slapstick actor dining with his boss. A gluten-free menu brims with wheatless versions of pizzas, subs, and pasta. After dinner, dishes of freshly-shaven hawaiian ice ride in the palms of patrons meandering toward arcade games or to an outdoor patio with views of Pikes Peak.
Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade "take ‘n’ bake" pizzas created using dough, cheeses, meats, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day. After customers choose their pie, Papa Murphy's personable pizza fashioners will build the pizza in-store and then 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 pie to a more specific taste, culling from the four sauces, three crusts, and more than 20 toppings available. Watch as Papa Murphy’s pizza professionals corral the ingredients of a signature pizza such as The Cowboy ($14.99 for the family size), complete with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and black olives, or request a Chicago-style stuffed pizza ($16.99 for the family size), packed with onions, mozzarella, four kinds of meat, and one of the most efficient public-transit systems in America. Thin-crust fans can opt for an Herb Chicken Mediterranean deLITE ($10.99 for a large), smothered with feta cheese, olive oil, and spinach, and veggievores can avail themselves of Papa Murphy’s gourmet vegetarian ($15.99 family size) option, which comes saturated with a creamy garlic sauce. Side your pizza with a garden salad ($4.99) or an order of cheesy bread ($3.99).
Roll like a cheese-covered circle to Billy's for pizza, pasta, and sandwiches. Billy's pizza comes cut thin and crispy ($7.75–$20.50, depending on size and toppings) or served deep dish ($14.75–$26.50) like they do in Chicago. This stuffed delicacy brings meaning to "pizza pie": it's full to bursting with traditional or creative toppings that aren't on top, making each forkful and knifeful a delectable surprise. Slurpable spaghetti comes with marinara ($7.25–$8.50) or meat sauce ($8.25–$9.50). No breaded bundle of meat from Billy's selection of sandwiches earns the adjective "finger"—sandwiches are mostly Chicago-style delights; try an Italian beef ($6–$6.60) and be sure to make it authentically Chicago-style by asking for plenty of dipping juice.
Bambino's Italian Eatery and Sports Bar boasts an extensive menu of freshly made pizzas, pastas, salads, and more. Handmade pizzas are its specialty, hatched from sauces and dough made in-house every day and pounded, poured, and flourished with an array of decorative delectables. Appreciators of classic Italia and can revel in the Mama Mia Special, a doughy disk topped with pepperoni, mushroom, green pepper, onion, Italian sausage, ham, ground beef, and black olives ($12.95–$19.95). Pie prohibitionists can opt for one of pasta dishes with a combination of Bambino's noodle shapes and sauces, including the primavera ($7.75), the clam alfredo ($8.95), and the bolognese ($7.25), or sink chompers into a hot pastrami sandwich, filled with green peppers, onions, and mozzarella cheese ($5.95). Ward off post-meal boredom or sugar-afeared demons with a full-size peach dessert stromboli (9.95). Libation-seekers can find shelter at Bambino's sports bar, which is fully stocked with beer, wine, spirits, and liquefied sports broadcasts.