Colonel Eure opened his first pizza restaurant in 1964 and when time came to open another franchise five years later, he named it Gatti's Pizza in honor of his wife's maiden name. The Gatti's Pizza empire steadily expanded over the next four decades, thanks in part to a commitment to high-quality ingredients such as real cheese, yeast-risen dough made fresh daily, and a 16-ingredient secret sauce protected by Swiss bankers. Today, chefs prepare specialty pies such as the barbecue chicken and bacon double cheeseburger pizza and bake custom creations from a choice of 17 toppings and three crust options. Along with many other Gatti's locations, the Frankfort locale houses a big-screen TV, a game room, a moose calling room, and a full bumper-car track.
Though their italian sausage and pepperoni carry robust, traditional flavors, the chefs at Mancinos Pizza & Grinders aren't afraid to get creative. On their zesty-ranch pizza, for example, they sprinkle bacon over a ranch base, and on their chicken-alfredo pizza they spread mozzarella and chicken atop creamy dollops of the familiar pasta sauce. Diners who seek three-dimensional meals but don't want to wrap their pizzas around soccer balls can bite into their choice of more than 20 types of grinders—subs filled with such treasures as barbecue pork, tuna, and salami. The family-owned business has honed its roster of italian sandwiches and pizzas throughout its 15-year history, preceding its dishes with hot wings and gooey bacon cheese fries.
Situated amid neon signs and flat-screen TVs, Goodfellas Pizzeria in Two Keys satisfies belly rumblings with its distinctive New York–style pizzas every day until 3 a.m. While chefs deck seven different specialty pies with myriad meat and veggie combinations, classic tavern trappings of wood paneling and exposed brick and a well-concealed dungeon buttress good conversation and midnight revelry. An outdoor deck offers breezy seating with plenty of space to celebrate Italian staples, such as calzones and cannoli.
Papa Murphy's low-fat, low-calorie thin-crust pizzas come in four enticing styles designed for cooking at home and tailored to each customer’s unique tastes. While proto-diners look on, Papa Murphy’s doughsmiths pave crisp, thin crusts with an array of fresh ingredients and specialty sauces. A traditional gourmet vegetarian pizza holds back its garlic-sauce flood with spinach, mushroom, and tomatoes, and the chicken bacon artichoke pie presses spinach, parmesan, and zesty herbs between meat pages like an epicurean botanist. The herb chicken Mediterranean pizza dons mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta, and the straightforward meat pizza sports a no-nonsense three-piece of pepperoni, sausage, and ground beef. Diners can also design custom pizzas to load crusts with peppers fashioned into portraits of their favorite cable repairmen.
Roosters is both a popular stop for Kentucky sports fans and its players—it’s not unusual to spy one of the university’s basketball players perched at a table, wiping his hands after downing a large basket of wings. It's these wings, fried in soy oil with no trans fat and doused with 1 of 11 sauces, that command the most attention on a menu full of hand-breaded chicken fingers, thick burgers, and oven-baked subs. Their sauces run the gamut of heat, from mild teriyaki to medium-hot sweet thai chili to the Super Killer, the sauce that delivers more kick than a Rockette on a caffeine buzz.
Walls paneled in blond wood to match the tables and floors recall a modern-day Old West saloon, with a stone fireplace standing tall at one wall. After seeing a big win on one of the flat-screen televisions lining the walls, diners can take advantage of the lofted ceilings to create a victory pyramid.
Bolstered by a consistent stream of media praise, including a spotlight in the Daily Bruin in 2011, Extreme Pizza's thrill-seeking founders channel their penchant for outdoor adventure into a menu of healthy, creative pizzas. Their chefs slice veggies and twirl dough each day before molding pizzas such as the Paia Pie, a smorgasbord of hawaiian pineapple, canadian bacon, and mandarin oranges atop a bed of mozzarella and cheddar. The website conveniently displays approximate calorie counts to accommodate diets and phobias of eating foods containing prime numbers.
Patrons can carryout take and bake pizzas, or kids can blow through excess energy in the game area while adults scrutinize incoming broadcasts on TVs in the dining room.
The most difficult decision to be made at Giovannis Pizza is where to begin the meal. The buffet table includes not only pizza and pasta, but also a baked-potato bar, garlic bread, and a 30-item salad bar with housemade ranch and blue- cheese dressings. At any point in the meal, sweet cravings can find satisfaction in bowls of ice cream or squares of brownies. Diners who like to taunt hungry birds can take their plates to tables outside.