Pizza Chefs’ homemade sauce comes from a generations-old family recipe. That doesn’t mean everything else here is traditional, though—in a twist of recipes, you can actually have pasta on top of your pizza, such as in the baked ziti, shrimp alfredo, and macaroni and cheese pizzas. That’s in addition to other uncommon toppings such as fried calamari and shrimp scampi. This creativity with pasta extends to other dishes—for appetizers, there are egg rolls stuffed with mac-n-cheese, too, and you’re free to turn their spaghetti into a Fabio wig.
At TapHouse Grille, 24 different craft beers gush from taps as plates of gourmet pub fare emerge from the kitchen. Chefs shower pastas and pizzas in fresh meats and vegetables or whip up entrees that feature freshly caught fish and quality cuts of meat. In addition to imported and domestic brews, the family-friendly establishment pleases adults with martinis and cocktails, and it treats tots to a full kids' menu and an absence of height-restrictive carnival rides.
Brick walls and ceilings and glistening wood floors surround the casual dining room, where flat-screen televisions beam down from the walls. TapHouse Grille also hosts special events throughout the week, including a Sunday brunch buffet with a live jazz band.
The chefs at Muscle Maker Grill put a healthy spin on flavorful dishes inspired by Italian, Asian, American, and southwestern cuisines. The chain was founded in 1995 by Rod Silva, a fitness enthusiast who grew weary of fast-food eateries that bogged customers down with unhealthy morsels and toys sculpted from butter. What began as a smoothie stand has expanded into a successful franchise that slings pastas, burgers, salads, and Tex-Mex wraps and proudly displays the calorie content and relationship status of each dish on the menu.
More than 20 exotic toppings fight for the affection of hungry teeth at TheFlatzCo., aiming for a snuggly spot atop whole-wheat dough made without yeast but with luxurious ingredients including organic extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt. Flatz protects the fiber-rich crusts of its 11-inch, personal-sized pies by planting peculiar, ecosystem-boosting toppings. The jammin banana flat piles on bananas, strawberries, mozzarella, and Flatz tomato sauce ($12.50), the vampire slayer flat smothers itself in garlic and mozzarella ($10), and the wild forest shroom flat picks four different mushrooms for a fungal feast ($14.50).
Allendale's seasoned skillet wielders sizzle up a menu of breakfast dishes and, according to New Jersey Monthly magazine, some of the best soups, salads, and sandwiches in the state. Awaken sluggish appetites with a selection from the bevy of breakfast spreads, such as the Truck Driver ($7.95)— two eggs, toast, and pancakes, with a choice of bacon, sausage, ham, or CB radio—or the homemade corned-beef hash ($8.25). Or quell the moans of afternoon stomach gnomes with a hearty helping of Kyle’s Famous pulled pork—slow-roasted succulence marinated in a signature barbecue sauce and enswathed between the soft ends of a roll slathered with its pre-fame friend, coleslaw ($7.95). Served on a wide variety of breads, rolls, and wraps, Allendale Eats! sandwiches are made with Boar’s Head brand meats and cheeses, including the Virginia ham ($5.45) and eggplant parmigiana hero ($6.95). Like a vegetable chef's washing machine, Allendale Eats! rotates soup flavors, offering up classics such as chicken noodle ($2.95 for a small cup) and distinctive delicacies such as potato leek, and crab and corn chowder ($3.95 each for a small cup). For junior noshers, a children’s menu slings out a slew of mini meals, such as a chocolate-chip pancake served with bacon and orange juice ($4.95), and the grilled-cheese sandwich served with a cookie and a drink ($4.95). A new, ever-changing dinner menu adds nightly pasta, entree, and dessert specials to the mix.
The peanut-butter slathered sandwiches at the Peanut Butter Blues Cafe happily swim in a sea of thirst quenchers and open-mic sound waves. Nutty connoisseurs can expand their palates with sandwiches including the Junglicious, which partners peanut butter with honey, cinnamon, and fresh bananas ($5), or the Guitar Hero, a concoction of peanut butter, wild honey, and blackberry jam ($5). The café also outputs heftier sandwiches, such as the Smoked Salmon BLT ($9) and the Hungry Man From Siberia, comprised of meat dumplings, mushrooms, sour cream, and dill ($10). For liquid fuel, open-mic enthusiasts can snag steamy espressos ($2), chilled orange-chocolate shakes ($5), or the too-cool-for-simple PB Blues house shake, which unites bananas, peanut butter, chocolate, and walnuts ($6).