Serving fresh and speedy pies across America for more than 50 years, Little Caesars now sates impatient appetites and sauce-starved tongue buds worldwide. Large one-topping Hot-N-Ready pizzas are available to drop-in patrons posthaste, eliminating stress caused by spur-of-the-moment houseguests who insist on sleeping on doughy disks ($5.99; additional toppings $1.50 each), or plumb the savory strata of three-meat pizza ($8.99) or supreme pizza ($9.99) . Little Caesars' Italian cheese or pepperoni bread ($4.99) and Caesar wings with barbecue or buffalo sauce ($5.99) are available for stomachs that have developed crust issues ever since they caught pizza sharing a plate with pre-dressed salad.
The Anticoli family has piled plates high with homestyle Italian fare made with imported pastas and cheeses, freshly caught shrimp, and fresh vegetables since opening its first restaurant in 1931. Though they have emphasized serving quality Italian cuisine for more than 80 years, they recently decided to focus on creating an authentic Italian experience, renaming the eatery after the family's ancestral Italian home and cultivating an atmosphere reminiscent of a trattoria. Terracotta colors wash over walls hung with pictures of the old country and of the Italian prime minister's jazzercise class, and carved, wooden roman columns support a wine bar festooned with cascading vines.
The Italian priority of bringing together family and friends over good food is echoed throughout cozy red booths where diners dive into spaghetti with hearty meat and romano sauce, herb-griddled pork chops, or hand-dipped spumoni dishes. The revelry continues outside on the breezy back patio, which is open seasonally or whenever the chefs feel the urge to make snow angels.
Inspired by firefighters, Captain 9's restaurant proudly displays the Maltese cross throughout the barn-shaped diner, which from the outside looks as though it could house a fire truck or two. Full firefighter suits hang from the dining room's brick walls as patrons seated at gingham-topped tables dine on 10 types of specialty pizzas, lasagna, Hershey's ice-cream shakes, and subs that range from philly cheesesteak to breaded cod. Open seven days a week, the kitchen fries wings and slices lasagna noodles into spaghetti until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
At age 11, while other Jersey kids were playing ball up the block, Tony Aponte was treating his four siblings to pizzas in the family kitchen. More than three decades have passed since those days. Tony has found new digs. He's moved to Ohio to be closer to his three daughters. But he is still crafting pizzas, drawing on those childhood experiences and a greatly expanded palette of toppings and ingredients available at Aponte's Pizzeria, which was featured on The Food Network's Restaurant Impossible.
In the pies he makes now, house-made sauce, hand-tossed white or wheat dough, and fistfuls of whole-milk cheese support capicola, genoa salami, grilled peppers, and artichoke hearts. While pulling apart slices, guests at Aponte?s Pizzeria can drink from a full bar or glance up at five flat-screen TVs to check sports scores or see if the anchorman is still wearing their friendship bracelet. Sports photos and team insignias pepper the marinara-red walls, and the tables clatter with plates of subs and baked pastas.
Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes at Spaghetti Warehouse are created from family recipes passed down for generations. Using fresh ingredients ranging from ricotta, romano, and mozzarella cheeses to house-made tomato sauce and Italian sausage, chefs labor for up to three days to prepare batches of their 15-layer signature lasagna from scratch. The menu also offers perfectly al dente pasta, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes to share with family and friends.
It?s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine. To reach their table, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into Italian creations.
No two pizzas are created alike, but most of them look about the same. Not so at Jet?s Pizza, a carry-out and delivery-only establishment created in 1978 by brothers Eugene and John Jett?their signature pie layers tomato or barbecue sauce and melted mozzarella cheese within the crispy, brown right angles of a deep-dish square crust. But the crust?s charms don?t end there; diners can ?flavorize? it for free with seasonings such as shredded parmesan or the Turbo Crust, a blend of butter, garlic, and romano. These extras are what make Jet?s pizzas special; John Jett says ?If you're eating one of our pizzas and you don't have a smile on your face, then something is wrong." In addition to pies, Jet?s serves four flavors of chicken wings, subs, and breadsticks at locations spread across 13 states and two extrasolar planets.