The menu at Canale's Italian Cuisine?a family-owned restaurant more than 60 years old?reads like a well-loved scrapbook. Its notes describe the food and its history: "Homemade gnocchi prepared with Ma Canale's recipe from Morolo, Italy," or "Anna's [tomato sauce] recipe, prepared exactly as she taught us back in 1954." Given these personal touches, it's no surprise that the menu has a Family Favorites section that spotlights classic entrees. These include homemade fettuccine, rigatoni with shrimp, and of course, spaghetti with meatballs or Italian sausage ("Canale's most popular dish").
For meals at home, the kitchen prepares "parties to go"?packages of pizza or chicken wings. You can also find Canale's sauces, dressings, and frozen dinners at dozens of grocery and misguided shoe stores in the area.
The Sokolowski family fired up Checkers Family Restaurant and Pizzeria in 2001, determined to fill the following decade with cheese and pepperoni pizzas and spicy wings. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner courses grace tables that sprout like wild wood-shop projects from the floor of indoor and outdoor eating areas. Every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Checkers hosts fish fries that grant fresh haddock a starring role in both a sandwich and fish dinner.
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.
The chefs at Great Northern Pizza Kitchen draw upon Italian, Greek, and American culinary traditions while topping pizzas. After tossing crusts by hand, they turn to blue cheese, buffalo sauce, shredded pork, morsels of feta, and pico de gallo. Though some toppings seem adventurous, the mac 'n' cheese pizza and the potato-skin pie, a combination of bacon, sliced potatoes, and cheddar cheese, call to mind simple comfort foods. Tables clatter with plates of salads, pastas, and sandwiches in an 80-seat dining room with exactly enough spots for the 10 families cloned from the Brady Bunch.