Gold Coast Pizza’s cooks take a West Coast approach to their pies, piling toppings on thin, crispy crusts made from expertly aged dough. Modeled after Padington's Pizza in Oregon, this shop names its disks after Pacific people, places, and things, such as the three-meated Lewis and Clark, the Ventura Veggie, or the Mount Rainier, renowned for its 2011 culinary eruption of salami and mushrooms and its 1894 actual eruption of lava and mushrooms. The Crescent City sits under a house blend of cheeses and black olives, and Honolulu Gold shimmers under ham and pineapple bits. Alternatively, an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet during lunch hours allows patrons to enjoy as many slices as possible between business meetings. Gold Coast can seat up to 150 people and features a 62-person banquet room. Self-serve fountain sodas wash down each slice more deliciously than a mouth-bound tributary of the Willamette River.:m]]
In the kitchen, a brick oven crisps the crusts of gourmet pizzas piled with feta cheese, eggplant, alfredo sauce, and steak. Vivid murals of Roman temples and Italian landscapes overlook the dining room's simple wood-topped tables as guests dig into hot and cold subs, calzones, or strombolis. Traditional Italian dishes, such as chicken parmigiana, compete for attention with pasta dishes, which twirl around forks with the grace of a ballerina leaping into the saddle of an enormous swan.
Biting into a Padow's ham, pizza slice, or sandwich means taking part in tradition. George Padow founded his grocery store in 1936. Fifty years later, when his sons Sidney and Eddie transformed their pop's shop into a specialty foods shop, the brothers couldn?t open their multiple locations fast enough to keep up with demand?people loved their ham, preserves, and gift baskets. Expertly aged and cured pork is the Padow specialty?as are jumbo Virginia peanuts?but as a deli, it's also well-known for its made-to-order sandwiches and pizzas. Whether stocking up with a Dinner Survival Kit sampler, making one's own bread with an artisan dough mix, or painting the walls of one's kitchen with a proprietary relish or spread, generations have relied on the Padow family for lip-smacking food of top quality.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Felicia Midulla’s 40 years of culinary experience come in handy at her eatery, Mamma Felicia's Ristorante & Pizzeria. The Italian-born chef works in the kitchen alongside her son, Nick, also a chef. Together they boil pots of linguine and ravioli and simmer white-clam and alfredo sauces. While chicken parmigiana and veal marsala cook in the oven, the duo covers pizza crusts with shrimp, spinach, and buffalo chicken.
Much like the sun in most medieval Italian conceptions of the cosmos, the menu at Wings-Pizza-N-Things revolves around everything in its namesake. Avian aficionados can order their jumbo and boneless wings (15 for $13.99) slathered in exotic flavors such as chipotle and Cajun—as well as timeless tastes including buffalo and hot barbecue—before power-showering their palates with any of a dozen beers on tap. Connoisseurs of circular cuisine, meanwhile, will want to practice edible fractions on a specialty pizza such as the F-15 eagle ($18.99 for large)—a cheeseburger in pizza form topped with ground beef, bacon, and extra cheddar cheese—or bring their own Frankenpie to life with toppings of bacon, jalapeños, pineapple, black olives, feta cheese, and more. A generous array of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and burgers give eyes a savory foreground as they take in the punishing quarterback sacks, thunderous slam-dunks, and surprisingly violent knitting competitions on Wings-Pizza-N-Things' 100-inch video wall.