Bonafede-family matriarch Anita started JoJo's Pizza Kitchen more than four decades ago, and her discerning taste for ingredients is still identifiable in the menu. Though her son Joe, who napped on flour sacks in the back of the restaurant as a child, now runs the eatery, fresh basil and plum tomatoes grown in Stanislaus County still release aromas that hint at sun-soaked furrows. Through a dining room window, guests catch glimpses of chefs tossing freshly risen dough for pizzas or smaller chefs for their adorable giggles. They grate fresh parmesan cheese as wine cooks slowly down with mushrooms on the stovetop and chicken marinates in lemon and garlic. Servers bustle past, filling glasses with house wines or draft beers.
My N.Y. Pizza's dough-kneading chefs spin an Italian-inspired menu highlighted by sauce-slathered pizza. Personally decorated dough rings ($14.50 for small one-topping, $1.25 / additional topping) fuse art and mastication like Da Vinci's Last Spaghetti Supper with toothsome toppings such as salami, artichokes, and jalapenos. Calzones and stromboli ($6.99 / individual size) roll up meats and veggies in pockets of cheese and flaky crust, whereas sandwiches—including the roast beef, ham, and turkey-infused Amir's Awesome Special ($7.99 / 6")—use bread to border an army of deli cuts and vegetable accouterments. Daily fresh-made spaghetti sauce pours over a host of pastas such as the spaghetti with meat sauce special ($10.99), which sports two garlic-bread-slice escorts and a medium salad.
If a great white shark approaches you, punching it in the snout might be your wisest course of action. At Anya's Pizza, though, you're advised to just give in—its Great White, featuring a medley of pesto, chicken, mushrooms, artichokes, and onions, is one of eight specialty pies better gobbled up than struck. Anya's build-your-own pies come with a selection of more than 15 toppings ranging from shrimp to jalapeños; other Italian staples such as tortellini with alfredo sauce and pepperoni rolls make an appearance on the menu. The cooks also wake up bright and early to serve hot breakfasts, such as a breakfast quesadilla or french toast, instead of leaving a box of cold pizza on the restaurant's doorstep.
Eddie's Pizzeria & Eatery answers an ancient culinary dilemma: do we go out for pizza or stay in for Mom's meatloaf? Serving New World fare, the restaurant satisfies cravings in a single sweep. Even its pizzas champion this culinary marriage—New York–style pies arrive speckled with traditional toppings as well as premium options, such as rosemary ham. Yet, despite such culinary fusion, the pies never lose sight of their roots. Margherita pizza recalls the dish’s Italian heritage, whereas a 10-inch gourmet Bada Bing represents pizza’s modern stomping grounds with sausage, gorgonzola, and a mini “I Heart NY” shirt.
The menu also explores a large landscape of pasta entrees, from four-cheese ravioli to penne sautéed with mushrooms in a tomato-cream sauce. Meatier plates continue to span continents, with chicken parmesan prepped near st. louis ribs and handcrafted Angus burgers. As patrons strip tangy wings bare, they can watch the venue's eight televisions, two of which boast 70-inch HD screens.