While working at a national pizza chain, Scott Gittrich looked at the palette of ingredients around him and wondered why pizza seemed so limited. Then in 1991 he got his chance to experiment. He opened the first Toppers Pizza, combining a fun, party-fueling atmosphere with edible concoctions that topped housemade dough with unexpected delicacies such as mac ‘n' cheese and a deconstructed gyro. More than 19 house specialty pies make use of freshly kneaded dough, transporting classic recipes and unheard-of combinations to get people excited about pizza again. And the people respond, enjoying the treats as much as Scott himself, who once went 60 days eating at least one meal a day from Toppers.
Today Toppers Pizza stretches across the country, peppering the Midwest and reaching to the East Coast. Along with pizzas, the cooks oven-toast their grinder sandwiches, which are built on artisanal french bread and stuffed with ingredients such as chipotle chicken and italian sausage. Signature Topperstix—breadsticks adorned with cheese, garlic butter, and toppings such as bacon and pepperoni—accompany pizza orders, silencing rumbling bellies until the early morning.
Conceived by Las Vegas restaurateur Mark DiMartino, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery evokes Ireland by way of Vegas, with waitresses dressed in plaid mini kilts shouldering trays of chilled beer and pub fare. Like an enchilada stuffed with four-leaf clovers, the eatery’s Irish nachos interpret a south-of-the-border classic in a Celtic way, slathering potato chips in cheese sauce and seasoned ground beef; alternatively, pot roast and vegetables simmer traditionally in the Olde Dublin Irish stew’s Guinness-infused beef stock. Barkeeps pour a full bar’s worth of wine, cocktails, and beer, which surfaces in bottles, bombers, and multi-brew mixes such as the Blue Moon and Guinness combination. High-definition TVs glow with a ceaseless parade of professional and college baseball, basketball, and hockey, and live bands add to the entertainment smorgasbord on Friday and Saturday nights.
Though he may be a long way from his native Texas, Joe Lopez is true to his roots. At Joe's Texas BBQ, he maintains a strong loyalty to Texas-style barbecue, tending to his "slow and low" smoked meats that are prepared and smoked fresh daily on site. Lopez uses secret rubs to enhance the flavor of the meats, which include hot links, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and of course brisket.
Cuisine Type: Irish-American fare
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Guinness pot roast
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
"Irish food is like Irish song," says St. Brendan's Inn general manager Ashley Oates, "It is simple and tasty on the tongue, while filling and wholesome for the body and spirit." And as with Irish song, it doesn't matter if the dish is traditional or contemporary. Oates says the pub's most popular plate is the Guinness pot roast?tender, slow-cooked beef served with fresh saut?ed vegetables and mashed potatoes, all slathered in Guinness gravy. The dining room further extends the Old World warmth with Axminster wool carpets, stained-glass windows, and a bog snug?Irish for sitting area?replete with a fireplace. After all, as Oates says, "pub food is comfort food."
When discussing Taste of India's diverse and exotic menu with reporters from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Punjab native Meenakshi Rattu explained that understanding Indian cuisine is about "trying everything." To entice curious diners, Meenakshi and her husband Jagbir offer a wide variety of Northern and Southern dishes. They captain the restaurant's kitchen crew as they fold various spices, vegetables, and housemade sauces into curries, kebabs, and biryani rice, all while baking up a variety of traditional breads in their tandoor oven. Come lunchtime, the chefs line a sweeping buffet table with simmering platters of their freshly made dishes. To accommodate all palates, they prepare milder versions of traditional recipes, adding spice as directed.
Servers bear plates out into the elegant dining room, where a red-and-gold canopy stretches across the ceiling alongside glimmering chandeliers. Vibrant Indian artwork speckles the hall, from colorful traditional paintings to diamond sculptures of renowned Indian boxer Vijender Singh eating a piece of naan.
Eschewing the cramped quarters that pubs so often try to pass off as coziness, The Ravine Pub & Grill pairs a low-key, neighborly vibe with a dining room that can accommodate banquets or wedding receptions of up to 500 people. The restaurant’s servers put that space to good use as they ferry large plates of American comfort fare back and forth from an expansive island bar, where hanging overhead lights cast their glow on homemade soups, 6-ounce burgers, and fisherman dangling baited forks over plates of steamed haddock. Draft brews and stacked sandwiches teeter as Packers fans slam tables after touchdowns, and hot slices of homemade pizza make for satisfying late-night snacks on Fridays, when the restaurant stays open until 11 p.m.