Since its founding in 2001, The Upper Crust Pizzeria has fashioned artful thin-crust pizzas in 19 storefronts with modern, architectural touches. Chefs craft specialty pies inspired by local landmarks, from the sundried-tomato cobblestones of the Beacon Hill to the pesto-painted walls of the Green Monster. Diners can opt to spread sweet sauce over a regular or whole-wheat crust or request that any pie be served white without sauce, and combine slices with crisp salads or pounce on the geometric goodness of a spinach square or half moon-shaped calzone. Restaurant interiors are accoutered with modern flourishes such as flat-screen TVs and pan-decorated ceilings, allowing one to lie down and admire their reflection before a postmeal nap.
The kitchen may look a bit different than when it opened in 1973, but the family in charge and the recipes are still the same. Though there are three generations now, chefs still hand make their sauces and pizza dough daily, ensuring that each ingredient still has the space to shine brightly when brought to life by the heat of the oven. Italian pastas steam in large pots nearby, and hot and cold sandwiches brim with veal, steak, salami, and meatballs like a screenplay written by somebody who forgot to eat lunch. This dedication to providing good eats recently earned Al's Restaurant a designation as the "2012 Business of the Year" from the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce.
Owner Howie Mallowes set up shop across from the Martha's Vineyard ferry terminal, where his restaurant specializes in infusing New York–style pies with gourmet ingredients such as shrimp, gorgonzola, and steak. Amongst the fresh harbor air, staffers shuttle whole pizzas and single slices to tables of visitors and regulars until the wee hours of 2 a.m. every night. The menu plays host to more than a dozen specialty pizzas such as the Pizans "Soon to be Famous" Clam Pizza, which just signed a three-picture deal with DreamWorks. Pizzas share stomach space with pastas, oven-baked grinders, footlong subs, beer, and wine.
Papa John's has carefully crafted a menu of specialty pizzas to satisfy any taste or mouth shape. Order a Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, or go all-out and get The Works, a top-heavy combination of pepperoni, ham, spicy Italian sausage, fresh-sliced onions, green peppers, gourmet baby portabella mushrooms, and ripe black olives. Satisfy herbivores and herbivoyeurs with a Tuscan Six-Cheese or Garden Fresh pie. The full list of specialty pizzas includes several more; take the hassle out of haggling over individual ingredients and boldly cast your straight-ticket ballot for the pizza party that your conscious dictates.
“Easy” may be in the name, but this restaurant’s inventive pizza combinations are anything but simple. The Bangkok pizza, for instance, arrives tableside topped with grilled chicken, stir-fried veggies, crushed peanuts, and a peanut Thai sauce, and the Beach Chair sports fresh mango-peach salsa, pineapple, and prosciutto under a portable sun. The creativity continues into dessert, when crusts hold gooey s’more fixings or daring heaps of Nutella, bananas, and caramel. And for those who prefer their crusts in more loaflike form, an array of subs and burgers can be customized to their hearts’ content.