Como's has been a Ferndale staple since 1961, long before pizza ever got its own U.S. Cabinet department. Now generations of Como's fans file through the restaurant's bright dining area daily?even until 4 a.m. on some nights. There they fill up on deep-dish and round pizzas, more than 20 different pastas, and around 30 house specialties loaded with meat, including chicken parmigiana and beef cacciatore. Aside from the food, events throughout the week make Como's a go-to spot for fun. The calendar features karaoke nights, holiday-themed parties, and even the occasional pub crawl.
Via Nove specializes in the delectable fare predominantly cooked in southern and central Italy, saving taste receptors thousands in air-travel costs to Rome by bringing scintillating entrees to Michigan. Commence your culinary tour of the Italian motherland with an appetizer, such as tortellini ($7) stuffed with ricotta cheese and asparagus. Freshly made pasta headlines Via Nove's absorbing and moderately absorbent menu. Sample the spaghetti carbonara ($16), interspersed with Italian bacon and egg, or indulge in the petto di pollo Montecarlo ($19), a seared chicken breast sidekicked with sautéed zucchini. Via Nove's wine list is a veritable who's-who's of Type A grape bloods, with such bottles as a 2006 Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio ($39) and a 2002 del Vesuvio Lacrima Christi ($35) available for consumption. Those with special liquor requests can even email the bar manager, who'll attempt to concoct whatever specialty drinks amateur mixologists can conceive.
Having been passed down through two generations of the Vettraino family, the Green Lantern Lounge is a pretty big heirloom. It even looks like one: since opening nearly six decades ago, the pizzeria has filled with sports memorabilia and old family photos. The Vettrainos honor the past in the kitchen as well, cooking pizzas with their original recipes that call for age-old techniques. These range from cutting thick, New York-style pepperoni from their links in natural casing to using a mammoth tusk instead of a rolling pin.
The hearty pepperoni pieces can be found on a few of Green Lantern's pies, including Tommy's Tantalizing Super Special with ham, mushrooms, and green peppers. Other popular menu items include the candy-coated bacon strips and the eponymous reuben, which features corned beef or turkey beneath a scoop of the restaurant's signature coleslaw.
Pizza has been the main draw at Tania's Pizza since the restaurant opened in 1987. That's not much of a surprise, but this place does have a few tricks up its sleeve. Chief among these are the creative specialty pies, which include the Sam's Hawaiian (ham, pineapple, bacon, and onion) and the Royal Oaker topped or stuffed with cheese, pepperoni, ground beef, onions and banana peppers. The eatery complements its signature dish with oven-baked calzones, meatball subs, and other traditional dishes hailing from the quaint town of Italy, Michigan.
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.