It's easy for first-timers looking at ZZ Gators Pizza and Pub's menu to become overwhelmed with all the choices. The staff can bedeck custom pizzas with more than 20 different toppings, which range from traditional items such as pepperoni and sausage to gourmet options such as feta cheese and artichokes. This means that customers craving a three-topping pizza are faced with more than 1,100 different topping combinations. Calculators break when attempting to compute four-topping pizzas. The addition of appetizers further expands the tasty math formula, which scientists have yet to crack because they always wind up passing out from hunger halfway through the process.
Gatti's Pizza paints its signature crust of twice-risen dough with sauce made from a 40-year-old recipe passed down by the founder, Colonel Eure, who started the pie hub's first location in 1969. Real cheeses combine into a unique, smoky blend, forming a flavorful foundation dotted with toppings such as spicy italian sausage, pineapple, pepperoni, and shredded napkins. The menu trots out 10 specialty pies?including the bacon double cheeseburger, the Gatti's Deluxe, and the Superoni, which offers extra helpings of smoked provolone and pepperoni?as well as desserts in the form of cinnamon sticks and dutch apple treat pizzas.
Pizza Patrón's friendly, bilingual servers dole out pies that celebrate Latino culture while speaking to tongues in the international language of flavor. Pizzasmiths slather fresh dough with marinara or alfredo sauce and cheese, then strew crust canvases with an artistic smattering of more than a dozen topping options or assemble specialty masterpieces. The restaurant's festive Latin-infused environs host dine-in eating, and patrons can opt to carryout or swing by the drive thru to nibble in the comforts of their homes or favorite quicksand pit.
Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza was born out of the owner's frustration with bad pizza from chains, which often tasted as if every ingredient was canned or frozen. Deciding to change the industry, Papa Murphy's tosses every ingredient, all of which are never frozen, onto the crust in front of the customer's eyes and sends them home to bake in a home oven. This dedication to fresh flavor earned Papa Murphy's the top spot on Zagat's National Chain survey.
Visitors can create their own take on the pizza pie or chomp into one of their signature pizzas, which range from meat-filled stuffed crust to calorie-conscious lite varieties covered in vegetables. Their appetizers and desserts follow the same pattern. Customers order raw cookie dough or cheesy bread ripe for the baking, resulting in every course being fresh from the oven.
Since co-founding Candelari's Sausage Company in 1993, Michael May has been rightfully known as the "King of Sausages." But after studying the art of crust making under artisan bakers, May decided to push the boundaries of his culinary realm into the land of pizza. He polished his recipes, tamed an oven-dwelling dragon, and teamed up with his business partner and fellow Bellaire High School alum Greg Wheeler to found Candelari's Pizzeria. Today, chefs at the haven's five locations top thin-crust Neapolitan and hearty deep-dish pies with mushrooms, roast chicken, fresh basil, and plenty of Candelari family-recipe sausage—each bite of which mingles peppery spices with notes of liqueur.
Besides pies, Candelari's serves diners lunches of meatball sandwiches and sopressata paninis, and hearty dinners of baked lasagna, penne rustica, and sautéed chicken. Patrons dine-in to pair their Italian smorgasbords with European and Californian vino, or order online for convenient pick-up and delivery service.
The Russo family moved from Italy to New York in 1964, and from New York to Texas in 1978, carrying with them time-honored culinary techniques imported straight from the old country. Anthony Russo has worked side by side with family members and Italian chefs since the age of 12, learning to prepares salads, pastas, and pizzas from only the freshest of ingredients. Anthony's love for his family's cooking grew into a lucrative business, with Russo's Coal Fired Italian Kitchen restaurants and Russo's New York Pizzerias popping up all over the American South.
Like a cookie decorated with Lady Liberty's Social Security Number, Russo's pizza is an edible souvenir of the Big Apple, introducing palates to the thin, crispy brick-oven pies that helped make New York cuisine world famous. In between bites of basil-, anchovy-, and meatball-crowned pizzas, diners feast on baked ziti, lobster ravioli, and tortellini carbonara, as well as oven-cooked flatbread sandwiches and toasted calzones.