Mike and Terry Schneider already knew what it took to run a restaurant when they opened The Loop Pizza Grill more than 20 years ago. Previously the owners of Jacksonville’s neighborhood hangout Applejacks, the Schneiders wanted to create a pizza place that was both elegant and laid-back, just like the Queen of England in a tracksuit. At each of their 14 locations, they and their kitchen staff whip up a menu of specialty pizzas, fire-grilled burgers, and verdant salads with fresh, handpicked ingredients, serving each carefully crafted selection on real china.
The chefs at Upper Crust Pizza Parlor splash scratch-made sauces and sprinkle fresh ingredients over never-frozen crusts served alongside saucy pastas, piled-high sandwiches, and the owner's original recipes. White, alfredo, and garden pies challenge the pizza status quo more than pepperoni’s recent placement on the endangered species list, and leftover crusts become newly desirable in a coat of honey-cream sauce that accompanies each pie. Fiery ovens continue spitting out cheese-blanketed pies past midnight every night to sate post-sundown hankerings.
Bambino Brothers Pizza serves New York–style pies crafted from hand-tossed dough and made-from-scratch sauce. Wardrobe your thin-crusted creation in two toppings of your choice, selecting from classic accoutrements such as pepperoni, sausage, green olives, tomatoes, ham, mushrooms, spinach, feta, fresh garlic, and more. Double up on tasty protein such as salami and Canadian bacon if you need a pick-me-up after watching your favorite star get the ballroom-dancing boot, or place a pie with two veggie toppers on an open windowsill if you want to woo a brontosaurus. Round out your already circular repast by adding an appetizer of hot wings ($6.95 for 10), a specialty salad ($5–$6.95), sub sandwich ($5.95 for an 8"), or hot Italian dinner to your order.
The same love for pizza and beer that fueled three college students in 1974 transformed their lives as they expanded their business from one rundown building in Atlanta to 100 Mellow Mushroom restaurants across 15 states today. Each eatery owes its individual style to each location's being locally owned and operated, much like impressionist painters owed their individual style to their number of ears. In the kitchens, chefs assemble grilled and deli-style hoagies and bake calzones and pizzas in stone hearths using dough made with natural spring water. Though many of the restaurant's dishes have remained on the menu since its inception, the culinary crew frequently devises new, often gluten-free, dishes to keep senior-ranking pepperonis from becoming too powerful. Servers pair dishes with their location's own set of local brews, which fit into a collection of up to 100 microbrewed and imported beers on tap and in bottles. Brewers such as Bell's, Abita, and Dogfish Head are also featured in regular beer events.
When guests sink their teeth into a slice of Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, there is a taste beyond the fresh Wisconsin cheese and made-daily pizza dough: there?s the subtle yet unmistakable flavor of a real wood fire. The brick ovens torch the pies moments before servers whisk them to diners, who dig into pizzas that come adorned with roasted chicken or artichokes. The meals easily conform to special dietary requirements by swapping in substitute ingredients, such as gluten-free crusts, vegan cheeses, and toppings that don?t contain an odd number of vowels.
In the kitchen at Mario?s Pizza, chefs heap cheese, steak, and sun-dried tomatoes onto oversize New York?style and sicilian pizza crusts. A white pizza covered in ricotta cheese, fresh garlic, and mozzarella reminds taste buds of eating a delicious snowman, and comes in sizes ranging from 10 inches to as large as 24 inches. Baked pasta and sandwiches, such as a philly steak, round out the menu.