Part of a large, Italian family, Jimmy Zamparelli grew up in a New Jersey, where he helped his grandmother craft ricotta ravioli, meatballs, and marinara sauce for family gatherings. His wife, Nancy, grew up in Houston, where her mother planned family meals around ingredients gathered at the local farmers market. The duo met at the Culinary Institute of America and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today, at Zamparelli's Italian Bistro, you'll find hints of both spouse's culinary roots in the cuisine, where recipes are often inspired by Jimmy's grandmother, but prepared using fresh, local ingredients,. Brick-oven pizzas are the house specialty?not to mention a favorite of Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine?and sprinkled with everything from clams and creamy garlic sauce to caramelized onion, gorgonzola, and smoked bacon. Elsewhere in the open kitchen, cooks pile house-made meatballs into sandwiches, layer meat sauce and mozzarella into gluten-free lasagnas, and toss roasted beets with shaved fennel, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and baby greens, which are surprisingly mature for their age. Wines by the glass and local beers complement feasts, which best end with a helping of gluten-free chocolate mousse, insists the Denver Post.
With multiple varieties at each location, there are enough options to pleasantly coat any mozzarella-covered tongue in tasty toppings. Veggie fans will appreciate the veggie supreme, dotted with mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives, and tomatoes. For feasters who can't decide between this or that, the super combo comes stocked from crust to crust with Canadian bacon, pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, black olives, and extra cheese. Offerings vary by location, so consult the menu at your nearest location before ordering.
Marco's Pizza founder Pasquale "Pat" Giammarco began helping out at his family’s pizzeria when he was just a boy. The eatery provided a taste of home to the Gianmarco clan, who moved to the United States from Italy when Pat was 9 years old. Together with his father, young Pat learned the secrets to creating exceptional pizza sauce: three different types of vine-ripened tomatoes and spices that can only be imported from Italy or the moon.
The perfected sauce recipe continues to guide Pat’s kitchen operations, although these days he has considerably more help. Marco's Pizza has 350 locations in more than half the states as well as in the Bahamas, each store tossing fresh pizza dough daily before sprinkling on a trio of fresh cheeses.
After spending years working for Dominos Pizza, Vince Schmuhl decided that he could do a better job of preparing and delivering quality pies to people's homes. He challenged the nationwide chain's dominance in the region by founding the first Blackjack Pizza on June 29, 1983.
Although delivering oven-fresh pies within 30 minutes was still a major goal for Schmuhl, he emphasized the importance of quality ingredients using sauce made from freshly packed tomatoes as well as hand-tossed dough that never sees the inside of a freezer or cryogenic chamber. This dedication to quality and speedy service allowed Blackjack Pizza to not only survive, but also thrive over the decades. The chain now includes more than 40 stores operating in four different states.
In addition to offering seven signature pies, Blackjack Pizza also allows customers to build their own order from crust to toppings. A choice of up to four savory, tangy, and piquant sauces form the base, topped with any of the 3 available cheeses, 7 meats, and 10 freshly diced vegetables. Regardless of the toppings, Blackjack Pizza respects the potential danger of food allergies by ensuring that none of its pies ever contain traces of MSG, peanuts, or peanut oil.
Street Legal Pizza's stalwart kitchen crew kneads its own dough and stirs up fresh sauce daily to construct a menu of stone-fired New York–style pizzas. One large pizza surrounds grana padano cheese and fresh basil with a crust drizzled in olive oil before anchoring dough disks with up to two toppings, such as green peppers, meatballs, garlic-infused chicken strips, or genuine chunks of leaning tower. An order of garlic bread and two sodas bookend each bite of pizza, ensuring that each mouthful receives individualized attention.
The anatomy of a pie at Abo's pizza is simple: hand-tossed dough in the New York thin-crust tradition, a sweet yet tart tomato sauce, and 100% mozzarella cheese. From there, customers can vary the recipe with their choice of fresh-cut veggies and meats, or order a specialty pizza, such as the feta- and artichoke heart-covered Mediterranean. You don't even need to order an entire pizza or sleep inside a cabinet overnight to get the Abo's experience?just grab a slice to go. The Neapolitan-style pies have earned the eatery numerous awards, including the title of "Best Pizza" around the city of Boulder.