Not every pizza place has a Wall of Fame, let alone a Wall of Shame. Pizza Xtreme, however, entreats customers with a dare that echoes its name: eat all 7 pounds of a one-topping, jumbo pie with the help of just one friend, and you've won the 28" Challenge. The rules demand that you get it all down in less than an hour, though, and as the Wall of Shame and pile of half-eaten pies testifies, this is no easy feat.
The kitchen team accommodates the more gastronomically reserved by making single servings of hand-tossed pizza, which it decorates with toppings such as italian sausage, grilled chicken, smoked gouda, and crumbled eggs. Chefs also bake specialty pies and non-pizza goodness, such as calzones, cube-shaped tomatoes, customizable pasta dishes, and oven-baked ciabatta sandwiches such as the pesto-strewn turkey artichoke. Pizza Xtreme’s staff also pours out a selection of wine and beer to complement the food.
Joseph and Efren Boglio grew up in a Northern Italian town near Torino, raised by a mother locally renowned for her cooking abilities. Although the brothers loved the double-crusted, ricotta-stuffed pizza that she made every Easter, it wasn't until they moved across the ocean to Chicago that they realized just how special it was. Unable to find an equivalent after eating their way through local pizzerias and hunting pizzas in the wild, they opened Giordano's in 1974 with the goal of recreating the savory pie from their childhood. They've adapted their style over the years, but the concept has stayed the same: thick layers of mozzarella submerged in rich tomato sauce and served in a shallow bowl of golden dough. Diners can add ingredients such as spinach, sausage, or shrimp. Even though the Giordano’s deep-dish empire has expanded to Florida, its menu retains its old-country stamp with cuisine such as juicy italian beef and housemade meatballs.
Jointly owned by Italian and Brazilian chefs, Francesco’s Pizzeria divides its menu up according to the national origin of each dish. For a taste of Italy, diners can sink teeth into a traditional margherita pizza or Capricciosa pizza with calabrese sausage, while unique toppings of heart of palm, cinnamon, and guava denote a Brazilian pizza’s tropical roots.
Enormous front windows flood the brick-lined restaurant with light, illuminating plates covered in five styles of wings and hearty baked pastas. When not occupied chewing through a sub, guests can study the dining room’s irreverent framed pictures of cartoon vegetables dancing on cutting boards, lounging by the pool, and doing one another’s taxes.
The Global Peace Film Festival celebrates and furthers messages of peace and environmentalism with 40 films screened at venues across Orlando. Documentaries, narrative full lengths, and short films from around the globe spare cinephiles from direct sunlight while filmmakers, special guests, and local activists educate attendees about the power of the medium in special panel discussions. The peace it champions as a whole goes beyond anti-war, often touching on a more personal well-being that's reflected in the lives of individuals and communities.
After overseeing the kitchen at an oceanfront Hilton, Chef Jason Marty chose to dedicate his culinary prowess to Italian cuisine by donning a toque at Casa Sorrento. Although he still spends his nights hopping from stovetop to stovetop, he now blanches fresh manicotti and angel-hair pastas and sautés cutlets of veal or chicken over flaming piles of Food & Wine magazine. His cooks accessorize entrees with a number of authentic Mediterranean flavors—including tender buffalo mozzarella and capers—or glaze them with fresh marinara or cream sauce.