People need energy to play, so meals at John's Incredible Pizza Company might start at a salad bar with 40 different veggies and toppings, before proceeding to an inventive selection of pizzas including barbecue chicken ranch, spicy peanut butter, and standards like pepperoni and cheese. There is also a build-your-own pasta bar and a dessert buffet with everything from fresh baked cinnamon rolls to soft-serve ice cream cones?all of it is meant to fuel a good time. That takes place on bumper cars and interactive super-bikes. Old school arcade enthusiasts can engage in classic Pac-Man battle while redemption tickets whir out of machines, granting winners access to a prize counter stocked with lava lamps and Nintendo and XBOX 360 consoles.
Featuring New York–style interpretations of regional Italian cuisine, Spaghetti Eddie’s menu embraces homestyle cooking from each side of the Atlantic. These iconic comfort foods incorporate locally sourced ingredients, imported goods, and Italian bread baked fresh daily, creating the hearty portions that prompted Inland Living magazine to write, “it’s easy to see why Spaghetti Eddie’s . . . is so popular.”
Although the name Spaghetti Eddie’s implies a limited selection of pasta dishes, the extensive menu fills its pages with everything from classic bruschetta to braised-beef short ribs. The pizzas begin as blank disks of freshly kneaded dough, which the chefs adorn with any of the 39 available toppings, including premium ingredients such as cappicola, goat cheese, and clams. Pastas do appear prominently, though, tempting diners with platefuls of rigatoni in a hearty beef bolognese sauce or fettuccine with buttery alfredo.
The main dining room embraces the restaurant’s Mediterranean roots. Faux windowsills and murals of Italian city streets line the walls, and strings of red, white, and green lights traverse the ceiling. Red awnings hang over a few of the room’s booths, sheltering the seats from the rays of imported Tuscan sunshine.
Growing up in Torre Del Greco in Naples, Italy, Rosario and Maria Ulloa-Severino learned the ins and outs of the restaurant industry from their families. After moving to the United States, the pair worked for years in the industry. Rosario served as a manager at such restaurants as Da Pasquale, while Maria honed her craft in the kitchen. Now at the helm of their own eatery, the couple welcome guests with such hearty Italian dishes as housemade gnocchi, filled with potato and drizzled with basil-laden tomato sauce. Other entrees include tender veal medallions and seafood stew filled with oceanic delicacies as shrimp, lobster, and whispered promises of marriage from sea-infatuated sailors.
Capers, cilantro pesto, barbecue chicken: these ingredients, along with more than 30 others, can top pizzas at Villaggio Pizzeria. Dough handlers craft build-your-own pies as well as California-style ones, which come crowned with West Coast–inspired toppings such as chipotle pesto and olive tapenade. The pies share a menu with other classic pizzeria treats, including buffalo wings, jumbo cheese ravioli, and oven-baked subs with housemade meatballs.
The name seems a little vague at first glance. But catch a whiff of the aromas coming from the kitchen of Euro Cafe, and you may start to tease apart the main national cuisines at work: sweet red pepper sauce and roasted Black Angus beef from Portugal, espresso and chicken fettuccine from Italy. The former influence predominates, popping up in the wine list, the linguiça sausage in an omelet, and the marinated pork loin in a sandwich. The family of owners also celebrate their mother country by preparing a daily Portuguese special and taking turns working on the basement's tunnel to Lisbon.
Although it holds down the corner of a shopping-center plaza, Euro Cafe goes out of its way to feel like a cozy neighborhood spot tucked away on some quaint side street, from the house-baked pastries to the tables scattered on the sidewalk to the live music. The approach has won some ardent fans during its decade in business. "I could go on and on about Euro Cafe," raved a reviewer for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin after a "luscious" lunch in 2010. "But it would be better if you swing by and see for yourself."
Chalkboard Pizza & Subs doesn't rely on the internet for reviews of its food. The first thing anyone sees as they walk into the storefront pizzeria are chalkboard walls filled with drawings, daily specials, and customer comments about the food. Serving both specialty and build-your-own pizzas, Chalkboard boasts a selection of 30 toppings to create unique pies served whole or by the slice. In addition to the pizza, the staff makes sub sandwiches and wraps, and they toss seven different salads with fresh veggies and meats.