Westshore Pizza’s cooks evoke the flavors of a Philadelphian eatery by using sauce made from California tomatoes, house-made dough, and hand-grated Wisconsin mozzarella as they bake New York–style pizza. In addition to adding such savory toppings as bacon, broccoli, and jalapeños, the staff also stuffs philly cheesesteaks with melted cheese and sautéed vegetables. Dedicated to fresh, quality ingredients, cooks also grill half-pound patties of Angus beef for their hamburgers and bake their own italian bread from a recipe found etched into the side of the Liberty Bell.
Papa John's has carefully crafted a menu of specialty pizzas to satisfy any taste or mouth shape. Order a Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, or go all-out and get The Works, a top-heavy combination of pepperoni, ham, spicy Italian sausage, fresh-sliced onions, green peppers, gourmet baby portabella mushrooms, and ripe black olives. Satisfy herbivores and herbivoyeurs with a Tuscan Six-Cheese or Garden Fresh pie. The full list of specialty pizzas includes several more; take the hassle out of haggling over individual ingredients and boldly cast your straight-ticket ballot for the pizza party that your conscious dictates.
Included in Spirit magazine's discussion of the top 10 pizza destinations in the country, Gourmet Pizza Company constructs pies to fit a broad spectrum of tastes and dietary regimens. The menu showcases conventional or rare toppings, such as Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, crawfish tail, and escargot, and options include gluten-free crust and vegan cheese. Specialty pizzas (starting at $8.95 for 10-inch) include the steak gorgonzola pizza, topped with the house-cheese blend, gorgonzola, fresh mushrooms, caramelized red onions, and center-cut ribeye steak (vegetarians may substitute portabella mushrooms for ribeye steak). In the realm of meatless pizzas, try the Cheeseless Vegan, heaped with fresh garlic and a quintet of veggies including spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. The pie shop also serves seven different regional pizzas and allows pizza scientists to concoct their own pie ($6.95-$11.95 for 10- to 16-inch pies, $0.75-$1.75 each for toppings) from the more than 50 available toppings.
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.
Ledo Pizza has pizza-making down to a science. After all, the restaurant has been doing it since 1955. Now a franchise, all of its locales still have one major thing in common: the square pizza. Although round pies tend to be more common today, in the '50s, rectangular baking pans were the thing?and Ledo Pizza decided to stick with it, as it actually means more pizza for the customers anyway. Ledo Pizza's other trademark: thick pepperoni, another tradition that began out of practicality but stuck around due to the customers' love of it. While not every one of the square pizzas has to have the thick-cut pepperoni, they all share the same beginnings, as they are rolled-to-order with fresh, handmade dough topped with high-quality cheese and tomatoes. Subs, salads, bread sticks, stromboli, and specialty entrees also abound on the menu, leaving customers happy and full.
Bill Sioutis founded the first Gondolier location in Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1974 as a place for families to gather and enjoy a rich menu of Italian and Greek specialties. Decades later, the traditional and white pizzas still use homemade dough made fresh daily and come covered with tasty toppings, such as barbecue chicken, eggplant, and artichoke. That same dough puffs up to form calzones stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta, and various toppings. Ovens bubble cheese over baked pasta dishes ranging from lasagna and ravioli to spaghetti, and Hellenic recipes rear their heads in the form of gyros, chicken souvlaki, and greek bruschetta, a blend of tomatoes, feta, kalamata olives, and drachmas.