Winners of Polk County News Chief's 2007 People's Choice award, Auburndale Pizza Company’s pie flingers toss together eclectic specialty-pizza combinations from a choice of four sauce bases and more than 20 meat and vegetable toppings. Sweet barbecue sauce swathes beef and bacon, welded by mozzarella and cheddar cheese in the BBQ Pizza Feast ($5.75 per slice for all specialty pizzas). Annette's Favorite Veggie binds garden denizens including green pepper, spinach, and tomato with enough ricotta and mozzarella to ensure the veggies don't grow up, run away, and join the salad. Customers tap into alchemical aspirations with a personally designed make-your-own pizza ($10.55+, $1.50 per topping), or boycott bread with Annette's No-Crust Pizza ($5.75 for up to 5 toppings), a 7-inch tin-baked amalgamation that forgoes dough for sauce and toppings lashed together with mozzarella latticework.
Primo's II Pizzeria treats mozzarella deficiencies with a menu packed with baked pastas, stromboli, hoagies, and three styles of pizza—square Sicilian, New York–style thin crust, and Chicago deep dish. Dough disciples can build their own pies ($9.99+) or choose from specialties such as The Works, a food frisbee loaded with pepperoni, sausage, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms ($15.99–$17.49). Carnivorous consumers satisfy protein quotas with meat lovers pizzas topped with pepperoni, bacon, smoked ham, and sausage ($16.99–$18.49). Stromboli serves as a massive dish of folded fantasy, enclosing sausage, pepperoni, vegetables, and marinara sauce, or as an efficient envelope for Italian expats to mail home Statue of Liberty key chains ($8.95–$13.50). Taste buds bellow with delight after devouring a dish of baked ziti ($10.95) or eggplant parmigiana ($7.99), and sweet teeth sing arias extolling the decadence of chocolate-chip-studded cannoli ($1.75–$3.50) and sfogliatelle pastries ($1.75). Enjoy meals inside Primo's II Pizzeria’s red, white, and green dining room or al fresco while reminiscing of time spent vacationing in Tuscan villas or cleaning Venetian blinds.
A celestial ceiling that gives the illusion of dining under the stars casts a romantic aura over Pacino's two-story interior, as patrons savor aromatic Italian dishes that have earned the restaurant a high recommendation from Frommer's. Toothsome family heirlooms dot the menu, with classic starters such as garlic-scented roasted mussels, or the dazzling flaming cheese ($9.99), ignited tableside by the tiny dragons servers keep in their pocket. Forks cut in for dance with the linguini carbonara that twirls on a cream dance floor with prosciutto and parmesan ($13.99). Subtly breaded slices of eggplant surround a trio of Italian cheeses in the vegetarian eggplant rollettini ($13.99), and a pork shank simmers in barolo wine in the osso bucco, a meaty Northern Italian classic ($19.99). Groups of two or four complement Old World feasts with a generous pour of wine while admiring their reflections in the restaurant's Sicilian copper grill or diving through dishes on the outdoor patio.
CiCi’s Pizza combines the variety of a buffet with the thrill of bottomless pizza. Each pie is crafted with dough made from scratch daily and then slathered with homemade marinara and showered with toppings ranging from traditional pepperoni and Italian-style sausage to creative combinations including buffalo chicken and mac 'n' cheese. The buffet is stocked with a plethora of fresh pastas, as well as signature salads with the option to put tossing talents to the test at the salad bar. After they've feasted on savory options, diners can revisit the buffet for dessert including freshly baked brownies, slices of apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing—or they can eat dessert first, thereby tearing an irreparable hole in the space-time continuum.
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Mama Romano’s transforms fresh ingredients into from-scratch pastas, pizzas, and proteins that populate their lunch and dinner menus. Satisfy appetites with classic pasta dishes or traditional entrees such as veal picata ($15.95) and Frutti di Mare—schools of shrimp, calamari, clams, and mussels frolicking in a buttery sea of linguini ($19.95). Groups can share one of Mama’s hand-tossed 16-inch specialty pizzas including steak and cheese ($17.95) or Hawaiian ($15.95), while diners with color preferences can customize a pinkish pie with shrimp, prosciutto, and sun-dried tomatoes. Swig a beer or a glass of wine, and ask Mama's sociable servers for pairing tips, meal suggestions, or strategies for disguising marinara stains.