Hungry Howie’s grew into a nation-spanning franchise from a humble start in Taylor, Michigan in 1973, when founder Jim Hearn converted a hamburger stand into a pizzeria. With the help of business partner Steve Jackson––who started as a delivery man at the original location––the two men franchised a decade later and began expanding their delicious operation, eventually expanding to nearly 600 locations spread across 24 states in the 3rd dimension alone. Winner of Pizza Today magazine’s Chain of the Year award in 2004, Hungry Howie’s continues to earn the most attention for its specialty flavored crust pizzas––which infuse dough with a choice of eight seasonings such as ranch or garlic herb––as well as zesty pizza accompaniments such as oven-baked meatball and chicken parm subs.
Candied walnuts and baby arugula are usually salad ingredients. But at Legends Pizza and Wings, they are standard gourmet-pizza toppings. The eatery?s creative toppings also include Florida strawberries, smoked gouda, goat, and ricotta cheese, a balsamic reduction, and a sprinkling of rosemary.
The gourmet touches extend to the menu?s hand-crafted sandwiches, which feature panko-crusted chicken and breaded eggplant tucked between toasted ciabatta, and sauce-slathered wings, which plunge into housemade blue-cheese dressing. Meals pair with more than 50 craft beer options from such breweries as Stone and Dogfish Head.
Jimmy Jax sports saucy and savory lunch and dinner menus that boast a boney bounty of baby-back ribs from the award-winning ribsperts at Michelbob’s ($9.99 half rack, $14.99 full rack), alongside other sauceable, sliceable palate pleasers. Chomp down on a Chicago-style thin-crust or new deep dish pizza loaded with cheeses imported from Italy and Wisconsin ($7.99–$14.99 for thin-crust or $10.99–$18.99 for deep dish) and covered with your choice of tasty toppings ($1.49 each), ranging from Italian sausage and Genoa salami to ethnically ambiguous tomatoes, green peppers, and anchovies. Lunch and dinner plates include comforting mouthfuls of smoked barbecue pulled pork ($7.99) and melt-iculously viscid five-cheese macaroni ($7.99 dinner), and suppertime combos ($11.99) pair the restaurant's signature rib-sticking rib racks with one of six other signature tastes (served with a garlic knot and choice of three sides).
The cooks at Cannoli Kitchen shepherd every plate from conception to consumption on the premises to fill their menu with fresh pizzas, pastas, and Italian desserts to feed parties of any size. Large tomato-basil pies ($17.99) eclipse tables and stars that are 18 inches in diameter, and pasta prisms of baked meat lasagna ($8.49) arrive flanked by a slice of garlic bread and a house salad or side of escarole and beans. Families can sit in or pick up spinach and broccoli stromboli ($6.49) and bubbling eggplant-parmesan subs ($6.99) to munch on in the comfort of their home. Crown meals with a toothsome top hat of creamy, chocolate-dipped cannoli ($2.79 each, $27 dozen). From the catering menu, a large tray of spaghetti marinara ($55) serves 10–12 hungry noodle twirlers, and orders of mozzarella sticks ($45) arrive in 50-piece increments to stock parties or edible Jenga tournaments.
Guests at Caf? Vico find themselves dining under the watchful eyes of A-list celebrities, both past and present. That?s because nearly every inch of the eatery?s mustard-yellow walls is covered by black-and-white headshots of such famous faces as Marlon Brando and Michael Caine. These photos, along with a plethora of burnished wooden wine racks and baked terra-cotta floors, flow throughout each of Caf? Vico?s four dining rooms?the VIP room, the Old room, the Middle room, and the Coliseum room?tying the interior into a cohesive, welcoming space.
Chef and owner Marco Vico only enhances the restaurant?s visual appeal with his authentic, handcrafted Italian dishes and old-school charm?according to South Florida Food and Wine, he kisses the hand of every lady who walks in. The menu coddles sensory receptors with many classic entrees such as eggplant parmesan, veal piccata, and osso buco. Its real draw, however, is the fresh pasta, which the chef cuts into thick strips of fettuccini, round ravioli, or fancy bow ties for his attentive wait staff. An extensive wine list supplements Caf? Vico?s tasty eats with bottles from around the world and more than 20 varieties available by the glass, and a new bar area features live entertainment nightly.
The first Panaretto Trattoria opened in1989 in Italy before a second location opened 20 years later in Fort Lauderdale. And just like in Italy, the chefs build pizzas from scratch, starting with dough and sauce made fresh daily. Stretched crusts cook in a brick oven and arrive at tables on a panaretto, a traditional Venetian wooden serving plate that prevents condensation so crusts stay crispy. Pizzas are topped with classic mushrooms and bacon, as well as more eclectic ingredients such as truffle cream, cured prosciutto ham, and stracchino cheese. The menu also offers traditional Italian entrees, including housemade gnocchi and chicken marsala. For lighter appetites, freshly baked ciabatta bread serves as the base for sandwiches stuffed with meatballs and honey baked ham. In celebration of the myriad dishes made from scratch on the menu, the eatery sells jars of housemade pesto, bolognese, and tomato sauces for customers to enjoy at home or while serving on jury duty.