On street corners from Texas to North Carolina, Johnny Brusco's Pizza serves up piping-hot slices of New York, and that's not whistling Dixie. It's not even kazooing Yankee. The franchise boasts a lineage that stretches back to 1965, when pie-smith Johnny Pace opened up his pizzeria just outside of Syracuse. Though the menu stays true to Johnny's classic style, today's crust-tossers aren't afraid to switch things up in modern style. Gluten-watchers can dig into a flour-free variant of the crust, and their specialties include such daring choices as a cream cheese pizza, a Philly-esque steak and cheese, and a zesty gourmet pie with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, and artichokes. Outside of the round stuff, diners might select a summery strawberry-pecan salad, a classic plate of bruschetta with pesto, mozzarella, and marinara sauce, and a finger-licking dessert of cinna-knots.
The fragrance of sizzling burgers and roasting pizzas floods Kanz's City Pizza and Burgerz's wood-paneled dining room. Chefs hand-toss signature pizzas with 13 different toppings such as pepperoni, sausage, and pineapple and pair 8-ounce burgers with freshly cut fries and hand-breaded onion rings. More than 45 types of imported and domestic beer moisten mouths owned by people or cyborgs ages 21 and up. The restaurant regales guests with weekly special events, such as Country Open Jam Night on Wednesdays, video bingo on Thursdays, and live bands at the Lenexa location on Fridays.
Cooking up Italian staples and baking pizza has been a Walker family tradition since 1969, first at a pizza franchise and now at their own Old Shawnee Pizza and Italian Kitchen. They use the skills they've perfected over the last 40 years to make everything from their Alfredo-topped ravioli stuffed with three types of seafood to their Midwest-style pizzas on homemade dough.
They first top their inventive pizzas with sauces such as the classic red, salsa, spicy peanut, or garlic olive oil. From there, they use their multitude of unique toppings to create most any pie their customers can dream up, barring ones that bear an uncanny resemblance to Burt Reynolds. They also cook up specialty pizzas such as the Caribbean Jerk, made with jerk sauce, chicken, onions, pineapple, and roasted red peppers.
Victor's Chicago Pizza prides itself on serving the greater Kansas City community with a menu and the gargantuan list of pie packers. Specialty pizzas include favorites such as the all-meat option with succulent pepperoni, Italian sausage, hamburger, ham, bacon, and mozzarella cheese ($17.49 for a 12" deep-dish pizza), or the Maui Wowie blanketed with ham, pineapple, red onion, and mozzarella ($16.99 for a 12" deep-dish pizza).