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 coleslaw. 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 Saturday-night karaoke at the Olathe location, Texas hold 'em on Saturday afternoons at the Lenexa location, and live music.
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).
In 2008, Culinary Institute of America alum Dan Janssen and four friends camped out to secure a spot in the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle. Dan immediately began training for the event, honing his recipes and asking friends and family to taste-test each smoky cut during weekend get-togethers. Great Lenexa, it turned out, was just the tip of the dry-rubbed iceberg. Over the next few years, Dan and his culinary crew refined their dishes, expanded their menu, and began raking in the ribbons—including five awards in the 2013 American Royal Barbeque Contest, taking 3rd place overall in sides and 5th place in beans.
Their barbecue is no longer a competition-only treat. The Rub Bar-B-Que & Catering makes it available to the Olathe area. Alongside classic pulled pork and beef sandwiches, Chef Dan showcases inventive dishes such as burritos filled with burnt ends, jalapeños, and pico de gallo. His menu also sports plenty for rib-enthusiasts, from 1/3 racks to full racks ideal for large groups or one very determined ant.
Cuisine Type: Pizza, pasta, and appetizers
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11–25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Pizza. Try our chicken alfredo pizza
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Pro Tip: Try our new pizza offerings and have a frozen drink from the bar while you wait.
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
One of our most popular offerings is our chicken fettucini alfredo. We make our own alfredo sauce and we cook our chicken fresh right in our kitchen.
Décor can say a lot about the type of food a restaurant serves. How does your décor inform or reflect your culinary practice?
Our decor reflects our casual dining experience. We have large heavy wooden chairs and tables. The front of our restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Our menu is family-friendly [and] offers half sizes for kids. We offer a wide range of pastas and, of course, our pizza. We prepare our sauces every day, and we cook everything to order.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We cater to large groups, ball teams, and parties. We offer a buffet line on request to groups.