Housing whiz-bang activities sprung to life from the mind of owner and game designer J. Richard Oltmann, Enchanted Castle & Haunted Trails coax thrills from the young and young at heart. As pins are knocked over throughout the 66 mini-bowling lanes and an arcade rings with the peal of 250 games, Enchanted Castle’s 60,000 square-foot space fills with scenes fit for dream-like days of timeless tomfoolery. A laser tag arena hosts light-based combat, bumper cars clunk together around a giant track, and an indoor go-kart course lets driver reenact the time that the Indianapolis 500 was hosted inside a local gymnasium. In addition to rides and games, kids can bounce around in the Inflatable Kingdom, visit the new Softplay area, or search for treasures in the prize redemption center. Platefuls of wings, pizzas, and sandwiches dot tabletops in the dining area, where visitors can feast in front of karaoke, big screen TVs, and an animatronics stage show featuring in-house band the Jammin’ Jesters.
Specializing in thick, deep–style deep-dish pizza, Jet's has indulged palates since 1978, when the eponymous Jetts brothers opened the first joint in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Crusts buckle under the weight of mozzarella cheese and toppings such as grilled chicken and black olives, accompanied by sides such as wings, Cinnamon Stix, or Jet's Bread topped with cheese, garlic, and butter. Stacks of meat and veggies pile onto piping-hot subs, and a variety of healthy salads helps to avoid the wrath of the Food Pyramid's ancient golems armed with giant wooden tongs.
Michael's Pizzeria has always done things a little differently. Since 1978, the chefs have referred to one other as “Dr. Gonzo” and topped specialty pies with unexpected toppings such as spaghetti, ranch, and cheddar cheese. The menu also showcases a spread of other Italian dishes, from baked lasagna and veal parmigiana to panzeroti—dough stuffed with your choice of toppings, then deep-fried.
At six locations dispersed throughout the Chicago suburbs, Old Town Pizza Co.'s dough doyens handcraft an array of Italian edibles, including four styles of pizza—signature thin crust, double dough crimped with a hand-rolled edge, Chicago-style deep dish, and Sicilian-style stuffed pizza. Specialty pies, which comes in such varieties as the Florentine and The Butcher Block, arrive adorned with fresh spinach and spices or a choice of four meats. Chefs also tempt carb cravers with pastas, calzones, and sandwiches, including italian beef.
It took a family vacation for Bill Wilson to discover his passion for authentic Old World cuisine. Ironically, that vacation was to one of the least Old-World locales on earth: San Diego. During this trip, Bill tried his first wood-fired brick-oven pizza, and the memories of the smoky flavors and crispy, yet still-chewy crust stuck with him for years. Almost a decade later, Bill finally decided to bring those pies to Chicagoland at a time when brick-oven pizzerias were few and far between. Although Bricks Wood Fired Pizza blossomed from one to four locations, the restaurant remains committed to the thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pizza that Bill remembered so vividly from San Diego.
Each pie begins as a 12-inch dough circle slathered with housemade tomato sauce. From there, diners can either outfit it with one of the pre-built specials or design their own pizza by adding any of the 36 available toppings—including everything from prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes to italian sausage and giardiniera. Baked sandwiches made with Boar's Head deli meats, hearty salads, and appetizers of housemade meatballs round out the roster of classic Italian and Italian-American comfort foods.
Roundhead's Pizza Pub keeps head holes stuffed with an assortment of menu items as patrons affix their sight-spheres on one of the sports bar's more than 28 TVs. Roundhead's special pizza, packed with sausage, green peppers, onions, and mushrooms (12", $16.25+), silences the grumbling bellies of Blackhawks and Bulls supporters as they argue about whether hockey players or basketball players make more capable museum docents. Kick off a Thursday night trivia session in Lombard with a generous portion of meat-filled homemade lasagna ($11.59) or an order of ultimate nachos, an assortment of cheese, chili, sour cream, and jalapeños perched atop a tortilla chip-mountain like a gooey, amorphous Sherpa ($9.49). Roundhead's also offers a formidable lunch buffet ($7.99), served weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., which turns growling midday munchies into whimpering afternoon siestas.