At Westside Pizza of Lompoc, chefs adhere to a strict ethos of freshness, making dough each day by hand to create delectable pizza masterpieces for pickup or delivery. They crown each pie with real mozzarella cheese, canadian bacon, pepperoni, sundried tomatoes, and plenty of other toppings—none of which are ever frozen. They've got pasta on the menu, too, designed especially for those who are allergic to circular shapes.
Enormous portions of pasta weigh down tables inside Petrini's Italian Restaurants, which specialize filling stomachs with old-school Italian fare. Inside the kitchen, chefs cover thin crusts with slices of salami, mushrooms, and barbecue chicken to make custom pies. Swirls of steam float above plates of gnocchi, tortellini, and ravioli, and generous helpings of chicken and veal parmesan slip between slices of sandwich bread or go solo as dinner entrees. Petrini’s homemade salad dressings top crisp salads, and can be purchased by the bottle, gallon, or super-soaker tank.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Erupting cheers herald hopeful high-fives as Magoo's Sports Grill's 30 televisions broadcast yet another touchdown. Or homerun. Or pads-off, trash-talking battle royal. Regardless, athletics spill from the bar's innumerable televisions, and the kitchen sates sports fans with a full menu of hearty sandwiches, specialty pizzas, and decadent desserts. Time-tested domestic beers from Coors and Budweiser welcome craft brews such as Stella Artois and Sierra Nevada to the beer-and-wine bar, where bartenders pour suds into 10-ounce glasses, 20-ounce schooners, and one-gallon pitchers that may also be used as a makeshift apple-bobbing bucket.
Don?t try to get Jerry to spill the beans on how he makes his pizzas. A secret list of ingredients makes up the sauce, and a secret old-country tradition goes into making the dough. And a traditional stone-hearth oven may or may not cook the pies to a crisp finish. But Jerry will let you know which toppings he uses, so you can customize your crust with a secret white sauce, jalape?os, Louisiana hot sausage, red onions, and artichoke hearts. Jerry will also toss all the pizza toppings into a doughy calzone pocket if customers so choose. And on the weekends, while Jerry is busy in the kitchen, live musicians and butter sculptors entertain guests.
By the age of ten, Mulberry Street Pizzeria owner Richie Palmer already had some game in the kitchen. He could make mashed potatoes, meat balls, and marinara sauce?all thanks to techniques and recipes he learned at his mother's side. He always knew he was destined to open a restaurant, he just didn't know where or when. Fate finally struck one night, when, out of curiosity, he peered into a boarded up bakery near his home in the Bronx and found it contained an old, majestic brick oven. A short time?and a call to an oven mechanic?later, he opened his first restaurant, Modern Pizzeria, to great success.
Fate would strike again during a visit to LA, when an old friend convinced Richie to bring his business model?and his mother's marinara recipe?to the west coast. Mulberry Street Pizzeria opened in 1992, and since then, the franchise has grown to encompass four locations, each slinging slices of authentic NY-style pizza. Besides classic cheese slices, diners sink their teeth into pizzas topped with eggplant or chicken parmesan, barbecue chicken, or pesto and sundried tomato, and Mulberry Street even sells its pizza dough and sauces to-go, so customers can recreate their favorite pies at home.