The staff at John’s Pizza served their first hand tossed pie more than a decade ago and have been twirling dough ever since. Today, the menu contains an array of hot and cold subs, along with baked pasta dishes. Chefs top 16-inch pizzas with crisp veggies and meats such as sliced meatballs. Diners can enjoy slices inside the dining room or take their pizza to go with take-out and delivery options.
Pearl of Lisbon surrounds its guests with glowing lanterns, built-in wine racks, and oil paintings of castles reminiscent of its namesake city while filling plates with traditional Portuguese dishes from a two-part menu. Once seated indoors or outside beneath the grapevine-shaded patio, guests can dine on grilled prawns in a spicy mozambique sauce ($20.95) or flambéed portuguese sausage ($10.95). Daily specials keep things fresh, making use of whatever fresh seafood the chefs could barter that day from entrepreneurial mermen.
The family that owns La Famiglia Pizzeria prepares Italian recipes passed down through the generations. The chefs bake square Sicilian-style pies and thin-crust pan pizzas, layering fresh, housemade dough with flavorful toppings such as meatballs, grilled shrimp, and other proteins. They also toss pasta with made-from-scratch sauces and assemble light paninis or hearty cheesesteaks. In the warmer months, diners can take advantage of outdoor seating.
The down-home cooking at Amy’s Omelette House serves up myriad made-to-order breakfast, lunch, and dinner feasts with a gargantuan menu best observed from outer space. Namesake omelettes ($6.25+) sizzle in more than 200 varieties, mixing three eggs and every cheese, veggie, and meat imaginable for a patchwork quilt of egg-threaded mouthfuls. Breakfast yields 30 different sweet blends of pancakes and French toast ($4.50+), and 11 new angles on eggs Benedict ($7.50+), memorized and delivered by superhuman servers who can divine drink orders by feeling the prongs on your fork. Sample a specialty sandwich during lunch, such as the Grumpy Waitress ($8.95) with pastrami, fried onions, and jack cheese on grilled rye, or the Jolly Waiter ($8.95) with fried flounder and tartar sauce on Texas toast. After 3 p.m., dinner dishes of southern-jerk-seasoned pork chops ($10.95) and baby back ribs ($16.95) unbuckle belts with a flourish of flavor and a pair of needle-nose pliers.
Sandwiches, wraps, and salads emerge from Jr's two locations, landing on tables or at patrons' doorsteps. The fresh menu includes grilled salmon, grilled yellowfin tuna steaks, and ground sirloin burger patties, which may be topped with items such as portobello mushrooms, bacon, and fresh-from-the-vine cheeses. Before they're seared on the grill, wraps enfold salsa-topped chicken or mozzarella paired with roasted red peppers, and custom salads top forks with personalized tastes.
Brothers Paul and Matthew Zappoli and friend Michael Cacciuttolo went out into the world to make their fortunes, but a chance to build something together brought them back to New Jersey. A friendship that began on a Little League baseball diamond has now taken root in Tre Amici (or "three friends"), where the trio serve Old World comfort food in an inviting and comfortable environment. Chef Matthew Zappoli, a 2010 winner of Food Network's Chopped expertly plates Italian favorites, such as chicken piccata or veal parmesan. Each bite attests to epicurean abilities, honed at the Culinary Institute of America, that have earned the chef praise from Bon Appétit and appearances as the featured chef at The James Beard House.
Hand-crafted pasta lounges in fresh sauce, and local ingredients make up appetite-trouncing accouterments. On some weekend evenings, warm tangles of guitar notes drift from the playing area laid out before the wood-burning oven. And a row of outdoor seats lets diners bask in the sun or maintain the hope that a lost kite will still come back.
At Cinnabon, the aroma of scrumptious baked goods wafts through the air as chilled beverages help sate the snack appetites of weary mallwalkers. Munch on a variety of cinnamon-infused treats, such as the Cinnabon classic roll, temptingly filled with Cinnabon’s famous makara cinnamon ($3.49), or the caramel Pecanbon, topped with an edible medley of luscious caramel and tasty pecans ($3.79). An assortment of goodies can be toted home for hungry broods in one of the stores’ regular Cinnapacks ($11.99 for four, $16.99 for six), and a 15-pack Minibon box ($18.99) is perfect for a sparsely attended reunion of former Power Rangers. After snacking, revitalize taste buds with a cup of iced coffee ($2.49–$3.49) or the chocolate-augmented, frosty Mochalatta Chill ($3.49–$4.19), a more refreshing way to cool down than a game of patty-cake against a polar bear.