Although everyone knows that pizza fresh from a restaurant's kitchen is far superior to its grocery-store cousins, sometimes families don't have time to eat out. That's why Marina's Take 'N' Bake Pizza offers its pies not only to go, but uncooked, so they can be baked and eaten whenever a meal is needed. Staff members quickly assemble pizzas from the customizable menu, layering crusts with either red, herb, or creamy garlic sauce topped with a choice of ingredients, such as pineapple, jalapeños, bacon, and salami. The menu also includes a few fan favorites, such as the meat-stuffed pizza and the creamy garlic and bacon. Marina's doesn't stop at providing pizza, though. It also serves up salads and cookie dough to make an entire meal, ready after only a few minutes in the oven.
Though Pizza Factory's signature pie is a six-topping behemoth, it's no match for their All Meat pizza. This specialty creation, whether built upon thin or thick crust, supports a protein-heavy mountain of pepperoni, bacon, ham, canadian bacon, italian sausage, seasoned beef, salami, and lingui?a. Of course, there are also simpler pies, including the tomato and basil or the artichoke and garlic. In true pizzeria fashion, Pizza Factory also serves hot and cold subs, calzones, and spaghetti entangled with meatballs, alfredo chicken, or more spaghetti. Those looking for something lighter can opt for one of the salads, such as a greek salad with feta, olives, and cucumbers.
Straw Hat's intricately interwoven history began with a crispy California crust, light sauce, secret six-cheese blend, and the dream of pizza for all. Today, a team of expert dough slingers spin out a slew of cheesy disks atop their dexterous digits and make that dream a reality, except for the part where you're naked at your old high school for some reason. Zealous pizzavores can drop in for a 15-inch six-cheese version or create a one-topping model by choosing from 25 different garnishes, including linguica, chorizo, and more. Walls of blithesome memorabilia, an arcade, and big-screen televisions constitute a fun environment where families and friends can chow down while catching up.
Since 1994, Wingstop's franchise locations—more than 600 currently operating or in the works—have cooked up and served more than 2 billion wings, and amassed a considerable following. Whether regular or boneless, these modern-day game-day staples come in one of the shop's 10 signature flavors: Louisiana rub and hickory-smoked barbecue have a classic spicy kick, whereas tanginess prevails in the lemon pepper, Hawaiian, and teriyaki.
Because the wings are always made to order, they derive their heat from their seasonings and their recent stay inside the fryer, rather than from heat lamps or tiny, individual Snuggies. The same amount of care goes into the Wingstop's housemade sides, which range from fries that are cut daily at each shop to the bourbon baked beans. Even the honey mustard, blue cheese, and ranch dipping sauces are mixed onsite.
The staff at the original location of Pleasure Pizza has spent more than 35 years perfecting their recipes, and they've passed the proverbial pizza torch to a new downtown Santa Cruz location. The restaurant also serves beer and wine along with sandwiches and salads, which chefs craft with an eye to locally sourced ingredients. And, of course, they have pizza?18 different kinds, each hand-crafted with homemade crust, daily.
Like clockwork, the dining room lights begin to flicker and the servers suddenly disappear. Music begins playing and diners are soon treated to a five-minute performance?complete with a choreographed dance number, a series of flames erupting from the grill tops, and a jaw-dropping display of dexterity from the eatery's internationally recognized pizza-spinning competitors. This happens every Friday and Saturday night at Kianti's Pizza & Pasta Bar, and it's exactly the sort of vibrant, festive atmosphere that owners Kelly Kissee and Tracy Parks-Barber wanted to create when they founded the restaurant in 2004.
Applause-inducing entertainment aside, the main goal of the servers and the chefs is to treat their guests to family-style Italian cooking and routine high fives. Diners can customize their own personal pizzas by adding as many as 30 different toppings?including everything from italian sausage and garlic to mushrooms and almonds?before the chefs bake each pie to an oven-crisped golden brown. Additionally, the menu features hearty sub sandwiches, pasta dishes smothered with garlic cream sauce, and hand-formed meatballs.