In 1969, Colonel Eure opened the first Mr. Gatti's Pizza in Austin. The small pizza shop—which received its moniker from his wife’s maiden name—focused on handcrafting pies using real cheese, yeast-risen dough, and a signature tangy sauce. Today, more than 40 years later, the Mr. Gatti’s Pizza has expanded into 140+ locations across 13 states. But despite the brand’s growth, its mission to make quality eats remains the same.
At one of Mr. Gatti’s appetizing outposts, patrons can build-their-own pie with fresh toppings, or select favorite pizzas such as the bacon double cheeseburger loaded with smoked provolone, beef, and bacon. Sides including four-cheese breadsticks and spicy chicken wings round out plates, and dessert pizzas topped with apples and streusel offer a sweet end to a savory meal. The restaurants also provide hot and cold buffet bars, allowing guests to sample every item on the menu without having to sneak into the kitchen.
Palio’s Pizza Café may boast multiple locations, but the cuisine is unique to each kitchen. The restaurant’s chefs commit to serving specialty pizzas on handmade dough, crafted from high-protein, red-bran wheat. They top this crust with all-natural marinara and pizza sauces, real mozzarella cheese, and farm-fresh produce. The blending of fine ingredients produces some classic and more unusual pies, ranging from a meat lover’s with four staple pizza proteins to a pie that combines roasted flavors of poultry and cashews.
Of course, the restaurant’s commitment to quality doesn’t end with their food. They also invest time in making community events special. They regularly participate in fundraisers for high-school bands, charities such as the Arthritis Foundation, and local Scout troupes and chicken coops.
Chicago Street Pizza owner Emin Aljic wants you to have as many toppings on your pizza as you want. Though it takes 40 minutes for each deep-dish pie to bake, he makes sure the wait is worthwhile by letting patrons choose any number of his 16 available toppings for one fixed price. In addition to the monstrous Midwestern-style pies, diners can also pile thin-crust pizzas with their favorite ingredients or let the chefs anoint either crust style with one of their specialty topping combinations. A BYOB policy rules the dining room, which reflects the menu's Chicago vibe with Cubs and Blackhawks posters and italian-beef sandwiches delivered to tables via ferris wheel.
Serving fresh and speedy pies across America for more than 50 years, Little Caesars now sates appetites worldwide. Select from 12 toppings to design a sumptuous, made-to-order 14-inch original crust ($5.99 with one topping; $1.30 for each additional topping), or plumb the savory strata of a large cheese deep-dish ($7). Little Caesars' large Hot-N-Ready pizzas ($5) are available to drop-in patrons posthaste, eliminating stress caused by unexpected and hungry houseguests. And, after tasting italian cheese bread ($3.99) and Caesar wings with barbecue or buffalo sauce ($4.99), tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics.
Like a surname, a collection of family recipes often gets passed from one generation to the next. That's certainly the case at Brother's Pizza, which not only has a familial reference in its name, but its chefs also rely on third-generation recipes to make their authentic Italian dishes. One main draw is the restaurant's New York-style pizza, famous for its thin crust and ability to hail any cab when flung at the windshield. In 2013, it was ranked #1 in a local pizza crawl. Brother's diners can fill up on many pizza combinations inspired by the Big Apple, or on more than 10 other gourmet pizzas. Pastas with chicken and seafood are also hits here, and a BYOB policy makes it easy to sip a favorite drink with dinner.
Many restaurants claim to serve Neapolitan pizza, but few can back up that claim with corroboration from the Italian government. Clara and Paolo Cavalli’s pizza meets a long list of requirements that touch on everything from the ingredients to the cooking process. It’s no surprise that their pies are up to snuff, as they’re both first-generation Americans with a long history of baking pizzas at home. Their secret is an oven stoked to 900 degrees, the temperature necessary to bake a perfectly crispy crust or burn two copies of Fahrenheit 451. In this veritable inferno, they fire Neapolitan pies made from flour and mozzarella sourced directly from Italy.