No, he wasn't born in Sicily. In fact—according to a 2011 article in the Boston Globe—Doug Ferriman started out in the pizza business without even knowing how to make dough. But he learned fast, besting 120 competitors and two Italian chefs to take second place at the International Pizza Challenge later that year. Ferriman is also one of only two people to have won the International Pizza Expo's Pizza of the Year honor more than once, in 2004 and 2007, according to trade magazine Pizza Today. Finally, in the 2013 competition, Ferriman won first in the non-traditional category in the northeast region.
Today, Ferriman brings his dough tossing know-how to Crazy Dough's Pizza, which he co-owns with his wife, Melissa. Their labor-of-love-turned-small-business-success-story, which has been documented in media outlets such as the Boston Business Journal, can be explained by their commitment to quality ingredients and diverse recipes. Their chefs start with a solid pizza foundation of North Dakota flour, vine-ripened California plum tomatoes, and Wisconsin cheese. Next, they transform raw dough into three pizza types: pan-baked, rectangular sicilian pies; hearty brick-oven rounds; or their specialty fire-grilled pizzas, cooked to a crispy, smoky finish on an open-flame hickory grill.
Finally, guests can choose from a huge selection of off-the-wall toppings and signature combinations, such as cheeseburger bacon or potato bacon cheddar. The shops also attract guests with $5 Pabst Blue Ribbon pitchers, calzones, and Crazy Dough Bowls—salads whose bread-bowl exterior can be eaten or worn as a savory hat.
At any given moment, there might be three kinds of bars operating inside Amalfi Oceanside. One produces signature cocktails ready to be sipped in view of the Narragansett beach. Another, which springs up on Sundays, allows visitors to concoct their preferred variants on a bloody mary to pair with their brunches. The third is a raw bar, where lobster tails sit alongside native littleneck clams and oysters that were farmed locally, rather than shipped via friendly pelican.
These seafood samples function as chilled appetizers for a host of oceanic entrees. Pasta options such as shrimp scampi and the seafood fra diavolo—mussels, clams, shrimp, lobster, and marinara sauce over linguine—complement plates of baked cod and pan-seared scallops. Lobster sliders and beer-battered-fish tacos also augment a list of burgers and sandwiches. Breaking from the maritime theme, rib-eye steaks and grilled specialty pizzas round out the menu in addition to slow-roasted cuts of prime rib, which are only available on Fridays—like a feeling of relief among America's work force.
The culinary construction crew at PD's Pizza builds a menu of 27 types of specialty pizzas from homemade dough, tangy sauce, and nearly 20 toppings. Taste buds revel in Greek-inspired pies, which range from an eggplant-and-meatball moussaka to a Mediterranean loaded with feta cheese, olives, and sautéed spinach. Flying saucers of ham and pineapple transport tongues to Hawaii, and the Pesto Inferno's spicy mix of jalapeños, banana peppers, and red-pepper flakes makes tongues hot enough to fry eggs. New York–style garlic knots twist garlic bread's flavor into a sailor-friendly shape, and house salads arrive to tables topped in five types of veggies and a choice of seven dressings, including blue cheese, light italian, and house-made honey mustard.
A family-owned sustenance staple for more than 60 years, Leo's Ristorante's homey redbrick exterior greets families to generous portions of homemade Italian and American comfort-food dishes culled from fresh ingredients. Leading off a stacked menu is the hearty New England clam chowder ($4.59 cup, $5.59 bowl), which sets the table for wholesome, heavy-hitting handhelds such as the chicken parmesan sandwich ($7.99 small, $8.99 large) and the Big Red meatball sub ($6.99 small, $7.99 large). The tortellini a la Carolina ($16) surrounds its tricolored, circular cheese pasta with grilled chicken and a light butter sauce, while the spaghetti a la Gina's ($12.99) savory red-sauced noodles send forks into a pasta pirouette. Enjoy a large, one-topping pizza ($12.99), adorned in culinary confetti such as pepperoni or olives, or wrap taste buds around the Milano panini ($8.99), containing grilled eggplant, smoked mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and garlic olive oil.
Cavalieri's Wood Street Pizza is a family-owned-and-operated cookery that has been serving up house favorites and custom creations for 18 years. While the basic variety of pizza exists ($6.75 for 10" to $16.25 for a full sheet), Wood Street's pizza menu shines with exotic topped discs, such as buffalo chicken pizza, taco pizza fiesta, and a lasagna pizza pie. Specialty pizzas are $9, $18, or $27 (or $18.25 for thin crust), depending on size. If you prefer your pizza folded into a crescenty pocket of flavor, opt for one of the 20 varieties of calzones ($2.75 for single up to $27 for a 25" giant). Wood Street also whips up appetizers, grinders ($5.75–$6.75), a soup of the day ($4.25), salads ($2.50 for a side salad, others $4.50–$7.25), and pasta creations ($6–$9.95). Check the menu for changing specials for lunch, dinner, sandwiches, soups, and pizza, such as June's chicken Caesar.
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.