The ovens at Mancino's Pizza and Grinderswork work overtime. They cook each day, turning out batches of the restaurant's signature breadsticks, hot meat-and-cheese-covered grinders on freshly baked bread, and, of course, specialty or build-your-own pizzas. The ovens' interiors breathe thermal life into concoctions whose histories stretch far back in time. Their grinders were born?according to Mancino's menu?on the East Coast during World War I, when Italian immigrants served hearty sandwiches to shipyard workers who were grinding off rivets for warships. Near the ovens, cooks cover spaghetti and lasagna in handcrafted marinara sauce using an old family recipe. In addition to hardworking ovens, the restaurant's new location boasts four large-screen TVs and an ice-cream bar to cool down well-heated palates.
The cooks at Bambino's Pizza & Subs know a pizza craving can kick in at any time. That's why they stay open until at least midnight every day, even delivering pies as late as 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The pizzeria's 13 hand-tossed thin-crust specialties sport everything from cheesesteak or taco fixings to vegetarian-friendly medleys of green peppers, black olives, and mushrooms. Other pizzeria staples, including cinnamon breadsticks, chicken parmesan subs, and piles of up to 30 wings, round out the menu.
Specialty toppings such as buttery crab and corned beef adorn savory pies at Amie's Pizza Factory, an eatery that won top prizes at Pizza Palooza in 2010 and 2011. Though pizzas are a point of pride, there's more on the menu to savor: loaded salads, housemade lasagna, and cold beer are a few favorites.
Even without toppings, the pies at Andy's Pizza & Subs come in seven different flavors. The pizzeria crafts six variations on their regular crust, from dustings of cajun spices to coatings of garlic butter. Atop each, they add house-made sauces and flavorful toppings, from bacon and jalapenos to tortilla chips and taco meat. Pizza fixings—as well as ingredients for chicken parms and BBQ steak—also go into making Andy's subs, whose "party" versions stretch up to six feet in length.
Since Andy's opened in 1984, its menu has expanded from its eponymous menu items to include other hearty dishes, including hand-made lasagnas and hot dogs smothered with the shop's own chili sauce. Besides hosting lunch seven days a week, Andy's crew delivers its pizzeria goodies free of charge, though deliverers never turn down an appreciative arcade token.
From its humble beginnings in 1959, Little Caesars has stretched its cheesy empire from coast to coast, doling out trademark deep-dish pizzas, sauce-drenched wings, and cheesy bread. In keeping with its history as a forward-looking franchise, Little Caesars has cooked up an iPhone application that highlights popular menu items and shoots out piping-hot pies from the phone's port. The pizza purveyor sends its Love Kitchen, a big-rig pizza kitchen on wheels, across the United States and Canada to fill the bellies of homeless people and disaster victims with its daily kneaded dough and freshly shaved mozzarella.