The brainchild of Benny and Sandy Fontana, Olives Italian Market evokes an Old World corner market with dishes hewn from simple family recipes and hard-to-find Italian imported edibles. Panini makers layer imported Italian meats and cheeses atop fresh, rustic breads baked in-house to forge sandwiches, and creamy house-made gelato cools tongues steamy from java brewed from house-roasted coffee beans. The family-run shop also stocks a market of Italian ingredients, including extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegars, capers, pasta, and anchovies that patrons can use to create mouthwatering meals that inspire jealousy in cans of Chef Boyardee.:m]]
Dotting the Texan landscape with pizzerias like so many pepperonis in a hopeful meat-lover's garden, Goomba's ‘za joints bake up New York–style pies with ingredients from Costanzo's Bakery and Sorrento cheese. Dough made daily from scratch lays the groundwork for such classic toppings as italian sausage, mushrooms, artichokes, sweet or hot peppers, and anchovies. Pasta specialties such as cheese manicotti and baked ziti swim—like an eccentric millionaire—in a house-made tomato sauce infused with fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil, and a selection of calzones, salads, hot subs lends rest to the pizza weary. Daily lunch specials quell midday tummy rumbles from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and most locations offer both dine-in and carry-out fare.
Sunny’s savvy chefs hand-toss Chicago-style pizzas seven days a week, baking them into bastions of bubbly, gooey goodness in less than 30 minutes. The dough artists nail each disc to an easel, paint it with tomato-based sauce, and then frame it with an attractive cardboard box. Diners can choose from 19 different toppings, shushing fussing tummies with bacon-chicken blankies and sweet pineapple-onion lullabies. Fueled by a desire to start the world’s first stomach aquarium, shrimp and anchovies board deep-dish vessels and sail them mouthward, and pepperoni, hot peppers, and a splash of complimentary barbecue sauce give pies a piquant kick.
Owned by Texas State University alumni, Gumby's Pizza and Wings hand-tosses dough and crafts specialty pizzas until 3:30 in the morning. A careful consideration for all ingredients culminates in specialty pizzas ($12.99/medium) such as the Blockhead, an aggregation of pepperoni, sausage, beef, bacon, and ham, bound together by two gooey cheeses like a French library book. Vegetarians can devour the fresh produce scattered across the Garden, a bloom of pizza sauce festooned with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and tomatoes. Gumby's wing wunderkinds slather their charges in four different sauces, which span the mild-to-spicy spectrum ($7.99/10 wings). Golden-brown pepperoni rolls marry zesty meat and mozzarella cheese with flaky dough ($1.49 each) and drive away hunger pangs like crotchety neighbors chasing NFL teams off their lawns.
Amid GameTown Pizza's mélange of arcade consoles and analog challenges, chefs sculpt dough for New York–style pizzas and ensconce zesty ingredients within calzones and strombolis before baking them golden on sizzling pizza stones. The bustling game room challenges competitors to bouts of air hockey, basketball, and invigorating redemption games, whose ribbons of tickets garner well-earned trips to the prize counter. Party planners can host savory shindigs within the arcade's private party room, whose whimsical yellow walls display flat-screen TVs ideal for celebratory slideshows and virtual-reality birthday cakes alike.
In a small town outside of Naples, Italy, Nonna Lina lured passersby into her trattoria with the aroma of fresh tomato sauce and wood-oven-baked pizzas. Stateside, her sons uphold their mother’s culinary legacy, preparing her recipes from scratch with imported Italian ingredients. In addition to the authentic cuisine, the dining room itself hearkens back to an Italian eatery: guests order from chalkboard menus propped atop wooden barrels, and red-and-white-checkered tablecloths invite diners to play endless games of chess with condiments.