In Big Bounce’s 7,500-square-foot fun center, kids scatter across the cushy, rainbow-colored patchwork floor and sprint between inflatable obstacle courses and tropical-themed bounce houses. They filter through the doorway in droves for open-bounce play or private parties and glide down the enormous air-filled slide or shoot baskets in the sports inflatable. In the adjoining diner, which offers views into the play area, families slip into booths to dine on pizza, Angus burgers, and 16 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream. In between bounces and nibbles, kids can toss a few skee-balls, flick a couple foosballs, and play crane games to learn the painful truth about natural selection.
Starting a diner at the age of 14 and a pizzeria at 17 seemed natural to Athanasios Chris Karamesines, who hails from a long line of restaurateurs. Since opening the pizzeria in 1969, Chris has built his business on fresh ingredients, hand-tossed dough, and signature pizzas baked in wood- or gas-fired ovens.
As a native of the McCordsville area, Randy Kinsey noticed a distinct lack of restaurants serving the kind of homestyle Italian cuisine that he craved. He began baking pies for a local pizzeria at the age of 15, steadily developing a mental rolodex of his own original recipes while amassing years of experience in the restaurant industry. In May of 2011, he finally set out to pursue his original passion by opening Kinsey's Italian Cafe and filling the menu with his personalized interpretations of Old-World staples, including housemade lasagna, hot italian sausage sandwiches, and Cajun shrimp alfredo.
The café's ambience embraces a similarly nostalgic feel, scoring meals in the neutral-toned dining room with the dulcet tones of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. Meanwhile, the aromas of garlic and Italian herbs waft throughout the space with the grace of a yogi stretching in zero gravity.
HotBox Pizza’s cooks adorn three varieties of hand-tossed dough canvases with six savory sauces, cheeses, and 26 toppings to create a menu of dine-in, takeout, and delivery pies. The signature HotBox combines double spicy pepperoni and banana peppers, and Big Al’s Fredo fights off pernicious poultry cravings with a combination of chicken, roma tomatoes, fresh spinach, and banana peppers. Aspiring pizza architects can blueprint their own pies by laying down traditional, thin, or multigrain foundations and selecting from six varieties of sauce-carpeting. Doughy disks simmer with mozzarella, ricotta, Wisconsin cheddar, or fontina cheeses to hold down up to four toppings such as pepperoni and artichoke hearts. Circle-eaters can also save room in their knapsacks or hollow shoe-heels for fresh salad and bundles of breadsticks that come with nacho-cheese, pizza, ranch, or garlic sauce, and wash down stubborn bites with refreshing slurps of soda.
Chefs at Apezza use fresh ingredients to craft their pizzas, breadsticks, and wings almost entirely from scratch. They hand-make batches of dough daily and adorn pizza crusts with three types of freshly grated cheese. Specialty pizzas such as the meat lovers slide out of old deck ovens sporting sausage made in-house from pork shoulder ground at Archer’s Meat Market. Garlic-butter breadsticks come with a choice of three made-from-scratch dipping sauces. These and other items from the menu eventually make their appearance at Apezza's polished wooden tables, where they're devoured in the glow of a wall-mounted flat-screen TV.