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.
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.
Pizza Pie Hole’s tantalizing variety of savory pizzas, subs, strombolis, and appetizers dangle from the cheese-covered branches of the menu. Hand-tossed, fresh-made dough provides the wheaty base of pepperoni-laden pyramids and cheese-piled ziggurats of flavor. Pie hole favorites like the chicken bacon ranch come in small ($13.99), medium ($19.99), or large ($24.99), much like chicken bacon ranches themselves, while the Chicago style deep-dish pizza ($18.99) packs up to three toppings into 14 inches of taste bud tickling flavor. To eschew the traditionally-cornerless form while retaining the topping-toting function of pizza pies, have a quadrilateral large Sicilian deep-dish ($16.99). Those adverse to flattened foods can take gastronomic solace in the big Pie Hole subs, with 6” ($4.99-5.99) or 12” ($8.99-10.99) varieties, as well as a list of sauce covered, garlic infused, and finger friendly appetizers.
For more than 50 years, the family-owned-and-operated Pasquale’s Pizza has been creating homestyle pizzas and Italian dishes crafted from fresh ingredients. Though prices vary by location, sides of hot garlic bread ($1.50) and a chef salad with ham, pepperoni, and cheese bathed in a dressing of your choice ($4.50-$4.80) prep the palate for an Italian avalanche. Cheese or meat ravioli ($3.80-$8.25) can stretch out the stomach enough to fit a ten-inch around-the-world pizza, which features pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers ($9.54-$9.80). The famous stromboli steak sandwich eases through esophagussi with eight inches of Italian yeast bread hugging a beef patty, mozzarella cheese, and either mushroom gravy or pizza sauce ($5.75-$6.75). Diners can wash away the spicy remains of pizza and pasta with soft drinks (around $1.39), a glass of wine (around $3.75), or a bottle of domestic beer (about $2.25).