You could say that Panheads Pizzeria owners Eric and Felicia Ross were born to make pizza. The brother and sister team grew up in pizza joints, learning the basics of creating a crispy-crusted pizza from their grandmother, who just happens to be the famed Mabel of Mabel's Pizza.
Today they're building on more than 40 decades of family tradition, while also creating a few legacies of their own: specifically their gourmet pizzas. Each piece of hand-rolled dough is topped with ingredients not usually found in pizzerias, such as chicken, black bean corn salsa, jalapenos, and sour cream, which graces one particular favorite called the Ace of Spades. For an extra punch of flavor, they can also drizzle on one of nine specialty sauces such as tangy balsamic reduction, sweet chili aioli, or rich pesto. Outside of their signature square meals, the duo also serve up Italian favorites including Caesar salads and homemade meatballs in a teriyaki, buffalo barbecue, or classic marinara sauce.
Exotic tiki bars and Italian cuisine might seem completely unrelated, but these opposites attract with splendid results at Jerry's Tikibar & Italian Grill in Ponce Inlet. Nine specialty pies emerge from Jerry's oven crowned with fixings such as mussels and buffalo mozzarella. Feasts unfold either indoors or under the thatched roofs of an outdoor bar equipped with flat-screen TVs, tranquil fountains, and even a warm fire pit. Live musicians grace that space nightly with their dulcet tones, as do crooners during weekly karaoke sessions. The restaurant also offers a VIP club program for returning customers and text promotions for those who type the word "tiki."
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.
Pantheon Pizza's crust decorators fire up myriad Italian, Greek, and American favorites led by a menu of sauce-slathered pizzas. Doughy disks offer a cushy base for a trio of toppings (10", $8.99; 16", $13.99) such as hamburger, green peppers, and ham, baked under the cheese’s surface. Customize calzones and stromboli ($6.75 each) with à la carte toppings ($0.85 each), or grab an oven-hot eggplant parmigiana (8", $5.75) grinder or a Pantheon burger, with 100% beef dressed in bacon and triplicate cheeses atop a fluffy onion bun ($6.25). Full dinners pack cavernous breadbaskets with baked spaghetti and meatballs ($7.25) or a seafood sampling of fried catfish, fries, and hush puppies whispering in their indoor voices ($6.50).
Luigi's Pizza & Italian Kitchen serves up a wallet-friendly menu of pizza, subs, and other Italian handheld edibles. Starting with a 14" cheese canvas, customers can craft their own masterpizzas with a palette of bacon, pepperoni, and peppers (($8.50; $0.75/topping) or get a slice of cheese pizza for a quick snack ($1.50). Like showers and revenge, well-stacked subs ($7.25–$9.95) can be served hot or cold, and the meat-lover's calzone ($9.95) and veggie-lovers' stromboli ($9.50) unify carnivores and herbivores long divided by which dinosaur they rooted for in Jurassic Park.
Inside Barone's NY Pizza & Brew, pizzas fill the air with aromas that speak of mozzarella, italian sausage, meatballs, and jalapeños. Specialty pies call attention to their New York style with honorary titles such as The Statue of Liberty, with mashed potatoes and bacon, and Times Square, with shredded pork, onions, and green peppers. But these pizzas are only part of the feast Barone's chefs spread. In addition to tossing toppings onto dough discs, they stuff them into calzones named after Sylvester Stallone, Frank Sinatra, and Picasso. And they use Amoroso rolls as a foundation for hot subs, which come slathered in marinara or tossed in buffalo sauce and feature names such as The Betsy Ross—a colorful mélange of sausage, onions, and peppers honoring the person who made the first American flag.