Amid Johnny Brusco's NY-Style Pizza's family-friendly milieu, diners devour the restaurant's savory garlic knots by the plateful to get ready for massive New York–style pies and classic Italian dishes. With ties that stretch back nearly 50 years to a pizzeria in Manlius, New York, Johnny Brusco's bakes authentic flavors into every order and entertains groups in a dining room—bedecked with TVs for comfortable sports-watching—or at patio tables in the heart of Norton Commons. The extensive pizza menu includes gluten-free pies, as well, and their beverage list encompasses a lengthy selection of craft beer and wines.
Red and green racing stripes cut across the dining room walls of Mazarella, as if prophesying the uncanny speed of the pizzeria’s skilled chefs. Overseeing the action are owner Craig Padgett and his wife Michelle, who have owned Mazerella’s for more than 12 years, populating Southern Indiana with handmade pizzas available for dine-in, carryout, or delivery. As patrons slide into the marinara-red chairs, wooden fan blades waft aromas of hearty pastas and signature butter breadsticks into noses. Gooey pies erupt from the kitchen in several signature varieties, crowned by the legendary Big Z, with 15 toppings in all. During lunch, the restaurant’s popular buffet gives customers the chance to mix together dissimilar tastes, such as cinnamon sticks, salad, and napkin shreds.
Every day, Snappy Tomato Pizza’s cooks mix high-protein flour in 60-quart mixers to create the fresh dough that gives the restaurant’s pies their signature taste. They adorn each round pizza crust with mozzarella cheese, fresh vegetables, and sauce crafted from the tomatoes of select California growers. They carefully separate tomatoes by acid content, with only the best ones used for sauce and the worst ones saved to throw at any smug looking teenagers. Oven-baked hoagie sandwiches, Tyson chicken wings, and cinnabreads topped with cinnamon streusel and vanilla icing round out the full menu.
Whether you're a vino virgin or wine aficionado, one of Vintage's 100 wines is sure to tickle your tongue and glamorize your gullet. Sixty-five grapen goodnesses are available by the glass, including the Sicilian Arnacio Nero D'Avola ($5) and the South African Jam Jar 2009 Sweet Shiraz ($6). Taste three wines at once during a flight such as the Chardonnay flight, which includes wines from Sonoma, South Africa, and the Central Coast of California ($12). To complement the grape blood, there’s small plates ($4 and up) such as pan seared goat cheese cakes with pear jam and entrees ($14 and up) like the herb gnocchi with butternut squash and sage brown butter. Or, combine one of more than 25 beer selections with pizza ($9 and up) made on Vintage's house-made dough.
The first location of Puccini’s Smiling Teeth opened in Indianapolis in March of 1991 to widespread acclaim. Though they've since added 13 other locations and expanded the menu to include Italian chicken entrees, salads, and sandwiches, they have never compromised their strict standards for pizza. They build each crust from gluten-free rice flour or all-natural, bleach-free wheat flour. This dough forms the foundation of nearly 20 specialty pies topped with imported cheeses, sun-dried California tomatoes, fresh herbs, shrimp, and other gourmet ingredients.
The chefs also toss pastas—made gluten-free with corn, upon request—with vodka-cream, alfredo, and diavolo sauces, and cook up meats such as shrimp and piccata-style chicken. Accompanying the food is a compact wine list and a selection of craft and gluten-free brews tapped from the naturally occurring beer geysers of Indiana and the Midwest.
Throughout history, some have used flags to stake their claim on a corner of the world. Others have drawn lines on maps. But it’s pizza that firmly marks the territory of Kenna’s Korner, where cooks hand toss their dough before colonizing it with dozens of fresh toppings. Served with ranch dressing on the side, the Kenna’s Special combines buffalo-wing meat with bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños, and onions, slathering the assortment in special sauce and two kinds of cheeses. Kenna’s rounds out its menu with salads and a selection of sub sandwiches, each nestled within an 8-inch hoagie roll and filled with everything from double hamburger patties to beef and sausage swimming in pizza sauce.