So successful were the three original Lamppost Pizza establishments that the eatery has grown to 37 locations since its inception in 1976. Friendliness and fun unite with the pizzeria's penchant for sports to make visits memorable. But as nice as big-screen TVs can be, the real magnetism of this haven for sauce and cheese lies in the pies spun in the kitchen. Beer and wine complement the menu, which also includes pastas, sandwiches, and grill fare.
The flavors you'll find most prominently at Go Fresh are those of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins marinated in Mediterranean spices. Flavorful juices and healthy smoothies take center-stage, with staff blending together yogurt with options such as the Jade made with kale, spinach, four citrus fruits, and mint. And though the juices are healthy on their own, staff can boost protein and nutrient levels with add-ins such as whey protein or chia seeds.
On the other side of the menu, chefs focus on Mediterranean dishes blended with flashes of Indian flavors. This results in fusion dishes such as protein bowls filled with chicken in a mango curry sauce, served with a choice of rice or naan. They use a range of healthy ingredients, from wild salmon stacked onto kabobs to crispy falafel balls filled with hearty chickpeas and spices.
Grab a bagel ring for all 12 fingers ($10.95 a dozen), or grab an individual for a baby bracelet ($1.14 per bagel). Many toppings, cream cheeses, and spreads are also available. Although Bagel Me!'s name is both direct and delicious, the menu expands beyond the realm of the round. Breakfast items such as gooey cheddar and egg melts served alongside cinnamon baked apples ($4.19) and freshly blended smoothies ($4.39) will cause smiles at sunrise. Afternoon diners can hang fangs on tri-tip steak sandwiches such as the jalapeno-pineapple pairing, loaded liberally with caramelized onions, Tillamook cheddar, and monterey jack cheese ($7.49). Or fork up a variety of starters, such as Irish nachos based in French fries and topped with bacon, onions, cheddar and jack cheeses, and lucky wishes ($5.79).
After memorizing the menu, start a food-eating contest with yourself by devouring a basket of chili-cheese fries (shoestring fries, $2.99, plus jack-and-cheddar chili mix, $1.29) or sixteen Angel wings tossed in your choice of one or two sauces (buffalo, blazing habanero, firecracker, Thai peanut, spicy barbecue, garlic parmesan, or blasphemy, $14.99). For the main event, chow down on a pulled-pork sandwich ($9.99), or the dos tacos, stuffed with steak or chicken and lettuce, cheddar and jack cheeses, and salsa inferno, and served with a side of tortilla chips and salsa ($7.49). Burgers, wraps, and pizzas fill out the remainder of the robust menu.
Chef Luigi and the kitchen magicians at Luigis D Italia import Italian flavors to tongues with a menu of pastas, pizzas, and authentic entrees. Culinary compadres can savor the meeting of meat and grapes in the chianti-braised short ribs ($17) or hoist their forks into orecchiette pasta with house-made italian sausage ($12). When held to anxious ears, stuffed shells fill auditory canals with sounds of the Mediterranean sea and trickles of sauce ($14). White clam pizzas ($14 for small; $17 for large) motivate guests to dive for edible pearls, and meatball sandwiches ($9) cradle succulent spheres in a bready embrace. Diners can accompany meals with a bottled brew or glass of CK Mondavi white zinfandel ($5.95), and desserts (all $5) such as cannoli, tiramisu, and ice-cream tartufos encourage patrons to tap into their second stomachs.
When Pennsylvania native Mike Abeyta moved to the West Coast, he noticed that something he loved was absent from the culinary landscape: Philadelphia-style italian ice. To rectify this geographical oversight, he opened Joe's Italian Ice. Today, the ice shop's red, white, and green awning serves as an oasis of refreshment amid sun-baked parking lots throughout Arizona and California. Inside, more than 50 flavors are made on-site with real fruit, ranging from lemon, chocolate, and passion fruit to weirder variations that boast names like "Dangerberry" and "Smurf Poison."
Joe's isn't a one-trick pony, though; the shops also specialize in a soft-serve ice cream that's found in only a few places back east. The Pennsylvania dairy that ships the ice cream to Joe's cooks it at ultra-high temperatures to give it a markedly creamier texture and sweeter finish. Joe's frozen wares can also serve as the base for shakes and sundaes and overly whimsical skyscrapers topped with candy or fruit.