Marco's Pizza founder Pasquale "Pat" Giammarco began helping out at his family?s pizzeria when he was just a boy. The eatery provided a taste of home to the Giammarco clan, who moved to the United States from Italy when Pat was 9 years old. Together with his father, young Pat learned the secrets to creating exceptional pizza sauce: three types of vine-ripened tomatoes and spices that can only be imported from Italy or the moon.
The perfected sauce recipe continues to guide Pat?s kitchen operations?although, these days he has considerably more help. Marco's Pizza has 350 locations in more than half the states as well as in the Bahamas, each store tossing fresh pizza dough daily before sprinkling on a trio of fresh, never-frozen cheeses.
Though years of working as a trainer for chain restaurants taught Mike Tolley how to cook quality food efficiently, it was the slower, lower-heat cooking that he enjoyed the most. So when he decided to open his own restaurant, Uncle Mike's Smokehouse, he eschewed traditional fast-food preparation in favor of the slow smoking that gives meat a rich, complex favor. He and his chefs grill everything from pork shanks and chicken wings to St. Louis?style barbecue and steaks. They don't just specialize in savory, smoky flavors, however. They also add a sweet note to meals with slices of cornbread, vanilla maple sweet potatoes, and bourbon-laced pecan pie.
It's not exactly 100 bottles of beer on the wall?in fact, it's more than three times that. Sourced from locations scattered across the globe, The Brass Tap boasts more than 40 brews on tap and hundreds upon hundreds of bottled craft beers. The selection ranges from Chimay Cinq Cents Tripel, a Belgian White imported straight from Baileux, to local brews like Cigar City's citrusy Jai Alai IPA. The drinks pair nicely with the down-home decor and toe-tapping lineup of musical acts, as well as the menu of premium cigars, sourced from places like Nicaragua, the Dominican, and Milton Berle's old sport coats.
Wasabi Japanese Steak House wheels and deals in fresh fish and traditional Japanese entrees. Diners can nibble on sushi rolls stuffed with spicy salmon, or savor slices of conch or quail egg sashimi. The hibachi grill stays fired up to sear New York strip steak, filet mignon, and lobster. Tempura batter coats savory options such as chicken and shrimp, as well as the dessert menu's banana split. The fresh selection is echoed in the sushi bar's sleek lines, which is backlit by bright green lights and a ceiling spangled with twinkling stars.