Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Owners Todd and Lindsay Agren have run Mario's Pizza for more than a decade, and they hope this marks the start of a long line of pizza-makers. This close-knit family dynamic extends to the way they welcome guests at their intimate pizzeria. They also aim to give their meals a home-style feel when using fresh, local produce to whip up authentic Italian dinners, homemade pizzas, wings, and paninis. And many of the savory sauces are house-made. Mario's can even cater special occasions to celebrate birthdays, graduations, or the crowning of the neighborhood Candyland champ.
Salvatore DiLisi and his family immigrated from Carini, Italy in 1978, and they founded DiLisi Ristorante soon after. A few years later, his parents returned home, and Salvatore took over. The next 35 years saw some changes. Sal expanded his family to include his wife Nancy and their children Giacomo and Valeria. He made the eatery's name synonymous with family-style servings of seafood, pasta, and pizza. And he opened up a second location, connected to the original by a 10-mile-long zip line of spaghetti. Today, in DiLisi's two kitchens, chefs draw upon the culinary traditions of northern Italy and the Mediterranean, kneading dough by hand and combining meat and seafood in unexpected ways.
Whirls of steam escape from piping-hot pies and pasta, veal, chicken, and seafood dishes as they travel from kitchen to table at Venice Italian Eatery & Pizza. Across the street from the historic Broadway Theatre of Pitman, the 110-seat BYOB eatery treats patrons to a show-stopping menu of pasta favorites with noodles that can be contorted into likenesses of Willy Loman selling Hamlet a timeshare. Entrees can also be transformed into catered fare for the soiree of your choice. The chefs additionally craft an array of handheld sandwiches including burger, pita, and panini varieties.
Even when there isn't a game playing on any of the flat-screen televisions, Steakouts Home Plate maintains the upbeat, spirited environment of a neighborhood sports bar. Dark woodwork, gray stone, and slate-blue walls fill most of the space, providing a cozy place for guests to lounge until as late as 2 a.m. on select evenings. Throughout the week, the bar entertains crowds by hosting regular karaoke nights, pub trivia competitions, and performances by live bands and DJs. Steakouts Home Plate even includes a covered, outdoor pavilion with a distinctive beach theme featuring a corrugated metal bar, mounted surfboards, and a sand volleyball court brimming with buried treasure chests.
Relaxing with a drink isn't the only option at Steakouts Home Plate. The eatery also indulges patrons with a menu of classic comfort foods. Sirloin-stuffed cheesesteaks, Black Angus burgers, and pizzas topped with everything from sliced rib eye and fried onion to crab, shrimp, and scallops provide hearty meals. The selection of finger foods is similarly broad, featuring oysters and clams on the half shell in addition to wings doused with one of seven sweet, savory, or spicy sauces.