Stepping inside The Pizza Machine & Co. always feels a little bit like stepping into a carnival. Staffers hand-toss discs of dough high into the air like jugglers, a pizza-themed chandelier mimics the feeling of a fun house, and an in-house buggy touted as the world’s first pizza-delivery vehicle acts as an intriguing sideshow. Though the sights might draw customers in, the shop, like any good carnival, has to keep them coming back. That’s where the restaurant’s chefs come in, creating hand-tossed pizzas and Italian cuisine in both classic forms and zany reinventions. Take their signature 40-inch pizza, for instance, which dons an unlimited combination of toppings to feed several dozen people. Their standard-sized pizzas often mimic the flavors of classic dishes, as with such fan favorites as the bruschetta, the hero, and the taco pizza. They also pair their pies with appetizers and desserts such as cheesy breadsticks, crab-stuffed mushrooms, and s’mores pizzas to create a meal as flavorful as a Willy Wonka employee’s severance package.
Up in Smoke Smokehouse & Bar B Que opened its doors in June 2012, liberating the aromas of slow-smoked brisket and pork into the surrounding lakeside air. Inside, chefs step out from behind plumes of smoke produced by hickory wood to place their meaty masterpieces next to classic Southern sides, which are always handmade and never crafted from leftovers or won during games of jacks with rival restaurants. Group options, such as Up in Smoke's picnic package, fill the bellies of entire families, and a kids' menu is also available.
Stocked with palatably fresh Cajun cuisine, Larriviere’s delights diners as a friendly neighborhood spot for casual dining. Wind down amid cozy brick walls and wood floors while sampling a veritable potpourri of palatable menu items. New Orleans poboys feature fried grouper, catfish, crawfish, or shrimp for status symbols on opposite day. Cajun roast beef ($8.99), crab-cake sandwiches ($7.99), grilled lemon-peppered grouper ($12.99), and mind-blowing white-chocolate bread pudding ($5.75) provoke salivation midday and midnight in the dreams of diners. Customers can also marvel at Cajun cuisine’s magical ability to ward off hunger and distract hungry wardens.
The Cockeyed Pig permeates a menu of ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with an outback smoker's timber-tickled flavors, complemented by headline-grabbing Ol' South Fine Swine barbecue sauce. Fire up chompers and high-octane sporks to slash through the Chainsaw's Favorite belief-beggaring feast of St. Louis–style ribs, pulled pork, and Hoot's Texas brisket, coupled with a duo of sides including the customer-favorite potato salad and Mama's style mac 'n' cheese ($20, serves one to two people). Pepe's burrito entree channels a border-bridging tortilla stuffed with sliced brisket into a basket trimmed with ranch house beans ($9.50). Hushpuppies huddle around the catfish dinner's stream-torn centerpiece ($8.95) to form a table decoration fit for a grizzly bear graduation.
Hearty eats are on the menu at V & C Grill, including slow-cooked barbecue and authentic Caribbean eats such as oxtail and jerk chicken. There’s even a daily, all-you-can eat breakfast buffet with biscuits and gravy, grits, and other southern favorites. The restaurant has been serving up classic American, Caribbean, and soul food for more than 12 years, or approximately the length of time it takes an elephant to forget an old phone number.
At CiCi’s Pizza, feasters can sample hearty slices of pizza and a wide selection of buffet fare ($4.99 per person over 10 years of age), filling bellies like a pouch-stuffing kangaroo preparing to weather the harsh Australian winter. Offering endless helpings of fresh salads, tantalizing pastas, tasty desserts, and oven-fresh pizzas, CiCi’s tames the most voracious hunger attacks via all-you-can-eat tactics. Pizza dough is made fresh daily and doused in a savory sauce crafted from vine-ripened tomatoes and prescience-instilling spices, while salads are hand-tossed with the freshest ingredients delivered hourly via teleportation.