The Taranto family had a secret?one that had been passed down though the generations. This secret was cheesy, and loaded with fresh toppings. Only friends and neighbors knew this secret, until 1992, when it was revealed to the world. That year, Dan Taranto opened the first Taranto's Pizza as a vehicle to share the secret family recipe. Now well over two decades later, the dough is still fresh, the sauce still made onsite, and the recipe fully intact. Clients can opt for a custom build-your-own pizza on regular or gluten-free dough, or round out a family meal with pastas and calzone. When not raising pizza dough, the Taranto family helps raise the other kind of dough for charitable organizations.
Each day the kitchen staff at Village Pizzeria creates the dough for its pizzas, calzones, and strombolis from scratch. But that's not the only ingredient that's crafted in house. The cooks also make the sausage that tops the Monster Meat pizza; the meatballs that line the meatball sub; and the lasagna, manicotti, and macaroni that quietly bicker amongst themselves over who gets the best sauce. Even the ingredients the chefs don't make in house come from premium food purveyors, such as Grande Fine Italian Cheeses.
Yogi's Hoagies has been feeding the Westerville community for more than 20 years. Here, the sandwich makers stuff 8- and 16-inch hoagies with roast beef, ham, chopped steak, chicken, sausage, and meatballs, then pile on the fixin's, which include lettuce, tomato, onion, banana peppers, oil and spices, and a choice of cheese. They pride themselves on consistency, and weigh each helping of meat before making a sandwich, ensuring each one has just the right ratio of meet to toppings. In addition to standard-sized subs, they also pile ingredients onto thee-, four-, or six-foot party subs, great for feeding a lot of party guests or one very hungry caterpillar. And, for those looking to shake-up their normal lunch routine, the shop also crafts pizzas in individual and shareable sizes, topping with a wide range of ingredients including sausage, green peppers, and spicy buffalo chicken.
In 1974, the founders of Mellow Mushroom were self-proclaimed hippies who devoted a lot of thought to what the perfect pizza would be like. The overarching criteria was simple: make the most "craveable slice of pizza on the planet." The crew opened their first shop in Atlanta, and have since expanded across the country. Each of their pizza outposts serve up pies such as the Kosmic Karma with feta cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and a swirl of pesto. Mellow Mushroom's menu also includes hoagies with all-natural meats, as well as salads, "munchies," and beer, which can be sipped a la carte or as part of the restaurant's beer club.
Dough flips through the air, releasing a cumulonimbus of flour as it lands softly in the hands of chef David Zadnik, who crafts the crucial ingredient each day with help from local ingredients and family recipes. The heritage of the eatery doesn?t just shine through in culinary formulas; the walls at both locations shimmer with old family photos from David's basement and glossy sports memorabilia. Strains of Frank Sinatra spread out smoothly behind conversations in dining rooms dappled with warm wood accents, occasionally spilling out to an outdoor patio or across the Westerville location's outdoor bocce-ball court. Guests sit down for pastas, sandwiches, and suds from Great Lakes Brewery and Peroni, often unaware that these tables held a victory dinner for pugilist Buster Douglas when he returned from defeating Mike Tyson in Japan, but before he picked up his victory dry cleaning.