The al dente experts at Johnny Pasta's serve up hearty helpings of made-to-order pastas smothered in homemade sauce. Drizzled in a rich butter-and-white-wine sauce, a made-to-order mound of linguine and clams ($12.95) quiets vociferous bellies with garlicky bites of tender baby clams, and vegetarians cure their kind-hearted carb cravings with forkfuls of zucchini, broccoli, portobello mushrooms, and italian squash that has lived out a long, meaningful life. Create your own culinary jumble ($9.95+) from a list of five pasta shapes, such as rigatoni or penne; five homemade sauces, such as pesto or pink sauce; and five add-ons, such as meatballs or shrimp. Or hew saucy slices from a slab of Johnny's Lasagna ($10.95), a freshly baked assemblage of ground beef, pork, and italian sausage bonded by gooey layers of ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Johnny Pasta's augments its main mealtime menu with a variety of hot sandwiches ($8.50+), as well as red and white wines by the glass ($4+) or bottle ($16+).
Satisfying meals and handcrafted beer intersect with premium sports viewing at Lamppost Pizza and Backstreet Brewery, founded in 1976 by Angelo Barro and his sons, Dan and Tom. Today, the franchise welcomes patrons to 37 locations in three states, and the philosophy remains the same at all of them. Seven big-screen TVs broadcast football, basketball, and baseball games from around the leagues to entertain patrons sipping small-batch draft beers brewed onsite. Fans munch on traditional sports-viewing snacks, such as jalape?o poppers, potato skins, and buffalo wings. Chefs also prepare heartier entrees including garlic-chicken pasta, Pesto Supreme pizzas covered with artichoke hearts, and The Linebacker, a pizza loaded with pepperoni, salami, ground beef, sausage, and two types of bacon.
At La Riviera Family Pizza, chefs slather homemade sourdough crust with marinara, artichoke, or pesto sauce before piling on toppings such as whole-milk mozzarella cheese, salami, and sundried tomatoes. Gourmet toppings also fill calzones, which ooze with a blend of melted mozzarella, provolone, and ricotta cheeses. Other Italian specialties include homemade pasta dishes such as lasagna and ravioli and sandwiches such as meatball subs and roast beef au jus.
It's almost a tradition now: seasoned staff members of Krony's Pizza love the business so much that they open their own location. After three decades, this rite of passage has brought Krony's third location from its home in upstate New York to the West coast. Amid bright orange walls and checkered floors, homemade pizzas depart the oven steaming in white, pink, or red sauce beside hot subs, hearty wraps, and fresh salads. The eatery's free WiFi allows easy access to email or pointers on protecting the roof of one's mouth from impatient chomping on too-hot pizza.
For Gourmet Pizza Shoppe owners Bill, Don, and Scott, the standard assortment of pizza toppings isn't enough. Though pepperoni, sausage, and black olives are certainly part of its repertoire, the trio also stocks exotic ingredients such as mashed potatoes, peanut butter, and crabmeat?making a total of more than 120 toppings. Strewn across dough made fresh each day, these morsels form custom build-your-own pies or dozens of specialty pizzas, ranging from classic eggplant parmesan to the out-there Mini Pearl, loaded with country gravy, mashed potatoes, and fried chicken.
At the downtown location, taps pour out more than 20 regional microbrews, including several from Redlands brewery's Hangar 24 and Ritual. After meals, customers can request six types of dessert pizzas to adorn the tables' green-gingham tablecloths or their imaginary pet dragons' green-gingham tongues.
According to Zagat, the portions of breakfast plates at Broken Yolk Cafe can be "obscene"?although one could also consider them generous. Sometimes, these sizes are even considered a challenge. In 2010, Man Vs. Food's Adam Richman paid the restaurant a visit to tackle its infamous Iron Man Special: a 12-egg omelet, topped with chili and piled onto a 15-inch pizza pan.
Opened in 1979, Broken Yolk has spent decades fine-tuning its southwestern recipes?many enigmatically named for people such as "Betty" and "Tony G". Alongside steaming breakfast burritos and griddled buttermilk pancakes, the menu features nearly 13 omelets stuffed with fresh ingredients such as beef chorizo and avocado. Shredded hash-browns are crafted from fresh potatoes, and the salsa is handmade each day. Until its official closing time at 3 p.m., Broken Yolk also serves sandwiches and half-pound Angus burgers. The local chain's 13 locations each feature their own private banquet room and secret underground passage to one of the other restaurants.