In Big Bounce’s 7,500-square-foot fun center, kids scatter across the cushy, rainbow-colored patchwork floor and sprint between inflatable obstacle courses and tropical-themed bounce houses. They filter through the doorway in droves for open-bounce play or private parties and glide down the enormous air-filled slide or shoot baskets in the sports inflatable. In the adjoining diner, which offers views into the play area, families slip into booths to dine on pizza, jumbo hot dogs, and 16 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream. In between bounces and nibbles, kids can shoot hoops and play crane games to learn the painful truth about natural selection.
Since 1954, dough-sculpting artisans at LaRosa’s have crafted a menu of delectable Italian specialties using heaps of fresh ingredients and a family recipe. An array of tasty pies awaits hungry visitors, from the double pepperoni ($5.99–$14.99) to the buffalo chicken, which entertains a devoted entourage of black olives, tomatoes, and jalapeños ($6.79–$19.99). Customers can also hire toppings for freelance work on pizzas of their own creation ($4.79–$12.99 plus toppings). Shy meats and veggies hide inside calzones, such as the Philly cheesesteak calzone, which provides a toasted cavern of shelter for sirloin, white cheddar, onions, and stray cheese ($5.99). In addition, LaRosa’s boasts a spectrum of hoagys, salads, and pasta and offers a sweet adieu to finished meals with a dessert of Italian crème cake ($4.89) or cinnamon-sugar dippers ($3.99).
Serving fresh and speedy pies across America for more than 50 years, Little Caesars now sates impatient appetites and sauce-starved tongue buds worldwide. Large one-topping Hot-N-Ready pizzas are available to drop-in patrons posthaste, eliminating stress caused by spur-of-the-moment houseguests who insist on sleeping on doughy disks ($5.99; additional toppings $1.50 each), or plumb the savory strata of three-meat pizza ($8.99) or supreme pizza ($9.99) . Little Caesars' Italian cheese or pepperoni bread ($4.99) and Caesar wings with barbecue or buffalo sauce ($5.99) are available for stomachs that have developed crust issues ever since they caught pizza sharing a plate with pre-dressed salad.
The Anticoli family has piled plates high with homestyle Italian fare made with imported pastas and cheeses, freshly caught shrimp, and fresh vegetables since opening its first restaurant in 1931. Though they have emphasized serving quality Italian cuisine for more than 80 years, they recently decided to focus on creating an authentic Italian experience, renaming the eatery after the family's ancestral Italian home and cultivating an atmosphere reminiscent of a trattoria. Terracotta colors wash over walls hung with pictures of the old country and of the Italian prime minister's jazzercise class, and carved, wooden roman columns support a wine bar festooned with cascading vines.
The Italian priority of bringing together family and friends over good food is echoed throughout cozy red booths where diners dive into spaghetti with hearty meat and romano sauce, herb-griddled pork chops, or hand-dipped spumoni dishes. The revelry continues outside on the breezy back patio, which is open seasonally or whenever the chefs feel the urge to make snow angels.
Inspired by firefighters, Captain 9's restaurant proudly displays the Maltese cross throughout the barn-shaped diner, which from the outside looks as though it could house a fire truck or two. Full firefighter suits hang from the dining room's brick walls as patrons seated at gingham-topped tables dine on 10 types of specialty pizzas, lasagna, Hershey's ice-cream shakes, and subs that range from philly cheesesteak to breaded cod. Open seven days a week, the kitchen fries wings and slices lasagna noodles into spaghetti until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Chefs at Dough Boys Pizzeria toss rounds of fresh dough every day to make the crusts of their 6”–16” pies. The kitchen names its specialty pizzas after music of yore, from the Al Green Veggie Lovers, to the Dolly Pardon with double cheese and pepperoni, to the Supremes, which keeps pepperoni, ham, sausage, and vegetables hangin' on. Dough Boys also doles out paninis named for celebrities such as the ham-and-bacon Rocky Balboa and all-beef hot dogs such as the Frank Sinatra with sauerkraut and spicy mustard. To wrap up meals, the chefs fry up orders of cinnabites, deep-fried dough balls tossed in butter, cinnamon, and sugar with a topping of vanilla icing.