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, Angus burgers, and 16 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream. In between bounces and nibbles, kids can toss a few skee-balls, flick a couple foosballs, 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).
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.
Starting a diner at the age of 14 and a pizzeria at 17 seemed natural to Athanasios Chris Karamesines, who hails from a long line of restaurateurs. Since opening the pizzeria in 1969, Chris has built his business on fresh ingredients, hand-tossed dough, and signature pizzas baked in wood- or gas-fired ovens.
Buttery dough made daily on the premises lays the savory groundwork for Uno Chicago Grill’s signature deep-dish pizzas, perfected from the Windy City’s original 1943 recipe. Today, at the Dayton outpost of the pizza empire, thick crusts don mozzarella and romano cheeses alongside chunky tomato sauce, slices of pepperoni, and caramelized onions. American dishes round out the hearty menu, from steaks and chops to sandwiches such as the Firecracker chicken stacked with housemade guacamole and spicy buffalo cheddar. Desserts, such as chocolate-strawberry pizza and bread pudding with salted-caramel sauce, top off each meal.
Freshly cut vegetables, more than 40 toppings and sauces, and delicious handmade doughs decorate the creative menu of Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory, a sister establishment of the popular South Park Tavern. Colorful combinations perch atop the gourmet discs ($8.95 for a nine-inch, $13.95 for a 12-inch, $17.95 for a 14-inch, and $19.95 for a 16-inch). Both breadwinners and fourth-place breadlosers can come out ahead with the Reuben pizza, an open-faced sandwich of corned beef, sauerkraut, cheeses, and Thousand Island dressing, as well as in the Greek gyro pizza, a fat wedding of lamb or chicken meat, fresh tomatoes, feta, and cucumber sauce. Classicists can adorn their gullet with traditional pizzas ($7.95 for a nine-inch, $12.95 for a 12-inch, $16.95 for a 14-inch, and $18.95 for a 16-inch) including the New York cheese, its gorgeous Breadway stage set with oregano and three mezzanine levels of fromage. All pizza patrons receive the option of hand-tossed original dough or 100% whole-wheat crust.