Inspired by the artists living around him in Laguna Beach, Sid Fanarof sought to do something creative in the kitchen. The result was zpizza, which now has locations across the globe, each filled with bustling chefs experimenting with ingredients traditionally associated with Indian, Californian, and Mexican cuisine. Pizzas use organic vegetables and skim-milk mozzarella, and their organic wheat flour bakes over an open flame to a crisp finish. “If you don’t hear the crunch, it’s not a zpizza,” Fanarof says of the crusts on his website. Chefs first slather the crusts with sweet basil pesto, roasted-garlic sauce, or organic tomato sauce. Their hands flutter across, sprinkling on fistfuls of toppings such as MSG-free pepperoni, additive-free sausage, three types of mushrooms, roasted eggplant, and pine nuts. Vegan cheese and gluten-free crusts allow everyone to enjoy the pizzas except for those trying to hide the fact that they superglued their mouths closed.
At Garlic Breath Pizza Company, chefs roll crust by hand from dough risen and kneaded from scratch each morning. Each pizza dons inventive toppings, evoking the flavors of tacos and chili dogs. Some pies pair tater tots with onions, or celebrate vegetables in the case of the Tree Hugger pie with tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers. Pastas, such as chicken fettuccine alfredo, salads, and hot, hearty sandwiches help round out the menu, which Garlic Breath delivers throughout Round Rock free of charge.
When designing their menu of freshly made pizzas, the chefs at Gambino's Pizza were determined to include all five food groups. The crunchy crusts would represent the grains, the pure mozzarella and provolone cheeses would deliver the dairy—even fruits would appear in the form of savory olives, tangy pineapple slices, and their sweet and spicy homestyle tomato sauce. After mastering the recipes of more than 10 specialty pizzas, the chefs turned their creativity and ambition to hearty, Italian-inspired pastas and subs.
Clad in cheerful green T-shirts, servers bear freshly baked pies to the dining room, where families gather at tabletops and booths beneath a colorful mural adorning the back wall. If guests are lucky, they might even run into the restaurant's pizza mascot, whose giant foam costume delights children and helps impede those who confuse it for an edible pizza.
Roma’s Italian Restaurant compiles a roster of traditional, Italian-style dishes with pizza built on dough they make fresh daily. Pasta dishes drape eggplant, artichoke hearts, ricotta-stuffed tortellini, and fresh tomatoes with rich sauces ranging from zesty marinara to creamy alfredo. The pizza gurus scatter or stuff crusts with specialty combinations including the supreme, with four types of meat and green peppers, and the white pizza, which pairs ricotta with fresh tomatoes and garlic. For a meatier meal, patrons can bite into classic Italian entrees, such as chicken piccata dressed with a lemon-butter sauce, seafood marinara with shrimp and crabmeat, or tender veal parmigiana. Hunting parties track down their circular prey in a dining room where tan curtains admit rays of sunlight and framed pictures hang on crimson walls.
The story of Mama's Pizza stretches through five decades, from its humble beginnings in 1968 to its current status as a Fort Worth landmark that whisks painstakingly crafted East Coast?style pizzas to grateful taste buds. Dough made fresh each day surrenders itself to layers of 100%-real cheese and handpicked meats and veggies before basking in a brick oven's heat and brushing its browned crust with garlic butter. Pizzas bubble with breakfast bacon, grilled chicken, pineapple, mushrooms, and a spate of other lip-smacking ingredients. In addition to tasty pies, Mama's Pizza whips up fresh salads as well as sandwiches in the form of Mama's sub, a blend of ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, american cheese, veggies, and motherly advice.
The brother-sister team behind Rudino's Pizza and Grinders opened the eatery's first location in 1995 in Cary, North Carolina. They wanted to create a restaurant that incorporated an onsite bakery into its design, keeping the kitchen full of fresh, housemade dough for pizzas and sandwiches. It was a concept that proved successful, and now Rudino's has locations all across the country.
In these kitchens, cooks coat crusts with a sauce based on the duo's family recipe, and then layer on any number of ingredients?including fresh basil, jalape?os, and bacon. They also slide open-faced grinders into ovens after loading them with such sandwich fixings as italian sausage, salami, and fresh vegetables, which are never frozen, canned, or taken from a neighbor's crisper.