T J's owner and former Atlanta Flames hockey player Tim Ecclestone founded his restaurant on the fact that, for decades, sports fans have gathered to enjoy big games over burgers, hot wings, and beer. He spent one of those decades helming Timothy John's, a Sandy Springs party spot, and has dedicated two more to running his current show?T J's Sports Bar & Grill. There, a kitchen works overtime on game nights to sling a menu of char-grilled burgers, piled-high sandwiches, and pizzas to throw at the mob of 60-odd televisions when the ref makes a bad call. Behind the bar, bartenders kick open the kegs and pour tall glasses of Miller Lite, Budweiser, Coors, and Michelob Ultra, all represented by bright neon signs mounted on the eatery's walls.
CiCi?s Pizza combines the variety of a buffet with the thrill of bottomless pizza. Each pie is crafted with dough made from scratch daily and then slathered with homemade marinara and showered with toppings ranging from traditional pepperoni and Italian-style sausage to creative combinations including buffalo chicken and mac 'n' cheese. The buffet is stocked with a plethora of fresh pastas, as well as signature salads with the option to put tossing talents to the test at the salad bar. After they've feasted on savory options, diners can revisit the buffet for dessert including freshly baked brownies, slices of apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing?or they can eat dessert first, thereby tearing an irreparable hole in the space-time continuum.
In 1978, brothers Eugene and John Jett lent their name to the sign above their pizza shop in Sterling Heights, Michigan. In the more than 30 years that followed, they’ve lost one of the Ts but gained more than 200 franchises across the country. Jet’s Pizza churns out thin-crust rounds and signature square-shaped pies in hearty deep-dish form. The eight-corner deep-dish style lets each member of a dining octet enjoy a slice of corner crust without fearing the paper cuts inherent in triangle slices. After loading pizzas with heaps of meats and veggies, guests have the liberty of flavorizing their crust for free, choosing from eight options such as garlic, sesame seed, Cajun, or poppy seed. To augment pies, Jet's chefs whip up triple-cheese turbo sticks filled mozzarella, cheddar, and romano as well as regular and boneless wings draped in hot or sweet sauces.
On the "specialty pizza" section of the menu at Johnny's Pizza you'll find hawaiian pies topped with canadian bacon and pineapple and italian specials with sausage and green peppers. But the restaurant's trademark pizzas were inspired by another region: New York. Thin-crust-style pies like those in the Big Apple come sprinkled with bacon, feta, sliced meatballs, breaded chicken, and dozens of other familiar and novel toppings.
Though Bassanos Pizzeria doesn't open until noon, its chefs bustle about the kitchen in the early morning, preparing fresh batches of dough from scratch. As the day wears on, the team hand-tosses the dough into thin, New York–style canvases ready to hold layers of gourmet meats, fine cheeses, and, according to Ann Marie Quill of Johns Creek Patch, veggies plucked from the Atlanta Farmers Market and sauces made from Italian tomatoes. Pots bubble with specialty pastas, and ovens glow with plump calzones and stromboli.
At the bar, servers dole out glasses of draft beer and wine beneath glimmering television sets. Cushy booths and tabletops speckle the dining room, where framed photographs of New York ballplayers look to steal home from the bright-red walls. Outside, umbrellas shade a fenced-in patio rife with tables and chairs. The pizzeria’s warm staff prides itself on southern-style service, creating a fun, communal atmosphere by hosting biweekly live music, overseeing trivia games, and politely allowing customers to beat them at thumb wrestling.
Pie slingers at Romeo’s New York Pizza twirl their ‘za from scratch, piling dough made in-house with red sauce and toppings such as garlic, ground beef, meatballs, and sundried tomatoes. The cozy neighborhood joint has purveyed New York–style pizza since 1945, when delivery boys first started using hovercrafts. Its unfussy menu includes hearty appetizers such as cheese bread or fried ravioli, alongside healthy salads in vegetarian or meaty iterations. Those who opt not to build their own pies can go in for one of three chef-crafted incarnations—margherita, spinach and mushroom, or vegetarian, sold by the slice or in 12-inch or 16-inch rounds.