At Sapore's Pizza, each plate of pasta arrives with slices of fragrant garlic bread fresh from the oven. The oven cooks calzones, too, until they're golden brown and ready to bask beneath a ladling of housemade marinara. The specialty of the house, however, is the pizza. The chefs sling pies such as the Pavarotti Favorite, topped with slices of pepperoni and salami, which is named after the famous singer who only ate round food.
"Make yourself at home." This is the mantra of Luciano, where the owners want their customers to feel like family. When the Centofanti family immigrated to America from Italy in 1971, they brought their steadfast work ethic, passion for excellence, and the authentic recipes of the family matriarch, Nonna Lina.
Inside the kitchen at Luciano, cooks perfect these recipes, toasting thin, mozzarella-strewn neapolitan pizzas in Luciano's wood-fired ovens. They also prepare from-scratch pasta, such as the house specialty Lasagna Famosa with ground beef and rich béchamel sauce.
Although they both hail from the Mediterranean, pizza and falafel don't often appear on the same menu. Diners at Rome's Pizza, however, might be prompted to wonder why—it turns out it's quite possible for one kitchen to carry both dishes off nicely. In a 2004 review, the Current's Alejandro Pérez praised the pesto pizza's "light, crispy crust and full-bodied flavor" and the falafel sandwich's "hot, crisp patties."
This juxtaposition isn't the only surprise on the extensive menu. Sure, you can get red sauce and pepperoni atop your pie, but Rome's specializes in white pizzas slicked with olive oil, herbs, and smoked garlic. Strombolis and calzones fold in on themselves to make for a hearty meal or a high-powered alternative to a water balloon, and sandwiches and pasta display the same love of big portions and off-the-beaten-path ingredients. On the Mediterranean side of the menu, there are also staples such as dolmas, hummus, and gyros.
It all began in 1989 when Cappy Lawton opened a 1950s-style pizza and burger joint in the hills of San Antonio. The place served pizzas fired in a brick oven, Angus burgers, authentic caesar salads, and hand-dipped milk shakes made with Blue Bell ice cream.
More than 20 years later, EZ’s is still serving the same made-from-scratch menu items with a few exceptions—in 2011, the team added healthier options such as organic spinach salads, wild-caught salmon, gluten-free pizzas and buns, whole-wheat pastas, and water from the fountain of youth. But the staff still handcrafts the pizza dough every morning and grills each burger patty to order. To make their signature Beanburger, cooks top the freshly grilled patties with cheddar, black beans, Fritos, picante, and guacamole.
With 45 locations, the aromas of hot soup and freshly baked bread greet customers across the nation as they approach Souper Salad's overflowing display of crisp salad greens and freshly prepared hot selections. Menus for the buffet change daily, but can include albóndigas soup, Tuna Skroodle pasta salad, A-MAIZE-ing cornbread, and other dishes. Dine-in guests are free to fill their bowls with their favorite soups and chilis, build their own salads from a plethora of crispy greens and tangy dressings, and see how much soft-serve ice cream they can pile atop a single cone. Patrons can also make a visit to the taco bar or flatbread pizza zone, and gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are available.
Taste Crepes & More treats its guests to foldable, flat European-style egg pancakes, wrapped over sweet fillings such as Nutella or dulce de leche, or such savory eats as smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham, or pepperoni. Diners sink their teeth into a sweet, zesty flavors of a traditional crepe suzette, or chow down on a lunch of crepes stuffed with sausage, olives, cheese, and caramelized onion. In addition to dishing out crepes fresh from the griddle, Taste whips up handmade pizzas to order, presses toasty panini sandwiches, and sides its meals with wholesome soups and salads.