Dotting the Texan landscape with pizzerias like so many pepperonis in a hopeful meat-lover's garden, Goomba's ‘za joints bake up New York–style pies with ingredients from Costanzo's Bakery and Sorrento cheese. Dough made daily from scratch lays the groundwork for such classic toppings as italian sausage, mushrooms, artichokes, sweet or hot peppers, and anchovies. Pasta specialties such as cheese manicotti and baked ziti swim—like an eccentric millionaire—in a house-made tomato sauce infused with fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil, and a selection of calzones, salads, hot subs lends rest to the pizza weary. Daily lunch specials quell midday tummy rumbles from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and most locations offer both dine-in and carry-out fare.
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 P?rez 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.
"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.
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.
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.