Vienna Pizzaria, previously known as The Pizza Guys, extinguishes hunger with customizable pies that headline a full menu of fresh, casual Italian and American fare. Dough molders draw from an arsenal of 38 classic and exotic toppings⎯including everything from clams and boiled eggs to corn and hearts of palm⎯to festoon 16-inch large pizzas. Guests may also take the old-fashioned route with tried-and-true embellishments such as pepperoni and mushrooms, creating a meal as traditional as an edible Norman Rockwell painting. Additionally, house salads squash vegetable cravings with a flurry of ingredients, including kidney beans, cucumbers, and black olives.
The resident chefs at Mama Maria's Ristorante have rolled out their own pizza dough for 20 years, crafting pies alongside platters of authentic Italian cuisine. Chefs use softly risen, house-made pizza dough to hold aloft ingredients including tandoori chicken, barbecue chicken, bacon, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes. The skilled kitchen staff sautés calamari with onion, green peppers, tomatoes, and olives for calamari siciliana, and sends spaghetti pomodoro out the kitchen doors to anoint fork tines with its complex marinara. Pizza-delivery service ferries pies sheathed in heat-insulated delivery bags to keep pizzas fresh. Mama Maria's also takes its culinary show on the road with catering services designed to feed hungry party guests or whole pasta-aficionado clubs.
Diners at Barolo are surrounded by Italian influences in the wooden floors and tables as well as the menu, which features seasonal ingredients and local specialties. Start with an antipasti of fritto misto, made with Monterey calamari, local artichokes, lemon, and caper aioli ($10). Then move on to secondi such as the cornish game hen marinated in lemon and rosemary and served with polenta cake ($17), or the linguini and clams, with Italian sausage, garlic, basil, parsley, and white wine ($10 small plate, $18 large). Have a side such as the truffle fries ($5) and a signature Pax Basilicus cocktail (rum, lime, agave nectar, basil, $10); then, finish with a classic tiramisu for dessert ($7). Reservations are required, so call ahead.
Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza was born out of the owner's frustration with bad pizza from chains, which often tasted as if every ingredient was canned or frozen. Deciding to change the industry, Papa Murphy's tosses every ingredient, all of which are never frozen, onto the crust in front of the customer's eyes and sends them home to bake in a home oven. This dedication to fresh flavor earned Papa Murphy's the top spot on Zagat's National Chain survey.
Visitors can create their own take on the pizza pie or chomp into one of his signature pizzas, which range from meat-filled stuffed crust to calorie-conscious lite varieties covered in vegetables. His appetizers and desserts follow the same pattern. Customers order raw cookie dough or cheesy bread ripe for the baking, resulting in every course being fresh from the oven.
For more than 51 years, Round Table Pizza's chefs have been rolling out fresh, made-from-scratch dough, sprinkling it with a signature three-cheese blend, and baking the delectable disks to a golden brown. Sink famished fangs into the King Arthur Supreme to get a taste of pepperoni, italian sausage, dry salami, linguica, and various veggies ($16.99–$18.49 for a medium; prices vary by location), and then wait patiently as your dining companions take turns trying to free you from its cheesy embrace. Or curb herbaceous cravings with Guinevere's Garden Delight, a sliceable field of green peppers and roma tomatoes punctuated by fragrant blossoms of mushroom, green pepper, yellow onions, and black olives ($16.99–$18.49 for a medium).
Dinner can be a hectic affair, and some families find that getting a filling, nutritious meal onto the table every night is sometimes exhausting. Knowing that dining out every night can quickly break the budget, entrepreneur Jay Cornwall decided to bridge the gap between takeout and at-home meals with a menu of freshly prepared pasta, ravioli, sauce, and entrees that can be fashioned into a full meal in less than 10 minutes. Every day, his chefs create a selection of 24 pastas, 15 sauces, and a signature entree, as well as mac 'n' cheese and lasagna. Chefs also curate a range of sides, bread, and wine, and even offer pairing advice on complementary flavors.