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.
Since 1999, Rami's Pizza has packed its signature marinara sauce with fresh ingredients, filling calzones and topping pizzas, pastas, and Italian-style sandwiches made daily. Stone-baked pizzas crowned with traditional ingredients are made to-order, eliminating the need for tricks used by other pizzerias, such as hotboxes and adult-sized Easy-Bake Ovens.
Nimbly darting through the forest of white-clothed tables in the Milano Ristorante Italiano dining rooms, attentive waiters carry platters of traditional Italian dishes and bottles of fine wines. In the kitchen, seasoned chefs labor over sizzling stoves, folding seafood, meats, and fresh vegetables into northern- and southern-Italian classics. Diners can sample baked pastas, veal dishes, and gourmet pizzas, such as the Milano, layered with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and peppers. Meanwhile, seasoned bartenders mix martinis, margaritas, and specialty cocktails as skillfully as a vindictive construction worker mixes concrete into his boss’s convertible.
Vibrant oil paintings speckle the restaurant's textured walls, adding to the rustic decor and looking down on tables hosting family outings and romantic first dates. Outside on the expansive patio, a brick fireplace illuminates tables of alfresco diners and the cascading water of the ornamental fountain.
The chefs at Stouts Pizza Co. knead handmade dough and let it rise for 12 hours every day before baking it into New York–style pizzas in their stone ovens. Appetizers include Breadstick Bites, orbs of fried dough dipped in garlic butter, which creates a glossy sheen to show the future when crystal balls are unavailable. Stouts Pizza’s craftspeople transform 16-inch pies into canvases painted with 100% mozzarella cheese, homegrown-tomato sauce, and toppings such as Texas pepperoni, mushrooms, artichokes, canadian bacon, and fresh basil. The cheerful yellow dining room gives diners room to sip free refills of soda, and kids can avenge spelling-bee defeats in the game room.
Building a foundation of housemade dough and sauces, the chefs at Di Carlo Pizzeria fashion classic Italian eats, including thin-crust pizzas and calzones. Patrons can top their 12- to 20-inch pies with a custom array of meats, veggies, and cheeses, or choose from nine specialty pizzas. Di Carlo Pizzeria's staff also fills plates, carry-out bags, and their food-delivering storks' satchels with hearty fare, ranging from hoagies to salads. After filling their bellies, guests can sip an espresso drink to overcome a food coma or spoon up gelato to conclude meals on a sweet note.
Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade take ‘n’ bake pizzas using dough, cheese, meats, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day. After customers choose their pies, Papa Murphy's slice slingers build the pizza in-store and package it for customers to bake at home in the oven, in a pottery kiln, or over a pile of burning cookbooks. Customers can watch as Papa Murphy’s pie pros corral the ingredients of a signature pizza such as the Cowboy, complete with pepperoni, italian sausage, mushrooms, and black olives, or request the hawaiian, a traditional pizza crowned with Dole pineapple and canadian bacon. Deep-dish fans dive into the Chicago-style stuffed pizza packed with onions, mozzarella, four kinds of meat, and one of the most colorful public-transit systems in America, and salads and 2-liter soft drinks serve as the final pieces in an irregularly shaped pizza puzzle.