In 1974, Hank Aaron tied the home-run record and the first pocket calculators leapt in popularity. It was also the year that Fred and Carol Zinda of rural Wisconsin decided they’d sell their belongings, move to Florida, and start an Italian restaurant. Now, celebrating their 39th year of business, ovens at the couple’s two locations open to reveal baked pastas and hand-tossed pies with regular or pan crusts that ripple in the waves of heat. Joto's Pizza––named for Jodi and Tori, the couple’s daughters––has remained a family affair. While licking fingers clean, patrons question a worker about the restaurant's catering services and the possibility of disguising pizzas as pie charts for tax purposes.
Like tributaries merging to form a mighty river of marinara sauce, three friends and lifelong Italian restaurant owners joined forces to create Uncle Frank's Italian Restaurant, bringing along their best recipes with them. They make their pizza and pasta sauces daily, slathering them onto doughy crusts bound for fire-crackling ovens where they transform into New York-style pies. They prepare proteins such as chicken in the gamut of Italian styles, slathering the poultry with mushrooms and wine to create a marsala or coating it with breading and parmesan cheese to produce a parmigiana.
Forged in oven fires from freshly tossed dough, Your Pizza Shop’s menu of pizza creations features flavor circuses of savory sauces, local produce, meaty flavors, and rich cheeses. Protein-packed pizzas summon carnivore cravings and include the barbecue, steak, or five-meat Meat Pie ($9.99–$15.99), and the Meatless Gourmet beckons vegetarians with locally grown green peppers, mushrooms, and banana-pepper sprinkles ($9.99–$15.99). Customers can also start with a plain-cheese pizza palette ($8.99–$11.99) and decorate it with a plethora of toppings, such as pineapple, ham, and black olives ($0.75–$1.25/topping). Like the earth's crust, Your Pizza's crust is completely flat and can be ordered thin, hand-tossed, or deep dish. Subs, calzones, and pastas sate non-circular noshers, and a variety of salads summon cool, crisp bites of fresh vegetables, meats, and cheeses. Flocks of wings take flight into mouth-caves dressed in a variety of flavors, including mild, hot, super hot, barbecue, garlic, and teriyaki ($6.99–$14.99).
Since 1992, Britt's Coal Fire Pizza has been baking Old-World culinary goodness by way of classic coal-fire cooking techniques. Behind the restaurant's red-and-yellow façade, chef John Parker brings 20 years of culinary experience to baking pizzas at more than 800 degrees in a custom-built coal-fired oven. He makes marinara and pizza sauces from imported ingredients, and he makes his dough, bread, and meatballs from scratch every day. Parker has also added an inventive twist to hot wings, roasting them with extra virgin olive oil and then serving them with grilled onions and warm bread. Parker's team serves wine, smoothies and homemade desserts, too, which can be enjoyed on the patio or indoors.
Tradition fuels the menu at La Pizza Mia Pizzeria, which has been baking pizzas and assembling sandwiches for more than 30 years according to Patch. The selection of familiar Italian and Italian-American comfort foods includes the option to grab pizza by the slice or custom-design an entire pie with any of the 14 available toppings—including bacon, spinach, and mild peppers. This adherence to timeless tradition also influences the pizzeria's decor, which features stained-glass lamps and Queen Anne-style dining-room chairs, which were made famous by European monarchs at their lavish post-softball pizza parties.