Pino Piroso dedicated himself to founding a distinctive, Roman-style pizzeria, saying that "after years of hard work, we knew we had built something very special." His lauded chain eventually grew to include franchises in six states and two countries outside of the United States. Despite their geographic separation, each location has the same stringent standards for their ingredients and their Exit-sign locations. No kitchen stores pizza fixings in a freezer—instead, the cooks begin every morning by stirring sauces, kneading dough, and dicing fresh seasonal toppings from local farms. The circular or rectangular pies can support as many as 33 of these familiar and nontraditional toppings, such as goat cheese, sweet corn, and roasted chicken.
Downtown Pizza’s chefs crown their signature pies with inventive toppings such as hawaiian jerk sauce and sliced corned beef before pairing them with wings, pastas, or gooey desserts. Tufted leather booths squeak as diners vie for the final slices of German pizza loaded with sauerkraut, bratwurst, and potatoes or steamy pot-pie pizzas that pile tender bits of chicken atop rosemary-crumble crust. Vegetarian pizzas arrive slathered in creamy pesto sauce or topped with marinated mock duck, and six varieties of sauce souse the breaded and baked chicken wings. Hanging lights emit a soft glow that accents the retro pizzeria’s red and turquoise walls on which vintage plates and kitschy salt and pepper shakers perch in shadowboxes and await puppet-show requests.
Cuisine Type: Italian and American
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Offering: Pizza, baked pasta, specialty sandwiches
Delivery/Takeout Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
The Herberts' dream was to open their own family restaurant. Their made-from-scratch pizzas and bubbling baked pastas were so successful that the family was able to open a second Michaleno?s Pizzeria. Their shop in Kewaskum focuses on carryout and delivery, while the one in West Bend has plenty of space for folks to dine inside.
The Herberts work alongside family and friends to craft fresh pizza dough every day. Even the recipes for homemade marinara, pizza sauce, and dough are a family affair. Together, they create thin-crust and double-crust stuffed pizzas crowned with such toppings as gyro meat and bacon bits.
Michaleno's extensive menu also features fried chicken and wings, seafood dinners, and sandwiches.
Casa Anna Cheese Store is arguably Wisconsin’s cheese epicenter. Consider: the shop is situated inside the historic Park Cheese factory, which has produced italian cheeses for more than 70 years. Store shelves sag with the weight of more than 130 types of cheese, including cheese curds, aged cheddar, and smoked gouda. And cheesehead paraphernalia is sprinkled throughout the shop, paying tribute to a cheese-based economy rivaled only by the moon's. It’s all part of owners Lewis and Cindy Blank's mission to support and showcase local cheese artisans. In addition to stocking blocks of cheese, they also assemble take-and-bake pizzas loaded with layers of the Dairy Land's best.
The ovens at Mancino's Pizza & Grinders ripple with heat, distorting the sight of inventively topped pies and grinders that have won praise from Taste of Fond du Lac, whose winners are marked in red on the eatery's menu. Atop tables draped in red-and-white-checkered tablecloths, slices covered in seasoned beef and salsa imitate tacos, and beef, ketchup, and mustard help pies perfectly recreate the flavor of the Declaration of Independence. Delivery drivers rush past, testing their arm strength with 18-inch grinders, which spill forth toppings such as chicken fajita strips, salami, meatballs, and corned beef.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.