Johnny B’s friendly chefs welcome families to relax over a hand-tossed pie, baked wings, and hoagies in a festive, colorful dining room. Families sharing dinner glance over the menu to pick an appetizer such as baked salt-and-pepper wings or garlic-butter pretzel drops as addictive as stealing candy from babies. For pizza, the classic Big Toad is crowded with savory bacon, beef, and ham balanced with crunches of green pepper and black olive. An alternative to traditional mozzarella and tomato sauce, the Frozen Pond pie spreads a base of oil and garlic under tomatoes, onions, and three cheeses to bake a pie as cheesy as an Elvis impersonator raised on a dairy farm. A team of tasty wraps, hoagies, and pockets tempts diners to stray from the pizza list in favor of a buffalo-chicken wrap seasoned with ranch, Bulliard’s hot sauce, and gooey provolone or a Johnny’s club hoagie accepting membership from ham, cheese, turkey, and bacon, if it gets its act together. If diners drop in between Monday and Wednesday, they can split delicious desserts such as the house-favorite cinnamon drops.
The same love for pizza and beer that fueled three college students in 1974 transformed their lives as they expanded their business from one rundown building in Atlanta to 100 Mellow Mushroom restaurants across 15 states today. Each eatery owes its individual style to each location's being locally owned and operated, much like impressionist painters owed their individual style to their number of ears. In the kitchens, chefs assemble grilled and deli-style hoagies and bake calzones and pizzas in stone hearths using dough made with natural spring water. Though many of the restaurant's dishes have remained on the menu since its inception, the culinary crew frequently devises new, often gluten-free, dishes to keep senior-ranking pepperonis from becoming too powerful. Servers pair dishes with their location's own set of local brews, which fit into a collection of up to 100 microbrewed and imported beers on tap and in bottles. Brewers such as Bell's, Abita, and Dogfish Head are also featured in regular beer events.
LEDO Pizza has been made the same way since Tex Clevenger played for the Yankees and the Washington Senators still existed. That was the 1950s when players from both teams stopped by the first location in Adelphi, Maryland. Although the pizzeria has grown to more than 50 locations across the country, each eatery stays in touch with the original through a menu that upholds certain standards: LEDO's chefs roll dough to order, hand-cut thick pepperoni slices, and bake their pies in rectangular pans, all while humming the theme to Howdy Doody. Having grown with the times, however, LEDO now makes more than pizza. Newer options include spaghetti and meatballs, subs, burgers, and calzones.:m]]
Rated No. 2 for Top Food in the Large Chains category in the 2010 Zagat Fast-Food Survey, Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade Take ‘N’ Bake pizzas created using dough, cheeses, meats, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day. After customers choose their pies, Papa Murphy's slice slingers build the pizzas in-store and package them for customers to bake at home in the oven, in a pottery kiln, or over a pile of burning cookbooks. Customers can select one of Papa Murphy's signature pizzas or customize their 'za to more specific tastes, choosing from the four sauces, three crusts, and more than 20 toppings available.
Empire Pizza and Bar's menu enthralls taste buds with tales of New York–style pizza and comfort fare served in a family-friendly atmosphere. Empire Pizza’s seven signature pies include royal chow such as the Queens Margarita, a New York mash-up of garlic, tomatoes, and fresh basil ($6.95, 10"), as well as the Mag Pie Lane veggie pizza, fueled by premium eggplant gasoline and tomatoes, black olives, and green and banana peppers ($16.45, 16"). Tongues can sample appetizers such as 15 boneless chicken wings steeped in one of four sauces ($7.95) or use garlic knots bedecked in spices to measure the movements of water-cruising entrees ($2.50/half dozen).
Toppers Pizza uses house-made dough whipped up fresh every day to create its eclectic selection of 19 different house-specialty pizzas. Conventional pies such as the Ultimate Pepperoni Topper complement creative pizzas such as the Chicken Tuscano Topper, decorated with spinach, garlic-roasted tomatoes, feta cheese, and grilled chicken. All Toppers’ pizzas are capable of peaceful cohabitation with Topperstix, breadsticks covered in cheese, garlic butter, and toppings that range from bacon to taco meat. Eaters can amplify any 14-inch house pizza by turning it into a TallBoy—a pizza built upon a Topperstix crust. Both Toppers locations are open until at least 1 a.m. seven days a week, making them a convenient way to fuel up for a long night of berating constellations.