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.
At Peppino's Pizzeria’s four locations, crafty chefs toss, embellish, and accessorize a menu's worth of pizza pies to quash appetites. Diners can pop sodas or quaff brews as large chicken caesar salads sate taste buds or a quartet of antipasto ham, capicola, mortadella, and salami serenades old-world yens. Svelte neapolitan rounds and biana disks pit handmade tomato sauce against a tripled strata of ricotta, parmigiana, and mozzarella, each armed with 18 inches of meatballs, fresh garlic, green olives, or 1 of 13 other toppings (add additional toppings for $1.95 each). Alternatively, homebound bon vivants can transport two extra-large slabs off the premises for private pie-chart comparisons. Peppino’s Pizzeria fires up its fragrant ovens seven days a week; hours vary by location.
Housemade dough rises twice every day in Frodo's Pizza's kitchen, where each batch follows a recipe perfected since the restaurant's founding in 1979. Whole-milk mozzarella cheese joins customizable toppings such as artichoke hearts and italian sausage; specialty pizzas such as the Hawaiian combine pre-calibrated selections of ham, pineapple, and bacon. Frodo's also serves an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, and placates sweet teeth with chocolate chip dessert pizza and soda poured by the cup, half-gallon, or mouthful.
Using recipes that go back five generations of Sicilians, Antonino Bertolo's Pizza & Wine Bar has filled the bellies of eager diners for more than thirty years. Pure olive oil and a touch of honey combine to give the pizza dough its distinctive flavor, and high-quality mozzarella bubbles atop pies and pastas and inside calzones and Stromboli.
For more than 33 years, the chefs at Gourmet Pizza and More have topped housemade dough with signature sauce, real cheese, and fresh vegetables. In addition to specialty pies such as the Marco Polo with chicken, almonds, and sweet and sour sauce, chefs build customized pizzas with an array of toppings such as sun-dried tomatoes, gyro meat, and fresh basil. Italian-style dinner entrees include pesto chicken manicotti in alfredo sauce, while Greek specialties include gyro plates and napkins made from genuine philosopher beards.
Specializing in thick deep-dish pizza, Jet's has indulged palates since 1978, when the eponymous Jetts brothers opened the first joint in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Stacks of meat and veggies pile onto piping-hot Jetzee subs, and a variety of healthy salads helps to avoid the wrath of the Food Pyramid's ancient golems armed with giant wooden tongs.