Alba's slakes fiery appetites with a refined selection of hearty wheat pastas, savory meats, and wholesome vegetables. Bring lunching stomachs tableside for the noontime special, featuring baked lasagna ($5.95) and a panoply of noodley delights ($5.95), or swan dive into a pool of meats, backstroke through veggies, and snorkel under a layer of cheese with a large Neapolitan pizza ($9.50). Evening eaters can begin exploring the authentic abyss of the dinner menu with an order of tasty fried shrimp lounging on a bed of lettuce ($9.95). Then anchor incisors in the seafaring treasure of linguini with clams, served with a choice of red or white sauce ($11.95), or keep landlubbing tongues onshore with the chicken Diana, sautéed with mushrooms, artichoke heads, garlic, and sherry, and then drizzled with a light pink sauce over spaghetti ($10.95).
Crooked Crust shares the block with UNT's campus bookstore, tempting students with the aroma of zesty sauce and oven-crisped pizza dough. Although the menu features a diverse spread of signature pies with prearranged topping combinations, it also encourages guests to improvise and design their own pie from scratch. Beginning with a blank canvas of dough and cheese, diners can construct an edible magnum opus with around 20 different meats and vegetables, including pineapple, crispy bacon, and jalapeños, adding each topping to the pizza for free. The dining area includes a handful of tables where guests can share their pies, as well as murals commemorating the invention of the pizza slicer.
Papa John's has been popping out perfectly personalized pies 'round the clock for the past 25 years, fleshing out its lineup of specialty pizzas and sides on a munificent menu. Traditionalists of Italian fare can indulge in the spicy Italian ($11.99/small), loaded with pepperoni, a double helping of Italian sausage, and unlimited invisible meats. More progressive pie enthusiasts may select the Hawaiian barbecue chicken, topped with pineapple, white-meat chicken, hickory-smoked bacon, and grilled onions ($11.99/small) or splurge on the works, a top-heavy combination of pepperoni, ham, spicy Italian sausage, and a cornucopia of fresh veggies ($11.99/small).
Established as a delicatessen more than half a century ago, Doyle's Restaurant has evolved into a family-style eatery with a menu of traditional Italian eats. A crispy bed of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers brims from the italian salad with one of six dressings as patrons perform synchronized fork dives around accouterments of pepperoncini and dill pickles. After the verdant overture, diners can peruse a lineup of nine spaghetti entrees, with compositions ranging from the traditional meat sauce and two meatballs to the shrimp and zesty sauce of the spaghetti creole. An order of the spaghetti occupies tongues with mozzarella and meat sauce sheathing a noodle nest of meatballs and mushrooms, and the spaghetti chicken introduces tender chunks of poultry to waves of alfredo sauce. For an additional fee, patrons may render their spaghetti as classy as bow-tie pasta by bejeweling it with an extra order of meatballs ($1), italian sausage ($2), or mozzarella ($1.45).
To reach their table at Spaghetti Warehouse, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into signature plates of 15-Layer Lasagna or hand-rolled meatballs. Apart from the items they've amassed, each of the buildings also has a particular history, from the one-time ice-manufacturing plant in Columbus to Memphis's Civil War munitions depot. Given their storied pasts, it's no surprise that several of these venues house their own ghosts—at Houston's warehouse, for example, elevator lights have been known to flicker, objects are mysteriously found in new locations, and a lady in a white gown is said to roam the restaurant.
Yet the main attraction of the place is the delicious food. Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes are created from family recipes passed down for generations via email. Guests devour the perfectly al dente pasta, crispy calamari, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes while dining with family and friends. It’s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine.
Tommaso's Italian Grill warms bellies with a menu of American favorites and pizzas concocted from house-made dough and freshly made sauces. The chefs hand-toss dough ($7+ for cheese and one topping) and artfully decorate disks with jalapeño, hamburger, and spinach ($1.25+/topping) before hanging them on the back diners' chairs. Between bites of hot wings ($5.99 for seven), guests can solicit investment advice from a collection of sage bobbleheads on a windowsill or catch reflections of a double meat burger ($6.99) on the surface of a hanging disco ball. Augment a selection of pastas ($7.99+) with homemade sauces—such as simple garlic and olive oil or a protein-rich meat sauce—and top dishes off with a pair of meatballs ($2) or a sextet of shrimp ($4).