Chefs at Dough Boys Pizzeria toss rounds of fresh dough every day to make the crusts of their 6”–16” pies. The kitchen names its specialty pizzas after music of yore, from the Al Green Veggie Lovers, to the Dolly Pardon with double cheese and pepperoni, to the Supremes, which keeps pepperoni, ham, sausage, and vegetables hangin' on. Dough Boys also doles out paninis named for celebrities such as the ham-and-bacon Rocky Balboa and all-beef hot dogs such as the Frank Sinatra with sauerkraut and spicy mustard. To wrap up meals, the chefs fry up orders of cinnabites, deep-fried dough balls tossed in butter, cinnamon, and sugar with a topping of vanilla icing.
Jojo’s Cupcakes’ creative treats aim to expand the bounds of dessert possibility, challenging assumptions about whether pearls are edible and how many times you can fit “chocolate chip cookie” into one sentence. To wit: Florence’s french vanilla cupcake comes piled with vanilla frosting and sprinkled with edible pearl gems; the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake tops chocolate chip cookie dough cake with frosting of the same flavor and a full-size chocolate chip cookie. For weddings and other occasions, the culinary team also arranges their cupcakes—which come in more than 20 flavors—into the shape of a tiered cake or other custom configurations. Jojo’s desserts aren’t only for special events: back in the inviting bake shop, the staff pairs treats with gourmet flavored coffees, tea, and cocoa for guests’ enjoyment at tables or to take home.
Located within the Pendleton Art Center, Mockingbirds serves up classic American food and locally roasted, fair-trade, organic beans brewed into what Think Middletown called "some of the best coffee in the city." In the kitchen, cooks simmer mushroom-brie or Wisconsin-cheese soups, layer sandwiches with cranberry and grape-laced chicken salad, and roast authentic pork carnitas for Taco Tuesdays. Diners can also stop by on weekends for a buffet of comfort food, including pot roast and mashed potatoes. A spacious interior and free WiFi make Mockingbirds an inviting spot to hang out, though a bicyclist can deliver the eatery's fare on two wheels during the warmer months.
Craig and Laura Decker seem to have a difficult time making up their minds. They also seem to have a knack for turning this indecisiveness into an advantage at every turn. When it came to opening their new business, for example, they briefly wondered whether it should feature a wine shop, a wine bar, or a gourmet bistro. Their solution? All three.
This spirit of inclusivity pervades W.G. Kitchen & Bar, a Wine Guy company, where the Deckers pair seasonal wine varietals with globally inspired cuisine. Rather than choose between European elegance and New-American pizzazz, they settled on a compromise they describe as “Old World chic.” This label suits a menu that features small plates of housemade meatballs and bruschetta alongside assorted cheeses from around the world. The focus on small plates is in keeping with the Deckers’ have-it-all mentality and gives diners the option to sample several dishes without having to barter with adjacent tables.
Bruno's dough-tossers create pies topped with fresh ingredients underneath a corrugated metal ceiling accented by shiny exposed ducts and suspended pizza-shaped decorations. Start with Bruno's signature Bruno dough, deep-fried doughy dollops tossed in garlic butter and sprinkled with parmesan, before taking on a large 14-inch cheese-covered creation. The pizza, made from the same recipe used at sister store Bruno's in Oxford, dresses to impress in a fine three-piece Italian suit of golden-crusted dough, savory sauce, and gooey cheese.
Lucky Dog Grille's inviting environs serve up a menu of flavorful pub fare in comfortable noshing quarters for the whole family. Their plump, aromatic Big Dog wings send tongues aflutter, being slathered in one of your choice of 14 sauces and served with a side of palate-cooling ranch or blue cheese sauce ($5.49 for an order of six, $10.49 for 12, $15.99 for 18). Sample the lightly breaded fried pickles, golden brown and sidekicked with ranch ($5.49), or prove the conservative cheese forecast wrong with crispy, skin-on potato skin flats ($6.99). A host of handy handhelds like the spicy feta wrap ($7.99) and BBQ bacon steak Philly sandwich ($8.99) are equally capable of quelling vicious hunger pangs, or doubling as makeshift melee weapons during unexpected Plesiosaur attacks.