Much like the sun in most medieval Italian conceptions of the cosmos, the menu at Wings-Pizza-N-Things revolves around everything in its namesake. Avian aficionados can order their jumbo and boneless wings (15 for $13.99) slathered in exotic flavors such as chipotle and Cajun—as well as timeless tastes including buffalo and hot barbecue—before power-showering their palates with any of a dozen beers on tap. Connoisseurs of circular cuisine, meanwhile, will want to practice edible fractions on a specialty pizza such as the F-15 eagle ($18.99 for large)—a cheeseburger in pizza form topped with ground beef, bacon, and extra cheddar cheese—or bring their own Frankenpie to life with toppings of bacon, jalapeños, pineapple, black olives, feta cheese, and more. A generous array of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and burgers give eyes a savory foreground as they take in the punishing quarterback sacks, thunderous slam-dunks, and surprisingly violent knitting competitions on Wings-Pizza-N-Things' 100-inch video wall.
Since immigrating to America from Sicily three decades ago, Joseph Lo Presti and his brothers founded a family of Italian-inspired restaurants that includes Piccola Italy and Maldini’s. At Mediterraneo, Joseph’s son Anthony has crafted a slightly more inclusive style by incorporating recipes from his wife Sofia, a native of Seville, Spain. Her influence can be seen in the tapas selection, which includes small plates such as patatas bravas and pinchitos threaded with chicken, pork, or sausage. Entrees revert to Italian classics—diners can dig into linguine tossed with fresh clams or housemade beef lasagna. However, pizzas are the specialty, made with regular or gluten-free crusts baked from scratch in a brick oven and slathered with ricotta and fresh basil.
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.
Spices are powerful. During antiquity, the quest for cloves and pepper helped start wars, inspired exploration, and redraw the map of the known world. Today, in many parts of the world, this power has been domesticated, relegated to calm cabinets and old recipe cards. But, there are still places in the world where spice retains its ability to define a dish and transform those who eat it. Extreme Pizza is just such a place. There, though they don't normally specialize in Indian cuisine, cooks harness the flavors of the subcontinent for their Spice Route pizza. Atop scratch-made dough, spice-packed tandoori chicken joins with red onions, green peppers, and mozzarella cheese, a cross-cultural Italian-Indian combination that brings out the best in both countries' cuisines, also available in a vegetarian version with tandoori paneer.
This painstaking attention to flavor is evident in all of Extreme Pizza's 21 specialty pies. From the pineapples and oranges that mingle with Canadian bacon on the Paia Pie to the Aveiro's Portuguese lingui?a, smoked bacon, and pepperoncinis, each pizza boasts a creative combination of flavors prepared with the freshest possible meats, cheese, fruits, and veggies. They also embrace individuality; guests are invited to chow down on personal-sized versions of each specialty pie, or design their own pizza using six house-made sauces, nine cheeses, and dozens of toppings including everything from broccoli and roasted potatoes to Thai chicken, shredded BBQ pork, and fresh basil and garlic. They even stay sensitive to dietary restrictions, offering a gluten-free menu filled with rejiggered versions of their favorite pies, alongside a variety of vegetarian and vegan specialties.
In addition to their eponymous pizzas, cooks also whips up their fresh take on other classic Italian eats. The Bahn In The USA Monster Sub riffs on the classic Vietnamese bahn mi, blending shredded pork and peanuts with the signature trio of jalapeno, carrots, and cilantro. On the calzone front, the Big Wednesday packs its pocket of dough with carmelized onions, Italian sausage, and pepperoni held together by a two-cheese blend and a thick dollop of tomato sauce. With all of these options and more to choose from, it's no wonder that the restaurant routinely rakes in awards from outlets including Entrepreneur Magazine and Ernst & Young.
To chefs at 3 Guys Pizza Pies aren't ones to cut corners. Each day, they knead and stretch scratch made pizza dough and grate fresh, whole milk mozzarella cheese. When they aren't busy doing that, they're chopping up veggies sourced from local farmers or sourcing quality meats like pepperoni, seasoned philly steak, and andouille sausage. But that's just the prep work?once the delicious ingredients are in place, the cooks set to work crafting specialty pizzas like the garlic-laden Vampire Killer or the pineapple- and jalapeno-topped Angry Hawaiian Guy. But no creation tops the Fireman, a pie covered with a choice of grilled or fried chicken and house-made buffalo sauce that's so hot, it arrives at the table with ice water and a public service announcement by the local fire chief. Beyond pizzas, 3 Guys' chefs also whip up oven baked pastas and sub sandwiches, along with tempting sides like garlic knots and deep-fried cheese bites.
Gold Coast Pizza’s cooks take a West Coast approach to their pies, piling toppings on thin, crispy crusts made from expertly aged dough. Modeled after Padington's Pizza in Oregon, this shop names its disks after Pacific people, places, and things, such as the three-meated Lewis and Clark, the Ventura Veggie, or the Mount Rainier, renowned for its 2011 culinary eruption of salami and mushrooms and its 1894 actual eruption of lava and mushrooms. The Crescent City sits under a house blend of cheeses and black olives, and Honolulu Gold shimmers under ham and pineapple bits. Alternatively, an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet during lunch hours allows patrons to enjoy as many slices as possible between business meetings. Gold Coast can seat up to 150 people and features a 62-person banquet room. Self-serve fountain sodas wash down each slice more deliciously than a mouth-bound tributary of the Willamette River.:m]]