Though “traditional favorites” is one of many sections on Strings Italian Cafe's menu, the label describes a bulk of the eatery’s handcrafted Italian dishes. Under new ownership as of January 2013, the cafe fills raviolis with artichoke hearts, flavor shrimp scampi with white wine and lemon juice, and top one of two specialty pizzas with alfredo sauce and chicken breast. That being said, the café's chefs make room for a few innovative touches within their old-style approach. These include baking lasagna inside onion-garlic pastries and spicing up pasta medleys of chicken, shrimp, and pesto with hints of curry.
The seasoned pizza shapers at All Pro Pizza create sizzling pies from fresh ingredients and populate their robust menu with salads, sandwiches, and other pizza sidekicks. Garlic-chicken specialty pizzas arrive topped in white sauce, festooned with grilled chicken, and decorated with chopped garlic to deter creatures of the night thirsting for tomato blood ($18.74/large). The meat combo pizza ($18.74/large) redirects a river of pepperoni, canadian bacon, salami, and italian sausage to cascade into customers' stomach reservoirs. Adorn the oven-baked dough of your appetite's dreams with 21 toppings, half-remembered test-taking anxiety, and sauces such as pesto, barbecue, and nacho cheese ($4.99+). Side dishes such as a buffalo-chicken salad with blue-cheese dressing ($6.99) accompany slices, and sandwiches such as the mozzarella-topped meatball sub ($5.99) attempt to usurp the dominant position of pizza, which spins in place on the tip of the food pyramid.
Howie, the founder of Howie & Son's Pizza Parlor, can still be found behind his bar most days, pouring up pints of the 24 carefully chosen craft beers he has on tap. He's been back there since 2003, when he opened the restaurant with his family. He likes do everything the traditional way: he pours beers himself. He bakes his delicious pizzas in an old-fashioned brick oven. He even chose the building specifically because it has housed pizza parlors since 1963 and has lots of vintage accoutrement.
In spite of the old-fashioned bent, the eatery boasts a modern sound system. The speakers have spit out live music from dozens of national and local bands, including such acts as Matt & Kim, Vampire Weekend, and Modest Mouse.