As a high-school student working at a local pizzeria, John Schnatter often pondered how he would do things differently if he owned such a business himself. After graduating from college in 1983, he got his chance, knocking down the broom closet in his father’s tavern to create his own pizza-delivery business. Since then Papa John’s Pizza has grown to 3,500 restaurants in 50 states and 29 countries. At each location, cooks cover the signature hand-tossed crusts, made with high-protein flour and clear, filtered water, with tomato sauce from vine-ripened California tomatoes, then pile on locally sourced ingredients such as green peppers and onions. The emphasis on fresh ingredients extends to the 100% mozzarella cheese, beef, and pork, which are never artificially inflated with fillers or undeserved compliments.
In addition to delivering pizzas, Papa John’s reaches out to the community with charity involvement, including partnering with the Boy Scouts of America and Junior Achievement to teach US students about entrepreneurship and the best method of capturing a wild roma tomato.
Like the Taj Mahal, Dean’s Pizza was created as a gesture of love. Three Decades ago, Dean And Betty Reeser opened their labor of love to make Dean's Original Take & Bake Pizza. Today, the chefs at Dean’s Pizza continue this legacy, sprinkling made-from-scratch, hand-tossed pies with savory toppings and handing them over to customers to cook at home. In 2006, Dean’s Pizza added ovens to precook and deliver signature pies, which include creations such as the avocado club with chicken, crumbled bacon, and white sauce. Patrons can choose from two styles of crust: Dean's original hand-tossed variety or Betty's golden pan-style crust with a hint of butter—before picking up pizzas and sandwiches at a drive-thru window or via basic telekinesis.
With complex, all-natural flavors, Qdoba fuses traditional Mexican cuisine with inventive modern recipes in a speedy, conveniently delicious tortilla present. As with rainbows, nations, and Model T's, burritos contain a rag-tag team of savories that is more robust when combined, rather than apart. Qdoba embraces this savory wholesomeness with an all-you-can-choose buffet of fresh ingredients ready to be stuffed into tortillas and bowls through a superfast assembly line of professionals. Choose the protein packer of your choice from pulled pork, adobo-marinated steak or chicken, and shredded or ground beef, or opt out of the meats and head straight to the cumin-simmered black or pinto beans. Feel free to douse any creation with any of their five unique salsas and four original sauces, the signature queso sauce (a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños), or the smoky poblano pesto made with roasted peppers, cilantro, and nuts blended with creamy hand-smashed guacamole.
Mountain Mike’s Pizza keeps belly bearings well lubricated with its selection of topping-laden pizzas, oven-kissed sandwiches, and more. Like a fleet-footed yeti, Mountain Mike’s Pizza's menu deftly scales rocky heights with its selection of mountain-themed specialty pizzas, such as the 12-inch Everest and Snowy Alps pizzas, each stacked with a savory selection of Old World pepperoni, onion, olives, and more ($17.99). With two types of crust, four sauces, and 26 toppings, diners can craft their own perfect pies.
Known throughout the Central Valley as The Cupcake Lady, Troyce Fraga has certainly earned the moniker emblazoned on the side of her bright-pink delivery truck. Her first batches of cupcakes came shortly after her first steps as an infant, and the recipes she has perfected since those early days have gone on to win state-fair ribbons and local acclaim. These recipes draw inspiration from cocktails, candies, and even Mexican cuisine, resulting in flavors as diverse as minty mojito and horchata.
These days, throngs of dessert lovers sprint after Troyce’s cheery delivery truck as it drives along a route of Central Valley destinations such as Turlock City Hall, Latif’s Restaurant, and Emanuel Medical Center. When she isn’t packing marshmallows and raspberry preserves into her specialty cupcakes, Troyce dumps the gooey fillings out the window to slow down cars driving too close for comfort. Those lucky enough to be around when her truck stops can sample buttercream frostings and classic cake flavors such as red velvet and triple chocolate. In addition to her fresh-baked cupcakes, Troyce’s truck shuttles cake pops, whoopie pies, and cupcake parfaits to parties and other catered events.
Canadian bacon, shrimp, feta cheese, and chopped garlic are just some of the gourmet toppings that chefs pile onto Mikalinos Pizza & Pasta's pies. The traditional Italian restaurant has never been accused of lacking ingredients, and the portions are as expansive as the menu; feast upon pizzas by the slice, french or parmesan fries by the pound, and minestrone soup by the gondola-sized boat bowl. Aside from the flagship pizzas, classic Italian sandwiches and dishes such as chicken parmesan and manicotti round out the selection of Italian fare, which guests can savor while watching the latest gladiatorial match on the dining room's televisions. Mikalinos also offers catering services, with packages and individual trays that serve 8–10 people.