There was once a pair of friends who shared the same name. These friends?the Gregs?also shared the belief that even casual food should be fresh. So they put their heads together to found Zaw Artisan Pizza in Seattle, where seasonal, organic, unique, local ingredients (endearingly referred to as "S.O.U.L.") top carefully crafted bake-at-home pies. Diners can watch over the counter as pizza artistes decorate traditional white, whole wheat, or gluten-free crusts with toppings such as free-range chicken breast, hearty spinach, and fresh artisan cheeses. Each pie leaves the shop unfrozen?as evidenced by the lack of freezers in the stores?to be baked to a golden crisp inside the customer's oven or backyard iron forge. To further their commitment to quality, the Gregs strive to source local ingredients from neighborhood farmers' markets whenever possible.
Galactic murals and metallic rails grace a comfortably modern chomping environment that's home to pizzas made with fresh spices, vine-ripened tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, and premium toppings. Flying Saucer Pizza's menu features a bevy of pie options along with a host of salads and pastas. Pizza connoisseurs can begin with a blank-canvas cheese pie as the backdrop for a palette of toppings like blue cheese, Canadian bacon, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, carrots, sprouts, red cabbage, pepperoncinis, and more ($4.75 for an 8-inch before toppings). When inspiration runs dry, a list of specialty pizzas can be called upon. The Cosmic Clucker blends barbecue sauce, roasted chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, green onions, and cilantro ($7.45 and up), and veggie pizzas feature the likes of the Dr. Zaius pie with spicy peanut sauce, pineapple, carrots, sprouts, red cabbage, chopped nuts, basil, and sesame seeds ($6.75 and up).
Lorenzo Scordamaglia was raised in Tropea, an Italian coastal town known for its fresh, quality produce and seafood. After traveling the world for nine years as a cruise-line waiter, Lorenzo landed in Seattle, where he worked at a number of Italian restaurants. He opened Tropea Ristorante Italiano in 1996, as an homage to his seaside town—from the restaurant's fresh seafood and hearty comfort food, to a mural on the wall that offers a glimpse of the coastal town itself. The restaurant offers sautéed prawns served in a choice of four different sauces, including a white wine and tomato sauce, or butter and hot peppers. But the pastas steal the limelight on the menu; 27 varieties are available, peppered with prosciutto, eggplant, italian sausage, or a host of other authentic ingredients.
At first glance, Apollo's menu of casual food doesn't seem out of the ordinary: in addition to the customizable title dishes, chefs pile pasta plates high and stuff entire meals into calzones and sub loaves. But amidst all the fettuccine alfredo, hawaiian deluxe pizzas, and wings, taste buds visit an unexpected culinary landscape: that of India. Tandoori chicken, curried vegetables, and paneer can be ordered in calzone, sandwich, pizza, and pasta form, and mango lassi is available to refresh pepperoni-scorched palates. Most of the dishes, though, deliver classic American and Mediterranean tastes with meatball subs, gyros, and veggie pizzas.
The handmade, fresh pizzas and specialty pies at Bella Kitchen are constructed in the classic New York style, which feature foldy-thin crusts, humorously neurotic toppings, and a gruff exterior that hides the heart of a lonely romantic. Signature dough disc selections such as the chicken garlic (with green pepper, tomato, green olive and onion, $9.95—$19.95) or the herbivore-happifying roasted veggie pie (with artichoke, sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, and eggplant, $9.95–$19.95) are sure to please pizza-craving poets. The indecisive, meanwhile, can get pretty much everything atop a super special ($10.95–$19.95). To keep a hand open for impromptu swashbuckling, opt for portable pocket pizza with the spinach and feta calzone ($8.95). Bella Kitchen also sells pastas, subs, and salads.
Garlic Jim's menu was handcrafted with nothing more than a dream and an incredible reserve of pizza-making expertise. Open an order with some gourmet chicken wings, available in barbecue, garlic, and hot, before moving on to pizza territory. Put an end to eating Legos by piecing together a custom pie. Choose from the hand-thrown thick, garlic thin, or gluten-free crusts, slathered in one of seven sauces (from classic red to zesty chipotle pesto), and then slap on any of 15 standard and 11 gourmet toppings (14-inch large pizzas start at $11.99, extra-large $14.99; each additional topping for a large is $1.50). To achieve customization without the stress of having to choose, turn to one of the pre-determined specialties. Meat-maul hunger with the Hercules (salami, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, beef, spicy Italian sausage, and bacon; $18.99 for large, $21.99 for extra-large), or discover the secret of pizza-temperature fusion in your head with Jim's bacon-cheeseburger pizza (beef, bacon, red onions, tomatoes, mozzarella, and cheddar; $18.99 for large, $21.99 for extra-large).