In a small town outside of Naples, Italy, Nonna Lina lured passersby into her trattoria with the aroma of fresh tomato sauce and wood-oven-baked pizzas. Stateside, her sons uphold their mother’s culinary legacy, preparing her recipes from scratch with imported Italian ingredients. In addition to the authentic cuisine, the dining room itself hearkens back to an Italian eatery: guests order from chalkboard menus propped atop wooden barrels, and red-and-white-checkered tablecloths invite diners to play endless games of chess with condiments.
The cooks at Orderup focus on the classics: burgers, fries, and shakes. Wielding hand-pressed patties, they craft signature burgers such as the La Bomba, which comes with cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg on a buttered bun, or versions with chicken, pork, and fish. The menu also showcases more than 10 shake flavors, including Mexican vanilla, banana, and nutella. Sides of honey-coconut sweet potato fries or serrano cheese fries round out a meal.
People wage wars at Springfield's Incredible Pizza Company—against other drivers on the go-kart track and the limits of their own stomachs at the buffet. The funporium’s buffet—featuring more than 100 items—centers on pizza, including original, thin, and deep-pan crust (gluten-free upon request) crowned with more than 30 toppings. Verdant greens and freshly made dressings await visitors at the popular salad bar, and the baked-potato station comes with every necessity for side-dish construction, from cheese to the bacon bits from which bacon is built. A variety of sauces enliven the buffet’s fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, and homestyle eats on offer include hot dogs and frito pie.
In the indoor adventure park, meanwhile, gamers zip around a track in two varieties of go-karts—the stock-car speed and the slower Busch speed—as announcers report each turn. Visitors also can instigate harmless car crashes in the bumper-car area or spend five frames toppling pins during mini bowling.
As you approach the gleaming silver letters on the art deco–style sign of Deco Pizzeria, you also step into a cloud of aromas of foods from across the country. The casual eatery infuses pizzas, calzones, and sandwiches with flavors representing the East and West Coasts, as well as the South. Chefs hand-craft the dough for Italian-inspired pizzas before dressing them in 30 toppings such as pepperoni and sausage or cream-sauce-drizzled crawfish. A small selection of sandwiches includes philly cheesesteaks and shrimp po' boys. Alternatively, the kitchen takes requests for its pasta dishes, which can be prepared with five styles of sauce and three meat toppings. To complement these dishes, Deco Pizzeria curates a list of local Texas brews and imported beers and wines. For brunch, they offer chicken and waffles and grits served with homemade English muffins; San Anto pizza topped with barbacoa, avocado, and pico de gallo; and a build-your-own breakfast calzone.
Although they both hail from the Mediterranean, pizza and falafel don't often appear on the same menu. Diners at Rome's Pizza, however, might be prompted to wonder why—it turns out it's quite possible for one kitchen to carry both dishes off nicely. In a 2004 review, the Current's Alejandro Pérez praised the pesto pizza's "light, crispy crust and full-bodied flavor" and the falafel sandwich's "hot, crisp patties."
This juxtaposition isn't the only surprise on the extensive menu. Sure, you can get red sauce and pepperoni atop your pie, but Rome's specializes in white pizzas slicked with olive oil, herbs, and smoked garlic. Strombolis and calzones fold in on themselves to make for a hearty meal or a high-powered alternative to a water balloon, and sandwiches and pasta display the same love of big portions and off-the-beaten-path ingredients. On the Mediterranean side of the menu, there are also staples such as dolmas, hummus, and gyros.
The chefs at Stouts Pizza Co. knead handmade dough and let it rise for 12 hours every day before baking it into New York?style pizzas in their stone ovens. Stouts Pizza?s craftspeople transform 16-inch pies into canvases painted with 100% mozzarella cheese, homegrown-tomato sauce, and toppings such as Texas pepperoni, mushrooms, artichokes, canadian bacon, and fresh basil. The cheerful yellow dining room gives diners room to sip free refills of soda, and kids can avenge spelling-bee defeats in the game room.