Since 1989, Dough Boy's California Pizza has married platters of gourmet pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches with cocktails at its three oceanfront locations, replete with tiki huts and vibrant tropical murals. Mellow melodies sail across the dining room, filled with wooden booths and bar seating, and a white picket fence encircles the sunny front patio. A vintage red VW bus parks near diners as they devour unlimited portions of spaghetti and signature herb marinara sauce and chipotle chicken pizzas, which sit atop tableside pedestals.
Pembroke Pizza’s menu provides a diverse sampling of Italian staples made from fresh ingredients. Edible apps such as the golden mozzarella sticks accompanied by tasty homemade marinara ($6.29) confuse smartphones but satisfy smart stomachs. The greek salad deftly blends lettuce, vine-ripe tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives, and feta cheese with house greek dressing ($6.49). A wide-ranging pasta menu boasts tortellini ($9.99), lasagna ($9.49), and manicotti ($9.49), and New York–style pies can be bedazzled with the customer's choice of toppings. Pre-formed specialty pizzas also populate the menu, such as the Pembroke Special—literally every regular topping piled on one Herculean platform of dough and extra cheese ($9.99 for an 8" pizza; $19.99 for a 14" pizza; $21.99 for a 16" pizza). The corner TV and abundant movie posters that adorn the dining-room walls exude a homey, lived-in vibe, akin to eating pizza in the den of a vacationing neighbor.
"Sorry, can you hold on a sec?" Jobi's Pizza owner Mark Hinckley attends to a delivery phone. He's efficient and friendly. Upon returning, he graciously apologizes and continues his story. "Well, we all have day jobs. This is something fun to do at night." The "we" Mark is referring to is himself and his two business partners, Joe Kuftack and a man named O'Brien. It was the combination of their names that spawned the restaurant's curious moniker—Jobi's. "We work for engineering companies," Mark explains. "I work for architecture, the other two in military civil service." Maybe it's this background in creating something from nothing that explains the success of the restaurant's hand-tossed pizzas and made-from-scratch wing and pasta sauces. However, Mark believes that it's something more immediate that brings customers in the door. "They're supporting a local business. When regulars come in, sure, it's the quality. But here you can feed a family of four for under $20. It's a tough economy, and we want to help." Through the floor-to-ceiling restaurant windows, night is settling in, and the tables are filling up for dinner. The red-and-white-checkered tablecloths slowly populate with hot sandwiches, gooey specialty pizzas, and whole-grain pastas. Looking around at the wood paneling, smiling faces, and pizza ovens aggressively wagging their tails, there's a palpable feeling of friendliness in the room. Mark believes that comes from a place that larger chains can't access. "One of the people that works here––the one who painted the Jobi's logo on the wall—he's an airbrush artist. Wintertime, he works at the pizza place. The rest of the year, he works airbrush on the ocean," Mark says proudly. "We can do things like that. We're very family oriented."
Pungo Pizza & Ice Cream, a family-owned-and-operated eatery, offers taste buds subs, pastas, and a myriad of hand-tossed pizzas, which are available in custom varieties (12" start at $7.99, 16" start at $11.99) or as pre-conceived Pungo Favorites (12" for $11.99, 16" for $15.99). The Pungo Supreme corrals pepperoni, sausage, onion, green peppers, black olives, and mushrooms onto its saucy surface, and the Mediterranean pizza blends spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, feta, black olives, and chopped garlic atop a homemade white sauce. Patrons of Pungo can also choose a 14" pan-style pizza, such as the chicken ranch with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and cheddar ($16.99). While waiting for your pizza to pupate from its oven cocoon, ward off vampires with an order of garlic knots ($3.79 for six, $4.99 for 10), or scour the menu for soups, salads, and ice cream.
While growing up in Palermo, Italy, Nunzio was surrounded by impassioned Italian cooking: his grandfather was a chef at the Grand Hotel of Palermo, his mother was a skilled cook from the Italian countryside, and his brother grew up to open a restaurant of his own. Following in his clan's footsteps, Nunzio began his kitchen career by learning the art of pastry construction at age 17, though he quickly expanded his expertise to compiling main courses. After packing bags and moving to the United States, the chef has remained as glued to Italian tastes as a pepperoni on melted cheese, and he now shares the family tradition with his son Adam at Mamma Mia Pizzeria.
Inside the kitchen, thin-crust pizzas bake to a bubbly finish while cradling toppings such as fresh tomatoes, basil, spinach, feta, salami, sausage, and drizzles of olive oil. Fresh pasta, zesty sauce, and melted cheeses combine to form house-made lasagna, a house specialty, and golden breadcrumbs hug the tender eggplant parmigiana to add a delicate crunch, similar to the crunch caused by adding bones to barbecue rib meat. The father and son duo shares its culture with customers by encouraging Italian-speakers to practice their conversational skills, and Nunzio often delivers pizzas to large parties himself, charming the customers with an Italian serenade in his strong, tenor voice before departing
Due to its selection, Gino’s Pizzeria might also be called Gino’s Calzoneria or Gino’s Hot Wingseria. In addition to preparing its titular cuisine, the restaurant also bakes pasta. Specifically, the chefs might prepare the fettuccine alfredo with chicken or the cheese ravioli. Like a true Italian eatery, Gino’s rounds out its menu with cannoli and tiramisu.