Before they founded Double D's Sourdough Pizza, before they were married, before they'd even met each other, Ted and Cyndi were destined to succeed in the cheese, sauce, and dough business. Cyndi kicked off her pizza career as a teenager, and Ted transitioned from a delivery driver to a champion pie-maker, placing in the top three regionally in the World's Fastest Pizza Maker competition 15 years straight. So when they met in 1993 (at a pizza place, obviously), they knew exactly what they had to do.
The fruit of that union is a truly unique pizza joint, starting with the perfectly leavened, tangy crust. But that's only the beginning. Specialty pies find magic in defying tradition, with offerings such as the WoWee Maui, made with coconut, pineapple, almonds, and Canadian bacon, and the Loaded Baked Potato, zipped up with creamy ranch sauce, cheddar cheese, green onions, and bacon. Even when diners design their own meal, they're in for something special?they have an astounding range of sauces to choose from, including a spicy chili and lime, a creamy alfredo, and a sweet barbecue sauce.
For the last 50 years, Bova?s Italian Restaurant has created Italian meals. Now operating in a newly renovated space, they make every dish, including giant calzones, from scratch. Pastas, pizzas, and sandwiches present savory options for disparate cravings. And for the family who can agree on only two things?pasta and curfew?the menu also includes family-style meals until closing time at 9 p.m. Tuesday?Thursday and 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday.
With a signature pizza size called the Monster, you’d expect Pudge Brothers Pizza to be more focused on quantity than quality. But in fact, the chefs create their signature varieties of hand-tossed pies by blending together the flavors of three sauces, a range of meats, and fresh veggies. From within sizzling ovens, chefs pull out creations such as the Jersey Girl—a pizza featuring italian sausage and green peppers—or the White Delight—a ham, chicken, and garlic-sauce combination. Pies range in size from 10 inches to 18 inches, with a range of garlic bread, wings, and cinnamon bread to fill in a meal. The shop also offers delivery service, ensuring clients can have a hot, hearty meal when time is short or when the paparazzi won’t leave their front yard.
A four-tiered stone fountain welcomes visitors to Papa J’s, a 35-year-old restaurant whose food, decor, and family friendliness conjure a classic Italian ambience. Their chefs use recipes passed down to Ray Anthony, grandson of “Mama J,” aka Antoinette Giraldi, who inherited them from prior generations of her Italian family. The team reads these culinary blueprints to cook calzones and hot sandwiches with fillings of meatballs and cheese or bake pizzas with mainstay toppings such as mushrooms and pepperoni. The kitchen team can even stuff their pies with ricotta—the safest place to store cheese apart from a Roth IRA. Beyond Italian staples, Papa J's Italian Restaurant presents an array of seafood including shrimp and salmon.
Charles Stanford didn't grow up eating chicken fingers and spaghetti. The son of a Le Cordon Bleu Paris?trained chef, Stanford honed his palate at a young age and was taught by his father to pull a cork and mix a cocktail when he was just a kid. Working at a restaurant wasn't much of a reach for him.
These days, Stanford boasts more than two decades of experience in the industry, and he's paired up with chef Greg Keesy to present Asti d'Italia. Stanford acts as the resident sommelier, pouring a selection of wines that complement Keesy's cuisine?fresh, inventive takes on Italian classics, such as lasagna with buffalo meat, crispy polenta bruschetta, and grilled chicken marsala.
After spending years working for Dominos Pizza, Vince Schmuhl decided that he could do a better job of preparing and delivering quality pies to people's homes. He challenged the nationwide chain's dominance in the region by founding the first Blackjack Pizza on June 29, 1983.
Although delivering oven-fresh pies within 30 minutes was still a major goal for Schmuhl, he emphasized the importance of quality ingredients using sauce made from freshly packed tomatoes as well as hand-tossed dough that never sees the inside of a freezer or cryogenic chamber. This dedication to quality and speedy service allowed Blackjack Pizza to not only survive, but also thrive over the decades. The chain now includes more than 40 stores operating in four different states.
In addition to offering seven signature pies, Blackjack Pizza also allows customers to build their own order from crust to toppings. A choice of up to four savory, tangy, and piquant sauces form the base, topped with any of the 3 available cheeses, 7 meats, and 10 freshly diced vegetables. Regardless of the toppings, Blackjack Pizza respects the potential danger of food allergies by ensuring that none of its pies ever contain traces of MSG, peanuts, or peanut oil.