The young chefs have traded in their kitchen whites for cheery red and blue T-shirts, and their energetic chatter permeates the pizza parlor, where they work together to create unique pies. They dapple rounds of dough with boundary-pushing ingredients that range from alligator sausage and marinated steak to spicy peanut sauce and noodles. This dedication to whipping up peculiar pizzas—as well as pastas, sandwiches, and wings—is part of Pizza Schmizza’s mission to foster a relaxed, whimsical dining experience for everyone who sidles up to their counter. This family-friendly, merry environment helped earn the homegrown business more than 20 locations across the Pacific Northwest, making Pizza Schmizza franchises as easy to find as the Space Needle in a haystack.
Tabletop candles cast a mild glow around Cafe Allegro's quaint dining space, where authentic Italian pastas, sandwiches, and hearth-baked pizzas convey the restaurant's 15 years of culinary mastery in every mouthful. Cream sauces, marsala marinara, meats, and fresh vegetables top a latticework of traditional pastas, and calzones swell with myriad ingredients and pride at no longer taking a back seat to pizza. Glasses full of Italian wines reflect the twinkling bulbs that frame the bistro's windows, and a banquet room with an outdoor patio hosts festive events.
Despite its name, Ye Olde Pizza Shoppe whips up innovative culinary creations that won't be found at pizza joints of yore. Menu items such as the chili cheese fry pizza and the black knight pizza smothered with ham and sauerkraut beckon adventurous palates, as do other novel toppings such as peanuts and oysters. But it's not all experimental at the shoppe. Classic offerings abound and include vegetarian pizzas, barbecue sandwiches, tuna melts, and mozzarella sticks.
People need energy to play, so meals at John's Incredible Pizza Company might start at a salad bar with 40 different veggies and toppings, before proceeding to an inventive selection of pizzas including barbecue chicken ranch, spicy peanut butter, and standards like pepperoni and cheese. There is also a build-your-own pasta bar and a dessert buffet with everything from fresh baked cinnamon rolls to soft-serve ice cream cones?all of it is meant to fuel a good time. That takes place on bumper cars and interactive super-bikes. Old school arcade enthusiasts can engage in classic Pac-Man battle while redemption tickets whir out of machines, granting winners access to a prize counter stocked with lava lamps and Nintendo and XBOX 360 consoles.
At Brix Tavern, executive chef Kevin Kennedy stamps his unique fingerprint on American comfort food favorites, including brick-oven-fired artisan pizzas, local and fresh salads, and sandwiches. Like the cuisine, speciality cocktails are made with locally sourced ingredients, such as seasonal Oregon berries mixed with fresh lime and tequila. "You call it" martinis and wine specials are available during lunch service. According to Portland Monthly, the tavern stocks more than 30 canned beers in addition to a healthy selection on tap.
Patrons can enjoy the expansive exposed brick dining area or build a nest in the elevated living room loft, complete with comfy couches and leather chairs. Brix delivers on entertainment with flat-screen TVs, live musicians Thursdays, DJ sets on weekends, pool, and retro arcade games.
DeNicola's Italian Restaurant sprung up more than 30 years ago and leverages culinary experience to piece together appetizing Neapolitan- and Little Italy–inspired platters engineered from authentic Italian recipes. Instead of using their expertise to help children cheat on quizzes about the international wheat market, DeNicola’s chefs revolutionize humdrum pastas such as linguine by inventing a Linguine by the Sea tossed with seven sautéed prawns and seasoned with garlic, romano cheese, and lemon pepper. On the dessert menu, chocolate seduction cakes lure tongues into a sultry tango with its three layers of malleable sweetness.