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.
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.
The Grill at Silver Creek Lanes treats bowlers and spectators to hearty American feasts. As diners watch bowlers haul spheres down alleys lit by blacklight and 135" projection screens, they can keep hunger at bay with slices of pizza and chicken strips. The menu also includes cheeseburgers and jumbo hot dogs, complemented by sides such as sample platters, cheese sticks, onion rings, and curly fries.
“We had reserved a window spot and watched the birds and boats on the lake until dark,” wrote a reporter for the Statesman Journal after a visit to Caruso’s Italian Café & Wine Bar. The view of Staas Lake, visible from almost every seat in the house, was instrumental in landing the eatery a spot on the newspaper’s Best of list in 2011 and 2012. With his wife Angie in charge of hospitality, chef Jerry Phipps brings years of culinary experience to bear on northern Italian cuisine. In addition to pastas such as linguine and prawns, Phipps sautés halibut in a sherry-wine reduction and pairs milk-fed veal with mushrooms and light marsala sauce.
Fairy lights encircle the ceiling of the dining room, adding to the soft luminescence playing off of the burnished gold walls. Visitors chat with glasses of wine and small plates in the wine room’s sumptuous armchairs and loveseats alongside stuffed trophy beanbags. Beneath a wide pergola outside, silverware clatters merrily against the murmur of a stone fountain.
The founders of Garlic Jim's Famous Gourmet Pizza banded together with a common goal in mind: to craft handmade, gourmet pizzas and deliver them to your door as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. Now, they uphold that promise at more than 20 locations throughout the western United States, consistently serving up custom or specialty pies slathered with handmade sauce pressed from vine-ripened tomatoes. Even the cheese is held to high standards, with 100% whole-milk mozzarella only produced by cows that got a perfect score on their SATs.
Since 1997, 3rd Street Pizza Company has fused food and film into a ready-made night out. On one side of the business, hand-tossed dough is fired atop hot stones, which yields crisp New York–style pizzas topped with a signature blend of mozzarella, provolone, and monterey jack cheeses. Sauce options also reach beyond the standard red to include thai peanut, pesto, and garlic parmesan. The pies anchor a menu that features calzones, sandwiches, and microbrews, all of which can be taken into showings at Moonlight Theater. Recent releases stretch out across a full-size movie screen that teams up with a 12-speaker surround-sound system as high-tech as the ones judges use to make their verdicts extra scary. The restaurant also supports arts beyond film and pizza—a dining-room wall functions as a rotating gallery space, and live musicians occasionally play during dinner.