When the titular owner of Mr. Jim's Pizza founded his first eatery in 1975, he wasn't planning to be there for long. Instead, he hoped his business profits would help him to open his own franchise of McDonald's, where he'd worked part-time to put himself through college. Soon, however, the success of his shop led to the opening of several more locations in Garland, as well as franchises across the state. Today, Mr. Jim presides over dozens of Texas pizza joints, where chefs hand-stretch freshly made dough to create their trademark pizzas. Loaded with fresh mozzarella, crisp veggies, and real meat toppings, these pies fill tables and takeout boxes alongside appetizers such as wings and bread sticks dipped in fresh tomato sauce.
Meal maestros at Fontana's Italian Bistro festoon New York–style pizzas, hearty pastas, and hot or cold subs with fresh ingredients imported from Italy. After poring over the menu, diners can order six garlic knots ($2.50) to jump-start appetites or tie off half a dozen ponytails. Carnivorous incisors slice into the 18-inch extra-large meat lover's stuffed pizza ($24.99) or the sicilian deep-dish pizza with cheese and sausage ($16.99), and veggie-leaning palates can opt for the flora-filled flavor of the eggplant parmigiana sub ($5.99). Forks twirl into creamy beds of linguine with white clam sauce ($7.99), and taste buds heat up with the shrimp diablo ($10.99), a dish spicier than a tabloid feature on Posh, Baby, and Scary.
Housemade pastas, hearty Italian entrees, and New York–style pizza sold by the slice populate the lengthy menu at Cafe Roma. In the kitchen, chefs prepare chicken, veal, and fresh seafood in a variety of ways, from shrimp scampi sautéed with garlic and lemon and tossed over linguini to veal parmigiana blanketed in mozzarella and tomato sauce. Kids can practice their cutlery skills with spaghetti and fettuccine alfredo or munch on a slice of “Grandma’s” pizza topped with marinara sauce and garlic. Unlike Cookie Monster’s intervention, meals conclude with rich desserts, such as tiramisu and cheesecake. Though Cafe Roma has a comfortable BYOB dining room, the eatery also offers take-out, delivery, and catering.
At Rosati's, specialty pizzas cavort with traditional pastas across a sprawling smorgasbords of a menu featuring classic Italian dishes. Equipped with a family recipe more than a century old, the pie personnel spin Chicago-style deep-dish disks ($10.99 for a 12"; $17.99 for an 18") with chunky tomato sauce and deliciously gooey cheese slathered upon a buttery, pan-cooked thick crust. Unlike horror films starring frozen vegetables, the Rosati's Monster pizza ($17.55 for a 12"; $29.05 for an 18") terrifies hunger pangs thanks to its hearty ensemble cast of 11 toppings, including ground beef and canadian bacon. Engage grub receptacles with the baked mostaccioli ($7.75), a mozzarella-infused Old World pasta dish, or impress a geologist with the complex layers of homemade baked lasagna ($7.50). Buffalo wings come decked out in hot, mild, or BBQ dressing, while the garden salad combines mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green peppers into an herbivore's delight.
Drawing on years of experience in the kitchens of Nobu, Nine Steak House, Nove Italiano, and Ampm Restaurant, Chef Tony assembles a host of fresh ingredients to craft his artisanal pizzas. He enhances the crispy prosciutto pizza with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and layers provolone cheese and yukon potatoes over the marinated chicken pizza. Additionally, gourmet salads provide an opportunity to sample house-made dressings and roasted-garlic vinaigrettes without the awkwardness of ordering them “on the rocks.”