For Gourmet Pizza Shoppe owners Bill, Don, and Scott, the standard assortment of pizza toppings isn't enough. Though pepperoni, sausage, and black olives are certainly part of its repertoire, the trio also stocks exotic ingredients such as mashed potatoes, peanut butter, and crabmeat—making a total of more than 120 toppings. Strewn across dough made fresh each day, these morsels form custom build-your-own pies or dozens of specialty pizzas, ranging from classic eggplant parmesan to the out-there Mini Pearl, loaded with country gravy, mashed potatoes, and fried chicken.
At the downtown location, taps pour out more than 20 regional microbrews, including several from Redlands brewery's Hangar 24 and Ritual. After meals, customers can request six types of dessert pizzas to adorn the tables' green-gingham tablecloths or their imaginary pet dragons' green-gingham tongues.
At Two Guys Pasta and Pizza, tomato sauce simmers on the stove for hours, while housemade pizza dough bakes in the oven until bubbly and crisp. The eatery’s from-scratch sauces and breads have earned nods from the Daily Bulletin, which hails the fresh-baked bread as “outstanding—almost a meal in itself.” Diners can also make a meal out of Two Guys’ specialty pastas and sandwiches, pairing these eats with draft beers and bottles of wine freshly tapped from the grape bush.
Though much in the world has changed since Papa Joe's Pizza opened in 1989, they've been crafting their pizzas from the exact same recipe all this time. As bowling balls send pins clattering inside Universal Strike Bowling Center, where the pizzeria calls home, players settle in to share pizzas such as the hulking 28-inch pie big enough to slice into 54 pieces or to use as a shawl.
Napoli Italian Restaurant summons the spirits of Old Country recipes by stirring up a menu of traditional Italian plates and pairable glasses from rackfuls of fine wines. Toasted bread dance floors hold aloft fresh tomato, garlic, oregano, and fresh basil atop an antipasto of bruschetta ($7.50). Patrons rest their incisors on a boneless bed of pollo marsala ($10.95) to dream of sweet marsala wine and dating the cute bicuspid across the jaw. Chunks of shrimp, calamari, scallops, clams, mussels, and salmon swim laps between strands of pasta in the linguini pescatore's pool of olive oil and light marinara or white sauce ($16.50). Oenophiles flex their matchmaking muscles by pairing varietals with their meal, marrying a full-bodied red to the milk-fed veal of the vitello piccata ($12.50) or setting up a glass of white with the baked chicken breast of the pollo florentina ($12.50).
Red paper lanterns hang from Chapter Two California Kitchen's interior, illuminating a yellow dining room where American and Thai flavors collide. The fusion eatery's Heart Attack sandwich, for example, is pure Americana: country-fried steak with white sauce and grilled onions, all between two golden slabs of garlic bread. However, the menu also brims with Thai staples, from pad thai and pad see ew to jok—rice pudding with a savory twist.
Wake snoozing taste buds with a hearty starter such as mozzarella suprema breadsticks adorned with natural cheese and herbs ($3.95 side; $5.95 large) before moving onto a signature fire-roasted pie. An authentic terra-cotta oven blasts RedBrick's prided circles with more than 1,000 degrees of heat, alchemically transforming their base dough into crispy gold in less than three minutes. Enjoy stationary drive-in dining with a bacon-cheeseburger pizza topped with ground beef and three kinds of cheese ($17.95 for a 14"), or graze on the veggie gourmet works, which comes loaded with a Peter Piper's worth of fresh vegetables including bell peppers, artichokes, and mushrooms, swaddled in your choice of a vegetarian red or white sauce ($17.95 for a 14"). Create-your-own pies are also available, providing palate-pleasing fill-in-the-blanks for the munching mad-libbest. Yowling sweet teeth can be silenced with a dessert of gourmet gelato or a surprise dinner visit from the dentist's wife, the librarian.