Tazinos Pizza & Salad Bistro provides patrons with a buffet-style smorgasbord of specialty pizzas, pastas, and salads. Already cooking at three locations, a fourth eatery in downtown Milwaukee is slated to open its doors this summer. Each casual restaurant revolves around an all-you-can-eat menu of fresh, nutritious Italian fare, including pizzas crafted from natural Wisconsin cheeses and dough that is kneaded onsite every morning using unbleached flour and absolutely no high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, MSG, or magic beans. Pies range from classic pepperoni and authentic Italian margherita to the specialty Tailgater, topped with Klement's bratwurst, green peppers, brown mustard, and barbecue sauce. Salads, such as a sweet Asian-style slaw, and pastas, ranging from mac 'n' cheese to garlic-and-herb fettuccini, keep forks gainfully employed, and each meal is rounded out by a selection of soups, desserts, and spicy pepperoni rolls.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sunriza pizzas fend off the morning munchies with renditions of breakfast favorites in pie form. Topping choices include eggs and bacon, eggs ranchero, and morning-fresh veggies, and each slice may be enjoyed alongside other breakfast staples such as french toast, cereal, and mini cinnamon rolls.
Villaggio's authentic Italian cuisine and New York–style pizza fill out the menus with Tuscan flair. Unfold the lunch menu to furnish an empty stomach with endless homemade soup, Italian house salad, and warm homemade breadsticks ($6.50), or multitask with a BlackBerry in one hand and a sausage-and-mushroom calzone in the other ($6.99). Authentic Italian dinners at Villaggio harness the renewable energy of the tides with mussels di Napoli, simmered with white wine, garlic, butter, and onions ($7.99). Savory house specialties, include breaded eggplant parmesan dressed in marinara, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella ($10.99) and charcoal-grilled, balsamic-marinated pork chops served alongside garlic mashed potatoes ($12.99).
Rosati’s Pizza's history dates back to the early 1900s, when a recent Italian immigrant named Ferdinand Rosati moved from New York to Chicago with the dream of opening a restaurant. His first attempt was modest—with Ferdinand simultaneously fulfilling the duties of chef, server, dishwasher, and host—but quickly gained popularity for its crispy-thin-crust pizzas, originally served as complimentary appetizers. Encouraged by the public's response to the pies, Ferdinand and his son, Sam, decided to focus their efforts on opening a true pizzeria.
Today, at Rosati's Pizza locations across the country, plumes of heat swirl above piping-hot pies concocted from handmade sauce and dough. A smattering of toppings cling to five crust options—crispy thin, double dough, Chicago-style, pan, and superstuffed—as well as hide from their hungry predators inside hand-rolled calzones. Homemade lasagna and fettuccine alfredo battle for the top pasta spot, and fried chicken, baby back ribs, and fried-shrimp dinners work together to distract diners from hard-to-resist buffalo wings.
Punctuated by festive colors, a plentiful bar, and ample outdoor seating, La Chimenea's two locations put diners in the mood to celebrate. Owner Hector Jimenez—who also has a website dedicated to healthy Mexican food—offers dishes that run the gamut of Mexican staples. Menu items include homemade guacamole and sirloin-steak fajitas, along with more innovative creations, such as the specialty chilies en Nogada, which fills two poblano peppers with ground beef, peaches, apples, and nuts before slathering it all in a creamy cashew sauce. At the bar, a variety of tequilas anoint lime, strawberry, or raspberry margaritas, and patio seating keeps the seasons at bay with a fire pit during the winter months and a restaurant-sized snow globe over the summer.
The dining room at Endter’s Sports Grill goes completely silent as occupants stare intently at athletic contests playing out on the screen in front of them. As the winning touchdown is scored, the room erupts into a flurry of yelps and victory dances, sending the pennants dappling the exposed-brick walls fluttering in a dance of their own.
Behind the scenes, a crew of chefs rustles up a menu of pub fare built around Black Angus beef, lake perch, and hand-battered cod. Steam trickles from a pizza oven, hinting at toppings such as sausage, fresh tomatoes, and banana peppers. Beneath memorabilia from bygone eras of football and competitive baseball-cap wearing, diners blow on the molten pies, waiting to wash them down with draft and bottled beers. The suds, which hail from Germany as well as local brewers including Sprecher and Central Waters, click together in glasses, summoning forth belly laughs near the eatery’s flickering fireplace.
Though the vibrant crimson walls and the flat screens in the bar area fight for it, it's the rich red and green enchilada sauces at Salsa Cafe and Cantina's that steal diners' attention. The sense parade continues into the more subdued dining room, where freshly made guacamole with a secret blend of seasonings builds excitement for the meal ahead. The menu features traditional favorites, such as the slow-cooked and seasoned Mexican-style carnitas, but it also weaves creative Latin flavors into dishes such as the Venezuelan hot dog with cabbage and crushed potato chips, and embellishes American tastes with a trio of burgers. Meal encores take the form of red velvet cake, cinnamon crispies, and Chocolate Rage cake, the only known cure for Hulk rampages. Such innovative fare has not gone unnoticed in the community—Carol Deptola from the Journal Sentinel raves about the dishes in her three-star review.