After spending years working for Dominos Pizza, Vince Schmuhl decided that he could do a better job of preparing and delivering quality pies to people's homes. He challenged the nationwide chain's dominance in the region by founding the first Blackjack Pizza on June 29, 1983.
Although delivering oven-fresh pies within 30 minutes was still a major goal for Schmuhl, he emphasized the importance of quality ingredients using sauce made from freshly packed tomatoes as well as hand-tossed dough that never sees the inside of a freezer or cryogenic chamber. This dedication to quality and speedy service allowed Blackjack Pizza to not only survive, but also thrive over the decades. The chain now includes more than 40 stores operating in four different states.
In addition to offering seven signature pies, Blackjack Pizza also allows customers to build their own order from crust to toppings. A choice of up to four savory, tangy, and piquant sauces form the base, topped with any of the 3 available cheeses, 7 meats, and 10 freshly diced vegetables. Regardless of the toppings, Blackjack Pizza respects the potential danger of food allergies by ensuring that none of its pies ever contain traces of MSG, peanuts, or peanut oil.
Since its inception as a single Fort Collins eatery almost 20 years ago, Big City Burrito has spread its wings across Colorado and Nebraska, presenting a menu of create-your-own burritos, tacos, and the like composed of fresh fillings and made-from-scratch tortillas. Just as all buildings start with a steady foundation of flour and water, all burritos begin with a good tortilla. And Big City offers half a dozen options, such as tomato-chili and jalapeño-cheddar. After picking a tortilla, customers can start relaying their order to the kitchen crew, be it for a burrito packed with chicken mole and topped with mild pico de gallo or a carne asada taco with a dollop of salsa de lupe—the restaurant’s special blended hot salsa. Customers also can choose to have the decadent fillings and salsas served simply atop a plate of rice and beans or stuffed inside a fresh-made quesadilla. Besides crafting meals day and night, Big City also serves breakfast burritos for both adults and kids and offers catering services, which include burrito bars and boxed lunches for large groups or corporate events.
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.
For the last 50 years, Bova’s Italian Restaurant has created Italian meals. They make every dish, including giant calzones, from scratch. Pastas, pizzas, and sandwiches present savory options for disparate cravings. And for the family who can agree on only two things—pasta and curfew—the menu also includes family-style meals until closing time at 9 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday and 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday.
Kabob Station’s owner, Ronda Saleh, crafts succulent Syrian and Middle Eastern cuisine with imported spices and exclusively homemade ingredients. With a single amour or an assembly of ravenous stuffed animals, diners can communally dive into one of the menu’s starter plates for two or four. An appetizer sampler collects hummus, falafel, tabbouleh and other enticing starters onto one plate for mix-and-match appetite whetting or multimedia food fights. Entrees, each served with a medley of rice, a house salad, hummus, and Kabob Station's daily baked pita bread, pique gustatory interest with kebab, shawarma, and vegetarian selections. Tear into a spiced lamb shank, baked and served with fresh veggies, or celebrate the many facets of meaty eats with a Kabob Station combination, which assembles three styles of kebab and three styles of shawarma into a rainbow of protein-packed sustenance.
Cold Stone's ice cream inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4 and $6, depending on size.