Born in Cincinnati in 1954, LaRosa’s now operates about 50 pizzerias in and around that city, with more in neighboring Kentucky and Indiana. An early customer favorite, off the menu for some time but now available again, is the Original Deluxe, topped with LaRosa’s own pizza sauce, provolone, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, green peppers, and red onions. Focaccia and flatbread variations on pizza themes are also on the menu.
Mary’s Pizza Shack
In California’s Sonoma County wine country and vicinity, local residents and visitors alike have been able to enjoy Mary’s pizza since the first Shack opened in 1959. There are now 17 locations around the area, serving pizzas with three kinds of crust — classic, thin, and thick. Serious carnivores love Toto’s Combo, “piled high with everything” — salami, pepperoni, cotto salami, linguica, Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, black olives, and homemade pizza sauce. Do-it-yourself options include all the usual additions, as well as tri-color jalapeños, pesto, ranch dressing, and whole baby clams.
Pat’s started life as Farmsworth’s Cafe in Orono, Maine, near Bangor, evolving into Pat’s Pizza after owner Pat Farmsworth introduced pizza to his menu and it became a big hit. There are now 15 locations around the Pine Tree State. Signature pizzas include Big Pat’s (Thousand Island dressing, American cheese, “hamburg” [ground beef], onion, lettuce, and pickles) and Pastrami (pastrami and pizza cheese on a mustard base).
Regina, which started in 1926 in Boston’s North End, calls itself “Boston’s Original Pizzeria.” There are now 14 branches around the Boston area, plus one each on Cape Cod and at Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino. A host of toppings are available, and specialty pizzas include a spinach and broccoli option (fresh spinach, broccoli florets, pecorino romano, mozzarella, fresh basil, and the house garlic sauce) and such seasonal choices as the currently available Sam Adams Pizza (pizza sauce house-made with Sam Adams Sam ’76 beer, garlic, shredded cabbage and carrots, mozzarella, red onion rings, and oven-roasted bratwurst, all finished with a Sam ’76 glaze). Regina is the official pizzeria of the Boston Red Sox.
Originating in Salem, New Hampshire, but inspired by the pizzerias of Boston’s North End, Sal’s opened in 1990. Today, there are seven locations each in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, both company-owned and franchised. A choice of 24 toppings is offered, and specialty pies include BBQ pulled pork, BBQ chicken, and chicken bacon ranch.
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