Pizzicletta, Flagstaff, AZ.
It may seem too sleek (and its hours too limited) for a road-food stop, but dinner-only Pizzicletta occupies a historic laundry building along that greatest of American roads, Route 66, and it’s your last chance for cutting-edge carbs before you tackle the Grand Canyon in the morning. You’ll share a long table or small bar area with others; the Neapolitan-style pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven. Must-try: The Amore Oi Mari, with mascarpone, prosciutto, arugula, Meyer lemon, and pecorino. $$; 203 W. Phoenix Ave.; 928/774-3242.
Grinders Hot Sands, Shoreline, WA (pictured). Homemade Italian meatballs, mozzarella, grilled onions … owner Mitch Gilbert has all the ingredients for flavorful, jaw-stretching subs. His secret weapon is his 78-year-old mom, who helps out with soups and dances “like she has a motor on her butt” during Grinders’ live blues jams in this dimly lit hideaway. Must-try: The Sauball Sandwich, meatballs and sausage in one tasty package. $; 19811 Aurora Ave. N./State 99; 206/542-0627.