First day of my extended Fourth of July holiday staycation offered a couple of options. Either get up bright and early to snag a commuter bus to Ankeny to stuff my face full of Topped Doughnuts, or make a lunch run out west to NYC Pizza Café. I decided against waking up at four o’clock in the morning and settled for a shot of Cabo Wabo blanco for breakfast. HACK! ACK! Smooooth.
It was a hot day with heat indices predicted in the 100s. First order of business was to load up with iced tea from Amici Espresso downtown before boarding the westbound No. 11 bus.
Arriving at NYC Pizza Café, located at 6305 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines, I ordered up a large pepperoni and onion and a pint of Fat Tire. A few sips later and my peckishness intensified. I tacked on a house salad to tide me over for the next few minutes.
With chilled, chopped iceberg, romaine and tomato the house salad was a simple build and refreshingly cool. Thoroughly mixed into the greens a creamy garlic Parmesan dressing based on the recipe used at the legendary south Des Moines icon, Johnny and Kay’s. Broken pieces of Melba toast in lieu of bulky croutons add a nice crunch that stands up to the sweetly flavored dressing.
In no time, my pizza was out from the kitchen, patiently waiting while I finished my salad. Good thin, foldable crust, with a light crispness underneath. The edge, crispy on the outside with a nice strip of char on the bottom, retained a soft, edible interior. Bright, simple tomato sauce. Generous portion of mozzarella, but not too much to eclipse either the sauce or crust. Onions atop still have some crunch, and punch, after baking.
Finishing up my last slice before boxing the rest, I spotted a Graz-Father toasted grinder sandwich being made. I resolved to order it on my next visit. Who knew that would be the next day?
Made with browned Graziano’s Italian pork sausage mixed with NYC’s thick tomato sauce, The Graz-Father is a saucy sandwich to eat. With melted slices of mozzarella on a toasted hoagie roll, and plentiful roasted sweet peppers and onions, it’s a complete meal with pickle spear and a bag of chips.
A little more of the savory, sausage/tomato sauce would be nice, but still The Graz-Father is a good lunch value.
Sated after this second visit in so many days, I made a beeline to Giff Wagner's 5th Street Pub for multiple mini-pitchers of Michelob Amber Bock, a shot of Jim Beam, and furious commentary on breakfast pizza [see blog post].