The County Line Cafe has a dedicated crew of regulars who come to enjoy their burgers, grinders, and huge sausage patty sandwiches. Even more popular is their hand cut, pounded, breaded, and pan-fried tenderloins, and the $12 one-price-fits-most-toppings pizza, popular enough to keep a clipboard handy with blank pizza gift certificates.
On a very lazy Saturday morning, while the rest of the town gravitated around the Iowa State Fair, I ventured south of County Line Road, but just barely, to the Cafe for mini-pitchers of Fat Tire and shots of Jim Beam. Cafe is a misleading term. The County Line is most definitely a bar, and an old school one at that.
In the course of friendly conversation with the morning barkeep I talked myself into a pepperoni and onion pizza. The barkeep graciously built my pizza not as heaped-upon as regulars might ask for, on my request. Not that I don't like heaps. I thought it would be appropriate to get one built like what an average Joe might get otherwise.
That said, I did mention a preference for lots of cheese and that's exactly what my pizza came with. Thin pre-made crust, easily soggied by the plentiful, tasty red sauce. I was told the oven wasn't quite up to temperature so the crust was not as crispy as it could be. Crispy or not, it's a delightfully messy pizza to eat.
The sauce is quite zesty, likely a consequence of the pepperoni under the plentiful cheese cap. As much as I like pepperoni with a light crisp on the edges, placing it under the cheese allows the spicy fat to mingle and flavor the sauce.
It's not a pizza like one would enjoy at Bordenaro's [see blog post] or Chuck’s, but it's a far cry from the ubiquitous frozen pizza usually served up at your average neighborhood bar. You'd pay more than a Tombstone or Pasquale's, but the cheap beer and the twentieth century atmosphere more than compensates for the price.