The Other Place started over forty years ago in Cedar Falls, quickly becoming a popular feeding hole for hungry University of Northern Iowa students and locals alike. Their popularity led to sure but steady growth, with restaurants across northern Iowa and two locations in suburban Kansas City.
Fans of the The Other Place rejoiced this spring with the news that the chain was making a foray into central Iowa with a new location in Clive, in the space that had recently housed a failed Boston Pizza franchise.
On my first visit to the Clive restaurant I tried the Grinder pizza. The pools of orange liquid seeping from underneath take me aback initially. And certainly no lack of mozzarella on this build. The crust is rather unique for these parts: it's yeasty but with a pretzel-like crispness on the bottom.
Did I mention the cheese? Holy crap! There's a boatload!
A scattering of grinder meat swims in a loose sauce – tasting like a sweet, zesty Sloppy Joe. More meat would be welcome. Jalapeño and onion round out the toppings.
On a return visit I sampled the more substantial House Special. Salami is a standout ingredient and worthy of a pizza on its own. It promotes the overall meatiness of the pizza. Aside from sausage on top, the meats – salami plus ham and pepperoni – rest under the cheese, keeping their juiciness intact. It can be a little greasy, but not enough to curtail me from eating a few more slices.
On the House Special I can appreciate the taste of oregano in the sauce when I can detect it, mostly around the edges. Green peppers predominate atop, black olives compliment. Mushroom and onions are relative bit players.
In a metro brimming with exceptional pizzas, The Other Place's yeasty crust is unique enough to warrant a try.