Sunday, June 29, 2014

Something Italian This Way Comes

UPDATED Sunday, September 28, 2014

Living in close proximity of Something Italian is a blessing. But there’s not many occasions I can visit while trying to seek out dining pleasures elsewhere. And with my weight loss of the last seven months, opportunities are even fewer. So here’s what I’ve compiled over the half dozen visits I’ve made over the spring months.

First and foremost Something Italian is the original purveyor of pizza-by-the-slice in downtown Des Moines, serving up lunch-time slices since 1999. Its what they excel at and the pizza that defines Something Italian best is the Papa Luigi. With a red tomato sauce topped with mozzarella, pepperoni, Graziano’s Italian sausage, black and green olives, mushrooms, and yellow pepper rings, its practically a meal. They’re no slouches on the basics either… a simple slice of Pepperoni is thin and foldable, cheesy, zesty, and quite comforting. Something Italian also offers a ridiculously good Spicy pizza, with a solid base of Italian sausage, topped with pepperoni and home-grown peppers.

On one happy occasion I popped into Something Italian as the first slices of a Ham and Alfredo deep dish pizza was being cut. Creamy, crispy, hammy, and so decadent. And being so fresh from the oven it was piping hot… yipes!

While losing weight I’ve had to cut back on the amount of pasta I eat. At home its easy enough to pre-measure and dispense as needed. While eating out I generally avoid it, or at the least plan my day around a meal to accommodate such indulgence. One such treat was a Something Italian daily pasta special of penne in a cheese sauce cobbled together from Alfredo and a handful of shredded cheddar, tossed with bacon and salami. It was so decadent I could only eat half a plate, saving the leftovers for the next day’s breakfast.

Along the way I also tried a thin crust version of the Ham and Alfredo pizza, which benefited from a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. The zing tempered its richness nicely. And a deep-dish Pepperoni I noshed on-the-go was so saucy, just one napkin couldn't repel a mess of that magnitude! As a dabbed away at the corners of my mouth with the now red-tinged wad of damp paper, I spotted an interesting vanity plate on a vehicle parked nearby. Coincidence? I think not.

On top of pizzas and pastas, Something Italian offers a number of toasty sandwiches. On my last visit for lunch I enjoyed a marvelously simple sausage (grinder) sandwich – a hoagie bun chocked full of saucy Italian sausage, topped with mozzarella and toasted. Not too spicy, but quite flavorful. Get a fork, you’ll need it!

Cutting Deep-Dish Pepperoni pizza; Another experiment for the lunch crowd, a cheddar-laden Chili Dog pizza.

Slices and salad bar ready for the lunch crowd.

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