This post is dedicated to the birthday girl of the week, Kelsey Steffen!
The first night they arrived, we dug into Pizza #1 from Wig & Pen. Kelsey says Wig & Pen is an Iowa staple, and it is a British style pub. The restaurant went under water in the flood of 2008, but they recovered! The flying tomato pizza is what they’re known for, so of course, that’s what we ate! The pizza was sold as a par-bake (they put it in the oven to melt the cheese, and then the customer transports it home to cook it the rest of the way), and we put it in Jon’s oven for dinner!
This pizza reminds me of Papa Del’s! I LOVE Papa Del’s, and it’s a classic from Champaign, IL. You can taste all the butta in the crust… mmm mmm. But ultimately it was cheesey goodness and its flaky buttery crust transported the toppings quite well! The closest comparison to a Chicago place would be Giordano’s.
Pizza #2 was consumed after Jon’s mom, Kelsey & Matt left, but it was still quite rewarding. This pizza is from the famous Pagliai’s. It’s a paper thin pizza, but quite splendid as well. This restaurant must know their stuff is great because they sell frozen pizzas from their freezer!
Anyways, Jon REALLY liked the crust because it was crisply done. Although the pictures don’t do it justice, the pizza is full of flavor. The sauce packs in quite a kick, and the cheese conceals it well. There wasn’t an overload of toppings, but everything was perfectly distributed. I enjoyed this pizza too, especially when adding some oregano and other spices.
Overall, these two pizzas are completely different, but both represent Iowa City. After all, they are featured on the Serious Eats website, so they’re winners anyway! I hope you get a chance to try these pizzas in person. I will be heading to Iowa this weekend, but perhaps I will resist the temptation to eat pizza?! Doubtful.
Wig & Pen