Taste of New York wins Ultimate Pizza Challenge11/6/2019
And more good news
Taste of New York won the Ultimate Pizza Challenge over the last three months. The Jordan Creek pizzeria has won the hearts of Des Moines’ diners in a little more than five years, which is a New York minute when it comes to pizza love. The restaurant’s New York pedigree is authentic and evolved from the events of 9-11. Louis Savelli was a New York City police officer who began conducting anti-terrorism seminars around America after the fall of the twin towers. After spending several weeks in each of 10 years teaching at Camp Dodge, he asked wife Joy to consider moving to the heartland. (Affordable real estate and good public schools were incentives.)
They moved from Bensonhurst, New York’s most Italian neighborhood, and their children and some cousins moved, too. The café celebrates its Brooklyn roots with wall murals of the apple. The pies are sold as slices and as either 18-inch rounds or 16-inch squares. Calzones, arancini, heroes, salads, stuffed rolls, three pasta dishes and four Italian desserts. The pies are New York style, meaning they are pliable enough to fold over and eat like a sandwich.
Taste of New York won 40 percent of all the 5,598 votes cast. Abbie’s, Pie Five, Leaning Tower of Pizza, The Tavern, Marco’s, The Fletcher, and 515 Pi were the runners up in that order. Congratulations to everyone.
THE GOOD NEWS
Simon Groot, a Dutch vegetable breeder who has helped put food on the tables of the world’s poor, won the World Food Prize… The popular North Carolina restaurant Tupelo Honey announced they were expanding and would open a store between Sixth and Seventh on Grand Avenue next summer… Popular food truck Curbin’ Cuisine opened a sitdown café in the former Goodson’s Pizza… Mad Meatball announced it would reopen in a new venue in Gray’s Station in 2020… Skol, “a pub of pure imagination,” opened in the former Mad Meatball on S.E. Fifth at MLK, serving food for Vikings and others not afraid to eat with their fingers… The Simple Greek should be open by press time at 1550 N. Ankeny Blvd. in the suite formerly occupied by Zombie Burger + Shake Lab.
The restaurant franchise’s concept uses an assembly line approach similar to Chipotle or Subway, but with Mediterranean food. It was founded in 2015 by Marcus Lemonis, inspired by a restaurant concept from his CNBC television show, “The Profit.” The restaurant was franchised in 2016.
El Rincon Catracho 2 opened its second Honduran café at 1910 Hull Ave. The new place has a larger menu than the original and offers more non-Honduran Latino fare… Sambetti’s reopened on Sixth Avenue with new owners serving breakfast, lunch and dinner… Jeff Duncan (Dish, Dos Rios, Vivian’s) is now manager at Giordano’s, a popular Chicago pizzeria now in West Des Moines… Alegrias The Blue House reopened on Sixth, six months after closing. The Mexican restaurant
specializes in seafood… Blue Sushi Sake Grill opened on Court Avenue… Fiesta opened in the former Bambino’s in West Des Moines with some fabulous murals and even better food… Guadalajara, an Ankeny restaurant, opened a new store in Altoona in the former Bigfoot Bacon and Brew… Indian Chef opened on Ankeny Boulevard… Mama Mia’s closed its store on Ninth and opened just off the skywalk, offering slices as well as whole pizza pies… Pyra Pizza opened a
Neapolitan style pizzeria in Norwalk… Sugar Shack reopened in Altoona… RI opened in the hallowed ground that produced three of Des Moines’ greatest restaurants — Anjo’s, Sage and Baru 66.
Tom and Annie Baldwin moved their 21 bars, restaurants and nightclubs into a single group The
Dark Side of the Spoon. The Baldwins’ properties are in the metro, Omaha and Minneapolis. In a number of places, they are the largest independent hospitality group in Iowa. ♦