I have a bad habit of writing the ‘Why eat at a chain’ posts during the afternoon, which always makes me extremely hungry. Unfortunately, this time is no different, as soon as I started thinking about this restaurant my stomach reminded me I need to consume as much of their pizza as I can.
The pizza I speak of is Pagliai’s Pizza(pronounced polly-eye’s) over in Johnston. Pagliai’s is home to some of the best pizza in the city, yet they also have Pasta, sandwiches, salads, and pretty much anything you would want in a locally owned pizza joint. Their pizza’s are cooked in a Stone Hearth oven to add very unique flavoring and is completely visible in their open kitchen structure.
The initial Pagliai’s generation came to the United States back in 1917 from Northern Italy. Thankfully for us, their children introduced their family owned recipes to patrons back in 1957 at the initial Pagliai’s restaurant, known as The Pizza House, in Ames, Iowa. Now, there are three Pagliai’s in Central Iowa, the Johnston location, Grinnell, and Iowa City.
Their Taco Pizza is my favorite because they don’t use the traditional chips (Doritos’s) like other joints do, and their crust is to die for. I also love their Italian Sausage Pizza as they provide amazingly large ‘chunks’ of Sausage and all natural cheeses. Pagliai’s Johnston location allows for eat-in or carry-out business and it is tough to see which one is doing better since as many pizza’s go out the door as there is being consumed in the restaurant.
According to their website, Pagliai’s has nearly 12,000 pounds of fresh Mozzarella delivered from Wisconsin each month to satisfy their need for some of the best cheese in the country. Their product is not all from Iowa, but it is made in Iowa and it definitely supports a local restaurant. After all, why would you want to eat at a chain restaurant like Papa John’s when you can eat at Pagliai’s.