Restaurant Spotlight : Pizza

Fong’s Pizza

By Lindsay MacNab

Ames Eats Flavors Writer

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Style: Asian-American

History: Fong’s Pizza opened in January 2009 after moving into King-Ying-Low, one of Des Moines’ oldest Chinese restaurants. Their Asian-inspired cozy restaurant (complete with a bar) features décor that is a mix of Chinese, Italian, Oriental, and Polynesian with a 40s and 50s-style feel.

Menu Items:

  • Appetizers: Chinese Cheesesticks, Thai Styx, Egg Rolls, Chinese Ribs, etc.
  • Salads: Sesame Ginger Chicken, Italian Stallion, Kung Pao Chicken, etc.
  • Sandwiches: Big Fong Sandwich, Chipotle BBQ Pork, Grinder, etc.
  • Unique Pizzas: Thai Chicken, Pineapple & Shrimp, Crab Rangoon, Meatarian, Loaded Potato, Philly Cheesesteak, Shroomin, Saucy Vegan, Honey & Garlic, and many, many more!

Featured Pizza: Crab Rangoon: crab rangoon base, surimi, green onion, asiago and mozzarella cheeses, topped with crispy egg roll strips and sweet chili sauce

Unique Qualities: Fong’s Pizza not only makes unparalleled pizzas with an Asian twist, but also offers delicious monthly specials and serves alcoholic tiki drinks in bizarre mugs/bowls. Their specialty shot, “Super Terrific Kamikaze,” can be drank while wearing a large fighter helmet (just ask your server!).

Black Market Pizza

By Lindsay MacNab

Ames Eats Flavors Writer


Location: Ames, Iowa

Style: Chicago-style deep dish or thin crust

History: Black Market Pizza opened in March 2009 by three men who wanted to bring Chicago-style pizza to Iowa. Located in North Ames, this small restaurant not only offers great food and delicious pizza, but an inviting atmosphere complete with Chicago memorabilia and a bar. They have been featured on CNN, KCCI, and most notably, the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food!

Menu Items:

  • Aftertizers (a.k.a Appetizers): bread squares, hot wings, cheesy mobsterella shanks
  • Salads:side salad, house salad, Caesar salad
  • Desserts: cinnamon schuberts, s’mores pies, banana cake
  • Pizzas: Double Bacon Cheeseburger, Chicken Alfredo, Maui “Oaui” Waui, “Witness Protection,” Mr. Meaty, The Tree Hugger a.k.a. Happy Hippy, and more!

Featured Pizza: The Iowegian: pork, sausage, Iowa chop, ham, bacon, and mozzarella cheese

Unique Qualities: Black Market Pizza’s Chicago-style deep dish pizza is not only topped with toppings of your choice, but thick, chunky tomatoes as well. While you’re there, feel free to play one of their vintage pinball games or write on their chalkboard wall. They also offer a rewards program in which collecting 10, 12, 14, or 16 stickers (placed on each pizza box) will get you a FREE 10”, 12”, 14” or 16” pizza respectively.

Great Plains

By Christina Boehme

AmesEats Flavors Writer

Location: Ames, Iowa

Style: Thick or thin Denver, Idaho Potato or New Orleans. All contain pounds of cheese.

History: Great Plains Sauce & Dough Company opened its doors in May 1979 and has been going strong ever since.  Located at 129 Main Street in Ames, co-owners Al Warren and Gordie Meyer provide high quality ingredients to ensure the product they serve is truly “The Best” (a saying featured on staff t-shirts).  Great Plains has been awarded the Ames Tribune’s “Best of Story County: Best Pizza” for several years in a row. Great Plains offers 16 different toppings and 6 different crust styles.


  • Sandwiches: various sandwiches that contain fried bacon, turkey, pepeproni and loads of toppings.
  • Bread: Your choice of a combination of cheese with or without garlic.
  • Salads: Classic green salads.
  • Desserts: Famous Oatmeal M&M cookie, Triple Chocolate cookie, Cinnamon Stick. 
  • Pizzas: Prairie Special, Taco Pizza, Herbivores Delight

Featured Pizza: The Buffalo featuring: pepperoni, house-made pork sausage, onions, diced green peppers, mushrooms and black olives loaded on your choice of crust. Their thick wheat crust named “Denver” is the most popular and comprises about 60% of the pizzas sold. Great Plains’ Regulars know this is the best crust for dipping in honey which is a staple at the restaurant.

Unique Qualities: With 16 toppings six crust styles and 3 sizes it can be difficult to make a decision on what to order. McKenzie Robinson, employee and junior at Iowa State, says “If I had to pick a favorite pizza it would be sausage and pineapple on Idaho-style crust. But the possibilities are endless.” Her only suggestion: “Bring some friends and try them all.”