Tomaso’s Pizza

I had to take my wife’s Subaru in for service. We’ve never lived near a dealership so this was an advantage to be taken since moving to Cedar Rapids. Since the dealership is in Hiawatha I figured we’d eat in Hiawatha. The Child wanted pizza and I saw the sign for Tomaso’s. We’ve gotten coupons in the mail from them but of course those coupons were at home.

There must be some county ordinance that says any eating establishment must look closed from the outside. Tomaso’s was just like all the others when viewed from the parking lot. Nondescript, dark almost mirrored windows. But they were indeed open and not closing any time soon. Only a few people were inside. We were warmly greeted by the staff in the kitchen. The restaurant is not big and they did not invest a lot of money in decor or furniture.

You order at the register. There was a place in Canton GA called Uncle Maddio’s that was similar in concept, albeit with more franchise polish. We had never heard of Detroit style pizza but as ex-Michiganders we were eager to try it. There did not appear to be any kid’s menu so we ordered a small cheese pizza for The Child and a medium Detroit Deep Dish Meat Lover’s plus Mushrooms for the adults.

The pizzas are delivered on a metal grate for some reason. The cheese pizza looked amazing. Lots of cheese! The Child only had one piece though. Not sure of the why. She claimed to not feel good but I ate it and it was delish.

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The Detroit pizza is described as “Thick and bready, NO LIP. Cheese all the way to the edge of the pan so the crust caramelizes.” It looked good. The Wife really liked the sauce on top of the toppings. Meh. I don’t love pizza sauce like she does. Matter of fact the less sauce the better for me. The pizza was good. But the crust edge was AMAZING! I’d order this again just for the crust. It was the best cheesy bread stick I’ve ever had.

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We will definitely be trying Tomaso’s again, hopefully with coupons next time! My favorite Chicago pizza is Giordano’s and I want to see how Tomaso’s compares. If you have any vegetarians in you life, this looks to be a great place to bring them. Tomaso’s has two vegetarian combos plus a chicken option. I know where to take The Child’s BFF when she visits.

 

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First Dinner in Cedar Rapids*

*OK, really it was Marion.

 

We came up to Cedar Rapids in December looking for a place to live. February was fast approaching and we still didn’t have a rental property secured. Getting into the Linn-Mar school district was my first choice so we ended our day in Marion after looking at a few neighborhoods.

The downtown area is very nice. Our first choice for dinner had an hour long wait.  So we walked over a block and ended up at Louie’s Scoreboard Sports Bar and Grill. From the outside it looked rather sketchy, dark windows and an unmarked windowless door. However, once inside it proved to be quite nice. A nice bar large bar in the center with seating in open rooms on each side. Plenty of requisite TVs for sports viewing. I think it was seat yourself and we chose a round high top by the front window.

Service was a little slow at first. I fault the “seat yourself” model for this. It always seems like it takes a while for the servers to even notice you’ve sat at a table. Our waitress didn’t have the warmest personality but she wasn’t rude or indifferent either. Most importantly, she was attentive.

For me, the menu looked amazing. I need to buffer that statement by reminding you that I’ve been living in a town of 850 people for eight years and the nearest city to my house was 1600 people. Most of the restaurants between those two places had more or less the same menu choices. Not a lot of variety to say the least.

For an appetizer we went with the White Cheddar Curds. While cheese can be found in Appalachia, cheese curds are unheard of. Not to me though, I used to live in Wisconsin. I’m sure these were some food service frozen prepackaged appetizer and not freshly breaded back in the kitchen, but they were amazing. Lightly breaded, soft and melty, and they even squeaked! The side of ranch for dipping was superfluous, but none of us like ranch dressing anyway. The three of us could have eaten a second batch.

My wife ordered the Combo Pizza, my daughter ordered a Cheese Pizza. I ordered The Mayor stuffed burger. I didn’t try the combo pizza, zero interest and it had green peppers, blech. The cheese pizza was fabulous. Heavy on the cheese, all the way to the edge of the crust, which was not too thin, not too thick. A nice blend of cheese too.

The fries were meh. I ate maybe five. I loved the burger. It’s a unique,to me, approach to making a burger by putting ingredients inside. I’m guessing they use some type of press that makes a hollow that can be filled. For The Mayor, the burger is filled with pulled pork, Gouda cheese and caramelized onions. It works.

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The Mayor stuffed with pulled pork, Gouda cheese and caramelized onions
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Not the prettiest picture, but the caramelized onions are clearly seen in the middle of the burger.