Friday, February 9 was National Pizza Day and I posted on the Iowa Adventurer Facebook Page that I was looking for fans' favorite Iowa pizza restaurant.
Without much time passing, several fans posted that Zipp's Pizzaria in Adair was there go-to place for the best pie. Prior to those suggestions, I had not even heard of Zipp's, though I had stopped a time or two in Adair as it's right off of I-80.
By the end of the day, just a few hours later, I was making the 45 minute drive from West Des Moines to Adair (in Adair County) to try what so many people were eagerly recommending.
Zipp's has only been around since 2012, but they are already building quite a reputation. In 2016, Travel Iowa announced that their taco pizza was awarded the best pizza in Iowa. I know there are a lot of good pizza joints in this state, so that's quite a feather in the cap.
Adair is a town of about 750 residents and on this particular evening (with a forecast for more snow on the way), there was still quite a few cars on the main downtown street as I pulled up. Clearly, lots of other people had the same idea that I did.
The restaurant is on the end of the block and they have a good signage and a beautiful mural on the side of the building.
Inside, the restaurant is tastefully decorated with a lot of old photos of Adair and the surrounding community. There's beautiful hardwood floors, exposed brick, gorgeous decorative ceiling tin, and corrugated metal wall panels to give it a bit of an industrial feel.
There's also this gorgeous stained glass piece embedded in the ceiling. I presume it is original to the building and it has been beautifully protected. It's catches your eye quite quickly.
Since I was a party of one, they sat me at the bar counter, but there is a fair amount of tables for varying sizes of parties throughout the building.
However, they are just concluding renovations of the next door space which will allow for them to have a party room and to host larger gatherings and corporate events.
Like many popular restaurants, you can buy merchandise including t-shirts.
So what about pizza? Is it as good as people say and is it worthy of the accolades? They have a full menu of specialty pizzas but you can also mix and match to make your own. Their Taco pizza is what helped make them famous, but they also recommended several others, including the Bomber, which is their sort of "all meat" option.
You can get the pizzas made on either their thin crust or a pan-style in varying sizes. While I do love a good pan pizza, I was not disappointed in my choice of the thin crust.
I got the 10 inch size and it was just about the right amount of food. Their pizzas are not cut into traditionally wedge style pieces - they are cut more into rectangles. They also do not use shredded cheese and instead use sliced cheese. I would certainly order this "Bomber" pizza again but when I return, I'll probably try one of the others because there were many options on the menu that looked particularly scrumptious.
Though the restaurant was full of patrons, I noticed several folks came in and ordered it to go. They also serve desserts and have a range of alcoholic beverages too. I was tempted to try one of the homemade ice cream sandwiches, but decided I had probably had enough calories for the day.
There was a sign that advertised buying frozen pizzas as well.
Jim Zimmerline, the owner (with his wife), was kind enough to come over and visit for a few minutes. He's quite a guy and a big-time pizza connoisseur. In addition to running a successful pizza business with about 35 full or part-time employees, he also has a lawn care and snow removal business, and a photography business. Clearly, a busy but talented guy.
Of course, it wouldn't be a small town eatery without the bulletin board of community news and announcements.
I want to thank fans of this page for encouraging me to get over to Adair to Zipp's. This place is worth driving to, if you are looking to go on an adventure for great pizza. Be sure to check out their Facebook page to learn more about the business and their various specials and promotions.