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Leaning Tower of Pizza (Uptown Ankeny)

March 25, 2019

  • 512 SW 3rd Street
  • Ankeny, IA 50023
  • (515) 964-0401
  • Website
  • Menu

J went on her first work trip at her now job two weeks ago.  Three days later, it was my turn.  I was heading to Des Moines, IA for six nights with a couple of co-workers

We drove the 7 1/2 hours to Des Moines (from Grand Rapids…I had to go there first) on Tuesday afternoon.  We left GR around 1:30 and with just a couple of stops, we made it to Des Moines just before 9:00 Central time.

We did an AirBnB rental in a suburb of Des Moines called Ankeny.  It was cheaper for the three of us to do that and this way we’d all get our own room.  If we had done a hotel, at least two of us would have had to share rooms.

We had stopped for lunch in Tinley Park, Illinois.  I wanted an Italian beef and there is an Al’s Beef right off I-80 there.  When we got to Ankeny, we were starting to get hungry again.

I didn’t really want to go out for dinner.  We needed to get settled in to the house and I just wanted to relax a little after that long drive.  I asked if everyone was up for pizza.  There was no arguments so I did a search and found something nearby that looked good.

I picked Leaning Tower of Pizza based on the pictures of their pizzas on Google.  There are two locations of this joint in Ankeny but I went with the original one on 3rd Street.

The restaurant has been in this location since the 1980’s in a the oldest commercial building in Ankeny.  The pizzeria itself has been a local tradition since the 1960’s when it started in Des Moines. 

We found parking right out front on the street.  It was a Tuesday night and there was not a lot going on in the city.

The restaurant has a real 80’s vibe to it.  Carpet on the floors.  Paneling on the walls.  The tables are covered in the red and white checkered table cloths you expect at older, casual Italian restaurants.

I had called in an order so I ran in to pick it up.  There is a window cut in to the wall in the back of the dining room which looks in to the kitchen.  I assumed that was where I went to pick it up and as I was walking back, someone from the kitchen yelled and asked if I was their carry-out.  I said yes and she grabbed two pizzas boxes off the oven.  I didn’t order two.  As she brought them up, she said they accidentally made a medium instead of a large so they just gave me two mediums.   They just charged me the price of a large.  So with that and an order of cheese curds, the damage was a little over $33.

We had to make a stop at the Kum & Go (yes, that’s the name of a real chain of gas stations in Iowa….I’m not making this up….I swear!  Click the link…it’s not porn!) for some beer then we headed back to the house to dig in.

I popped open the small Styrofoam box holding the cheese curds first.   Neither one of the guys I was with had ever had cheese curds…but they’re originally from Michigan and Ohio where I guess they aren’t as popular as they are in Illinois (where I grew up) and Iowa.

The small battered and fried hunks of cheese were so good.  They came with a side of marinara but it was not needed.  The tiny bites were super addicting.  I left a couple to share with my colleagues but I shoved these things in my mouth as fast as I could.

The pizza was right up my alley.  I ordered one called The Harrington which is a thin crust pizza with their own Italian sausage, pepperoni, both cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and a zesty red sauce.  I loved this pizza.  The crust is perfect.  It’s thin and slightly crunchy all the way through and has a dusting of corn meal on the bottom.

The top of this thing was covered in a layer of grease from all the meat and the mixture of cheeses.  There were big balls of Italian sausage on each slice and pepperoni with crispy outer edges.

My colleagues weren’t impressed but I have no idea what they would be impressed by.  I was a big fan of this pizza and hoarded the leftovers for myself.

Leaning Tower of Pizza has been a staple in this area for a long time.  It’s not hard to see why.  This pizza is so much different and so much tastier than the pizza you would get at one of the chains.

Leaning Tower of Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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