Why Eatery A?
Josh: One of Grace’s co-workers wife wanted to do a guest post (which I have no idea why. This is a pretty stupid blog TBH). So we got together for pizza and an Iowa Cubs game afterwards.
Grace: We were going to an I Cubs game with some friends (Hi, Sam & Tonia! They’re writing here tonight too!!) and wanted some noms first. Josh & Sam had never been there!
Sam: Eatery A seemed like a great option instead of overpriced ballpark food, not that I’d turn that down either. But the food at Eatery A was decidedly more enjoyable and interesting.
Tonia: Grace &Sam came up with the idea of going to an I-Cubs game and going to Eatery A. We have talked about going together for months so this was the perfect opportunity to hit up a local favorite!
Josh: Somehow we got there for Happy Hour (on a Saturday! It was pretty outstanding). It included half price tap beers and half price pizzas. I had a couple of Dorothy’s Lagers (Toppling Goliath) which were great.
We decided to split an appetizer of Fried Gnocchi (pronounced G-know-chi. Though people will disagree with me. They’re wrong).
They were pretty good. I’ve never had Gnocchi (fried or regular) so I didn’t know what to expect. The flavor is hard to describe. It had cheese and stuff on it and it was doughy? I don’t know, I’m not a culinary person, get off my back. It was food. I’d maybe get it again.
Pizza City! Grace has been raving about Eatery A forever. She’s been there multiple times with friends and loved ones and I’ve never been. She loves their pizza so I was pretty pumped. I was looking at three of their pizzas: #5, #7, and #15. I was lost! They all looked so good on their menu (which you can find here if you can’t read the above picture).
Grace decided to get the #15 so I wasn’t going to copy (I knew she couldn’t finish a whole pizza so I’d get some anyway. Score!) I decided to get the #7. It had merguez sausage, red pepper, crispy shallot on a red sauce.
It was pretty good. The flavor was good and it had a little spice to it. All pizzas are like 10 inches which is a good individual size. The crust in my opinion was bland and dry. Grace seemed to enjoy it but I wasn’t the biggest fan. I’ve had better crust at other places. Otherwise it was a decent pizza. Grace’s #15 was a lot better than mine, which made me a little sad. I’d get the #15 next time and I’d be willing to try their other pizzas as well. I’ll be back.
Grace: We started with a Dorothy’s Lager from Toppling Goliath Brewery in Decorah, IA. SO good. We also ordered Fried Gnocchi to share. It had “dijon shallot vinaigrette, bechamel, grana”. The bechamel was rich and creamy, and the gnocchi were crunchy. The portion was really generous as well – we split between 4 people and were satisfied! I was, at least.
I ordered the #15 pizza. It had goat cheese, spinach, honey, and red onions, with an olive oil base instead of a sauce. I thought it was delicious! A good mix of sweet and savory, and the onions weren’t too strong, which is sometimes a problem for me.
I LOVE Eatery A’s pizza crust. They do wood-fired pizza, and the crust is always thick but airy, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It tastes a tiny bit like sourdough, which is unique and tasty – please try it!!
Sam: I’d studied the menu in the days leading up to our dinner out because I’m a huge dork. Eatery A has a wide range of Mediterranean-inspired small plates, as well as a huge selection of pizzas. My careful planning went out the window when I found out it was happy hour, which meant half-priced pizza, beer and wine. That made the decisions much easier.
I started with a glass of Dorothy’s Lager from Toppling Goliath in Decorah. It was delicious and I’ve never written about beer before so I looked at Beer Advocate and some dude was waxing poetic about its “well-constructed nose.” I don’t know what the hell that means, but it was light, refreshing and had a really well-composed forehead. (Does that sound pretentious/ambiguous/unhelpful enough?) I had two.
The gnocchi were covered well below by Tonia: fried bits of pillowy goodness nestled on top of a creamy sauce. It was an appealing starter, and easy to share.
Pizza No. 14 arrived with chunks of fresh pineapple, a healthy application of chorizo bits, sliced jalapenos and a jalapeno jam drizzle on top of a blistered, crispy, chewy crust. It was pretty much my perfect pizza: hot, sweet, salty, porky. Highly recommend.
Tonia: First we must start with drinks. Even though it was happy hour when we went (half priced beer & wine) my first drink was a Pompeii Rising. A delish refreshing summer cocktail with vodka, pomegranate, lime and a dash of simple syrup with a mint leaf on top! It was superb for a hot summer day! The second drink I went with was a half-priced glass of Riesling – simple but tasty.
Josh suggested an appetizer and the answer to that question is always yes! We shared the Fried Gnocchi, one word: DYNAMITE! The perfect kick off to an amazing meal! The Gnocchi were crispy on outside and soft and creamy in the inside! On the side for a dipping sauce was a Dijon shallot vinaigrette – party in my mouth! What always makes a perfect side is not running out of dipping sauce, we even had some left over – well done Eatery A!
Due to happy hour we had half-priced pizza! Thanks to a suggestion from a friend I went for pizza number 1. First their pizzas are done in a wood oven stove, totally ideal for pizza crust! Crispy on the outside with a soft , warm interior. On top of the pizza was smoked chicken, red grapes & goat cheese. I know, grapes on a pizza, who would even think it would be good, but it was out of this world! The chicken was well hydrated, and tender with a hint of smokiness, the goat cheese was soft, salty and ideal complement to the burst of sweet juiciness of the red grapes. Also, the only reason the restaurant did not get 5 stars was due to needing slightly more goat cheese on top – it could be due to the fact that there can never be enough goat cheese in my life.
Atmosphere, Service, Price
Grace: I LOVE the inside of Eatery A; it’s very dark and dramatic, and there’s a giant wall of wine…what more could you ask for? I love the whole vibe. Our server was excellent, and not only did he clue us in to the fact that happy hour went til 6 pm (half price draft beer, wine, and pizzas on a SATURDAY), but he stopped by about 10 minutes before it was over to see if we wanted to put in any more drink orders to get the deal. A+.
I think Eatery A is a tad pricey for what you get, but with the happy hour deal, it was really cheap! That would be a good way to dip your feet in if you haven’t tried it or are apprehensive.
Josh: This is a pretty cool place. It has a cool vibe to it and it looked clean. You can see the pizza kitchen (depending on where you sit) and their outdoor patio looked beautiful.
Our waiter was amazing. He helped me with what pizza to order and was funny, polite, and very nice. He was a fantastic waiter and was much appreciated. The prices, on the other hand, are a little pricey for what you get. Luckily, we randomly went during happy hour which helped out tremendously. If not for that, I would spent double. Try to hit happy hour and if you don’t, it may be worth the price. Maybe.
Sam: It’s nice inside: lots of wood, a large and inviting bar, Edison-style bulbs, spacious tables and a pizza oven smack dab in the middle of the space with the kitchen tucked behind it. Service was swift, attentive and helpful. About the only thing I can complain about is the (lack of) parking. Off-street parking is limited and almost always completely full. Think of the delicious food you’ll be eating while you wait for Bro 1 and Bro 2 to finish vaping and pull out of the way.
Because we happened to go during happy hour, we enjoyed really tasty, really unique food for less than one would expect. But to be sure, you’re paying for quality, not quantity, here. If you’re after a plate of food the size of a manhole cover, this isn’t the place for you.
Tonia: Price – you pay for what you get. So it is really worth your money to go during happy hour for half priced pizza & drinks! The food was quality and not overpriced for what you get! I love to eat there! I always feel like we have enough room, never crowded and well-spaced out so you are not onto of the other customers. Our table was huge – needed for 4 pizzas with drinks – it was perfect! Also I love the décor, warm with its wood accents & modern at the same time. Excellent for a hot summer day!