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Love at 800 degrees

Posted September 03, 2014 in Ames, Community Featured
A variety of wood-fired pies await a group of hungry diners at Vesuvius Wood-Fired Pizza. Photo by Todd Rullestad.

A variety of wood-fired pies await a group of hungry diners at Vesuvius Wood-Fired Pizza. Photo by Todd Rullestad.

Starting its fifth year in business, Vesuvius Wood-Fired Pizza has established itself as another spot for tasty pie in a college town known for numerous pizza offerings. The approach is fresh ingredients, many of them local, made in the centuries-old Italian tradition with an oven that burns at more than 800 degrees.

The restaurant is a bit quick-service, a bit sit-down. You order at the counter, grab a seat and they bring the pizza to you. Pizzas are offered in personal 10-inch sizes and feature signature pizzas with premium items as well as new American classics. A couple appetizers and an assortment of salads are also available, as well as a selection of craft beers and other beverages.

We arrived as a foursome on a Sunday afternoon, hungry for delicious gooey pizza. We all decided to have salads first and settled on three different offerings — the parmigiano ($4), the primo ($3.50) and the caprese ($5). One of our friends said sometimes she comes in specifically just for the caprese. My husband admitted he was disappointed he chose a different offering after seeing it.

For pizza, I got one of their more popular ones. It featured proscuitto, caramelized onions, basil and a garlic cream sauce ($9). My husband was feeling like meat, so he ended up with a pepperoni and sausage pizza with crushed red pepper and rosemary ($10). Our dining companions ordered the pepperoni and roasted mushroom ($9) and the pineapple express ($8), which also featured ham and green peppers.

The pizza came out the minute we finished our salads, and we didn’t waste a minute digging in. It was hot and flavorful. For those who aren’t a fan of soot or char, this might not be the place for them. The crust comes out crisp and blistered from the hot oven. We all agreed that was just fine with us.

After dinner, the four of us split a piece of tiramisu. Though it was a bit sweet and lacking in that traditional coffee flavor, our friend took a big bite and said, “That’s why I like it so much!” It was a nice ending after the bold flavors of the pizza.

A college town is always known for cheap pizza offerings, but it’s even better when a pizza place offers quality ingredients and fast and friendly service at a fair price. We hope Vesuvius sticks around for a long time.

Vesuvius Wood-Fired Pizza
1620 S. Kellogg
Hours: Sunday:  11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Mon. – Thur.: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri. – Sat.: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

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