I’ve written about them before, but I wasn’t able to get a photo of it last time – the Taco Pizza. As far as I know, it’s an Iowa original. And I had it at the most original place one can have a taco pizza. Happy Joe’s in Dubuque.
On the bus today, I was reading about how the presidential candidates won’t be making the usual campaign stops at random greasy spoons. It’s a shame. Because this place is about as American as it gets. There’s crazy crap on the walls, but not like in a TGI Fridays kind of way. It’s old photos of the entire staff of the restaurant taken yearly, I presume. And there’s photos and other random trivialities hung up on the wall. There’s really not an inch spared.
When you walk in, you walk past the ice creams and into the main room. Happy Joe’s is a seat yourself kind of place. It’s a little confusing, though, because some things are self-serve and other things are brought to you by waitresses. To order food, you walk up to the counter. When it’s done, they call out your order number, and you walk over and go get it.
Your plates, silverware, and refills on your drinks are brought to you by waitresses, however.
On this particular day, I was with my wife, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my niece. We ordered two medium pizzas. 1 sausage pizza. And 1 pizza that was half BLT and half Taco.
The sausage on a sausage pizza in Iowa is different than anywhere else that I’ve eaten pizza. It’s the flavors of breakfast sausage with the size and consistency of ground beef. It’s quite delicious. I ate three slices of it.
The half Taco – half BLT was awesome. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a BLT pizza features bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Yes, mayonnaise. On a pizza. I ate two slices. Maybe three.
And for those of who you are still unfamiliar with the signature Iowa style slice – the taco pizza – it features ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and crushed nacho cheese doritos. Yes, doritos on a pizza. Served with Happy Joe’s taco sauce packets. I ate three slices. I would have gone after more, but my niece beat me to it.
Getting two medium pizzas at Happy Joe’s for four adults and an eleven year old is kind of a lot of pizza. Plus, we also had an order of nachos, which at Happy Joe’s is a basket of chips with a small vat of nuclear yellow cheese. So, I decreed that we could not leave the table until the pizza was finished. And for some reason, my in-laws took me seriously, and we finished all the food.
I was very proud of them.