Expert Leads Pizza Tours

— By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —

Above: Learn about local pizza from an expert—and from the guys who bake the pies—on an upcoming pizza tour.

By Wini Moranville

For most of us, February is a “dead zone” when it comes to travel. Why not fix this via an afternoon of culinary exploration in our own fine city? Alessandra Meschini, of Cooking with Alessandra, has paired up with Eric Prosperi, who runs Wow! Des Moines Tours, to host the Wow! Des Moines Pizza Tour on select weekend afternoons from Feb. 9 through March 10. To explore the history of pizza in our city and the many styles of pie available here, the tour will stop at a number of venues—from iconic to relative newcomers—for tastings and a chance to meet with owners or managers of each spot.

What are some of the stops? “There are so many great pizza restaurants in Des Moines, so we change the restaurants up with each tour,” says Meschini. “On past tours, we have visited Noah’s, Chuck’s, Red Rossa, Scornavacca’s, Papa Kenos and Gusto.”

I asked Meschini if, at some point, she revealed her favorite style of pizza—she is Italian, after all, and inquiring minds would love an “insider’s scoop.” She said that while she and Prosperi do have some favorites, the tour is really about trying new places and new varieties. “We spend a lot of time working with the restaurants to uncover their stories, like recipe origins, off-the-menu varieties, family stories, building histories, etc. This is the real insider scoop.”

Each tour costs $60 to $70 depending on the number in your party (save $10 if four or more sign up). Tours are limited to 17-24 people and start at 2 p.m. Get tickets and further details at

P.S.: In case you haven’t heard, as reported on my All Things Food – DSM Facebook page, St. Kilda Cafe is expanding to a second location this spring. They’ll be moving into the former Starbuck’s space in the Temple for Performing Arts.

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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