New at Truman’s

New on the menu at Truman’s: the Balboni sandwich, an Italian-inspired take on the Club sandwich.

By Wini Moranville

Recently, when principals Rob Jackson and Andy Massoth invited me and a tableful of friends to Truman’s KC Pizza Tavern to taste through some of the new menu items, I knew it would be a fun night. Truman’s is part of the Full Court Press spate of beer-centric restaurants known for showing people a good time, both with their peerless selections of beer and their inexpensive but well-crafted bar food.

Jackson told me it’s really important that this neighborhood joint truly fits into the neighborhood—the south side. To this end, the kitchen, headed up by Dennis Epps, takes pizza very seriously. Of the new specialty pies, the Fall Classic especially won our hearts, thanks to its well-balanced combo of chicken, smoked cheddar, caramelized onions, mozzarella and bacon, plus—the all-out clinchers—apple butter, barbecue sauce and just a touch of cilantro. It worked. Wonderfully.

Those looking for more meat might prefer the Babe. Named for legendary Des Moines restaurateur Babe Bisignano, this hearty beauty arrived with Alfredo sauce, capicola, black olives, mozzarella, salami and mortadella.

But if you really want to go “all in” on the meat, you must try the Balboni sandwich. An Italian-inspired take on the club sandwich, this one brings warm bacon atop layers and layers of cool thin-sliced salami, capicola and mortadella; it’s served with lettuce, tomato and havarti on toasted brioche. Out of all the new menu items we tasted—which also included a terrific Burnt Ends Chili and an irresistible Graziano-sausage grinder—this is the thing I kept dreaming about the next day.

Oh—and there’s pie: lovely double-crust fruit pies crafted locally by Elizabeth Kirkman of ChaCha’s Confections. Note, however, that they’re fresh, not frozen, so when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Truman’s KC Pizza Tavern is at 400 S.E. Sixth St., 515-214-2759; trumanstavern.com.

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