Exclusive: Parlor Brings Taste of Detroit to Des Moines

The Jump in the Line pizza at Parlor boasts pulled pork, adobo and mango-jalapeno salsa. 

Writer: Karla Walsh

Craving the focaccia-like, pan-style decadence of Detroit pizza—minus the nine-hour road trip from Des Moines? As of Nov. 5, you can cure your cravings at the corner of Beaver and Urbandale avenues in the heart of Beaverdale.

Located in the former Saints Pub + Patio site (4041 Urbandale Ave.), Jason Simon and an A team of veterans from sister properties Alba, Eatery A and Motley School Tavern are set to launch a new Detroit-style pizza-focused bistro, called Parlor, on Friday. We attended—and were blown away by—a preview dinner on Tuesday night.

Joe Kuzomanovich, who has been honing his pizza skills at Eatery A for the last 3 years as a sous chef under Keith Johnson, is running the kitchen, while a thoughtful service team balances the sizable front of house. (Translation: The booths, banquettes and tables allow for plenty of room for larger families and parties, even accounting for the sporty shuffleboard table.)

Parlor, not to be confused with The Parlor DSM, which is a beauty salon, is Simon’s latest project. Like its crowd-pleasing siblings, the menu offers enough variety to please vegans and carnivores alike. Our selection was happily-eat-till-stuffed proof of that. A lineup of classic cocktails, wines and about 20 tap beers are available to wash down small plates, meat and vegetable sides from the grill, Detroit-style pizzas, and a few desserts.

You’ll notice the pies are named after the staff’s favorite songs, and an upbeat playlist pumping through the sound system matched the vibe nicely. We devoured:

  • Pepperoni fries, wedge-shaped steak fries served in a bowl garnished with crumbled pepperoni bechamel, tomato sauce and Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Spicy meatballs, delightfully paired with homemade toasted focaccia to sop up the sauce.
  • Cauliflower hummus adorned with parsley pesto and paired with more focaccia and pickled vegetables reminiscent of those you’ll find on Eatery A’s cauliflower-chickpea falafel platter.
  • A pleasantly smoky grilled Caesar salad with red onion and warm bacon vinaigrette.
  • A twist on Caprese salad with arugula, fresh mozzarella and a ruby red tomato-eggplant pesto.
  • The crowd-pleasing pepperoni, capicola and merguez sausage Here You Come Again
  • The pulled pork, adobo and mango-jalapeno salsa-topped Jump in the Line
  • Simon’s favorite vegan chorizo, feta, pickled vegetable and chimichurri California Dreamin’ pizza (which Simon says will soon be referred to as Sussudio, a hat tip to Phil Collins—the artist whose framed image hung above our booth).

Two to three slices from a six-slice pizza is decidedly a meal here, and we were not disappointed by any of the pies or the sides. Considering it was night one of the soft opening, we have pie in the sky visions about the future of Parlor—and of this corner of Beaverdale.

Watch for more from Simon and company come early 2023 in the East Village. Subscribe to our email newsletter to be among the first to get the dish.

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