It is no secret that Fort Wayne is full of places to dine. Upscale, corporate, ethnic, and locally owned diners and pubs are on every corner. Sadly the corporate chains get most of the attention, and six or so locally owned restaurants have closed in the past year alone. This being so, I wish to expose you, the reader, to some of Fort Wayne’s best kept secrets: those “mom and pop,” restaurants that bring character, life, and culture to The Fort and its downtown area. Places I believe deserve to flourish based on service, quality, atmosphere, originality and their contributions to the improvement of our beautiful downtown.
Downtown Pizza and Ice Cream (or DTP as some of the patrons refer to it) is located on the corner of West Berry and Fulton St. Once through the door, you are immediately taken out of the midwest and dropped into a pizza joint in the Village of NYC. Family friendly, quaint and, clean, their dining area offers a few small bistro tables and high round tops with stools. The Downtown improvement project agrees that the “Little Italy” bistro décor is worth notice, having bestowed it a Golden Broom Award for Improvement of the Interior just last year. Here you have the option of sitting back, enjoying a cup of their locally roasted Red Brick Coffee or Mighty Leaf Tea to unwind while you look over their menu. It’s a great space for a small party or even the customer on the go, who can easily place an order at the window.
When perusing the menu, you will first be taken back by it’s incredible affordability. Pizzas range from $4.29 for the personal “Pizza Stick” to $15.99 for a large supreme. DTP isn’t known for skimping on the toppings either; these ‘zas come locked and loaded with fresh toppings, including glorious, gooey, bubbling cheese. Three things make a good pizza: a crispy on the outside chewy on the inside crust, a sweet and robust sauce, and good quality, salty cheese (and lots of it). Any one of their pizzas passes all three test with flying colors. They also offer a buttery, cracker thin crust as an option.
In true pizzeria fashion, Downtown Pizza’s menu includes a few standards with slight twists. For example, their garlic cheese bread is piled high with a blend of five cheeses, including feta. This is serious cheese bread; as your taste buds do the tango and your belly the happy dance, your wallet will do the two-step all the way to Thrift Town.
A new addition to the menu is the “Ulimate Veggie.” Layers of fresh spinach, basil, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and banana peppers are topped with feta cheese and sesame seeds. They also offer ciabatta sandwiches, grinders, wings, and sausage rolls.
If you live or work in the downtown area they offer free delivery and are a great place for lunch, when you can get a slice, a small salad, and a scoop of their signature ice cream. for $4.99.
At any given time ,Downtown Pizza carries around 30 flavors of rich Michigan produced ice cream, including Java Chip, Ultimate Moose Track, mango, and lemon custard. They also make their own waffle cones daily. A double dip is a modest $2.99 and is close to a pint in size. At such a price it won’t kill the atmosphere simpler times when an ice cream cone on a Sunday afternoon was enough to lift your spirits. If ice cream isn’t to your liking, you can also treat yourself to a slice of Purple Mountain Cheesecake, produced right here in Fort Wayne.
Any way you slice it, Downtown Pizza has a little something for everyone. I give it two totally enthusiastic thumbs up. I hope that you take my advice and stop in or call. Tell Calvin I sent you.
Downtown Pizza and Ice Cream (534 W. Berry)
(260) 424-2030 (call for seasonal hours)