Jun 6, 2024 - Food and Drink

We tried Wallace Centers' Pizza on the Prairie

Photos of the Wallace Farm and pizza.

Menu offerings change as the 40+ varieties of fruits and vegetables grown at Wallace Farm are in season. Photos: Jason Clayworth/Axios

I snagged a reservation for this year's first "Pizza on the Prairie" last week.

Catch up fast: POTP is a Friday night event with live music hosted throughout the summer by Wallace Centers of Iowa (WCI).

  • The from-scratch brick-oven pizzas lean heavily on ingredients grown or raised on the farm, which means menus change with the season.

The vibe: The event takes place on the lawn of the Wallace Farm near Orient, a historic site and birthplace of former Vice President Henry A. Wallace.

  • Guests bring lawn chairs and can watch the sunset as they eat.

Driving the news: This year's event is overseen by WCI's new director of programming, Saralyn Smith — who is also the first Iowa chef accepted into the James Beard Foundation's Chef Bootcamp for Policy and Change.

On my plate: I tried the "asparagus and baby bella" pizza ($15), which includes garlic parmesan white sauce and shredded mozzarella.

  • For dessert, I ate the rhubarb crisp ($4), made with an oat crumble and topped with homemade whipped cream.

💬 My thought bubble: The food was tasty but the picturesque setting — lots of songbirds, the Wallace Farm's gardens and an orchard in the background — made this experience memorable and worth the hourlong drive from DSM.

If you go: Plan, because reservations book fast.

  • Friday's, starting at 5:30pm through August and 5pm in September.
A photo of the Wallace Farm.
80 paintings from community artists are displayed along a walking path throughout Wallace Farm's nine acres of prairie. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios
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