Alton Brown recently announced a new show that will premiere on Food Network in 2018 called "Return of the Eats." Wochit
This pizza joint was one of the first in the nation to use crunchy-sweet crab rangoons as a topping for pizza. General Tso's chicken and Mongolian beef were soon to follow.
The Chinese-Italian pizza fusion soon became nationally famous with such stars as Alton Brown from Food Network recently tweeting about it. And now, it's being introduced to Cedar Rapids.
Fong's Pizza — a Des Moines pizza destination — is headed to the New Bohemia District and is expected to open in May 2018. It will be located at 1006 Third St., S.E. in the space formerly occupied by Beta's Restaurant (which recently changed its name from Bata's). Fong's is part of the Full Court Press. Inc. restaurant portfolio
"One of my partners (Andrew Massoth) has been looking at Cedar Rapids for a long time," said Gwen Page, co-owner. "We just love the NewBo area. It reminds us a lot of Des Moines — it has a lot of character to it. The area is just really cool."
Page praised the city's revitalization since the flood of 2008.
The core of the menu will be similar to the menus at the other two locations.
"We're going to put our own twist on it," Page said. "Just as Ankeny has a few unique twists to it, this location will have some unique twists to it as well."
The Des Moines Fong's moved into the space of a former Chinese restaurant and used that as inspiration for its pizzas. It has been open for almost nine years in its downtown location and opened its Ankeny store in 2015.
"The space will be modeled similar to our downtown (Des Moines) location," said Page. "It's a smaller space and there's a lot of historic value to the building, so it reminds me a lot of the original location — it has that charm to it."
Page said this will likely not be the last expansion and new Fong's locations are possible in the Midwest in the future.
The Full Court Press. Inc. restaurant portfolio includes many other recognizable Des Moines eateries such as El Bait Shop, Hessen Haus, Buzzard Billy's, Iowa Taproom and University Library Cafe.
The Cedar Rapids location is highly anticipated and many people will instantly recognize the one dish that helped put Fong's on the map.
"You can't go wrong with the crab rangoon pizza," Page said.
Fong's Pizza Des Moines
Location: 223 4th St., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Fong's Pizza Ankeny
Location: 1450 S.W. Vintage Pkwy., #120, Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.