Archive for June 2010
We like to have fun with our pizza; you may have noticed this. Our weekly specials are a good way for us do just that—to get our thrills, pizza-ly speaking.
People always ask how we come up with the specials, and the answer is, “Well, it depends…”
Sometimes we want to showcase a particular ingredient if it’s available locally or only around for a limited time; sometimes our cooks come up with something when they’re messing around and we want to try it out on you (this is how Smokey the Bandit was born, and it now has it’s own custom-designed & illustrated poster, for heaven’s sake!); sometimes we want to use a certain ingredient but it’s too expensive to offer all the time (crawfish, hand-caught shrimp, and nice cuts of local meat are definitely some of these…) ; and then sometimes we just want to make people say, “Did you see the crazy things Ian’s is putting on a pizza this week?” (That said, of course we still try to make it taste good and make sense in the world of food. Putting weird stuff on a slice just for the sake of being weird is not a good use of anybody’s time or ingredients…nobody respects a gimmick.)
We’ve certainly come up with some doozies in the past (anyone remember Sasquash from September 2007? Who knew there were only three people in Madison willing to order a seasonal squash-based slice?) but then again, we’ve also come up with some that have made it into regular rotation (Reuben, On Wisconsin, Chili Cheese Fritos to name but a few).
So, we aren’t necessarily looking to make the next mac n’ cheese when we start plotting our next month of goodies, but we do hope to surprise you and maybe even to get you to try something you never thought could go on a slice (Chicken Pot Pie, anyone?).
Why do we love our customers? Because not only are they exceptionally good looking and have exquisite taste in food, but because they write us emails like the one below. This comes from William “Billrito” Russell Stern, Jr. (aka Bill Stern), the first customer to finish Wrigleyville’s PizzaPalooza card.
What is the PizzaPalooza card, you ask? It’s a folding business card that has pretty much our full roster of slices–which is a LOT–written on it in about 3 pt. type. Every time you eat a different slice, you get the corresponding punch on your card. Well, Bill worked his way around that card and received a well-earned Pizza Slut t-shirt to prove it. He has also requested to open his own Ian’s, but unfortunately that’s not one of the accepted prizes.
I never do anything full-tilt. Nothing. I’m a procrastinator, a time-waster, and an all around lazy-ass (as you can tell by how long it took me to respond to your email). That is why becoming, far and away, the first contestant to complete pizza-palooza is such a huge accomplishment for me. It’s not the magnitude of the feat, but the sheer uniqueness of the fact that I completed ANYTHING at ALL that makes this special. And it is honestly very special to me.
Another unsolicited piece of information that I’ll share is that I am from Austin, Texas and as such am legally required to LOVE guacamole and ranch dressing. The slice that completed my astonishing ascension to the very top of the competitive Ian’s Pizza eating game was guacamole burrito, and has since become a favorite slice of mine. A top-fiver if you will. I know there’s nothing in the rules for pizza-palooza about getting sweeter prizes for finishing faster, but if you asked an early bird what he thought about being number one, he’d have a hard time answering you with that worm in his mouth. And also he can’t talk. He’s a bird. I guess parrots can talk. But do they eat worms? I’ll cut to the chase.
You should re-name the guacamole burrito slice the “Dollar Billrito”…. OR if that’s too far “Guacamole Billrito” is an acceptable compromise in my eyes. I understand that I am in no way in any position to make demands, but it only seems fair. Does not the early bird – get the worm? Does not the awkward dude who’s always at iO and misguides his energies towards winning fast-food competitions instead of getting his tax return in on time – get the pizza slice named after him?
Guacamole Billrito is my masterpiece. Please afford me this honor so that I might live forever in Ian’s as Monet lives forever in the Louvre. So that I might piggyback my legacy onto your deserved successes made of masterful culinary and business talents. So that all might know that for once I DID try. And further more, I DID succeed… when it truly mattered least.
…also, I’d kill a man for a bottle of that ranch.
P.S. Seriously I love your business, and I’ll continue to eat there and tell people to eat there for as long as I’m able, whether or not you’re running any sweet competitive promotions.”
Welcome to speakEasy, where we vow to write about things having to do with working at Ian’s Pizza, things that have nothing to do with working at Ian’s Pizza, and occasional random things which have nothing to do with anything.
Sometimes we’ll talk about our awesome customers, and sometimes we’ll talk about our awesome staff, and sometimes we’ll talk about our awesome food. And again, sometimes we’ll talk about nothing. Maybe the weather, or a trip to a baseball game, or the price of flour.
As always, the best thing about working at Ian’s (aside from a free slice or salad every shift, duh!) is hearing from our customers. So please write back, leave comments, give us some feedback and we can go from there.