Update: Sadly, Forbidden Planet in Iowa City has closed as of January 18, 2018.
Surprisingly, it’s been six months since I’ve written about vegan options in Iowa. How did that happen? Well, I’m ready to make up for lost time with a pizza place in Iowa City that opened a couple of months ago called Forbidden Planet. It’s a small pizza shop and old school arcade with wine, beer, mixed drinks, and coffee drinks. They also make a terrific Arnold Palmer with freshly squeezed lemonade (pictured below).
They offer three different kinds of pizza crust – deep dish, thin crust, and a square 6-inch metro slice. Forbidden Planet is a non-vegan restaurant, but all three kinds of crust are vegan. They also have several different sauces that are vegan: traditional marinara, garlicky olive oil, and black bean sauce. (Their slow cooked marinara is not vegan. It contains cheese.)
Then they have all kinds of interesting toppings like roasted Brussels sprouts, basil, broccoli, carrots, and fresh jalapeño slices in addition to more standard ones like olives and red onion.
Let me just say – the pizza is fantastic. I love the interesting variety of toppings, sauces, and crusts. I can easily pick something totally different every time that I go, which is not always the case when it comes to vegan-ordering in a non-vegan business. Everything I’ve tried has been phenomenal, and my favorite pizza always seems to be the one I’m eating at that moment.
We made our own taco pizza with black bean spread as the base, roasted red peppers, fresh tomato, and lettuce. Then we smuggled in some pico de gallo chips from Garden of Eatin’ for a true taco pizza experience. (They have Doritos on the menu, but those aren’t vegan.)
This is their single serving 6 inch metro slice. For my toppings I went with black olives, roasted Brussels sprouts, and red onion with a garlicky olive oil topping.
Then while you wait, grab some tokens to play arcade games or pinball. David is into GORF and Junior Pac-Man, but I’m all over the pinball. Two of their pinball machines are Doctor Who and The Wizard of Oz. So awesome!
For games, pizza, and drinks, Forbidden Planet really delivers. As good as they already are, if I could make some dream additions they would be Italian seitan sausage and/or seitan chorizo from Upton’s Naturals, the aforementioned pico de gallo chips from Garden of Eatin’, non-dairy milk for their coffee drinks, and some kind of homemade non-dairy cheese like the rinotta at Pizza Luce in the Twin Cities.
If you should ever find yourself in Eastern Iowa, make a point of checking out Forbidden Planet. You won’t regret it.
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