Mabe’s Pizza has been a staple of Decorah, Iowa for over 60 years. Mabel herself passed away in 2002 at the age of 97, but her pizza recipe and restaurant lives on. As best I can tell, Mabe’s in downtown Decorah continues to be very popular, and they now also have a second location in Cresco.
Mabe’s vast menu includes appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and pasta in addition to pizza. Fun fact; Mabe’s actually served sandwiches to the local Lurther College students first, and only later changed their name and signature dish after one student introduced Mabel to pizza. Despite this longer standing sandwich tradition, I was still obviously going to order a pizza. However, I did at least branch out to try some cheese bread as a starter. It was a thick, Texas Toast-type bread, and it was pretty good.
The pizza at Mabe’s comes in five different sizes; mini (6″), special (9″), small (12″), medium (14″), and large (16″). I wanted to make the most of my opportunity at Mabe’s, so I couldn’t order anything less than a small. However, 12 inches is a pretty good-sized small pizza, so I wouldn’t make a habit of that if unless you’re looking to expand your waistline by 12 inches as well.
The first specialty pizza listed on Mabe’s menu is simply called “Regular”, and its non-flashy combination of sausage, pepperoni, and cheese is perfect for me. I enjoyed the thin, square-cut crust and found it to be soft and not overcooked. The sauce was also good, and so were the smaller pieces of sausage. The cheese and pepperoni didn’t stand out as much, but it was a very well-blended pie.
Overall, the Mabe’s in Decorah is a neat place with good food. If that isn’t enough, they also have wine as well as a few beers on tap. This sometimes includes a brew from the well-known Toppling Goliath Brewing in Decorah. It is worth a stop if your around Decorah, and shame on you if you live there and haven’t tried Mabe’s.
What I Ate: Regular (Sausage, Pepperoni, and Cheese)