Location: Kearney, Nebraska
The location is so unorthodox, our roadmap for stumbling upon its path so statistically improbable, and its ultimate payout so wildly unforeseen that this must rank near the very top of my list for unexpected treasures. But it's true that sometimes, you don't find good pizza, good pizza finds you. On the recommendation of our hotel concierge Kenny (who also ran the front desk and refilled the ice machines) we visited Kearney's "Old Town" for dining options, eventually landing at TFSP&IJ.
I gotta hand it to Nebraska—this place was presented without any pomp and circumstance. Located in a smallish, house-like structure complete with yard and patio, the interior was modern and inviting. Since my family occasionally disagrees on pizza toppings, we decided to get our own personal-size pizzas, settling on the calzones based on our waiter's recommendation. Maybe our expectations were muted by the dining room's modest-sized footprint, but we were overcome with shock and awe when calzones the size of a manatee's pancreas were brought tableside. Remember the scene during the closing of a Flintstones episode where Fred's car actually buckled under the weight of the drive-in's super-sized brontosaurus ribs? It was sorta like that. But it doesn't stop there; the calzones were excellent by any measurement. None of us could finish, and with a long and lonely stretch of highway staring us in the face, we regretfully left behind some good pizza.
We've pledged to go back, and in fact tried once, but found out they were closed. (On Mondays????) They've since expanded their horizons, opening their menu up to include the best looking burgers in Nebraska. It takes a lot to recommend crossing through Cornhusker country on a long ride in the wagon, but eventually, it will happen to you. And when it does, come hungry, because The Flippin' Sweet lives up to its name. (9 of 10 stars)