First Look: Fong's mixes it up on Fourth Street
By Joe Lawler
January 26, 2009
When King Ying Low closed its door last summer after a century of business, a downtown dining institution was lost.
Thankfully, Full Court Press (owners of The Royal Mile
, High Life Lounge
and El Bait Shop
) and partner Gwen Schlepphorst
have brought Chinese food back to Fourth Street —
in pizza form —
with Fong's Pizza
, 223 Fourth St.
Schlepphorst, who managed El Bait Shop, has dreamed of owning a pizza place since college. Full Court Press partner Jeff Bruning
had a desire to open a tiki-themed bar. The two decided to merge their ideas last year while paying tribute to King Ying Low. The result is Chinese and Polynesia-style pizzas and crazy tiki drinks.
The appetizer menu includes cheese sticks and pizza rolls in egg roll rappers along with more traditional items like handmade egg rolls and crab rangoon. The crab rangoon was a delight, served warm, a little crispy, a little mushy with a sweet and spicy sauce for dipping.
Fong's sells pizza by the slice all day long, with four different pies available daily. I tried the Polynesian, Canadian bacon, bacon, pineapple, asiago and blended cheeses. It was sweet with just a bit of spiciness and very hot.
In addition to pizza by the slice, you can get a whole pie. Thai chicken, vegetarian, "meatatarian" and taco are joined by Happy Family (szechuan sauce, crab, shrimp, chicken, onion, celery and carrots) and the Bacon Popper (cream cheese, bacon, Graziano sausage, onions, green peppers, roasted red peppers and more). Ten-inch pizzas are $10.95, 16-inch pizzas are $16.95. You can also get custom-made pizzas starting at $7.95 for 10 inch and $10.95 for 16 inch, with each toping $1-$1.50 depending on size.
Schlepphorst says Fong's will add delivery service soon.
Many of the drinks are available in crazy tiki glasses, ranging in size from huge to the 96-ounce Funky Monkey, which runs $19.95 and must be shared by at least three people. Much like the boots at Hessen Haus
, the elaborate glasses require a deposit ranging from $15-$30. (You can get them in regular glasses, but that's not nearly as cool).
If you order the Super Terrific Kamikaze
shot you get the option of wearing a Japanese fighter helmet. After a few shots, the helmet should probably be required.
Why you should go:
Fong's serves its full menu until 2 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, so if you want a quick slice after the bar closes they'll have you covered.
Unique flavors and reasonably-priced slices make Fong's a welcome addition to the drinking and dining lineup in the Court Avenue District