For six years, family members have coaxed and cajoled us to drive to Marysvale to try the pizza at Tomatoes, a local Italian pizza place. Finally, last Saturday we decided to make the two- hour drive and try the pizza. We were not disappointed.
The Tomatoes story is equally as good as the Italian food we ravished. The restaurant was started six years ago by David Strong. Strong is originally from Horseheads, New York. His father was a baker and taught him the tricks of the trade. “I grew up decorating cakes and cookies and I learned that the best food comes from scratch.”
“After 9/11 everything was different,” Strong continued. “There was fear in New York. I worried about raising my kids in that environment and besides, taxes were very high in New York. My wife and I decided to move. We considered Missouri and Tennessee, but my mother-in-law had contacts in Marysvale, Utah. We went to visit and liked the place. My kids could walk anywhere and I wouldn’t feel anxious about their safety,”
Strong literally started his pizza business in his garage. It wasn’t Microsoft or Hewlett Packard, but literally a garage business. He bought his equipment and started making his pizzas. “I marketed the pizza as hand-tossed and all natural. I even started wearing the scarf on my head.”
The business in Marysvale is six years old. Strong, his two sons and an “adopted son” run the restaurant. When asked how people know about his food Strong said, “Truckers will spread the word. Many campers and recreation enthusiasts also come try our menu and tell their friends. We get a lot of families from Richfield, Salina, and even Las Vegas.”
For six years the family would spend summer and fall in Marysvale and return to New York for the winter, but now he is content to live in Marysvale all year around. He, his wife and seven children call it home.
“We cater to RV people getting away from crowds, politics and big city issues. This is neutral property. We want everyone to have a relaxing time. Everything we serve is natural and simple. I serve what I eat,” Strong continued.
We watched as he tossed his pizza and spread the special dough with the best sauce we had eaten. There are three sizes of pizzas with a variety of toppings. The menu also includes calzones, chicken fettucine, and a wonderful bruschetta. The ice cream is also a specialty. We haven’t had that much fun and good food in a long, long time.
When asked if Covid had affected his business, Strong said, “Last year was our best year yet. We used gloves and kept everything sanitized and our business grew.”
Will we go back to Marysvale and stop at Tomatoes? An unequivocal yes!