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Nominate: Best Pizza in Minneapolis-StPaul (if you say Dominos, you are banned from chowhound 4 good)

m
mark grossman Dec 11, 2004 06:35 PM

????????????

  1. m
    Mel Dec 11, 2004 06:54 PM

    The Pizza Factory in New Brighton used to have a good pizza - called the North Shore, or something like that. They use a stone ground flour for the crust. I get back to the Twin Cities about once a year and stop in for a lunch pizza. I prefer just a little sauce, no mozzarella, grated hard cheeses, and anchovies. Tastes great. Once you have had pizza in Naples Italy, you really don't want "American Pizza".

    The first pizza I ever had was in the early 50's. My mom made it out of a box. No mozzarella, just sauce and grated cheese.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mel
      m
      michael Dec 12, 2004 12:23 PM

      Coincidentally, I had pizza at Cupcake the other day (University Ave catercorner from Hubbard Broadcasting on the city line). It was advertised as bbq chicken with caramelized onions, no mention of mozzarella. It came with mozzarella, a huge, translucent, hardened glob spread across the entire pizza. Should you eat here, stick with the desserts, sandwiches, and the carrot ginger soup.

      1. re: Mel
        a
        Almasmom Jan 16, 2014 05:53 PM

        Perhaps your mother would have had more success using flour and salt rather than a box. Boxes make for tough chewing!

        1. re: Almasmom
          g
          GutGrease Jan 24, 2014 08:47 AM

          You do realize that you just responded to a post FROM 9 Years ago!

      2. a
        Alice Dec 12, 2004 12:36 PM

        My husband and I have identified what we consider to be Minnesota pizza: it comes in nice little 2 bite sized squares. The exemplar, in our opinion, is found in Northfield, Bill's or Basil's, which both feature gyro pizza, and they have an amazing ability to get exactly one piece of gyro on each piece.
        Obviously not everyone is going to trek to Northfield for this delicacy, so I nominate Broadway Pizza in NE Minneapolis as next best, then Checkerboard in St. Paul in the Midway area.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Alice
          a
          Alice Dec 12, 2004 02:09 PM

          Other good ones to try are Golooney's in Uptown, though I haven't had that in years, so not so sure anymore, Fast Freddie's/Bryn Mawr Deli in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood, and Punch in St. Paul, though none of those are the aforementioned square slices.

          1. re: Alice
            s
            Sven Dec 12, 2004 06:57 PM

            Their ability to space the meat so that each slice get one piece is about the only thing noteworthy when it comes to pizza in Northfield. My suggestion would be to skip the pizza all together and go for a gyro sandwich instead. Or better yet try one of the many Mexican restaurants popping up all over town.

            (Out of fairness I should mention that my in-laws, who are from Northfield, love the pizza here.)

            Psycho Suzies in NE Mpls has really good pizza but you have to show your hip counter culture ID (i.e. tattoos and piercings) at the door to get in.

            1. re: Sven
              a
              Alice Dec 12, 2004 11:16 PM

              I think Bill's and Basil's have perfected the square slice. The sauce is perfectly spiced, the cheese is not too heavily laid on, and the crust is a nice medium thickness. I guess I should have specified what I liked about it besides just that ratio.

              1. re: Alice
                f
                frittering_away Jan 25, 2009 05:46 PM

                Hmm. I thought Bill's closed and didn't reopen when MNDOT redid the interchange of HI 19 and HI 3.

                1. re: frittering_away
                  k
                  KTFoley Jan 26, 2009 06:53 AM

                  This post is from 2004.

            2. re: Alice
              k
              kcmarshall Dec 13, 2004 04:34 PM

              If you're looking for good 'square' pizza in our hood, Alice, you might want to try Dino's. Its at Thomas and Hamline. I don't consider it quite as good as Red's but darn close. I like their combo pizzas but they tend to get gloppy with toppings and the crust looses its crunch. We had a sausage, onion and bk olive on Friday night that was just right.

              Carry out or delivery only.

              Kevin

            3. l
              Lisa Dec 12, 2004 02:28 PM

              We're crazy about Galactic Pizza on Lyndale/28th. Fresh ingredients, great sauce, and all organic. And for those who are lactose intolerant, they make the best vegan pizza I've ever had.

              1. m
                MariQ Dec 12, 2004 06:40 PM

                What if i don't say Domino's but i nominate Totino's pizza, do I get banned anyway? =) c'mon, it's a Twin Cities tradition!

                OK, Totino's is not my favorite, i gotta say... Pizza is VERY personal taste. My personal favorite is PUNCH, that's what i had growing up in Brazil - Napolitan style, thin crust, not heavy on toppings (so you can taste the crust and the fact that it was baked on a wood-burning oven, a great added flavor!) YUM!!!

                1. j
                  Jeff Grann Dec 12, 2004 08:11 PM

                  Pane Vino Dolce's pizza expanded my concept of pizza and is my nomination for best in town. They don't serve it anymore, but at the time it was a simple roasted garlic goat cheese pizza. Their ability to meld crust, toppings,and cheese into one bite won my heart. From that point on I have experimented at home with my own homemade crust, pizza stone and maxed out oven to simulate the experience. (Tip: Forget the cornmeal on the peal - place your dough on parchment paper and pull the whole thing right onto the stone.) I also like what Punch is doing although their crust is too flimsy and soft for my taste.

                  Jeff Grann
                  Roseville, MN

                  1. s
                    Suzie Dec 12, 2004 10:19 PM

                    My former pizza loves were Molly Quinn's on an "on" day and Fat Lorenzo's. We left Mpls. this past summer.

                    We've made a couple of finds in the west metro.

                    Though not in Mpls./St. Paul proper, I nominate Grumpy's Bar in St. Bonifacious, MN.

                    Their Garbage Can pizza is a wonder to behold. Wonderful thin crust that somehow manages to stay crispy under a goldmine of ingredients. Pizza purists need to beware of this one.

                    The crust is crowned with sausage, pepperoni, burger, onion, green pepper, 'shrooms, tons of green and black olives, pineapple and jalapenos and a good dollop of mozzarella and probably a few ingredients I left out.

                    Ambience at this place is zero. Stinky beer joint, not that I have a problem with that. I'm a road food kinda gal.

                    Patty that runs the joint and makes the pizza is a treasure.

                    She sums up her job that she runs an "adult daycare" on weekends.

                    A chowhound treasure in my book.

                    P.S. Harley riders seem to flock to this place when the weather is nice. I'm not one of them, but it's beautiful out here, rolling hills, stables and such.

                    I miss S. Mpls. a lot though.

                    1. m
                      Michael Florey Dec 13, 2004 07:32 AM

                      Best overall I think is Punch. So many great combinations, and consistently excellent.

                      Best single slice -- Cossetta's cheese and sausage. The homemade sausage is outrageously good.

                      1. m
                        MSPD Dec 13, 2004 10:49 AM

                        The "best pizza" and "best burger" discussions always remind me of the Westminster dog show (or maybe the movie "Best in Show"). How do you figure that old, fat, scrotum-fondling, gravelly British-accented, polyester wearing chick can actually pick ONE dog as superior over all of those other fine bags of fleas? Amazing.

                        Anyway, I haven't fondled a dog's junk lately, but I have eaten a lot of pizza. Here are my nominations:

                        Punch, St. Paul location. (Neapolitan breed) Whether or not you like this kind of pizza, you can't argue they use the most fresh, high-quality ingredients in town. It HAS to be considered the top pizza judged on CULINARY MERIT alone (no consideration to the type of pizza, people's preferences, backgrounds, etc).

                        I like the break from "kitchen sink" pizzas -- they have enough combinations of 2 or 3 toppings to satisfy everyone, including buffalo mozzerella which makes the slice almost silky. I could see criticizing the crust, as it varies from charred black in spots, and can be slightly mushy in the middle by the time you get to the last slick. But I like to sop up that oily juice with the last piece of crust.

                        In the neapolitan category, the pizzas at Buon Giorno in Lilydale would be the runners-up, but just don't have the combination of flavors and "je ne sais quoi" or whatever that Punch has perfected.

                        In the square-cut, cracker-crust category, I'm a loyal devotee of Brianno's in Eagan. At every opportunity, I try and send people to this little-known Italian market/deli just off Cedar Ave at Cliff Road. I have a lot of "see, I told you so" credibility with my south of the river neighbors. All addicts now. People from here to the Atlantic Ocean rave about Zaffiro's (Milwaukee) in this category. Brianno's is better. Fresh, quality ingredients, made as you watch. Only drawbacks: take out only, no credit cards accepted and closed on Mondays.

                        The Pizza Factory on Carmen Ave in Inver Grove Heights is second place in this category. "The What Where???" The Pizza Factory. From 494, take the 5th/7th exit, go south on 5th. When you see the McDonalds, look to your left. Yes...that scuzzy strip mall that should have been demolished in the 70s. Back in the corner there...yes....see it? The Pizza Factory. The second best ultra-thin, square-cut pizza in MSP. This is where I go for the "kitchen sink". It weighs a ton and the leftovers last longer than a 30-pound Thanksgiving turkey.

                        For good, old school pizza, Red's Savoy. This is one of those "sum is far greater than the individual parts" foods. Frankly, I sometimes start wondering why I (and a lot of people) love it so much. Then I eat one, think, "darn that's good" and repeat the cycle. I'll never stop thinking that some day a car won't stop as they come up 52 and level the place, killing everyone inside. But if they already started their pizza, at least they'll die satisfied.

                        I also really like Cossetta's in the triangular, bubble pocked, thin crust category. When only ordering by the slice, their advantage is the constant line of customers snaked all around the store. The pizza doesn't sit around very long. Size is good too -- you could build a small, single-family home on a slice.

                        Pizza Luce certainly deserves mention somewhere here.

                        And at risk of ending this super-long post with a huge shot to my own credibility, I'll say that I've actually had a couple good flat crust, rectangular pizzas at...(brace yourself)...Buca. Hey, I just call 'em as I see them. Nobody should go there just to get a pizza, but some of their "daily specials" end up really tasty. If you happen to be eating there, it's a viable option.

                        Finally, I have to dissent with the mention of Checkerboard. Sure, when I was a piss-poor drunk freshman at Hamline, I'd eat the stuff, but there is nothing inherently unique about it. I'd take Davanni's, Green Mill, or Grampa Tony's over Checkerboard, just in that general neighborhood.

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: MSPD
                          a
                          Alice Dec 13, 2004 11:33 AM

                          I wasn't aware of the other square slice places other than B'way and Checkerboard. Honestly, I would not go out of my way for Checkerboard either, but they are in my neighborhood and when I am lazy I order from there and find it adequate.

                          1. re: Alice
                            s
                            Sven Dec 13, 2004 12:40 PM

                            Most pizza in MN is cut into squares.

                            1. re: Sven
                              e
                              Enso Feb 10, 2008 03:47 PM

                              Squares? {gak} Diamonds are the only edible geometry.

                              I nominate Latuff's and Angeno's in the western burbs.

                          2. re: MSPD
                            g
                            Gino Dec 13, 2004 12:16 PM

                            I'm very pleased to see someone mention the Pizza Factory in South St Paul (that strip mall in actually in SSP rather than IGH). Very consistent and delicious. Their top of the line pizza is a site to behold, although I prefer the plain sausage.

                            I haven't been to Brianno's since I moved north a few years ago but I used to make regular trips when living in Rosemount. Good but I think I prefer Savoy & Pizza Factory a notch better. Do they still sent the pizza's out in a brown paper bag? I loved how the grease would stain the bag by the time I returned home. Oh who am I kidding, most of the pizza was eaten by the time I returned home but I still found the paper bag charming.

                            1. re: Gino
                              m
                              MSPD Dec 13, 2004 01:33 PM

                              Crud...I always try to be accurate with my addresses. I lived, literally, 200 yards west/southwest of the Pizza Factory. I thought the changeover to IGH happened at South St. (My address was IGH). Looks like the parking lot of the strip mall is the "city limits". Anyway, thanks for the correction.

                              The Top of the Line is a load. I certainly wouldn't set that thing on a glass top table. I'm having a lack of sleep moment, but don't they offer sauerkraut as a topping? I think that's where I had that.

                              That pizza was the closest I've had to "Saskatchewan Style" pizza anywhere outside of...well...Saskatchewan. If you're not familiar with Saskatchewan style pizza, think 20x30 inch rectangle (or would that be 32x50 centimeter?), thinnish crust, good red sauce, then about 30 layers of assorted sliced meats (including thin cut back bacon), onions, peppers, and cheeses. It's disgustingly good, but that's a topic for the Canada board.

                              As for Brianno's, yes, they put it in a brown paper bag, then do this quick air-poof/folding action which keeps the bag from touching the top of the pizza. The bag still ends up a big, greasy mess, but to me a grease-stained package is the badge of honor for some of the world's greatest food.

                              1. re: MSPD
                                g
                                Gino Dec 13, 2004 04:14 PM

                                Top of the Line = sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, green olives, bacon and yes, sauerkraut. The approximate weight of a 14" is 4 lbs.

                                I believe the east side of the street there is SSP and the west side is IGH. It is a pretty funky border though.

                                I'll have to head down to Eagan to Brianno's. I'm glad they are still using the bag.

                                1. re: Gino
                                  s
                                  shoo-bee-doo Feb 26, 2005 05:55 PM

                                  Well, I went over to the Pizza Factory to try the "Top of the Line" pizza this afternoon. I'm munching on the leftovers as I type.

                                  Yes, a great pizza it is. The 10-inch is about 3 meals for 1 person. Nice ingredients, good sauce, well done crust, friendly people. I'm impressed.

                                  Brianno's is great also.

                            2. re: MSPD
                              m
                              MSPD Dec 13, 2004 12:46 PM

                              Darn it! You weren't supposed to tell anyone about the Pizza Factory. Now everyone will start ordering from there and I'll have to wait longer.

                              Their sauce is the best I've ever had and the $2.99 lunch special is the best value around.

                              By the way, Gino is right, it is in South St. Paul. I should know I used to work in that strip mall.

                              As for Red's, several cars already have smashed into the building (and a few motorcylcles as well). That's why all the regulars sit in the back of the room near the fish tank.

                              1. re: MSPD
                                s
                                Sven Dec 13, 2004 12:51 PM

                                I don't know how this post got attributed to MSPD. It should have been from Sven.

                              2. re: MSPD
                                heine143 Feb 10, 2008 02:41 PM

                                Okay, so I'm dumbfounded why I've read so much about Red Savoys Pizza in St.Paul. We tried it today, and it was entirely a bad experience. Bad waitress, very dark bar-like atmosphere that almost cried out to 2 non-drinkers to want to get drunk in just to survive it, and, I hate to spoil the fun, but BAD pizza. Yes the toppings were thick, lots of cheese, but the crust was a loser and the sauce was too spicey and way too thickly laid on. Sorry, we were incredibly disappointed. It is now at the bottom of our fave pizza in the Twin Cities. At the top: Rocky Rococo, Old Chicago, Tasty, Galactic, and the kids new favorite is Jet's Pizza. I haven't tried it yet...

                                1. re: heine143
                                  MSPD Feb 10, 2008 04:41 PM

                                  Well for one, it's worth mentioning that you dredged up a three-plus year old thread. A LOT has changed in that time, and many would say Savoy has gone quite a ways downhill in that time (I'm neutral...again, it is what it is.)

                                  1. re: MSPD
                                    heine143 Feb 11, 2008 01:55 PM

                                    Actually, thats a comfort to me somewhat if 3 years ago people thought it was a good pizza and now its not so great. I just wondered if everyones standard for pizza had gone downhill or my tastebuds were having a terrible day!

                                    1. re: MSPD
                                      The Dairy Queen Feb 13, 2008 04:32 AM

                                      It's been awhile since I've been to Savoy's--maybe even a couple of years. How sad to hear it has gone downhill, since it seems like the kind of place that, up until that point, had resisted the passage of time, which, of course, was part of its charm, along with the homemade sauce and the heavy handed way they piled on the toppings. How has it gone downhill in the last couple of years?

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        MSPD Feb 13, 2008 09:15 AM

                                        TDQ, take it with a grain of salt. I've never heard someone complain so much about not liking a pizza. We've got to be at about a half-dozen posts about it by now.

                                        In my opinion, aside from opening a branch in Eagan, nothing has changed. It's the volume of complaints that have increased and amplified that led me to say "many would say it's gone downhill". It's probably exactly the same as your last visit there.

                                    2. re: heine143
                                      mtullius Feb 12, 2008 03:29 PM

                                      For what it's worth, I love Red's atmosphere, service, and pizza. It's not gourmet, for sure, and it's not anywhere near the standards of New York/Connecticut pizza (but what is?), but it sure does hit the spot now and again. Atmosphere is perfect for a pizza joint. And the service? How can you beat older ladies with attitude?

                                  2. j
                                    Josh Resnik Dec 14, 2004 06:15 PM

                                    Frankly I am surprised there has been so much debate on this. When I saw the question posted a couple days ago I thought, the more interesteing question was which place has the 2nd best pizza in town. To me, Punch is so far superior to everything else. But apparently there is a lot of disagreement.

                                    I think MSPD did a nice job breaking it down (I liked the Westminster Dog Show analogy). So Punch is my clear best in show. My favorite New York-style slice is from Soho Cafe at 26th and Hennepin. It is the closest I have found to an authentic New York slice.

                                    Now to get some feathers ruffled. My picks for most overrated pizza in town: Red Savoy Inn, Cossetta's, and Pizza Luce. I do not think any of those three are very good.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Josh Resnik
                                      p
                                      Paul Feb 14, 2005 09:07 PM

                                      No contest. Brianno's.

                                    2. a
                                      Alexander X. Feb 25, 2005 07:23 PM

                                      My vote goes to Leaning Tower of Pizza, in South Minneapolis on Lyndale.

                                      1. s
                                        shoo-bee-doo Feb 26, 2005 06:06 PM

                                        I keep writing about my favorite pizza, Sammy's. It's newly located in Coon Rapids on Hwy. 10 and Foley Blvd.

                                        It's my hometown, red sauce pizza established at what the teenagers called "The Pizza" in Hibbing in the 1950's.

                                        I'm eager to hear someone else's review of it.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: shoo-bee-doo
                                          t
                                          Tim McManny Mar 23, 2005 09:52 AM

                                          I vote for Soho in Minneapolis off of Hennepin. Being from the East Coast - Jersey - this joint tops them all. The other dishes are fab also. Can't lose no matter what is ordered. But the pizza folds just like NY pizza. simply the best.

                                          1. re: shoo-bee-doo
                                            r
                                            raforce Jan 26, 2009 07:50 AM

                                            I've only been to Sammy's in Hibbing; haven't made it to Coon Rapids yet. But I can certainly vouch for the Hibbing pizza - it's great, flavorul, thin-crust pizza with the right amount of sauce!

                                          2. a
                                            AmandaAnn Feb 10, 2008 03:50 PM

                                            My favorite is the Plapo from Fast Freddie's/Brynmawr Deli: red sauce with goat cheese, walnuts, and sun dried tomatoes. The crust is a bit puffy, not super thin, and ever so slightly sweet. Leftovers are excellent if you have any! I always have a little fight going on in my brain trying to get myself to think long term and stop eating so I have something left to enjoy the next day.

                                            1. David_Minh Feb 10, 2008 04:35 PM

                                              I would say that one of my favorite "Square" pizza places is village, it has been my family's tradition to go there once a year for someones birthday and I always enjoy it. Its probably not the very best, but it is one of the better ones out there. They're very generous with the toppings and are also punctual with their orders.

                                              My favorite pizza I can order would have to be Red Savoy's, its fantastic.

                                              1. c
                                                churchka Feb 10, 2008 04:36 PM

                                                Dulono's. Best Pizza that delivers to my house, therefore, best pizza.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: churchka
                                                  GastronautMN Mar 23, 2008 08:42 PM

                                                  Dulonno's is best served with a side of Bluegrass.

                                                  Lake Harriet is the besrt delivery pizza I can get (they are delivery only). They have a really good spicy sauce and I dig it.

                                                  Punch is the best dine in Pizza in town, but I think it sogs out in the box with that super thin crust.

                                                  I love Galactic Pizza's mission and their Pizza is good. I ocassionally order their delivery because my daughter really likes their unitard and cape clad delivery drivers.

                                                  Pizza Luce is so overrated. Last time I ordered delivery from them it took forever and was just plain bad. Last time I went in to eat I felt out of place since I didn't have a bone in my nose, and the pizza was not much better then. I used to love the downtown location at 2 in the morning after a show at First Ave, but that was usually in a different state of mind and after having sucked down a pack of Marlboro reds. Can beergoggles apply to food too?

                                                  1. re: GastronautMN
                                                    katebauer Mar 23, 2008 08:49 PM

                                                    Maybe I just don't get the Minnesota square cut pizza, but we recently got delivery from Lake Harriet pizza and it was pretty bad. There was just nothing remarkable about it at all. For mediocre pizza I'd rather get pizza from Luce and at least not have to deal with tiny square pieces that get your hands really messy.

                                                    1. re: GastronautMN
                                                      l
                                                      Loren3 Mar 24, 2008 08:51 AM

                                                      I've had the opposite problem with the Nordeast branch of Punch. Eating in results is a soggy gloppy inedible mess, whereas the box seems to let some of the steam and moisture wick away, making it almost edible. Still prefer Nea. And why is Punch on such a campaign to run Nea out of business. Every time Nea opened somewhere, Punch came in a block away and undercut prices. On "authentic" Neapolitan. You can't sell "authentic" Neapolitan that cheap. The ingredients cost too much.

                                                      Luce in the Warehouse District gets props for delivering at 2am.

                                                      Psycho Suzi's is just plain fun.

                                                      Toast has great MN-style square-cut cracker crust pizza. Better than Dulono's with a better wine selection, but agreed Dulono's gets a thumb's up for the live bluegrass. Which makes me think it's time for a new thread...

                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/502187

                                                      1. re: Loren3
                                                        Foureyes137 Mar 24, 2008 09:35 AM

                                                        What other Punch opened after Nea except the one on E Hennepin? Nea opened in Uptown after the Calhoun Village Punch was already there.

                                                        1. re: Foureyes137
                                                          l
                                                          Loren3 Mar 24, 2008 09:38 AM

                                                          The guy who runs Nea told me it was the other way around. I didn't live around here back then.

                                                        2. re: Loren3
                                                          c
                                                          chrisinroch Mar 24, 2008 11:45 AM

                                                          >>You can't sell "authentic" Neapolitan that cheap. The ingredients cost too much.<<

                                                          What are you talking about?? You don't need san marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozz. Neapolitan pizza is a very cheap meal. Even in more touristy areas. Even with the cost of some ingredients being higher in the states it's easy to hit a raw food cost under $3.50 for a simple 10" one topping pizza.

                                                      2. re: churchka
                                                        r
                                                        raforce Jan 26, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                        I am happy to see someone nominate Dulano's! I think their pizza is great and the restaurant atmosphere is fun too.

                                                      3. Davydd Feb 10, 2008 04:49 PM

                                                        Hey, this is an old thread brought back. But since it is back I have to agree with MSPD on Punch Pizza. I just came back from Washington DC having visited their two alleged best Neapolitan pizza restaurants (2 Amys and Pizzeria Paradiso) and then trying Punch here. Punch was better. They make a great Neapolitan pizza. My preferences have grown toward woodfired pizzas of late.

                                                        1. c
                                                          cookkevin Feb 11, 2008 04:10 AM

                                                          All the local favs are very good and have been mentioned here, so here is something new, Scoreboard pizza in Brooklyn Center is the BEST in MSP , it has it all , thin crust ,great sauce, lots of toppings,it is the best by a mile.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: cookkevin
                                                            b
                                                            Bobannon Jan 28, 2009 09:08 AM

                                                            I agree, Scoreboard is by far the best. I think it's the sauce, perfectly spicy. And the blanket of cheese. Every single person I've introduced Scoreboard to quickly moves it to the top of their favorites list. It's worth the trip to Brooklyn Center.

                                                            6816 Humboldt Ave N
                                                            Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
                                                            (763) 566-4455

                                                          2. MSPD Feb 11, 2008 05:23 AM

                                                            And for those scoring at home, I would add Psycho Suzi's, Pizza Nea, Home Run Inn (frozen, store-bought category), Brick's in Hudson and Joey Nova's to their respective categories in my 2004 post.

                                                            1. bivouac Feb 11, 2008 07:37 AM

                                                              Are you kidding me? Golooney's Pizza - 24th and Hennepin - Specifically, a slice with meatball. It's BY FAR the best slice in the city.

                                                              1. m
                                                                mplsmike Feb 11, 2008 09:15 AM

                                                                Pizza Nea -- I've never had a bad pizza here. I've posted before about the inconsistency of my local Punch (Calhoun). As a native of the Chicago burbs, I miss deep dish and still haven't found anything comparable. I've never been the biggest fan of handtossed-style pizza. I've gotta say, I've never had Neopolitan-style pizza before moving here and Punch (on a good day) and Nea (anyday) are delicious. Punch in Eden Prairie will also make any of their pizzas into a calzone (awesome).

                                                                Pizza side notes: As a fan of frozen pizzas, you can never go wrong with Tombstone's original sausage and DiGiorno's garlic bread cheese pizza. (Lets not kid each ourselves, we can't eat local and jump on the slow food train 7 days a week). I also have a soft spot for Totino's party pizzas (a college staple)

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: mplsmike
                                                                  paoconnell Mar 23, 2008 05:45 PM

                                                                  I miss Gino's East specifically, but there are lots of good pizza places in Chicago.

                                                                  It's awful when the best pizza anyone can think of where I work is Papa Murphy's Take N Bake (not bad if you follow the instructions, but there has to be better out there).

                                                                  1. re: mplsmike
                                                                    r
                                                                    raforce Jan 26, 2009 07:54 AM

                                                                    Best frozen, store-bought pizza in my mind is the locally-produced Heggie's. Not all stores carry it, and it's not cheap as far as frozen 'zas go, but it is wonderful and flavorful. I know the Supervalu on Louisiana and Cedar Lk Rd has them.

                                                                  2. heine143 Feb 11, 2008 02:13 PM

                                                                    Our vote is cast for several places: Old Chicago, Rocky Rococo's in Brooklyn Park, Tasy Pizza in Northeast Mpls, Punch's by Calhoun, Fat Lorenzo's for sure. Mmmm...just thinking about Fat Lorenzo's pizza can almost make me forget nasty Red Savoy's...

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: heine143
                                                                      j
                                                                      jenniegirl Mar 23, 2008 01:15 AM

                                                                      i tried Golooney's plain cheese today. I ordered two slices to go, and they had me wait while they got me a fresh slice, even though they had the remains of anothr on the steam table. The crust was really good-I like to taste sauce, so I wasn't crazy about it, but that's my personal preference. I've never been to NY, so I don't know how it compares.

                                                                      1. re: jenniegirl
                                                                        Jordan Mar 23, 2008 06:09 AM

                                                                        Fairly comparable, I think. New York pizza sauce is very mild-tasting.

                                                                    2. c
                                                                      chrisinroch Mar 23, 2008 06:37 AM

                                                                      Punch

                                                                      1. l
                                                                        liesel Mar 23, 2008 02:06 PM

                                                                        Rocco's Pizza in W. St. Paul on Annapolis just west of Stryker.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: liesel
                                                                          d
                                                                          discus Mar 23, 2008 02:17 PM

                                                                          I don't want to sound like one of those old guys reminescing about the old days... Still, I spent my formative years in NYC so good pizza to me has no toppings on it. It just takes good without all that stuff. At most, you'll add anchovies.

                                                                          So with that in mind, what do you guys recommend?

                                                                          1. re: discus
                                                                            p
                                                                            pgokey Mar 24, 2008 04:31 AM

                                                                            Golooney's reminds me most of the pizza I had in NYC. I like getting it with feta and garlic on it - flavor fest!

                                                                        2. s
                                                                          stymie Mar 23, 2008 03:27 PM

                                                                          For you north Jersey folks, Joey Novas in Plymouth and Tonka Bay still rings my bell. Just like that little spot on the corner back home when you're in the mood for a slice.

                                                                          1. p
                                                                            PerroAndaluz Mar 24, 2008 02:11 PM

                                                                            Pizza Nea for me. I live Uptown, and was really sad to see their local outpost close its doors. I like Dulono's too, for a less fussy pie to go with lots of beer.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: PerroAndaluz
                                                                              heine143 Mar 24, 2008 09:56 PM

                                                                              We thought Dulono's was good, but improved by live music, as all food is :)
                                                                              Anyone try the salads at Nea's? Very good.

                                                                            2. k
                                                                              Kirsten28 Jan 25, 2009 04:56 PM

                                                                              I know this thread was started a long time ago but I thought I'd put in my 2 cents...

                                                                              1. Psycho Suzi's in Nordeast Mpls.- Great every time but be aware that the service will not be the best... It's totally worth it!

                                                                              2. Roman Market in Wilernie, MN- Great hand-tossed brick oven pizza. The ingredients make the pizza really stand out among other places. Always fresh and tasty!

                                                                              1. m
                                                                                mncharm Jan 26, 2009 11:01 AM

                                                                                Italian Pie Shoppe on Grand Avenue -- perfect "stepped" deep dish crust -- thicker on the bottom, progressive thinner on the sides. Buttery and perfect. The thin crust isn't bad, either.

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: mncharm
                                                                                  jillbcooks Jan 26, 2009 05:38 PM

                                                                                  Yes. Italian Pie Shoppe, hands down.

                                                                                  1. re: jillbcooks
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    mncharm Jan 27, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                                                    You clearly have a well-refined palate and taste for pizza, jill.

                                                                                    1. re: mncharm
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      snoboardbabe77 Jan 27, 2009 08:54 AM

                                                                                      I'm like a lot of the other posters-sort of depends what mood I am in.

                                                                                      For overall greasy pizza - with lots of cheese and I personally love the spiciness, Red Savoy. I agree, the place is dumpy and the waitresses overall aren't looking like they love their job-which is why I get take out. I don't think their pizza has gone downhill and I've been ordering it for the last five years consistently. Still a pretty good value.

                                                                                      When I want something a bit different (and what, a little more sophisticated?) I like Punch and Pizza Luce...specifically the Athena pizza and the mashed potato pizza.
                                                                                      However, Luce in St Paul lately has had attitude/service issues and I'm inclined not to continue my service there.

                                                                                      I'm really surprised that no one has mentioned John's Pizza Cafe at Front Ave/Dale. They have consistently given me quality pizza and calzones (and a dago from time to time). They have a wide range of "different" pizza including za reuben (with sauerkraut), wild rice sausage, etc. They're independent, they're always consistent, and they are always friendly. They have a TON of options.

                                                                                      And in terms of frozen pizza, I have to go with Heggies from good ol' Milaca-you can only get them at Von Hanson's or Moto Mart on Hiawatha. Good stuff. Other than that, the frozen pizzas from Whole Foods are quite tasty!

                                                                                      1. re: snoboardbabe77
                                                                                        m
                                                                                        mncharm Jan 27, 2009 10:03 AM

                                                                                        Heggie's is actually becoming more readily available:

                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/563294

                                                                                        1. re: snoboardbabe77
                                                                                          q
                                                                                          Quince Feb 2, 2009 03:53 PM

                                                                                          I also like John's Pizza Cafe. Their pizzas are not the most traditional (I favor the Chick-a-dilly) but they are rather tasty. Who would have thought sauerkraut would be good on a pizza? It was a pleasant surprise to find them in our neighborhood.

                                                                                          1. re: Quince
                                                                                            m
                                                                                            mncharm Feb 3, 2009 07:36 AM

                                                                                            Broadway also has a pizza with kraut on it...I also had my doubts, but it's delicious.

                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                    BigE Jan 28, 2009 06:07 AM

                                                                                    I know there are VERY mixed feelings about it, but I still put Cossetta's at or near the top of my list. The sausage is exceptional, the cheese and sauce are very good. I stay away from the steam tray pasta (which seems to be the biggest point of discontent here) and stick to the pizza and the market.

                                                                                    Otherwise, I'm a big fan of Luce as well. When I went to school in Duluth, I used to go there all the time. Now a hit the Uptown spot every now and then.

                                                                                    I'm a huge fan of Chicago style, so it sounds like I'll have to give Italian Pie Shoppe a look. The only semblance of Chicago style I've had around here is Davanni's.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: BigE
                                                                                      m
                                                                                      mncharm Jan 28, 2009 06:58 AM

                                                                                      Luce pizza fascinates me for its ability to either turn people wildly on or off. Personally, I'm not a fan, but I know plenty of people who think it's the best in town.

                                                                                      I like Cosetta's as well, although -- as I think has been noted here previously -- the quality seems to improve if you order an entire pizza. I've found the slices to be hit and miss.

                                                                                      Definitely give IPS a shot. I think it's preferable to Davanni's deep. I usually stick to the traditional crust at D's.

                                                                                      1. re: mncharm
                                                                                        b
                                                                                        BigE Jan 28, 2009 09:41 AM

                                                                                        I absolutely agree about getting a whole pie at Cossetta's. I'm always leery of getting slices that have been under a heat lamp, if even for a little while.

                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                      sarah.j.morrison Feb 1, 2009 08:58 PM

                                                                                      has anyone tried Black Sheep pizza? The first coal-burning pizza ovens in MN?

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: sarah.j.morrison
                                                                                        MSPD Feb 2, 2009 06:38 AM

                                                                                        There's another thread on here somewhere (from 2008, not 2004!) about Black Sheep. I've been there, but not enough times to compel me to post a qualified opinion about it. I've enjoyed the pizzas I've had and the people running it are very nice. Initially, I would rank it between Punch St. Paul and Buon Giorno as it compares in style and ingredient quality to the others in the neapolitan-ish category. When they expand to lunch, I'll be able to get in there more often.

                                                                                        1. re: sarah.j.morrison
                                                                                          Foureyes137 Feb 2, 2009 07:40 AM

                                                                                          We have also been, but just twice. We've found the crust to be a bit overcooked both times or there was too much gluten developed in the dough as it was very very tough. However, the ingredients were first rate (we most enjoyed the sausage, salami and green olive pie), the salads grand (they usually have a feature) and the wine a good value.

                                                                                          I would also put it below Punch and Nea but they have room to improve.

                                                                                          One question though, it says "coal fired" however it looked like gas burning and not a coal oven (like John's, Grimaldi's or Lombardi's where you can see coal burning and the place is charmingly covered in 100 years of soot.) Did I miss the coal somehow?

                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                          cookkevin Feb 2, 2009 02:38 PM

                                                                                          Bobannon- thanks, Scoreboard is tops with everyone I tell too. Maybe its best pizza secret in MSP.

                                                                                          1. a
                                                                                            amgarrison Feb 4, 2009 01:32 PM

                                                                                            I love D'Amico & Sons' pizza (the Edina one anyways) if the right cook is making it. Depending on who it is, it usually comes out with perfectly cooked crust and just the right amount of toppings. My fav's are the chicken pizza and the artichoke pizza. Like Punch, they've got the wood-fired pizza oven so it has that nice woodsmoke smell to it that adds a whole other layer to the experience.

                                                                                            Galactic Pizza is fun and awesome for a whole variety of reasons (organic, electric cars, superhero costumes!)

                                                                                            Where can I get a good Chicago style 'za around here? I was in Chi-town last week and had one and remembered how good it really is. Going through withdrawals now!

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: amgarrison
                                                                                              m
                                                                                              mncharm Feb 4, 2009 01:47 PM

                                                                                              I will once again nominate Italian Pie Shoppe for best Chicago style deep dish in town...(I don't work there, I promise).

                                                                                            2. k
                                                                                              kevin47 Feb 4, 2009 02:16 PM

                                                                                              I'll probably be the 40th person to mention Punch. Nonetheless, that's exactly what I want from a pizza place. Affordable, with no frills except for the pizza itself. Great ingredients. Is there a big difference between the locations?

                                                                                              Fat Lorenzo's is my favorite place to eat in, but their pizza is terrible for leftovers. I like the baked potato pizza at Luce, but not much else. Psycho Suzies is always dependable, and peppadews make a great pizza topping. Barleyjohns has some interesting thin crusts that are good for lunch.

                                                                                              As far as frozen goes, Kashi makes a good pizza that's actually healthy.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: kevin47
                                                                                                mngal May 21, 2009 08:37 PM

                                                                                                Only commenting on frozen 'za after all of these posts...

                                                                                                Not a healthy frozen pizza, but Home Run (From Chicago) if quite good - flaky, almost pie like crust. The best is the combo with roasted veggies!

                                                                                              2. j
                                                                                                JimGrinsfelder Feb 5, 2009 03:38 AM

                                                                                                To compare Punch with Green Mill is to compare apples and oranges. I think the different styles each have merit.

                                                                                                MN Pizza: Savoy
                                                                                                Neapolitan: Punch, D'Amico & Sons
                                                                                                Deep Dish: Italian Pie Shop followed by Green Mill
                                                                                                NY Style: Cossettas

                                                                                                Most Unusual Pizza: Crescent Moon Afghani Pizza...the hot cilantro dipping sauce is interesting.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: JimGrinsfelder
                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                  mncharm Feb 5, 2009 08:05 AM

                                                                                                  Can't argue much with that list.

                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                  soupkitten May 22, 2009 01:28 PM

                                                                                                  forgive me if i missed a reference to mesa pizza downtown minneapolis, but i don't think anybody's mentioned it. i like it. they sell 20 inch pizzas and pizzas by the slice, they *deliver* slices of pizza, which i can't think of anyone else who does unless it's part of a minimum order.

                                                                                                  it's a slice that the nyc-style folks might like, you mop the grease off with a napkin, then you fold it in half lengthwise and eat. good quality toppings. cheap to get a cheese or pepperoni pizza ($13 for a 20 inch). they have all sorts of wacky pizzas i haven't had the opportunity to try as of yet, but at this point i think mesa certainly kicks butt all over luce/cossettas.

                                                                                                  for mn/square cut pizza i like mama's in st paul

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Mesa Pizza by the Slice
                                                                                                  1323 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                    MSPD May 22, 2009 01:33 PM

                                                                                                    It's pretty key to get the fresh stuff at Mesa. Some of those wacky pizzas sit around for a long time and end up sucking penguin butt (that will never get old). It's one of those places you kind of have to know your way around a bit.

                                                                                                    1. re: MSPD
                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                      soupkitten May 22, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                                                                      thanks for that info. i've gotten only the whole pies, delivered, and the pizza seemed solid. they are pretty new on my radar though. are any of the wacky pies worth trying, do you think? what's the skinny, MSPD? :)

                                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                        MSPD May 23, 2009 08:59 PM

                                                                                                        I was taking some classes at the U last year and would pretty frequently go in for a slice or two. I bypassed the fresh-from-the-oven pepperoni, sausage, etc. and tried the gyro pizza, taco pizza, mac & cheese pizza and maybe a couple others of which there are generally 1 or 2 slices ready. After a while, I got sick of eating slices that were probably sitting around too long and they put back in the oven to reheat, so I started ordering the more mainstream stuff that turned over much faster. Those were pretty good.

                                                                                                        If I was going to order a full pie, I thought the taco pizza was pretty good. The chicken parmigiana probably has potential fresh from the oven as well. I may not be the best person to give advice on the wacky flavors though...I tend to prefer the good old-fashioned traditional stuff.

                                                                                                    2. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                      g
                                                                                                      getgot211 May 22, 2009 01:59 PM

                                                                                                      thats Dinkytown, there's a line down the block after 2am. Gyro was pretty good, Buffalo chicken with blue cheese sauce was awesome.

                                                                                                      1. re: getgot211
                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                        soupkitten May 22, 2009 02:19 PM

                                                                                                        doh! dinkytown not downtown. thanks very much GetGot

                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                          faith May 23, 2009 10:13 PM

                                                                                                          Quel horreur- I just looked at the mesa menu and they have RANCH dressing on their Philly cheesesteak......I guess wacky would be the word.

                                                                                                    3. l
                                                                                                      lynnette Nov 15, 2009 05:01 PM

                                                                                                      Pizza is life..how to choose only one spot?
                                                                                                      Not possible!
                                                                                                      Red Savoy's, piled high with toppings and it's greasy and cheesy, in a good way!
                                                                                                      Punch - just awesome
                                                                                                      Pizza Nea - great thin crusts!
                                                                                                      Cossettas is just the best all around
                                                                                                      For fast food Pizza - ANDREAS in Saint Paul in Galtier food court..good old huge pieces, NY style, fold it and eat!

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Pizza Nea
                                                                                                      306 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                                                                      1. d
                                                                                                        Deemic Jun 13, 2012 04:51 PM

                                                                                                        This is a super old post now, but I'll chime in. Latuffs Pizzeria in Plymouth off Hwy 55. Yum!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Deemic
                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                          fretan Jun 19, 2012 04:11 PM

                                                                                                          I agree with Deemic -- super old post. BUT, Lola's PIzzeria in Edina on Xerxes (I think) has opened since most of the former responses were posted. Their pizza is thin-crust and has some standard and well as unsual toppings. Two of the unusual have some Korean toppings; the one we ordered had kimchi and although I love kimchi, it didn't quite work for me. Oour first two pizzas were outstanding and I would highly recommend Lols'a. Being diabetic, I need to eat as many veggies as i can and appreciate that their salads and vegetable side dishes (the salads are great as is the brusseol sprout dish -- each big enough to be shared by 2-4 people) are absolutely delicious. The price is also right.

                                                                                                        2. z
                                                                                                          zfwp Jun 21, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                                                          DOMINOS!!!!

                                                                                                          1. b
                                                                                                            bishopsbitter Jul 7, 2012 04:09 AM

                                                                                                            Ma Ma's and Red's Savoy in St Paul (in that order)..

                                                                                                            1. z
                                                                                                              zfwp Jul 16, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                                                                              no one seems to have mentioned Pizza Shop on dodd road. they make an excellent pizza.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: zfwp
                                                                                                                MSPD Jul 17, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                Maybe people are scared off by the unconventional name.

                                                                                                                (Dodd Road where? Dodd goes from Eagan to Lakeville, etc. I'm can't seem to place Pizza Shop in my mind)

                                                                                                                1. re: MSPD
                                                                                                                  z
                                                                                                                  zfwp Jul 17, 2012 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                  it is just a bit south-west of smith avenue. 1037 Dodd Rd, West Saint Paul, MN

                                                                                                                  1. re: MSPD
                                                                                                                    clepro Aug 13, 2012 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                    Dodd and Ottawa. Very close to the small shopping strip that houses Los Arcos, if that helps. In fact, if you go around to the parking lot on the southwest corner of the strip and look across the street, you'll be staring right at it.

                                                                                                                2. NugarifiK Jul 18, 2012 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                  Black Sheep is the best. Their toppings are outstanding and the crust is never soggy (big issue w/ Neapolitan crust pizzas). Their customer service is great as well.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: NugarifiK
                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                    BigE Jul 18, 2012 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                    The last two times I've been to Black Sheep in Minneapolis, the crust was completely limp. I couldn't even eat the pizza without using a knife and fork, because it would flop over instantly. This is the exception, not the rule, but still worth noting.

                                                                                                                    On the flip side, I ate at the STP location a few weeks back and it was EXCELLENT. Best pizza I've had at either location. Slightly charred, crisp but chewy crust that easily stood up to eating by hand.

                                                                                                                    1. re: BigE
                                                                                                                      NugarifiK Aug 13, 2012 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                      Sorry to hear about the bad trip to their Mpls location. I've only been to the Robert St. location as I live in DT St. Paul. Every pie I've gotten out Black Sheep St. Paul has been exactly how you described yours no matter how many toppings I get. Glad the Robert St. location worked out well for you.

                                                                                                                  2. g
                                                                                                                    gryffindor249 Jul 22, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                    Eden Pizza in Midway....hands down, and oh so ChowHoundable.

                                                                                                                    http://edenpizza.com/

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: gryffindor249
                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                      JimGrinsfelder Jan 14, 2014 04:29 AM

                                                                                                                      Thank you. The menu for Eden Pizza looks terrific. I'm there later today.

                                                                                                                      Triple Pepperoni Blunderbuss, get inside me!

                                                                                                                      I'd have never suspected a restaurant would be located on that street.

                                                                                                                      1. re: gryffindor249
                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                        shoo bee doo Jan 15, 2014 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                        I tried this pizza this evening. Yes, it's great. I had sausage and garlic. I also tried the butter and garlic wings. They were nice, but a little underspiced.

                                                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                                                        jaycooke Jul 22, 2012 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                        If you're a fan of the neapolitan-style pizza, track down the mobile Big River Pizza ASAP. I had the Bacon Jam Slam (sausage, arugula, bacon jam, onions ($1 more to add an egg) at the Fulton Farmer's market on Saturday. Although they seemed a little disorganized in the order taking/pizza making process, the result was very delicious.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: jaycooke
                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                          ChillyDog Aug 14, 2012 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                          Another vote for Big River.

                                                                                                                          They make a pizza they call Market Pizza. It's whatever is available that day at the farmer's market. Last week it was cherry tomato, zucchini, squash, arugula, and corn. Excellent crispy crust and tons of toppings.

                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                          s4zando Aug 11, 2012 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                          You want square cut? I got your square cut right here... I mean over there - at Carbone's on Randolph Ave (a couple blocks west of Snelling Ave) in St. Paul.

                                                                                                                          Also like Punch (Highland Park over the quick turn-over locations).

                                                                                                                          Am a fan of Green Mill's Deep Dish as well.

                                                                                                                          People rave about DiNoko's but I almost died of a heart attack just trying to life the dang thing and carry it out of the store... Sorry, there really is such a thing as too much cheese... DiNoko squarely crosses the line, and then some.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: s4zando
                                                                                                                            Latinpig Aug 13, 2012 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                            For regular pizza -

                                                                                                                            The orginal Red Savoy (not the uptwon one that burns the crust) followed closely by Latuffs and Beeks.

                                                                                                                            For Nepolitan -

                                                                                                                            Punch is always soggy in the middle. Cannot eat it. I vote for Black Sheep.

                                                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                                                            Ackackadack Mar 9, 2013 11:19 PM

                                                                                                                            I will nominate Flaherty's Arden Bowl in Arden Hills, Snelling & Co. Rd. E. If you're into artsy-fartsy/trendy pizza, you already have your favorite place and I wish you well. But if you're into old-school pizza the way it was meant to be, you must try Flaherty's. Theirs can compete with the best of 'em. (Word of advice, if you like your cheese golden brown in spots as I do, you gotta order it well done.)

                                                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                                                              BigE Jan 9, 2014 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                              Looks like we might have a new contender...

                                                                                                                              http://heavytable.com/pizzeria-pezzo/

                                                                                                                              I work in WBL, so this is great news :) I'll be sure to report back as soon as I try it.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: BigE
                                                                                                                                mitch cumstein Jan 9, 2014 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                That is what chicago deep dish is supposed to look like!

                                                                                                                              2. phokingood Jan 12, 2014 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                Crecent Moon Bakery in NE Minneapolis

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                                                                                                                                  american_idle Jan 13, 2014 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                                  Recently had my first Punch experience in about 10 years. Outside edge is just fine, middle is absolute garbage. How people fawn over this is beyond me.

                                                                                                                                  73 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                    BigE Jan 13, 2014 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                    This has been my experience at Punch too. Multiple trips, at least 3 different locations. Every time, you pick up a slice and it flops over, dropping all toppings with it. Not good.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                      f
                                                                                                                                      foreverhungry Jan 13, 2014 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                      Different strokes for different folks. I've been going to Punch for a decade, and I still love it. I personally like the wet middle. I'm not always in the mood for the Punch style, but I certainly enjoy it when I am.

                                                                                                                                      Some folks like the cracker-crust style, I personally think it's an abomination. But hey, that's why there are so many pizza styles around!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                        z
                                                                                                                                        zfwp Jan 13, 2014 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                        I thought neopolitan style pizzas where supposed to be soft in the middle. I like neopolitan pizzas but I would not bring them to a party... other pizzas are more "democratic" offering a similar experience in all territories... in fact I wouldn't take a neoplitan pizza out the restaurant. I would eat in.

                                                                                                                                        what bothers me though is when they add tomatoes in a counter-clockwise direction...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: zfwp
                                                                                                                                          phokingood Jan 14, 2014 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                          I built a brick pizza oven in my backyard and have literally made hundreds of pizzas using the same dough as punch and my pizzas never come out soggy in the middle.

                                                                                                                                          The issue is they are cooking so many pizzas in the same spot in the oven. Every time you cook a pizza it takes heat out of the floor so when they are on their 30th pizza its not as hot...you guessed it...which causes the middle to be undercooked.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                                                            foreverhungry Jan 14, 2014 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                            No offense, but I'd think that after over a decade in existence, and probably a million pies, they'd have that figured out by now, no?

                                                                                                                                            Perhaps the reason they serve their pies wet in the middle is because...that's what they're aiming for?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                              Davydd Jan 16, 2014 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                              phokingood is right. When you put a Neapolitan pizza in a wood-fired oven it should stay in one place or you can do the opposite and badly burn the bottom of the crust if you move it around. But then if you are baking repeated pizzas in the same spot the floor is going to cool too much.

                                                                                                                                              So, if that is what they are aiming for it is because what they are doing is efficient for them but not good for the customer, IMO. It certainly is not what a good Neapolitan pizza should be. I've had enough wood-fired pizzas around the country and in Italy and have baked my own to know better. I've had both good and bad results at Punch without asking for "set" as one put it here. Set to me means bake it right.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                foreverhungry Jan 16, 2014 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                I'm confused as to what the issue is here. Every pizza I've had at Punch has been "wet" in the middle Not undercooked. Not raw. But wet. You can order it extra "wet" if you want - they add more olive oil to it. I imagine some of you would be apoplectic at seeing that.

                                                                                                                                                I've had Punch pizzas at 3 of their locations, during busy times and not, early in the day before they've baked a lot of pies, and close to closing when the oven has been burning all day, but there are few customers, and the oven haven't seen a pie in 30 minutes. They've all been close to the same "wet" in the middle.

                                                                                                                                                So I don't understand the logic that they are wet because they've cooked too many pizzas in the same location, and that area of the floor has cooled. That would mean that pies at peak time would be wetter than those either early in the day (assuming the oven has properly heated up) or late when there are fewer customers. But that has not been my experience.

                                                                                                                                                Is it possible that Punch - being the only certified Neopolitan certified pizza in the Twin Cities - is actually making their pies properly, and some folks simply don't like that style?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                  Davydd Jan 16, 2014 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                  All I am saying is Punch pizzas are coming out wet because I think they are generally too busy to control the floor heat in the wood-fired oven. Maybe under trained pizziolas contribute.. The oven also has to be maintained at 900 degrees. That's hard to do and one certified VPN pizzeria in Washington DC I visited was not even reaching 800 degrees. That contributes to wetness as well. All my wood-fired pizzas I had in Rome and sadly just my one in Naples were not wet. I can guarantee the first pizzas out of the oven at Punch are probably not wet because at home I make so few pizzas it is impossible for me to create a wet pizza if following recommended practices Here are the rules for a VPN certified pizza:

                                                                                                                                                  http://americas.pizzanapoletana.org/getcertifed.php

                                                                                                                                                  It is not that onerous. It just asks for consistency. There is one paragraph on results and it says:

                                                                                                                                                  "6. Final Product. Pizza Napoletana must be not larger than 11 inches with a raised edge crust of about 1 inch and a thin center. The pizza should be soft and elastic, and easily foldable."

                                                                                                                                                  Note there is nothing about wetness and if you cannot cut the pizza and fold and eat it then it is not prepared right. Wet centers fall apart and do not fold.

                                                                                                                                                  You may or may not like a wet pizza center. I suspect it is conditioning and acceptance if you do and there is nothing bad about the taste, but it is not proper by definition. Neapolitan is served uncut and people tend to eat them with knife and fork. I think that forgiveness of not pre-cutting a pizza gives a little bit of leeway.

                                                                                                                                                  Here is a video I like controlling a Neapolitan pizza in a wood-fired oven. This guy is a master.

                                                                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xArJ2...

                                                                                                                                                  On edit: I'd like to add if Punch could make a pizza with a non-wet center they would get fewer negative reviews because they do make a damn good pizza.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                    phokingood Jan 16, 2014 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Well said. I need to invite you over for some pizza in the backyard this spring/summer.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                      f
                                                                                                                                                      foreverhungry Jan 16, 2014 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Yet Punch is Neopolitan certified.

                                                                                                                                                      So either you're saying the certification doesn't mean anything, or they're shucking their certification.

                                                                                                                                                      Also, nothing you said above addresses my experience with Punch that whether early, mid or late in their day, their pies are all wet in center. Which suggests that's their style.

                                                                                                                                                      With all of this, I'd love to do a pizza tasting with you all.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                        ibew292 Jan 17, 2014 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                        It appears that at least one of the posters in this
                                                                                                                                                        thread likes their Neopolitan Pizza American style.
                                                                                                                                                        This is a summary from Ed Levine Talks Neapolitan Pizza with Enzo Coccia and Maurizio De Rosa. This style of pizza might "soggy." The liquid from the sauce and cheese tend to create a soupy, molten area at the center of the pizza. Also goes on to say some Neapolitan-style pizzerias have yielded to American tastes and made their Pizzas more dry and crisp..http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ibew292
                                                                                                                                                          Davydd Jan 17, 2014 09:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Interesting article but I had at least a half dozen Neapolitan pizzas in Italy and none had a soggy middle you could not pick up and fold per VPN requirements. So insisting that it is an American style I think is an excuse for lack of wood-fired oven control, baking skill and need for efficiency to control costs in American pizzerias. So, the answer is to sell you on the idea a soggy unfoldable middle is acceptable.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                            ibew292 Jan 17, 2014 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Well two of the premiere makes of Ovens and Pizza in Italy seem to disagree with your assumptions. Half dozen Neapolitan pizzas in Italy does not a make one a expert.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ibew292
                                                                                                                                                              Davydd Jan 17, 2014 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I'm not an expert but I doubt you are either. But I did include in one of my previous messages this quoted requirement from the VPN certification:

                                                                                                                                                              "6. Final Product. Pizza Napoletana must be not larger than 11 inches with a raised edge crust of about 1 inch and a thin center. The pizza should be soft and elastic, and easily foldable."

                                                                                                                                                              So the next time you go to Punch cut a slice and see if you can fold it and eat it without it glopping back down on the plate. If you can't then they are not doing it right. It is that simple. If you believe otherwise, then your conditioned to accept a quality that is not VPN certified.

                                                                                                                                                              We've had comments here that they've gotten non-soggy pizza at Punch without asking. We also got comments here that says you can ask for "set" to get it non-soggy. If one is asking that then they are simply putting them on notice and asking them to do it right because to bake a Neapolitan pizza at 900 degrees it will bake in about a minute and a half and there is a small window of time to where it will burn badly otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                              C'mon seriously. Do you really like a soggy watery center in your pizza?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                                foreverhungry Jan 17, 2014 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                In over a decade of eating at Punch regularly, I've never had a pie with a "soggy watery center". Every one, though, has had a wet center. And yes, I love it that way, which is why I have been going to Punch for over a decade, and will continue do so - when I'm in the mood for it.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                                  ibew292 Jan 19, 2014 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Davydd seems like you have changed your mind you have changed your mind.
                                                                                                                                                                  Davydd Feb 10, 2008 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Hey, this is an old thread brought back. But since it is back I have to agree with MSPD on Punch Pizza. I just came back from Washington DC having visited their two alleged best Neapolitan pizza restaurants (2 Amys and Pizzeria Paradiso) and then trying Punch here. Punch was better. They make a great Neapolitan pizza. My preferences have grown toward woodfired pizzas of late.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ibew292
                                                                                                                                                                    Davydd Jan 20, 2014 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't changed my mind. Punch is a favorite of mine and I think I mentioned I have not gotten soggy middle pizzas from them many times. But we have at times. I don't deny that. The whole discussion was over whether soggy middle was correct or not. As I mentioned if you cannot cut it, pick it up folded, then it is not correct per VPN certification guidelines. I know a Neapolitan pizza can be done correctly. If you believe otherwise it is because you have been conditioned to accept substandard practices and that article cited in Serious Eats helps promote the conditioning. That's all.

                                                                                                                                                                    BTW, it was 2 Amys that was baking their pizzas at a little over 700 degrees and had very soggy middles. They even had a temperature gauge for the public to see right on the oven. VPN certification says bake at 905 degrees minimum for a maximum of 90 seconds. Next time ask what the temperature of the oven is and see if you get an answer or even if they know. 2 Amys and Punch can be very busy at peak times. Could be they simply cannot maintain their ovens at those times to always deliver a proper pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                                    Foureyes137 Jan 21, 2014 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I do, yes. It reminds me of Naples, due to the fact that, contrary to your experience I know, our pizzas there have almost always been "wet". The outliers have been firm in the center...a quality I dislike as it reminds me a shitty american pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Foureyes137
                                                                                                                                                                      ibew292 Jan 21, 2014 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I've had the same experience.......Enough said.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ibew292
                                                                                                                                                                        phokingood Jan 21, 2014 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Enough said...Yes and No, not really. Foureyes says this "our pizzas there have almost always been "wet"."

                                                                                                                                                                        "Almost always"? What does that mean? It wasn't wet some of the time? As in doughy undercooked?

                                                                                                                                                                        Or as in you think they #%$ed up and overcooked it some of the time?

                                                                                                                                                                        Isn't all pizza "wet" to some degree? I've said it before and will say it again...Wet and undercooked are two different things to different variables.

                                                                                                                                                                        Slighty wet with a mild pool of sauce and olive oil is different from soggy dough where you cannot pick up a slice of pizza without it folding and the toppings dripping right off it. It's like all or nothing here.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ibew292
                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                          foreverhungry Jan 22, 2014 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          And that's one of the great things about the pizza scene in the Twin Cities. Not only are there many different styles to choose from to suit different tastes, but within each style, there is often several specific makers to choose from. You like "Neopolitan style" (using a loose definition)? You're in luck, because you can choose from Black Sheep, Lola, Punch, Biga, and Nea. I visit all regularly, all make solid pizzas, all slightly different. Heck, I haven't even made it to Pig Ate My Pizza Yet, that could be on the list (?).

                                                                                                                                                                          As for Punch, clearly some of us like the middle wet (not soggy, not undercooked), as many comments indicate that posters have often (or almost always) had their centers wet, and enjoy it. Others clearly don't like it. That's OK, you don't have to like Punch, or debate why some people like the center wet. Judging by the lines, it seems many people do, indeed, like their centers wet.

                                                                                                                                                                          I think that cutting pizza in tiny squares is an abomination and a desecration of pizza, but I'm not going to argue that those places are doing it wrong, or that the people that enjoy their pizza that way don't know what good pizza is.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                            Jordan Jan 22, 2014 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Pig Ate My Pizza is very good and offers some novel creations, but they aren't trying for (or even approximating) Neapolitan style. I do recommend you give them a shot, though!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jordan
                                                                                                                                                                              phokingood Jan 22, 2014 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              PAMP is unique. I really love their apps- charcuterie more than I like their pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                              The brioce pizza is oddly enough my favorite but its really rich as expected.

                                                                                                                                                                              They do have a Margherita Pizza that closely mimicks a Neapolitan Style Pizza. Thin crust, saucy, mimimal cheese, basil. It's decent.

                                                                                                                                                                              The only downside is sometimes their playful pizza's have a hard time coming together when they are putting toppings on after the pizza comes out of the oven giving you a luke warm bite.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                              Davydd Jan 17, 2014 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                              To be honest I don't know what VPN certification really means. There is that requirement page and is really pretty easy to follow. As I mentioned one VPN certified pizzeria I visited was not following the requirements for oven temps of 900 degrees. It might be impossible to hire enough pizziolas to bake a pizza like that guy I showed in the video with the skills to control the flame and the peels. I doubt once certification is granted that there are VPN police roaming the country checking the pizzerias. My opinion is it is probably a marketing gimmick. With 30 some VPN pizzerias around the country I'm guessing it is a good marketing gimmick as there are a lot of very good non-VPN pizzerias that don't get on "best lists" or national mentions in write ups like Punch does. If Punch is following the ingredients requirements to the letter they would be hard to beat in taste soggy middle or not. That is if you like the Neapolitan style and really want a pizza that tastes like you would usually get in Naples.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                                                              american_idle Jan 17, 2014 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                              The center of the pizza in that video is clearly wet.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                            a
                                                                                                                                                            american_idle Jan 16, 2014 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Wood fired =/= Neapolitan.

                                                                                                                                                            As I mentioned yesterday, everything I can find points to Punch being authentic Neapolitan. Just because it's pizza made in a wood fired oven doesn't make it Neapolitan. You could make a pizza bagel at Punch, and it wouldn't be "Neapolitan".

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                                              phokingood Jan 16, 2014 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                              No kidding, You don't say?

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                              ibew292 Jan 16, 2014 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                              My God lets end this.... Some LIKE it WET some don't, nobody's wrong...Don't go to Punch if you don't like it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ibew292
                                                                                                                                                                phokingood Jan 16, 2014 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Why are you getting so worked up? The argument for me is there is a difference between wet and undercooked. I've had both.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                                                  ChillyDog Jan 16, 2014 08:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not worked up. I just think everything that can be said on this subject has been said several times.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChillyDog
                                                                                                                                                                    phokingood Jan 16, 2014 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    False imo. There's the idea that wet which can mean a variety of things is what Neopolitan Pizza is supposed to be which is so far from the truth.

                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe I need to break it down but wet is different from soggy ass undercooked doughy middle.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                                      ChillyDog Jan 25, 2014 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I believe you should break it down in great detail. I think it's obvious that some still don't understand.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChillyDog
                                                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                                                        brlattim Jan 26, 2014 04:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        This thread is an example of Minneapolis at its worst. At the end of the day its pizza...not rocket science.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: brlattim
                                                                                                                                                                          Davydd Jan 26, 2014 05:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Au contraire pizza is seemingly simple with very basic ingredients, but is at the same time very complex. I'm not sure what you mean by Minneapolis at its worse. Pizza is a controversial food subject everywhere open to a lot of discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                          How complex? I give you just this one thread on Pizzamaking.com and you can decide for yourself. :)

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/inde...

                                                                                                                                                                          As for the Punch Neapolitan pizza, I give you its Margherita pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                                            Davydd Jan 26, 2014 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            After posting my above response I ran across this article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Business Section this morning. It is an article on Punch Pizza. Seemingly, I was not too wrong about pizza not being "rocket science". At least Punch doesn't think so. This was in the article:

                                                                                                                                                                            "One of the reasons Punch is finishing its 18th year in business and has yet to get to 10 restaurants is that Soranno said it takes two years to really master cooking a Punch pizza. New hires aren’t even trusted to make one on their own for about a year."

                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.startribune.com/business/2...

                                                                                                                                                                            It's a good read.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ChillyDog
                                                                                                                                                                          Foureyes137 Jan 27, 2014 06:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          We understand, we just think you guys are wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Foureyes137
                                                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                                                            ChillyDog Jan 27, 2014 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm surprised to be called "wrong" since the only opinion I expressed about pizza was regarding Big River and that was a year and a half ago.

                                                                                                                                                                            I think this debate over Punch has become ridiculous and repetitive. That's all.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                        JimGrinsfelder Jan 14, 2014 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                        If you don't like soggy center pizza, don't go to Punch.

                                                                                                                                                        Punch makes the best wood-fired soggy-center pizza in the twin cities. And the store format for all the locations except highland is terrific. It's really fast, even when the lines are out the door long. Apparently a lot of people like soggy center pizza, because there are often lines out the door at the Grand Ave. location.

                                                                                                                                                        I also like Italian Pie Shoppe's deep dish.

                                                                                                                                                        And Black Sheep makes a really nice pizza and salads are good too. They also have decent wine and a good atmosphere and are an overall bargain.

                                                                                                                                                        For regular pizza, Pizza Luce does a good job.

                                                                                                                                                        I'm not a fan of the old-style square-cut pizza served up at Red's Savoy, Carbone's or Broadway, but for people who swing that way, those places are very popular.

                                                                                                                                                        For cracker crust pizza, I think Tucci Bennuch at the MOA (are they still in business?) makes a decent version.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JimGrinsfelder
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                                                                                                                                                          foreverhungry Jan 14, 2014 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                          What's the difference between cracker crust pizza and the pizza at places like Broadway and Carbone's? I always associated them as one and the same?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                            JimGrinsfelder Jan 16, 2014 03:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Cracker crust is really like pizza sauce on a cracker.

                                                                                                                                                            Broadway and Carbone's are thin crust but it doesn't shatter when you bite into it.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                          ssioff Jan 14, 2014 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Ask for your pizza at Punch to be cooked "set." They will leave it in longer and the middle will be cooked. I hate that slop in the middle too.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ssioff
                                                                                                                                                            a
                                                                                                                                                            american_idle Jan 14, 2014 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                            The default should be "set". The special order should be "slop".

                                                                                                                                                            This is why we can't have nice things, people settle for this and then call it "good".

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                              ssioff Jan 14, 2014 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it should be the default.

                                                                                                                                                              Don't settle, just go somewhere that cooks the za all the way til it's done.

                                                                                                                                                              Not that it really matters, but I never saw the whole facination with Punch anyway. I tried their pizza once and have not been back. There are too many other places with worthy pizza to spend my money.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                                foreverhungry Jan 14, 2014 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                The default should be how they want to serve their style, not yours. If you want it a different way, go to Punch and ask for it different, or go somewhere else. I don't expect Red Savoy's to serve their pizza round and pie sliced just because that's how I like it.

                                                                                                                                                                You call it slop, many others call it wet, and clearly like it.

                                                                                                                                                                I like nice things too. Like Punch. And Black Sheep. I don't consider Broadway or Red Savoys or Luce to be nice things, but hey, different strokes for different strokes. And I don't expect Broadway or red Savoys or Luce to change just for my tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                  phokingood Jan 14, 2014 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  No, you don't get a sloppy undercooked middle everytime you order. Its hit or miss. I know no one that likes an undercooked pizza in the middle.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                                                    foreverhungry Jan 14, 2014 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I've had over 150 pies at the Highland Punch. They've all been wet in the middle. That's why I go to there. If you don't know anyone that doesn't like the wet center, go to Highland Punch on a Friday night, and check out the wait.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                      phokingood Jan 14, 2014 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Good for you I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                                                                                        foreverhungry Jan 14, 2014 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Are you a fan of Punch's style or not? If not, what's your favorite, and why?

                                                                                                                                                                        While I don't think that MSP is the best pizza scene in the US, there is a great diversity here, and some very good representations of some good styles.

                                                                                                                                                                        We could always go share a pizza and wine or beer there :)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                          phokingood Jan 14, 2014 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I like all kinds to be honest with the exception of undercooked :)

                                                                                                                                                                          Have you ever tried Crescent Moons football pizzas? Very good pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                                                                                            foreverhungry Jan 14, 2014 08:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yep, I've had Crescent Moon. It's OK.

                                                                                                                                                                            I was born and raised in NJ, then lived another 12 years in Philly. Then to LA.

                                                                                                                                                                            I have my strong idea of idea of what pizza is. Punch is the style that I fall back to here. With the exception of Black Sheep, I personally don't understand how anyone says anything is better.

                                                                                                                                                                            But I get that that others have different views of pizza. Cracker crust. Red Savoys. Fat Lorenzo's. etc. That's cool.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                              phokingood Jan 14, 2014 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm also a fan of Black Sheeps...good stuff. I make the punch style in my backyard minus the soggy middle. You know the saying, even a bad pizza is still good!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                                                foreverhungry Jan 14, 2014 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Agreed! I'd be happy to get together for a pizza tasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm been thing about building a pizza oven in my back yard, I could use some tips/help.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                  sandylc Jan 14, 2014 09:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I, too, have been wanting to build a pizza oven, but I'm calling it a bread oven!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                                    phokingood Jan 15, 2014 07:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    check out www.fornobravo.com That's where I did all my research and downloaded the plans for the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Just about all of my materials were bought locally in Northeast Minneapolis at Smith - Sharpe firebrick supply
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://ssfbs.com/contactus.html

                                                                                                                                                                                    If anyone is serious about building one I'd be more than happy to share my experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                    My oven
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/af166/anonymous_photo_bucket/pizzaoven4_zpsb4f4934c.jpg

                                                                                                                                                                                    http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/af166/anonymous_photo_bucket/pizzasummer3_zps9d840d82.jpg

                                                                                                                                                                                    http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/a...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                                                                                                      BigE Jan 15, 2014 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Very much interested in building one. Not for me currently (apartment living), but two of my friends want to build one this summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll check out the top site and let them know about it. Any other guides you might have would be appreciated, though I fear the CH Overlords would quickly smite us for insubordination.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BigE
                                                                                                                                                                                        phokingood Jan 15, 2014 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        No problem, if it comes to that we can connect outside of CH. I'm not selling anything nor am I profiting in any way from this. It's just about helping others experience the joys of homemade pizzas in their back yard.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've met a lot of people who are interested in building one but so far only one person is serious in pulling the trigger. It's a big project so I certainly understand the hesitation.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The Oven itself with all the materials cost around 1600, that is with the concrete cost. That was three years ago so I don't think prices have inflated much if at all for the supplies.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                      american_idle Jan 15, 2014 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I an effort to get to the bottom of the Neapolitan style, I did some more digging yesterday and found an old thread from the CA Chow board that went into a discussion of the actual regulations in Naples (including a link to them) to label a pizza as Neapolitan. There was also a link to a video of Anthony Bourdain eating said pizza in said city.

                                                                                                                                                                      The center was wet. Of note, he ate it with a knife and fork, from the center out and using the crust to wipe up.

                                                                                                                                                                      Just because something is made "right" doesn't make it good.

                                                                                                                                                                      Anyways, it would appear as though Punch is truly Neapolitan in style. Which I find gross and won't eat again, anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                                                        phokingood Jan 15, 2014 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Also, there's a difference between wet and undercooked-soggy.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                          Jordan Jan 15, 2014 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I can tell the difference between raw dough and cooked dough that is saturated with oil and tomato water. Punch's pizza -- to your taste or not - is not undercooked.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jordan
                                                                                                                                                                            phokingood Jan 20, 2014 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I can tell a cooked dough and a raw dough. I've had raw dough--to your taste or not -it was undercooked.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: phokingood
                                                                                                                                                                              Jordan Jan 20, 2014 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              It does not appear that you can tell the difference. That would explain your experience at Punch.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jordan
                                                                                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                                                                                brlattim Jan 21, 2014 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think we need to lower it to this level. In my experience it doesn't matter. Its a poor quality product when by design the food is intended to be eaten by the slice. I am unable to do so at Punch due to all the ingredients sliding off the end. If its by design.....well that design clearly isn't for everyone. I refuse to eat there for this reason, and personally find it overrated anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: brlattim
                                                                                                                                                                                  phokingood Jan 24, 2014 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here is a link from Chow talk in the past which should explain everything......

                                                                                                                                                                                  Mods, this is new imo to share. Lots of good info.

                                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783534

                                                                                                                                                                                  Read apple7blue May 4, 2011 10:42 PM post

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: brlattim
                                                                                                                                                                                    Foureyes137 Jan 24, 2014 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    It is worth noting: Neapolitan pizza isn't intended or designed to be eaten by the slice...

                                                                                                                                                                                    I get the Punch slices it like American pizza...but its not the intent. It's also supposed to be eaten with a fork and knife...like pie, so...

                                                                                                                                                                                    It's like when someone puts cheese inside a burger and it either results in an overcooked burger or unmelted cheese...if people would not mess with what's worked, they'd probably have a better experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Foureyes137
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                                                                                                                                                                                      foreverhungry Jan 24, 2014 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Exactly. The folks that claim that the Punch pizzas are incorrectly made because the toppings run off when the slice is folded are Americanizing the pie. From what I have read, and from my limited experience in Italy (though not Naples), Neapolitan pizza is meant to be served uncut, and eaten with a fork and knife. Not surprisingly, Punch offers this as an option.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                                        Davydd Jan 24, 2014 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think anyone reads each other's messages, at least not with any comprehension. To say anymore would just be repeating as the few messages above have. I'll just end this to say I have been to Naples, Italy and I have had pizza in Naples, Italy. I've also made Neapolitan style pizza with the VPN ingredients of which the dough is the most important in regard to this subject of discussion and also have baked pizza Neapolitan style in a wood-fired oven. So, I'll stand with what I had typed.

                                                                                                                                                                                        So no matter what we say here, Zagat has blessed Pizzeria Lola as Minnesota's in its 50 States, 50 Pizzas. From their description, I'm not going to argue with them. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.zagat.com/b/50-state-50-pi...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Davydd
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                                                                                                                                                                                          foreverhungry Jan 24, 2014 06:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not sure what Zagat's has to do with any of this most current discussion. Zagat's is a popularity contest.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                                            Davydd Jan 25, 2014 07:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not current discussion but back to the original topic. Zagat's has settled it for us. Can't you recognize a little humor?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Davydd
                                                                                                                                                                                              ibew292 Jan 25, 2014 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Wonderful response, I think Pizzeria Lola is one, if not the "Best", pizza in Minneapolis.
                                                                                                                                                                                              PAMP doesn't even sound good to me, it rates up there with a white pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Davydd
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                                                                                                                                                                                                foreverhungry Jan 25, 2014 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, sorry, my humor meter must have been malfunctioning last night. Carry on.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                                                                            ChancesR Jan 24, 2014 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            From what I remember about amazing authentic Italian pizza from having traveled around Italy a few decades back is - it is simple. A Margherita is bare bones with only a single basil leaf. A Neapolitan had a single anchovy in the middle. (This definition may have changed since the 1960's-70's.) IMHO, It is the accumulation of additional ingredients that leads to excessive moisture thereby causing a pizza crust to go limp.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChancesR
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                                                                                                                                                                                              brlattim Jan 24, 2014 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe it needs a little Piagara.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChancesR
                                                                                                                                                                                                Davydd Jan 25, 2014 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                ChancesR,

                                                                                                                                                                                                Nothing has changed. Since I went to Naples I have been chasing around the United States visiting wood-fired pizzerias when I can and generally order a Margherita pizza if they claim them by that name because it is the essence of the Neapolitan style with such basic ingredients that you can tell how good the pizzeria really is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Here is my one Naples, Italy Margherita pizza I had. As you can see it is spare as you described.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                                                                                        mnlakesman30 Jan 13, 2014 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Chanticlear, great thin crust and they have sauerkraut!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Jordan Jan 14, 2014 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          It's interesting to see how much the pizza scene in the Twin Cities has changed since this thread was launched a decade (!) ago.

                                                                                                                                                                          Back then, there was Punch (one location), Green Mill for deep dish, and a bunch of places doing traditional Midwestern or faux-New York pizza. No Punch explosion, Nea, Lola, Pig Ate My Pizza, Black Sheep, or the many others that have sprung up, elevating the overall quality (and increasing the variety of types) of pizza around here.

                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jordan
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                                                                                                                                                                            gildeddawn Jan 14, 2014 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            And yet, there still don't seem to be any real New York-style places in town - at least that I know of. Though, to be fair, I haven't tried Hello Pizza, which I hear might be pretty close.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gildeddawn
                                                                                                                                                                              Jordan Jan 14, 2014 02:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Hello Pizza might be the closest in town.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gildeddawn
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                                                                                                                                                                                foreverhungry Jan 14, 2014 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Hello Pizza comes close. The closest I've found is Slice of NY on Nicollet. I'm sure a lot of posters will disagree, but that's the closest I've found here.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                                  bob s Jan 15, 2014 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought of Slice of NY as well as I was reading this sub-thread yesterday. I think that they come pretty close to the corner place in NYC for a slice. This style is (IMHO) not necessarily the best pizza (or best pizza in NY) but certainly a style of its own.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Jordan
                                                                                                                                                                                MplsM ary Jan 18, 2014 09:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Also, the pizza scene and desire for not only traditional toppings, but "weird" vegan or shellfish toppings and unusual crusts - like gluten free crusts have appeared.

                                                                                                                                                                                Everyone has their likes and/or needs. I think it's cool that the Twin Cities sprouts both new and traditional pizza places, while still holding fast to their favorites at the same time. (I realize that is redundant - meant for emphasis)

                                                                                                                                                                              3. s
                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc Jan 15, 2014 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                In my experience, pizza falls first into two major categories: sugar/MSG and fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                No judgement here; I like both.

                                                                                                                                                                                The purpose in pointing this out is that often pizza discussions between the two camps of pizza lovers don't acknowledge this basic difference in tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
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                                                                                                                                                                                  foreverhungry Jan 15, 2014 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sorry, I don't understand your two major categories of sugar/MSG and fresh. Can you elaborate, and maybe give local examples of both?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                                    phokingood Jan 15, 2014 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Most people wouldn't think of msg in pizza but I'm sure it happens a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Are you profiling the sauce?

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                                                                                                                                                                                      american_idle Jan 15, 2014 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, tomatoes are one of the highest natural sources for MSG, so yeah, it should be in pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: american_idle
                                                                                                                                                                                        phokingood Jan 15, 2014 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think that's what sandy meant.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          sandylc Jan 15, 2014 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, let's pick....sigh....

                                                                                                                                                                                          ADDED MSG.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Not arguing; discussing...it is a good point that I've made here.

                                                                                                                                                                                          EDIT: Oh, wait..

                                                                                                                                                                                          ADDED GLUTAMATES. Better.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
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                                                                                                                                                                                            foreverhungry Jan 15, 2014 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm still not clear by what you mean by sugar/MSG and fresh as the two main categories of pizza. I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just have no clue what you mean.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foreverhungry
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                                                                                                                                                                                              sandylc Jan 15, 2014 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              There are pizza places that include lots of sugar, salt, and glutamates in their sauces.

                                                                                                                                                                                              There are other pizza places that use plain canned or sometimes fresh tomatoes on their pizzas and in their sauces.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The two are worlds apart from one another.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
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                                                                                                                                                                                                foreverhungry Jan 15, 2014 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I see. Is that what you mean by "two camps of pizza lovers"? I never identified two camps of pizza lovers, but rather a whole spectrum based on preferred style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                And yes, a part of the what people talk about when discussing is the sauce, and how sweet it is. Some like sweet sauce, some don't. In the end, pizza is a just a few ingredients, and then how the dough is cooked. Not overly complicated. But I don't think I would boil it down to two groups of pizza - those with sweet sauce and those without.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      foreverhungry Jan 17, 2014 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      All this pizza talk made me hungry for pizza. So we went to Pizza Biga. SO had the fresh mozzarella pizza - fresh mozzerella, kale, tomato, chili oil, and basil. She loved it. I had their special, a "breakfast pizza" - maple cream sauce, pancetta, cheddar, hashbrowns, chives, and soft boiled eggs. It was excellent. I had it with the Founders Breakfast Stout, and it was a great pizza meal. Biga usually has great specials for their pizzas, and then Turtle Bread is there for desert, or Pumphouse Creamery next door for ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                                                                                                                                        Davydd Jan 18, 2014 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Kale and maple cream sauce are two new ones for me. I just read about a homemade Brussels sprouts pizza in another forum that seemed intriguing. Seems pizza makers are getting more adventurous beyond the influence of California.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Questions? Does the kale become like kale chips i.e. crispy with olive oil? Also is the soft boiled egg baked with the pizza or added after baking?

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                                                                                                                                                                                          foreverhungry Jan 18, 2014 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          The kale was not crispy a la kale chips. Sauteed, small pieces, the pie wasn't littered with greens. Kale was very pliable, like spinach on a pizza. Subtle kale use.

                                                                                                                                                                                          My guess is the egg was added after. Egg(s) was/were split into pieces, spread amongst the pie slices. Not neat, like if the egg was split into 1/8s, the egg looked roughly chopped into bits, then spread after the pie came out.

                                                                                                                                                                                          For what it's worth, the egg was perfectly cooked - the yolk was not hard and dense, it was still soft, just a tad loose, when the pie came to the table. The timing on the egg was really perfect.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        discus Jan 18, 2014 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't get all this weird toppings. There is plain pizza, which should have more than enough flavor to eat on its own. Then there's eating toppings, which has nothing to do with the pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
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                                                                                                                                                                                          foreverhungry Jan 18, 2014 08:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't understand what you're saying. A pizza is a vehicle for flavor. That flavor might be simple high quality crust/tomato/cheese, or it may be more than that.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I used to think that the only way to eat pizza was a plain cheese one. Then I tasted that toppings could compliment the base.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Do you eat plain pasta? Or can "toppings", like pancetta and tomatoes in an amatriciana, complement the pasta? There are infinite "toppings" to pasta, or rice, that elevate the base. Ditto with pizza. It's just a matter of finding the right combinations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc Jan 18, 2014 08:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Plain tomato and cheese pizza is delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Pizza with additional toppings is also delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                            There.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                            JimGrinsfelder Jan 28, 2014 09:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyone been to Prezzo in White Bear Lake?

                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JimGrinsfelder
                                                                                                                                                                                              Jordan Jan 29, 2014 04:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I believe it's Pezzo, not Prezzo. I haven't been, but I saw that Heavy Table did a review.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jordan
                                                                                                                                                                                                Davydd Jan 29, 2014 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Pezzo just opened December 27. It is a coal-fired oven pizza served personal size. No, I haven't been there yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: JimGrinsfelder
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                                                                                                                                                                                                BigE Feb 3, 2014 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Pretty positive review from HT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                http://heavytable.com/pizzeria-pezzo/

                                                                                                                                                                                                I work in WBL, but I haven't been yet. I hear it's pretty much packed all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                jkap910 Feb 2, 2014 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Pizzeria Lola. If there was one in Chicago, I would be there a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                  s4zando Mar 22, 2014 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maverick's Pizza
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://maverickspizza.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1215 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN 55105
                                                                                                                                                                                                  (651) 698-3439

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hours: (Closed Monday
                                                                                                                                                                                                  )Sun - Thu 11am - 10pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fri & Sat 11am - 11pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: s4zando
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                                                                                                                                                                                                    gildeddawn Mar 23, 2014 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I feel like Maverick's is fine, but not great - except for the huge problem that their toppings are so salty that they're inedible. And I LOVE salt. But the sausage, in particular, is like eating lumps of rock salt. You can't taste anything else.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yuri_Nator Apr 16, 2014 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Marino's over on Johnson ave Northeast MPLS.

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