Thursday, August 7, 2014

The pizza issue


Mpls. St. Paul Magazine just released their pizza issue, and online they are asking readers to vote for the best pizza in the Twin Cities with categories like Alt Crust, Chef Driven, and (my personal favorite) Minnesota Style. Minnesota Style is that pizza we know well in these parts but possibly never really named: thin crust, loads of cheese, tangy red sauce, and a square cut that is as practical as a Norwegian farmer (allowing each bite to contain exactly the right ratio of crust to toppings).

In my world, every day is the pizza issue. While most of those issues include bragging about grilled sensations topped with seasonal veggies or romanticized memories of working at St. Anthony Main Pizzeria back in the day, I do harbor a few dirty little pizza secrets.

Dirty Little Pizza Secret #1: I love ‘em cheap. Tostino’s PartyPizzas can be had for about a buck a piece. I smuggle them into the house on those rare nights when I am dining without T. The ritual is, honestly, rather thrilling. I throw the oven on high, add a sprinkling of dried oregano and garlic powder to the top of a pepperoni or Canadian bacon, and crisp that sucker up until the cheese turns a dry bubbly brown. The beauty of a Tostino’s is that each pizza equals one serving, right? 

Dirty Little Pizza Secret #2: I love ‘em Detroit Style. It doesn’t get much better Rocky Rococo’s Garden of Eatin’ or Uncle Sal’s Spectacular. Rocky’s is worth a trip to either Brooklyn Park or Madison, WI, depending on your schedule and inclination. My dream is to someday make it as far as Detroit, MI so I can dine on the original Detroit Style pie at Buddy’s. Detroit Style pizza is thick with generous toppings, and packed into square pans. Like Minnesota Style, it is square sliced. 

Dirty Little Pizza Secret #3: I am pizza bossy. If you are enthusiastic about pizza and a fast worker, you will immediately gain my trust and you can be my wingman anytime. But, if we are making pizzas together and I don’t trust you, I probably won’t let you near my crust. If you try to nose yourself into my pizza nirvana, I might push you out of the way so the dough is rolled correctly and the toppings are added quickly. With this confession I am obliged to add that I am an over-topper, and true pizza aficionados might escort me out of their kitchens. So goes the circle of pizza-life.

Scrolling through the photos I’ve taken this summer I see more images of pizzas than I remember eating. My epitaph will read something like “When it doubt, throw it on pizza,” or “Pizza was her life.” Until then I will enjoy many many many more pizzas and I’ll look back on this Special Summer Pizza Issue with joy in my heart and sauce on my chin.

Need more pizza? Get your Scandinavian on with Grilled Nordic Flatbread at Called to the Table.