Photo by Becca Sabot
Afghani football pizza from Crescent Moon | photo by Becca Sabot
Afghani football pizza from Crescent Moon
The Italians may have invented it, but we perfected it with our crazy American can-do sensibility.
Can we put mac 'n' cheese on a pizza? We can! Can we make it into strange shapes? We can! Can we invert the whole thing and put the crust on top of the cheese? You know we can.
The Minneapolis Pizza should almost be in its own category for amped-up, extreme toppings—like Surly beer fennel sausage, garlic confit, and three types of mushrooms. Psycho Suzi’s takes other people’s definition of crazy pizza and makes it real, and real good too, like the chicken with Barracuda Buffalo Sauce, loads of blue cheese from the caves of Faribault, and celery. Find pinot grigio garlic sauce, find Chicago-style giardiniera, find spicy peanut sauce on your pizza. It’s never precious. It’s a load of food with a ton of flavor and a heap of fun. 1900 NE Marshall St., Mpls., 612-788-9069, psychosuzis.com
Stuffed pizza is not the same as deep-dish pizza, nor does it have anything to do with a certain national chain’s “stuffed crust” abomination with a rope of molten cheese running through the edge. No, this Chicago-style pizza is harder to find locally and is most like an actual pie. The deep crust is piled with cheese, sausage, and pepperoni, which is then covered by a thin layer of additional dough (an upper crust) and finally topped with a healthy red sauce. The people at The Italian Pie Shoppe know how to win at this long-baked beauty so that the insides are cooked and melty, the top crust is crisp and sturdy, and the chunky sauce is snappy with spice. 1670 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-221-0093; 1438 Yankee Doodle Rd., Eagan, 651-452-4525; 7107 42nd Ave. N., New Hope, 763-531-2692, italianpieshoppe.com
The college kids of Dinkytown and the hungry bar buddies of Uptown will tell you that Mesa is The. Best. Pizza. Ever. And, yes, there is something about that late-night spread of slices that’s so solid and tasty. But it’s the crazy madness of a macaroni ’n’ cheese pizza or a Southern Gentleman pie with Cajun chicken, mashed potatoes, bacon, and cheddar that’s really worth noting. Should you put steak, French fries, and barbecue sauce on a pizza? Ask the young and hungry—they know. 1323 SE 4th St., Mpls., 612-436-3006; 1440 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-206-3026; 921 Washington Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-355-4400, mesapizzamn.com
You’ve heard tell of the legend of the football pizza? The oddly oblong-shaped pizza is the specialty of Crescent Moon Bakery on Como. Sure, it makes rounds, too, but faced with the choice, why wouldn’t you choose a long and awkwardly square-cut pie, especially when topped with Afghani beef and gyros and accompanied by an addictively spicy/tangy green sauce? 2339 Central Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-782-0169; 1517 Como Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-767-3313, crescentmoonfoods.net