Monday, October 31, 2011

National Pizza Month.

Anyone in the business of serving pizza probably does not need to be reminded that October is National Pizza Month here in the United States. While the contribution of the first pizzerias in this country cannot be ignored, it was really the returning American soldiers who fought in Italy during World War II that brought a hunger for pizza home with them and pushed its popularity over the top. America's love of pizza continued to grow and now October is the official National Pizza Month across most of North America.

First observed in the United States during 1984 (although many people incorrectly claim it was 1987), October was designated as National Pizza Month by Gerry Durnell, the founder of Pizza Today magazine, who chose that month because the first issue of his magazine debuted in October of that year. Durnell was a pizzeria owner in the small town of Santa Claus, Indiana when he realized there were no periodicals or tradeshow publications to support his growing pizza business or the industry in general. Creation of a national pizza-oriented magazine along with the introduction of a national pizza month served his purposes perfectly and solved the problem.

Today, National Pizza Month is observed each October across the USA and in much of Canada too. The designation might be a bit redundant in this country though, as nearly every month could be considered Pizza Month in the United States these days. People don't really need a special month for pizza in a country where there are an estimated 63,000 pizzerias and 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. The figures equal the consumption of about 45 slices of pizza per person in the U.S. each year and show that Americans definitely love their pizza as evidenced by devouring 100 acres of pizza per day, or 350 slices per second.

I think I started eating pizza around age 3 back in 1983 or so. October isn't really all that special in my book because I eat lots of pizza year round. With that said here are some of the pizzas I ate this month.

Margherita Pizza at Muddy Water's. This one is cheating because it was ordered at the end of September during a birthday celebration. Would definitely eat again.

I've had Muddy's breakfast pizza a few times. The first was with chorizo & onion. I believe above (10/02) is a sausage & provolone. I was afraid to go with a second cheese but it ended up being a really nice blend. Not too cheesy at all.

Slice of the day at Cheetah Pizza on 10/03 was sausage. The crust was too doughy. Toppings were fine. Kind of bummed because I've really liked Cheetah in the past. Would probably recommend ordering a whole pizza vs. grabbing a slice under the head lamps.

I've passed Torby's in the skyway several times without ever checking it out. On 10/05 I tried their Cheese Steak slices thinking they were the "slice of the day" from reading the board but found out that that deal is available "after 2." I'm still not positive the board advertised that, maybe. These slices were ok but not great. More soggy dough. This trip taught me that unless it's Andrea Pizza or Mama's Pizza it's just best to avoid skyway pizza.

10/07 I was recording a show at the Ritz Theater in Northeast and thought it seemed appropriate to head down to Mayslack's for some pizza. I've had it in the past and was never let down. Being that Mayslack's is known for their roast beef I thought I'd attempt it on pizza. I know, I know, I knew going in that it was a bad idea so I got half cheese. Jesus Christ please do not ever make the same mistake I did. Roast beef should be left to sandwiches with au jus. Later that night some kind soul also shared a DiGiorno with me. It wasn't the first nor last time I would eat pizza multiple times in one day this month.

10/08 brunch was another breakfast pizza from Muddy Waters. I want to say this one was sausage & tomato.

Giardiniera is one of my favorite pizza toppings, well basically I'll eat it with anything but Pizza Luce is one of the few places in MSP who offers it as a topping. 10/14 was a large Giardiniera from Pizza Luce.

10/15 was leftovers with a side of cheese popcorn from Candyland. A meal any mom would be proud of.

Galactic Pizza is one of my favorite pizza places in town. On 10/22 I kept it simple with a nice plain cheese. The Thailander and about anything else on the menu is definitely recommended though. Instead of wasting one of their nice to-go boxes I just killed the thing right there.

It was an honor to be invited to Casa de Parsley to sample some of his homemade pizzas. I believe the oven was set to 520. The menu included:
1) meatball pizza
2) shrimp/f&d bacon pizza
3) arugula/pancetta pizza
4) oven plumped tomato/mozzarella burrata/oregano pizza
5) bermuda onion / salem bleu cheese / fried bell pepper pizza
6) fresh tomato / whole milk mozz / smoked gouda / fresh basil pizza
7) pepperoni pizza
8) pancetta, bleu cheese, arugula pizza

I've been passing Sarpino's pizza on my way to Grumpy's DT for the past year or so and have been meaning to check it out. After realizing it's a national chain I didn't get my hopes up too high but had heard good things from friends. They were advertising a buy 1 large or x-large and get a free medium one topping free. On 10/26 I went with one large cheese and one medium Italian sausage. The pizzas were good but nothing mind blowing. I liked the sauce and would order from here again. Leftovers for 10/27. Hate to say it though, kind of reminded me of a fancy Domino's.

Ended up at the yuptown Luce with a friend and got a cheese w/ fresh tomatoes. This was a damn good pizza.

Last Friday 10/28 I came home from recording at HK and shortly there after my new roommate Dave came through the door. It was his first official night in the house so we stayed up and talked a bit. A hunger for sustenance soon attacked us both but by that time it was after 3am. Realizing that Luce and Caffery's were both closed at this point meant a walk to SuperAmerica. I copped a sausage Jack's and upon arriving home added minced garlic and Louisiana hot sauce before baking. We both agreed that it was pretty damn delicious.

Last night, 10/30 I went to Memory Lanes to celebrate a friend's birthday. I've been a huge supporter of their pizza for years. It's always remained consistently good and made in-house. I again kept things simple and went with cheese. This was one of the best pizzas I had all month.

Finished the month with a Red Baron 4 Cheese w/ banana pepper. There was a time where I was eating 4 of these a week. This was the first one I had bought in forever but they're still worth it.

Not pictured:
10/xx On two different occasions this month I pulled the "walk down to Luce at 2:30am and buy a $20 pizza for $10 before they get tossed in the dumpster" trick. Veggie both times.
10/xx A friend was unable to talk me into going to the bar but instead was kind enough to bring over a sausage & pepperoni DiGiorno from SA and hang at the house.
10/29 Two frozen pizzas of unknown brand name were consumed at The Bargain Basement Bar Halloween party.

This is not all inclusive because I'm not even going to get to all of the great places in St. Paul. Some of these places, especially downtown have probably been closed. No Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, Little Ceasars or Papa Murphy's were included.

Downtown/North Loop

Andrea Pizza (One of the best skyway joints)
Bambino's Pizza & Grill (???)
Black Sheep
Broadway Pizza (skyway, formerly Mill City Pizza)
Bryn Mawr Deli & Pizza (never been)
Cheetah Pizza
D'Amico & Sons (never been)
Davanni's Pizza (DT & West Bank)
Downtown Diner
Ginelli's Pizza
Pizza Luce (DT)
Mama's Pizza (Love this place!)
Pizza La Vista (never been)
Sarpino's Pizza
Sorrento Cucina
Sammy's Pizza (???)
A Slice of New York ("eat street")
Stadium Pizza (never been)
Star Pizza (???)
Time Square Pizza & Subs (???)
Torby's Pizza


Amici Pizza & Bistro
Broadway Pizza (original)
Crescent Moon Bakery (original)
Punch Pizza
Pizza Nea
Totino's Italian Kitchen (closed/moved)


Dulono's Pizza
Galactic Pizza
Green Mill
Leaning Tower of Pizza
Pizza Luce
Mesa Pizza (new location)
Muddy Water's
Punch Pizza
Old Chicago
Red's Savoy Pizza (go to East 7th in St. Paul instead)
Soho Cafe Inc (never been)
Toppers Pizza (never been)
Uptown Pizza


Broders Cucina Italiana (never been)
Lake Harriet Pizza (never been)
Michaelangelo's Master Pizzas (never been)
Pizza Italia (never been)

Powderhorn & south of Powderhorn

Fat Lorenzo's
Mario's Pizza & Deli (never been)
Pizza Biga (never been)


Di Noko's Pizzeria & Deli (never been)
Fast Eddie's Pizza
Hiawatha Pizza (???)
Pizza Luce
Parkway Pizza

Dinkytown/Stadium Village/Prospect Park

Campus Pizza (never been)
Duffy's Dinkytown Pizza (never been)
Leaning Tower of Pizza
Mesa Pizza
Toppers Pizza

1 comment:

Stevie said...

They were Jack's pizzas. Always a reliable, inexpensive choice.