Minnesota: The Forager at Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis

Yet again I’ve been fortunate enough to have a trip coincide with pizza-time! Co-pilot Brandon’s coworker, Mary, just got married in Minneapolis, and with a pizza on the list there, we couldn’t miss out!

Brandon and I packed the car and got ready for a 5 hour drive to the Twin Cities, with time built in pizza before the wedding! The only hitch to that was that about 3.5 hours into the trip, Brandon looked at me, and said, “Do you know what I forgot?” Yup. Brandon forgot his CLOTHES. So built in pizza time became “Man, we gotta get there and scarf this pizza!”. It actually wasn’t that bad. So upon walking up to the restaurant, I see this sign:

Minnesota Sign

Of course I fell in love with it, as I rather obviously love pizza. Their quirky charm continued to get to me, as we ordered and they brought our plates. Not a single plate in the restaurant matched, and they were all pretty tacky.

Minnesota Plate

So Brandon and I ordered (he had to have a pizza with an egg on it, of course)—and our pizzas came right out! (That’s one of my favorites things about using a wood fire grill, like Pizzeria Lola does, is how quickly it cooks.

As always, let’s start with Zagat’s photo and review:

Minnesota- The Forager at Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis

If you head to Minneapolis’ Pizzeria Lola, you can find some of the best and most unique pizzas around. So it stands to reason that even though owner Ann Kim is Korean, she would find a way to create a pie that pays homage to the Scandinavian side of the state. Hence, The Forager pizza, a wood-fired pie topped with an array of mushrooms including crimini, shiitake and portabella, as well as truffle oil, tarragon, taleggio and fontina cheese. Okay, so the ingredients aren’t actually foraged in the wilds of Minnesota, but we imagine if any of the iconic Norse chefs came here and wanted to make a locally harvested pizza, it would taste a lot like this.

My turn!

Pizza

Slice

Despite that being NOT A PHOTO OF THE PIZZA AT ALL, ZAGAT!!! this pizza was fantastic. It was very similar to Mellow Mushroom’s Holy Shiitake which I still claim in the best pizza on the list. Mellow’s crust is thicker, which I normally wouldn’t like, but Mellow’s crust is the best. It was still a clear #2 best pizza so far though. The mushrooms were done perfectly. When you think of a Pizza Hut or Domino’s style mushroom, you think of a raw mushroom that has been tossed on and is dried out and hardly tasty. These mushrooms were sauteed beforehand, and they were absolutely perfect. I’m finding more and more that a wood fire crust is hard to perfect. Either the edges have black bubbles or the middle is too soggy and won’t stand on its own as a pizza slice should. This was the closest to perfect that I’ve had yet. There was a little sog, but nothing like it could have been with all of the weight and moisture from spinach, mushrooms, and olive oil.

Brandon gave a rave review of his pizza also, and we both ate our entire pizzas before Brandon ordered a build-your-own ice cream sandwich, and I had the most incredible grapefruit sorbet. I wasn’t sure how grapefruit would play into dessert, and it was perfect. I’m not a huge fan of sweet things, so this was perfect.  Overall, this place beats the pants off of Mellow Mushroom for ambiance and other menu variety, but pizza to pizza, the Holy Shiitake is still number one.

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