Beautiful day for a drive. The sun beaming, melting away the remaining snow, warming the air. As it was late morning when we left, the subject of lunch came up before we had left town. Austin, my eight-year-old, wanted pizza. Specifically, he wanted pizza from a well-worn place we have eaten at more times than I can count.
Jennie and I chimed in that we wanted to try something new, something different. A quick web search of “Minneapolis Best Pizza” brought up Pizzeria Lola at 56th and Xerxes Ave. in Minneapolis. All agreed to the adventure, and off we went.
As we headed north on Xerxes, through a lovely suburban neighborhood, I thought we had made a wrong turn. We were driving past house after house, with no sign of a business. At last, there it was, sandwiched between a dry cleaner and a café.
Walking in the door, the first thing that hits you is the wall of noise. This is no place for quiet conversation. Perfect ambience for our son, who had no trouble keeping up with the volume. Our wait time was nil (although, from what I understand, that is not always the case). As soon as we were seated, our server arrived with coloring supplies for Austin – a huge plus!
Pizzeria Lola is quite popular, and for good reason. For starters, Guy Fieri did a segment on Lola for his “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” program. (You can watch the clip at http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/pizzeria-lola-0185011.html).
Plus, the food truly is, as Guy so aptly put it, “off da hook”. We ordered two pizzas: the My Sha-Roni! and the Iowan (both pictured at top). The My Sha-Roni! was pretty standard pizza (red sauce, mozzarella, fresh pepperoni and fennel sausage that they make in-house). Austin ate two pieces, so you know it’s good!
But the Iowan… oh my… thin sliced potatoes, carmelized onions, bacon, grueye and fontina cheeses.., This is probably the most original – and one of the best – pizzas I have ever eaten. Delicious!
And all of their pizzas are 12 inch, thin crust and wood-fired. There is nothing on earth like a wood-fired pizza, and Lola does them right. Next time we go, we may try the Korean BBQ pizza.
The wait staff are excellent. The food is great. The atmosphere is lively. At $15 a ‘za, you may not want to make a habit of it. But if you’re looking for some very original and delicious pizza, head to Pizzeria Lola.