Thursday, July 17, 2008

Midwesterners are Weird: Pizza


Midwesterners are Weird is a new CPW series where we will discuss why Midwesterners are weird. Just in case you couldn't figure that out from the title.

I was born an Upper-Midwesterner and remained one until I was 26. So I guess I will never escape these roots that first sprang forth in South Dakota, became cemented in Illinois and were further refined in Minnesota. And I use the term Upper-Midwesterner to clarify that I am from the aforementioned states and not from places some people like to call the "Midwest," such as Missouri (hello, were you even a free state?) or even Oklahoma. I'm sorry, Oklahoma has nothing to do with where I'm from except for the fact that my dad was born there. But that was just an unfortunate mistake.

One time I even overheard a guy from Kentucky telling someone he was from the same part of the country that I was from. I nearly slugged him, except that being Midwestern I'm simply passive-aggressive.

Anyhoo, Mindy June, who is returning to her own Midwestern roots next month after a four-year sojourn in the UK, recently posted about Midwestern pizza. I miss Midwestern pizza, even though I'm much closer to it geographically than poor Mindy June. In the Midwest we like to pound square things into round holes and things like that. One iteration of this would be in the way we cut up our round pizza pies into little squares. It makes no sense, but I like it. It's so much fun to have all those different little sizes. Cheesy treats. Yum. Just fix your eyes on the photo above for a few minutes. Don't you just want to crawl on top of that pie and make sweet love to it?

Funny thing too is that I lived in the Chicago area for 14 years, and now have been in New York for nearly 10 years. That's a combined 24 years in two of the USA's hottest pizza centers. And yet, what pizza would I make the sweetest love to, given the opportunity? What pizza keeps me up at night with my deep longing for it?

It's pizza from St. Paul, Minnesota, from a joint called Red's Savoy. Mindy is right - their pizza kicks ASS. It is perfect. And in proper Midwestern fashion, they will serve you a round pie cut up into cute little squares. It's like your whole dinner is an appetizer. There is nothing bad about Red's Savoy pizza. There is only good to be found there.

And now I am in such craving mode I may have to make a special trip there just to have it. Drool. Slurp.

G'night.

27 comments:

Kimbeerlee said...

There's one in Eagan now -- maybe you will change your opinion of the suburb?!

Melinda June said...

MMmmmmmmm. Red's Savoy. Mmmmmmmmm.

Melinda June said...

And they serve it on cafeteria trays and can make a good martini, as well. And the mural on the wall of the busty Italian lass wallking the streets of Venice carrying two big pies is always good for a laugh. And everytime you go there you get to chuckle at the thought of Norm Coleman's dad getting a blow job in the parking lot.

And best of all, whether it be at Red's Savoy or any other midwester pizza place, you can get green olives on your pizza.

Flannery Alden said...

The square cut pizza is great, especially in my family where Doc doesn't like crust and I don't like pizza without them. Less waste that way. Just as it should be in the midwest.

My pizza love? A place called "Your Pizza." We'll get some when you come visit.

Some Guy said...

Damn does that look good!

We got a pizza the other night and they cut it into squares, only they went a little crazy with the pizza cutter. I kid you not, there were a few pieces that measured one inch by one inch.

Mnmom said...

Best midwestern pizza? MABES in Decorah, Iowa. Cut into squares.

I agree about the midwest. If you say "soda" or "co-cola" you are not midwestern. If you say "pop" you are.

Keith Kennedy said...

All pizza his HOLY. Sure, we all have our favorites - but let's face it, it's the perfect food group.

You want to aruge about food, get it going on the difference between Greek and Italian lamb shanks.

Pizza is just awesome in all its forms!

Cap'n Ergo Jinglebollocks said...

So far the bestest pizza I've had is completely unaccessable to me.

The Nines Pizzaria in Ithica, NY. 6 hours from here.

Ferrinti's Italian Restaurant, Cheektowaga, NY. Burned to the ground in 19Hu80.

Noble Romans Restaurant, Canton, OH. No longer in biz.

Stella's Italian Restaurant, Avon Lake, OH. 300 miles away.

Hungry Howies in Orange Park, FLA, gets an honourable mention because it was pretty good and it was really damned cheap. Pizza th' Hutt gets an HM as well because it's so goddamned greasy, but it's waaay too pricy for my budget now.

Beth said...

Take me with you.

Anonymous said...

Well, actually the Savoy in Eagan isn't the same...it's only take-out, after all! Tom, if you come to Minnesota again I will gladly take you to Savoy, and I'll even spring for the pitcher of Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Mark said...

Oops, didn't mean to make that last comment anonymous. Sorry bout that!

lulu said...

I could bring along a frozen deep dish when we come next weekend, would that help?

GrizzBabe said...

Two of my favorite pizza places in the city where I live (in the South, not the Midwest) cut their round pies into square pieces. Love it!

GrizzBabe said...

Oh, and they give you green olives too on the side!

Chris said...

"Don't you just want to crawl on top of that pie and make sweet love to it? "

Oh....so that's not alfredo sauce on it? ;)

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

I come from the land of the square cut pie - with a little corn meal on the crust to keep it from sticking to the oven - hillbilly style.

Madam Z said...

Hmm...it looks good, but it doesn't look like pizza. Isn't pizza supposed to have some kind of tomato-based sauce on it somewhere? Actually, the strangest pizza I ever ate was in Italy somewhere. There was very little cheese on it, and the toppings included hard-boiled eggs and artichokes.

The Freelance Guru said...

Ok, the other day I had an Apple Crumble pizza in CiCi international drive. Nothing beats that for wierd!

And couldn't you just buy your own pizza and cut it into squares?

Bubs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bubs said...

OK, there are a few good food things about the midwest--pork tenderloin sandwiches, hot dish, cheese curds, fish boil, fried biscuits--but pizza isn't one of them. There are few foods in the midwest that aren't improved by being cooked a few hundred miles south or west.

Lord I hate midwestern pizza cut into squares. The best thing about where I live now is that Marino's, my local parlor, cuts it into pie slices as God intended.

Mombi said...

Great series topic! I can't wait for when you cover "sweetest day!"

xoxo

Creepy said...

There's a place down here run by Chicagoans called Capone's Flicker Lite. You can eat amazing upper-midwestern style pizza while sitting on the water watching boats go by. Great stuff.

Gifted Typist said...

It funny how every place seems to have "its" pizza. I'm at the cottage right now and a town nearby has its pizza, which it claims is the best ever. It's heavily influenced by an influx of Greeks.

I love that geographic description. Upper Midwestern. Is there a Low MW or a Mid Midwestern?

GETkristiLOVE said...

This is so odd that you mention one of the only things I miss about my home town in Indiana - it was called To-your-door pizza cut just like that with little squares and also the itty bitty triagles. Every Friday night, mom would order To-your-door and we'd watch Sammy Terry. Good times.

Tenacious S said...

When we lived in California I was so disappointed by the pizza offerings that I learned to make my own...cut into squares of course.

Grant Miller said...

I've become a pizza bitch in recent years. I've concluded deepdish is way overrated and "pie cut" pizza is the only way to go. Little squares for for squares.

But overall, you really can't miss with pizza no matter what kind or how it's served.

Anonymous said...

CP/TT--

Instead of the Upper Midwest, I call it the Great Lakes Region--and please include in your postings something about Great Lakes Literature--there is southern lit, lit of the great west, etc. All we have for the great Lakes is the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and that was written by a Canadian!