On Wednesday, our man in Chicago hipped me to some coal-oven news I had been sleeping on—that a joint called Black Sheep Coal-Fired Pizza in Minneapolis needed to be added to the Slice Coal-Oven Map.
Yeah, Daniel Zemans must have been prompted to ping me by the the story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the place.
Says the newspaper:
Let's talk crust for a moment. [Chef-owner Jordan] Smith isn't doing the overt charred-and-blistered Neapolitan thing, and why should he? Punch has locked down a near-monopoly on that market. No designer cracker-crust model here, either, and don't even mention the words "cardboard" and "Black Sheep" in the same sentence, or I will hunt you down like a dog in the street. No, Smith is showing how the basic, beloved American-style pizza is done, nurturing a crisp beauty that confidently straddles the fine line between thin and sturdy. It's an achievement that stands out not only because Smith is remarkably good, but because nearly everything else concerning the sad state of the American pizza is remarkably bad.
But FOS Aaron Landry chimed in, too, alerting us that he visited Black Sheep back in November and had this to say:
Their menu is small, starting with a 12-inch cheese pizza for 7 bucks to a $20 16-inch pie with fennel sausage, hot salami, onions and cracked green olives. I was surprised to not find a margherita or even a quattro formaggi or similar pizza on the menu. They didn’t have a pepperoni pizza either, which is only a surprise because they didn’t have the standards I’m used to seeing on a coal-fired menu either and hey, it is Minnesota. I am not complaining: as with their small beer and wine menu, the few choices they offer are really great picks.
Landry is a the Twin Cities' sage of slicedom, so if he says the place is good that's good enough for me.