Monday, 21 December 2009
3226 W Lake St
Minneapolis MN 55416
Tummy Points: 4/5
Notes: Pizza cooked in a
wood fire brick oven.
No topping pizza $5.95,
Bruni pizza $9.70,
First opened in February 5, 1996 in Minneapolis after John, founder of Punch Pizza, experienced an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in Nice, France, and wanted to bring the experience home. Since then 6 more locations in and around Minneapolis with more to come.
In keeping with the traditions of their first restaurant and the vera pizza napoletana, an organization established to maintain rules to ensure the authenticity of Neapolitan pizza, each location has their own wood burning bell-shaped brick oven cooking piza at 800 degrees for 90 seconds.
Punch Pizzas are ordered by the pizza and are personally sized about 8 inches. Each of their pizzas has a different name depending on the toppings from Adriatico to Vesuvio or you can craft your own pizza starting with either a basil or a oregano pizza. You can also choose a specific Neapolitan style with extra san marzano tomatoes, extra olive oil, and/or mozzarella. Interestingly, Punch Pizza is one of the few pizzerias that still offers anchovy as a topping ($1.25 if it's your thing). They have kept things traditional so you won't find the adventurous BBQ sauce pizza, chicken or steak toppings, and thankfully no olives. Here you'll stick to various cheeses, traditional meat toppings like prosciutto, and traditional vegetable toppings like roasted peppers.
A dim interior with minimal lighting creates a nice restaurant ambiance but the fast food ordering style of going to a cashier, waiting for your order, then finding a seat, similar to most American restaurants like Five Guys, keeps this restaurant from feeling special. There was limited seating so I ended up eating by the window. Thankfully table turnover is decent.
The toppings were all very fresh, the oregano sauce was light and full of tomato goodness. Unfortunate for me, they had run out of spicy salami so I got the regular salami. But some crushed red pepper flakes always saves the day. Dough was light and fresh. It wasn't a pain to eat the crust but was a tad hard and chewy. I wish I got my pizza doppio style for the extra mozzarella then perhaps it'd taste more like the one I had La Pizza Cresci in Nice, France. Still, the pizza was one of the best I've had outside France and puts up a good fight against Grimaldi's Pizza in New York.
My order came out really fast and hot. Service was friendly but it's typical of any fast food restaurant so you get little to no personal interaction. The pizzas were very good but I think I'll need to visit again for one in doppio style. Interestly Andrew Zimmern from Bizzare Foods high recommends Punch Pizza so it's definitely worth a visit just to taste what it's all about.