Saturday, January 21, 2006

Checking out a new pizza joint - Red's Savoy Pizza...

I'm about to embark on a culinary adventure. 20 minutes from now, I have to pick up a large pepperoni pizza from a new pizza place. Part of moving is finding a good pizza place. I know of one place locally my wife and I would go to when dating, but I was never all that impressed with their pizza. It was good, but not top 5 best pizzas good. I'm always looking for that next great pizza.

So I made the call - Red's Savoy Pizza on White Bear in East St. Paul. (520 White Bear Ave N
St Paul, MN 55106 (651) 731-1068 ). I did my research first, and here's what I found for descriptions in some local info sources:

From City Pages:

Red's Savoy Pizza

An old St. Paul family pizza joint and bar where the emphasis is on real family. As in: Kids frolic in one room, slapping their cheese-splattered hands on the aquarium, while in the room with the bar an embittered wife carries in two garbage bags of her husband's possessions, depositing them beside his stool. So he says: "I guess I'll get my fishing gear in the spring." And his wife says: "I'll call you if I clean out the garage before then." And he says: "And I'll call Channel 9, 'cause that'd be a miracle." So she gets a pizza to go and leaves, and he orders another pitcher. About that pizza--imagine a very, very large man floating on a very, very small raft. The crust is a martyred delivery vehicle for mammoth quantities of cheese, over authentic toppings and a robust homemade sauce. In fact, there's an entire novel waiting to be written about the sauerkraut-and-Italian-sausage special, something about that which was fired in the crucible of 20th-century East St. Paul, when breweries and immigrants from all over Europe united to create something that seems bizarre, but goes great with Schell's dark on tap. If you write that novel, call us, and we'll call Channel 9.

From Twin Cities City Search:

Some claim that this St. Paul dive has the best pizza in town.

Editorial Rating: Highly Recommended

The Scene
As you walk in and your eyes adjust to the low, low lighting, you're greeted by a mural of a lusty Italian woman holding a pizza against the watery backdrop of Venice. Seat yourself at a burgundy pleather booth or Formica table; if you want to converse over the meal, sit strategically to block your companion's view of the big-screen TV.

The Food
You've got to order the pizza, since it has a rep around town--you'll find that the crust is thin and crispy with typical toppings to choose from. The most popular is the Savoy Special: sliver-cut onions, zesty pepperoni and sausage, green olives, mushrooms and sweet green pepper. The menu also includes roasted chicken, pasta, salads, sandwiches and American fare.


I'll give a report back as to what it's like. For the record, I ordered (as I always to on a first run) a single large pepperoni pizza. Nothing else. That is the standard, and I move on from there. They didn't ask what kind of crust, they didn't tell me a price. It was so loud on the other end of the phone that the guy was having a hard time hearing me. No delivery before 4:30, and he quoted me a quick 20 minutes on my pie. My mouth is watering. The worst part of picking up a pizza is driving home smelling it.


So I'm back from eating what turned out to be a masterpiece of a pizza. The reviews weren't lieing, this is the good stuff. I've never experienced so much cheese on a thin crust pizza. The crust was excellent, thin, light, and just a bit crispy, but not like a pretzel. You know it is a pizza crust. Perhaps the perfect thin crust, the best thin crust bread I think I've had. The sauce is somewhat understated at first. There is a hint of sweet, but as you eat you begin to get a sense of the spices. It's not spicy hot, though there is a bit of warmth, but it is very flavorful. A near perfect blend, though I might give it a bit more kick to really balance out all that cheese. The one thing I especially liked with the sauce was that it was a smooth sauce. I don't like chunky sauces, especially not on my pie. The cheese was fantastic. No need for extra cheese (which I'm known to order on a lot of cheaper pizzas). Very high quality and fresh mozzarella. The pepperoni were very thin, and decent. I would've like a bit more thinkness on the meat, as the outer ones ended up a bit over cooked because they were paper thin. The pepperoni didn't have as strong of a flavor as I was expecting/would have liked, but they were still pretty good. The cost was just under $12 which I thought was very reasonable, and I only ate 1/3 of the pizza so it's a pretty good size. I would highly recommend this pizza. I think it'll end up in my top 5, though I'll have to eat it a few more times to verify.

Someday I might have to post on my top 5 pizzas, but for the time being, know that Uno Chicago Grill's Deep Dish Prima Pepperoni (ordered without the chunky sauce) is the best pizza I've ever had. In fact, it probably rates as one of the best foods of any sort I have ever had, it's that good.

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pete said...

Hey man, if you ever need restaurant recommendations here on the East Side, let me know--my wife and I have lived in the Hillcrest area since 2002.

the good looking meirose boy!! said...

George's in brokings the all meat. try it you'll have to agree.