Saturday, March 7, 2009

Carbone’s Pizza – Bloomington, MN

Gerd’s parents came up to the Twin Cities this weekend, and despite it being really emotional for all of us, I love them to pieces and it was really good to see them. I also won’t give them rude nicknames out of respect (not that I don’t respect everyone else I’ve given rude nicknames to, but it’s different), although I KNOW Gerd would have picked out some winners.

We needed a quick bite, so we hit up the only pizza place that Gerd and I ever found with pizza she would have recommended to her parents. They have a refined pizza palette and most of the places we’ve tried in the Twin Cities have not been up to snuff to Gerd’s discerning taste. But Trash and M.Giant turned us on to Carbone’s when we moved up from Illinois, and it withstood Gerd’s strict pizza scrutiny. Also, when Trash and M.Giant find out I went there without them, I’m going to hear about it for a long time.

There are a bunch of locations in the area for Carbone’s, so we picked one that I thought I knew where it was. Apparently, I was wrong. I called the store before we left to make sure they weren’t packed. The guy said, “We don’t get a lot of sit down customers. The dining room is almost empty.” Weird, but now I know why. This place is unfindable. The GPS took us straight there, but we drove past at least 4 or 5 times without seeing it. That’s because it’s behind a building and there’s no sign to indicate where it’s at. Brilliant! Once we realized where the place was at, we pulled into the wrong parking lot and still couldn’t’ get to it. Maybe your dining room is empty because NO ONE CAN FIND YOUR RESTAURANT!!! (Just a hunch, I’m not a pizza real estate expert.)

GerdsDad commented as we walked in, “Zero points for atmosphere.” Hilarious. And he was right. 4 booths and maybe 2 tables. Actually 4 booths for dwarves, not normal sized people (or tall people like Gerd’s family). We all piled in and decided what we want. There were also some signs (outdoor-type signs) leaning against the wall behind our booth, so that added to the atmosphere. We scanned the menu – I realized then that I had never seen a menu – Gerd or Trash always got the pizza for me and I just ate it. I was hoping the pizza would make up for the atmosphere, and I was right.

We got a large meat lovers, which thrilled me to death. I do love a good meaty pizza. If Trash wasn’t a vegetarian, M.Giant and I would have been eating this for the past year multiple times a week. Way to hold us back, Trash. Super thin crust pizza with all kinds of meat and cheese on the top. Even served on styrofoam plates with plastic silverware and pop in cans (Gerd would have had issue with the canned pop, as you know), the pizza is glorious. Gerd’s parents were very impressed. I think we all ate more than we thought we would. Thankfully, Carbone’s came through for us. Seriously this is top-notch pizza, even for choosy taste buds.

We decided to leave two pieces for leftovers for me, so I went to the counter and asked for a box. I thought I’d get a styrfoam container, but since it’s a pizza place, they only have pizza boxes. They gave me a small one, which was nice of them. However, this thing was like the rubik’s cube of boxes. I’ll pat myself on the back and say I’m pretty good with spatial relationships and putting things together, but this box was clearly created by a mentally challenged person who didn’t pass the Ikea entrance exam, but had just seen Hellraiser. There were perforation marks to fold, but nothing actually fit together or had tabs. I had to sit down and give it a good think. I ended up putting part of the box together and sliding the pizza into the side and then holding the side closed so my pieces wouldn’t slide out. Not sure what’s up with that, but it was frustrating/amusing.

Just go here, or go pick it up from any of the Carbone’s. They’re all good, but some are easier to find. I need to find out where Gerd and I used to get it from. I never went there the same route, so I have no idea where to find it now. Just another reason I’m helpless without Gerd around. I know I did her proud by taking her parents there!

Top 5 things about Carbone’s
1. Awesome toppings and plenty of them
2. Perfect size for three healthy eaters
3. They had Dew (in a can)
4. The pizza made up for the atmosphere
5. Got to bring home leftovers (but not many…)

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd didn’t get to eat her favorite Twin City pizza with her family and I
2. The place is near impossible to find
3. “Zero point for atmosphere” - GerdsDad
4. Outdoor signage leaning against the inside walls
5. Super tiny booths

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