Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Punch Pizza – Eden Prairie, MN

I’m going to apologize to my coworker, JainDoh, in advance for this review. JainDoh has been talking about Punch Pizza for a number of months now. So when Trash called me to do lunch (now that she works less than 5 minutes from me), I thought, JainDoh is a vegetarian, Trash is a vegetarian – this should be perfect! I told Trash I’d pick her up and we’d head over there.

When we got to the place, I was glad I had looked at the menu online. The menu board behind the cashier had a list of pizza names without any explanation as to what is on them. They have a stack of to-go menus up next to the cash register with more detail in them (the same as the online version), but if you didn’t know this, then you hold up the line behind you. Trash hadn’t been there before, so she simply said, “Give me a pizza with a lot of cheese on it.” The lady rang her up and moved her along. I ordered a Milanese pizza which is ham, gorgonzola, roasted red pepper, and basil. There didn’t seem to be any problem with my order.

I made some comment about Trash being a vegetarian, and then the cashier said to me, “I don’t know why I didn’t recommend the four cheese pizza then.” Yeah, I don’t know why you didn’t, moron. It’s a tad late now.

As I was walking over to put my stuff on the table Trash had commandeered, I saw her get physically checked into the counter by a worker restocking cups and lids at the drink station. I sort of played it off like I saw Trash fall into the guy, but he checked her, plain and simple, and then gave her a look like she was in his way and he couldn’t get the lids restocked with her standing there patiently waiting for him to finish. (Honestly, it was hilarious, but I’m pretending to be outraged for Trash’s sake since she reads this blog).

The place is known for making authentic thin crust pizza in a super hot wood fired stove. “800 degrees & 90 seconds” is their tagline on their menu (that you don’t see unless you’re at the counter holding up the line). So the pizza came up super fast. I was thrilled by that part. The pizzas looked (sort of) like the ones I’ve eaten in Italy, but they were still pretty Americanized.

The first bite of this pizza really surprised me. I’m no connoisseur of pizza, but I know I’ve had some real winners in my lifetime. This pizza challenges the lowest of the worst pizza I’ve ever had. I’ve even had bad pizza here in the Twin Cities that I would put on a standing order before volunteering to go to Punch again. I really thought it was difficult to mess up pizza, but this was awful. I’m not sure if the gorgonzola was “off” or what, but the whole thing tasted like feet. The ham had no taste, I never tasted any of the basil or red pepper that I could plainly see, and I’ll say it again, it tasted like feet (with dirty socks on the feet). The crust was doughy and tough to cut, but I’m not sure that would have helped anything with the feet taste.

I waited until I was about three bites in before I confessed to Trash this was the worst pizza I ever had. She sighed and agreed adamantly this was truly terrible pizza. She put her fork down and told me her pizza tasted like ass. There you have it: feet and ass. If either of those appeal to you, then Punch is your place.

We even swapped bites, just to make sure we didn’t have some wacky palette mix-up, like in the movies, but no, both of us agreed with each other’s review of these pizzas. Sadly, the Milanese pizza (mine, with the ham) was slightly better than the plain cheese pizza, but that doesn’t mean it was at all good.

Trash asked if she should throw her (more than) half pizza away, and I stopped her, thankfully. I told her her husband, M.Giant, needed to experience how terrible this pizza is. She agreed whole-heartedly. (Wow, just think what w would do if we DIDN’T love M.Giant!?!?)

Don’t worry, JainDoh, I won’t hold it against you. We’ve gone to some good places together for lunch, so I know you have good taste.

Top 5 things about Punch Pizza
1. Super fast for lunch
2. It’s close to work
3. Upon leaving this place, Trash and decided to go to the Vietnamese place across the street for lunch next time
4. I saw a hot girl from work there (which means she has bad taste in pizza)
5. You can get wine (but we didn’t since our work frowns upon it)

Bottom 5 things
1. Plain Cheese Pizza
2. Milanese Pizza
3. Body-checking staff
4. Non-helpful cashier
5. Why wouldn’t you explain your pizzas BEFORE you get to the non-helpful cashier?



Carrie said...

Have you been to The Italian Pie Shoppe in St. Paul? My parents take me there every time I visit them (AKA "once a year"). The stuffed pizza is awesome.

Plus, it's in St. Paul, so you can get a delicious meal AND enrage the Giant household all in one go!

jaci said...

i didn't believe you went without me. lame.

Gin said...

Ooh, thanks for the review. I've heard nothing but awesome things about Punch. Glad I didn't make the ~45 min drive to try it.

Ruby said...

Hell yea all people do is rave about the place. I've never had it. Have you been to Pizza Nea? I will bet you money it will go in your top 10, if not 5.

I'm interested in your list of MN worst pizza.

Jenna said...

I haven't been to the Eden Prairie Punch but I have been to the one on Grand in St. Paul and the original Punch in Highland Park and the pizzas there were amazing.

Try the Toto - I have dreams about this one - it has garlic, prosciutto, and goat cheese. And for your vegetarian friends, they should try the Margherita Extra. I promise, no feet or butt taste in either of those. Just please! try it again! (and no I don't work there, I've just had such good experiences that I want everyone to like it!)

Chao said...

AWESOME!!! Thank you for the recommendations!!! The Italian Pie Shoppe sounds awesome as does Pizza Nea. I'm looking forward to those. (And I do love to enrage the Giant household as well, thanks for the reminder.)

And Jenna, I'll try Punch at least one more time, but I think I'm going to the Highland location that's more sit down and has a formal menu. I think I can get calzones there. I'll give that a shot or the Toto, like you said. I'm not an unreasonable eater, I promise.