D.Rough and I didn’t feel up to making dinner and had been talking about pizza for some time. Actually, we were in the mood for sushi initially, but then got side tracked when pizza entered the conversation. We decided to go to Black Sheep since we had heard people talk about it, and also because they’re right next door to Camp – a bar that super supports the Minnesota RollerGirls. In fact, on Camp’s bar menu, you can order Black Sheep pizzas and they will bring it to you at Camp – really awesome idea!
We weren’t sure what to expect from the place since we hadn’t been there before, but we rolled in. You have to go down a couple of stairs to get into the restaurant, but it offers a unique high-altitude view of the kitchen and bar area. We could see the staff joking, cracking-wise, and actually looking like they were enjoying their work. They were throwing pizzas into the air and putting them in a giant coal fired oven. That sounded awesome.
We got seated at a large wooden booth and perused the menu. They have beer and wine here and a selection of local brews which changes from time to time. They also have 1919 root beer on tap, so I scored one of those, while D.Rough went with a Surly Furious (also a Minnesota RollerGirl sponsor – we’re just hitting all the bases in one night, as you can see).
The pizza was more difficult to decide uon. It looked to be what D.Rough described as a minimalist pizza place. Most of their pizzas have just a couple of toppings on it, unless you build your own. They all sounded good, but we knew we wanted some odd toppings tonight, for some reason. We got a Hot Salami and Dried Chili Pepper pizza, but we had them add meatballs and grilled artichoke hearts, as well. We also needed a salad of some sort and finally decided on the market salad after the waiter described it.
The salad showed up quickly. It was actually, quite good. Frisee lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, walnuts, apples, and lots of pickled beets. The beets were just barely pickled, so D.Rough was able to eat them, the blue cheese and the walnuts were an awesome flavor with the rest of the lettuce and apples. I really liked this salad a lot.
The pizza didn’t take long to arrive. I’m guessing the coal fired pizza cooks fast. We weren’t sure if this was fork pizza or and pizza, so we started with forks. It’s not a dive-y place, but it’s not a super upscale place, so I think anything goes here. The pizza is really good here. Thin crust and minimal cheese, but delicious sauce and toppings. The artichoke hearts were NOT from a can and were roasted perfectly – not watery nor mushy. The meatballs had a great flavor to them and there were plenty of them on the pizza. The salami wasn’t spicy at all, but it did have great flavor and we like how the distribution of toppings was pretty much how we would have done it. No skimping of toppings, but still room for some cheese and sauce to show through.
While it may not rank tops in the Twin Cities, Black Sheep is really good pizza. I’d get food from here again (and plan on it). Whether I’m at Camp or just going to Black Sheep itself, I don’t think you’re going to get bad food here. It’s got a good vibe to it and they don’t use the “usual” pizza toppings. Give this place a shot!
Top 5 things about Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza
1. Great pizza with unique toppings
2. Great beer and wine selection
3. They have 1919 root beer
4. Nicer environment to have some great pizza
5. They have an awesome logo that makes you smile
Bottom 5 things
1. The benches are a little hard after you’ve been there an hour (that may be intentional, for all I know)
2. I’m not sure if the place is handicap-accessible
3. IF you don’t like minimalist pizza, this may not be your place
4. When you use your hands to eat it, they get black from the crust pretty quickly (from the coal-firing, I'm assuming)