Since my blog beat is supposed to be “pretty things,” I usually leave the controversial dining talk to Dara and DeRusha. So let me just say that in the past few weeks, I’ve been to more disappointing new restaurants than anyone should have to experience in a year. (And I now totally get why so many wind up on Dara’s cutting room floor. Oi.) I won’t name names, but it’s safe to say that if you’ve been living under a rock all summer you haven’t been missing much.
Photo provided by Studio Laguna
The only bright spot for me was somewhat unexpected: Sauce at the Shops at West End. Unexpected because I really do lose a little piece of my soul every time I go to a fabricated shopping district. But that’s another story. Sauce—not to be confused with Sauce Soundbar in LynLake—is a slick, cafeteria-style pizza and wine joint. I’m not going to compare it to Punch or Pizza Nea, who have their own schtick. I’m going to tell you that this is the place to grab lunch when you’re shopping, a casual dinner before a movie, or take-out when the thought of another night of Noodles & Company makes you want to swear off mac & cheese forever.
As you know, I appreciate a good salad. Ideally something better than I can make at home. I loved the three that I tried at Sauce, from the classic Caprese with buttery grilled bread and balsamic to the surprisingly addictive chopped vegetable salad with carrot, asparagus, cucumber, corn, tomato, parmesan, and avocado—strange-sounding but it works.
The pizzas aren’t too shabby either, with thin, crispy-chewy crusts and topping combinations that are just creative enough to appeal to most diners. The Sausage and Caramelized Onion is my favorite, though I had assumed that the Wild Mushroom and Truffled Arugula would steal the show. Call me controversial, but it was a bit too salty.
1610 West End Blvd.
Saint Louis Park