The only way to find the best pizza in the Twin Cities is to go out and eat a lot of pizza. Ergo, researching Minnesota Monthly’s Best Pizza feature involved a lot of time spent driving between metro-area pizza joints, ordering a pie, eating a slice, and then tossing the box in the trunk before racing off to the next pizza stop. (Yes, my trunk still smells faintly of pepperoni.)
Below are a few outtakes that didn’t make it into the story.
1. There is truly an *insane* quantity of cheese in DiNoko’s deep dish pizzas. The layer of cheese in the pie I had (below) was nearly an inch thick!
2. When I later reheated a slice of DiNoko’s for one of my friends (a Wisconsin native), he ate only the cheese and left behind the crust, sauce, and sausage. Go Badgers!
3. I had a slice of DiNoko’s yesterday. It was the first time I’ve had pizza in the three weeks since we put the issue to bed. Even though I’m pretty sick of pizza, I still thought it was good.
4. There are at least six more pieces of leftover pizza in my freezer. At this rate, I expect to unearth the last one sometime in July.
5. One of the Best Pizzerias refused to let our photographer slice one of its pizzas for a photograph. They also refused to sell our photographer a whole pizza, knowing he would just go cut it into slices and photograph it anyway. Our art director went in and bought a pizza and gave it to the photographer so he could photograph the slice that appears in our magazine.
6. When I was buying a whole cart full of frozen pizzas (below) at the Uptown Rainbow, I had to break up a fight in the checkout line that had erupted over a parking space. I figured that, if things escalated, I could protect myself by using a frozen pizza box as a shield.
7. Frying the bacon and hashbrowns pictured in the weird ingredients segment was the first time I have cooked professionally. I thought they came out okay, though the bacon was a tad overcooked.
8. After I submitted my expense report, I’m pretty sure my publisher wished that I had done a story on Best French Fries or Best Doughnuts, but was relieved that I had not done a story on Best Steaks or Best Caviar.
9. The numbers on the Best Pizza blurbs were intended to identify the photographed slices, not rank the winners. (Lola, you’re much higher than 6.)
10. I saw this (below) on the wall at Jakeeno’s and thought it was absolutely adorable.