Location: Mahtomedi, Minnesota
Well, now that Election Day is finally upon us, it seems like a good time to offer my sincerest apologies if my brazen pizza opinions have contributed to the growth of the coarsened civil discourse that we see demonstrated with such annoying regularity. But sometimes over the noisy clanging of the gongs by the die-hard and dogmatic Wedge-shapers, I often felt like a muted voice in the vast pizza wilderness, and my sensibilities demanded that the world must know that Square-cutters also hold valid (if not noble) positions that need consideration in the ever-changing world in which we live. But now, even at this late stage of the forum, comes a brash, outrageous, independent new-thinker tossing their proverbial hat into a well-established duopoly: the upstart Finger-cutters, a dynamic but unpredictable tradition with its roots in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois. Now, what is to become of us all?
Swen and I dropped in on QC Pizza just a few weeks after its Grand Opening a few years ago. It's a pretty small place wedged into the edge of an unremarkable strip mall, boasting no more than eight or ten tables and a decor that would make even a hardened minimalist blush. As we seated ourselves, I sensed that the proprietor was still tinkering under the hood while traveling 65 MPH, yet the service was friendly and efficient. We were podcasting that night and the owner understandably didn't have time to drop in for a live chat, but when things calmed a bit, he came over to check in and see how we like the place. Well, we liked it a lot.
You can see from the photo that one of the signatures of Quad Cities pizza is the distinctive cut, which was a tactile treasure for sure, but also a practical one. What you can't see from the photo is that an average-sized finger probably weighs at least half a pound, and that's with only a couple of toppings. I suspect that if one were to order a large pie with all the toppings, it would tip the scales at 6-7 pounds, so when you visit QC, arrive with a very large group, or arrive extremely hungry. The pizza featured a unique savory sauce that Swen found to be among the finest he'd ever sampled, and the meat distribution was positively debauching. Because of a self-reported notional kitchen error, they even brought us a second (unrequested) pie at no charge, so even though we had plenty remaining from our original order, we'd be enjoying these leftovers for days. An acquaintance of Swen's even dropped in for a pick-up order and stopped by for a quick chat while he waited for his order to be completed. With 10-12 pounds of leftover pizza staring us down, we obligingly allowed our fellow first-time visitor to dig in for a sample. It felt like neighborly thing to do in the neighborhood pizzeria.
One last thing worth mentioning: it looks like their house specialty is Pickle Pizza, which doesn't really sound like my thing, but if you read online reviews, well...folks are going absolutely nuts over it, so give it a shot if you're brave enough. In the end, both Swen and I gave it very high marks. I don't know if the Finger Cut will ever become the standard in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but it plays well in the Quad Cities, and it's certainly different from any other place in town. We found it to be a welcome change of pace, and we'll gladly plan for a follow-up. QC Pizza, you have our endorsement! (9 of 10 stars)