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30. Latuff's Pizzeria

Classification: Traditional

Location: Medicine Lake, Minnesota

Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. There's penalty flags all over the field before the play even started. Don't act like you didn't notice the crazy and disruptive diamond-shaped cut. It's the first thing you notice when the pie is brought to your table, and aside from its jarring visual presentation, it also creates a voluminous number of playful and unorthodox shapes. The traditional tavern-cut always delivers four miniature corner triangles, but this takes those small novelty cuts to another level. And for those who are passionate about the standard wedge-cut, the diamond shapes still deliver the satisfaction of starting each piece with the pointy tip, which is a classically pleasing point of entry.

But there's more than just novelty here, because the quality of the pizza itself is extremely good. Founded as a family diner in 1971, Latuff's set up in the western reaches of the Twin Cities and in the last fifty-ish years has watched the area grow up all around it, and blossom into a fairly dense population center. Despite the growth, it still feels a little like a roomy small-town hangout where it wouldn't be unusual to find families, class reunions, or even a friendly biker gang—all at the same time and everyone enjoying a timeless soundtrack of pop hits from the 60s. During our 2016 visit, Swen and I agreed that it delivered above-average scores in every category.

Despite the eclectic clientele, our server Natasha indicated that podcasters were pretty uncommon, and when pressed about the unique diamond-cut, she confessed hearing the story of its origin, but had forgotten, which was fun to hear. So on this night, the novelty was flowing in both directions, and after a huddling of the pizza refs, it was determined that no foul has been committed. Put those penalty flags back in your pocket—this is good pizza. (8 of 10 stars).

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