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51. Red Wagon Pizza Co.

Classification: Artisan

Location: Minneapolis Southwest

Over the course of our careers as undistinguished podcasters, Swen and I have sampled dozens and dozens of local pizzas, and we've made an effort to not record at the same venue more than once, no matter how great. There are still many places we haven't gotten to yet, but when factoring in our professional commitments, geography and personal schedules, we've found the most convenient municipalities have started to get a little picked over. When Swen stumbled upon Red Wagon in the Armatage-Kenny neighborhood after reading a couple online reviews, we headed south, thus beginning an evening filled with surprises.


Our first clue that Red Wagon wasn't being run by knuckle-dragging cousins named Vinnie and Carmine was the semi-toney neighborhood—a modestly upscaled area within the outer confines of the city. And though we didn't know it at the time, it's been featured in foodie magazines and TV shows, which usually throws enough light to send underground pizza dwellers like us scattering. To further alienate our blue-collar tendencies was the ambience; we're not accustomed to niceties such as porcelain dishware and tastefully manicured centerpieces. And finally, the clientele was equally self-upscaled with a modern blend of urban hipsters and families of seemingly well-adjusted children being doted upon by moms in spandex leggings and metrosexual dads still wearing Izod polos with upturned collars. Definitely not a hostile environment, but as news-breaking podcasters, we knew we needed to bring a level of on-air dignity we normally lacked.


It was noisy, but once our podcast was in the can, we found ourselves enjoying the pizza, which, although leaning toward the artisanal side, was flavorful and well presented. We were still able to reel in our sausage-pepperoni combo, and the unique blend of savory spices made for a pretty good experience. If you're dying for a pizza, but your spouse is seeking fine dining, this is a place that meets right in the middle. (7 of 10 stars)

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