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49. Randy's Pizza Saluté

Classification: Traditional

Location: North St. Paul, Minnesota

One of my annual highlights is the first Friday of August when I gather with Sparky, Swen, Paul, Rusty and Boomer for the John Thomas Memorial Golf Tournament. It involves lots of fun, food, and laughs, while also raising money for Glorybound Ministries, as they stand in the gap for families left behind while a parent wrestles with treatment for chemical abuse or incarceration.

We've played for 20 years now, and there are literally too many highlight to mention, but we have witnessed Swen beautifully and forcefully striking a difficult bunker shot 140 yards straight through a latticed tool shed to the edge of the green. And over time, we've watched Sparky's play grow more steady and consistent, despite having a swing that even Charles Barkley ridicules. His drives look like a primitive form of country line dancing. And despite dropping style points for wearing nylon support hose on the course, Boomer always seems to walk away from the tournament with a major door prize. He's won bicycles, televisions, sports memorabilia, and much more. He now only joins us during personal hardships, as it's become a regular source of income. We're not great at golf, but it's hard to imagine a foursome (or fivesome) enjoying the day more than we Groundouts.

Despite spending 4-5 hours on the course and grazing on snacks as our secondary pastime, we still manage to fit in a full meal at the post-tourney banquet. So, it's probably not the best time to go grab a pizza at the end of the day, but overindulgence has never been a deterrent. So Swen and I ended the 2019 event at Randy's, and in all truth, we didn't really give it a fair shake. If things were more equitable, this pizza could be rated higher, and I look forward to trying it again on an empty stomach while not suffering from fatigue and borderline heat stroke. It looked good and the atmosphere was great, and I even know of a co-working local who has made it one of his neighborhood go-tos. Randy's deserves another chance, and I look forward to returning. (7 of 10 stars.)

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