Tag Archives: pizzeria

Pizzeria Lola

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In December, I chose Pizzeria Lola for our girls’ dinner night out. The girls were kind enough to let my husband crash, too. I’d wanted to try Pizzeria Lola for a while, but I knew that I didn’t want to go with just Rob. A pizza place like this calls for a group so that you can try several pies!

*A special thanks to my friend Jen for the photos. I forgot my iPhone that night, so we used hers instead.*

We arrived pretty early on a weekend night and the place was already packed. Lola does not accept reservations nor call ahead seating. But they do deliver! We were led to the bar area where we could order a drink while we waited.

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There wasn’t a seat available, otherwise we would have eaten at the bar. The tap selection isn’t big, but the majority offered that night were local brews!
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There’s a very nice selection of wines, too.

It was hot in there with the pizza oven going full force in the middle of the room. At least we had a ledge to set our beer and/or water down while holding our jackets.

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Quarters were cramped standing near the bar as people made their way down this hallway to get to the photo booth:

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For $3, you can get a ticket for a three-shot strip printed in duplicate – one to keep and one to hang on the wll at the pizzeria:

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We really didn’t wait that long. But even if we had, it’d be worth the wait! As we perused the menu, all of the pizzas sounded absolutely delicious. We finally decided that we would each select a different pizza, so we would have the opportunity to try four different ones.

I loved that we all had different mismatched plates, like the coffee mugs at The Lowry:

 

And now the reason we were there – The Pizzas:

My Sha-Roni!* house red sauce, mozzarella, natural-casing pepperoni & house-made fennel sausage 15

My Sha-Roni! – house red sauce, mozzarella, natural-casing pepperoni & house-made fennel sausage – $15

The Forager crimini, shitake, and portabella mushrooms, taleggio, fontina, tarragon & truffle oil 15.5

The Forager – crimini, shitake, and portabella mushrooms, taleggio, fontina, tarragon & truffle oil – $15.50

The Iowan La Quercia prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella, garlic confit & arugula 15.5

The Iowan – La Quercia prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella, garlic confit & arugula – $15.50

La Creme Italian red sauce, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream, olive oil & basil 11

La Creme – Italian red sauce, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream, olive oil & basil – $11

Every pizza was excellent and worth the price {unlike the ones we tried at The Mason Jar}. But, by the far, the favorite of the group was the La Creme. You can’t go wrong with that one!

We loved Pizzeria Lola so much that when Rob and I hosted New Year’s Eve at our place, Kim had the brilliant idea of ordering some Lola and picking up the pizzas to-go on the way over to our place. GENIUS! Happy New Year to us.

Oh… and don’t forget dessert. Kim was recommended the house-made soft serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil by a friend. I thought it sounded weird…

 

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House-made Soft Serve – Featured Flavor – Mexican Chocolate (left) and Vanilla with extra virgin olive oil and fleur de sel (right)

But it was soooo good! You must order it!

You won’t be disappointed if you visit Pizzeria Lola, even if you have to wait. Which, undoubtedly, you will.

Tip: It’s hot in there. But I’m sure the “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” policy applies. So dress in layers. I’m a freeze baby. But even I would consider wearing a tank top here in winter.

Over the few years it’s been in business, Pizzeria Lola has receive quite a few accolades. Best pizza in the Twin Cities? It has my vote. It doesn’t hurt that owner Ann Kim named it for her dog, too. 😉

What’s your favorite specialty pizza?

Ever have olive oil on your ice cream?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

Pastries, Gangsters & Steel Toes

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Have you been to Cossetta’s lately?

For those of you not from the Twin Cities Metro area, let’s just say that this place is sort of an institution in St. Paul. Cossetta’s is an Italian Pizzeria & Market where food is served cafeteria-style and has been in business for decades. However, the place was recently closed for some time for a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion. I really didn’t have any expectations on how it would be changed, but the new space is incredible!

The reason we went?

My parents were in town. My mom hadn’t visited in at least three years and we never got to take her to Pardon My French to indulge in pastries. I went in search of a new place and one that work in conjunction with our plans for the weekend. Part of Cossetta’s renovation-expansion included the addition of Louis Ristorante & Bar {now on my must try list of restaurants!} and a Pasticceria. And let me tell you, this place is absolutely gorgeous. Not only did I blow my parents away with how big and grand this entire place was, but I was blown away myself.

The pastry case feels like it is a mile long!

The pastry case feels like it is a mile long!

Luckily, when we arrived, there were no other patrons {although that quickly changed}, so we were able to walk the length of the case and check out everything before making our selections. The plan was to settle in to have pastries and coffees before our Gangster Tour of St. Paul. {Highly recommended!} We may have gone a little overboard…

The ladies chose…

These two pastries are sort of Italian cousins. The one of the left is a Sfogliatelle which is a flaky pastry filled with a sweet ricotta filling. The one on the right is a Lobster Tail. The filling is more similar to that of French cream or custard.

The guys selected…

chocolate covered cannoli

Chocolate-Covered Cannoli

Run, don’t walk to get one of these right now! I didn’t know that cannoli could taste this good! {Then you will need to run back to burn the thing off. It’s huge!}

Then we had to get a couple of other items just to try:

PB & J & Nutella stuffed cream puff

Nutella Stuffed Cream Puff and PB & J Tarte {not sure if those are the official names, but just go with it}

I would say that they enjoyed it…

I Woudl say they enjoyed it.

Also in the display case were other Italian favorites, such as Biscotti & Gelato:

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When every last crumb was eaten and our coffees were empty, we had some extra time. So we spent it wandering around the new market. This place is huge! There is such incredible selection – much, much more than before. The first thing we caught a whiff of was the freshly baked bread. But the cases of meats, cheeses, olives and rows and rows of Italian products would keep any foodie occupied and happy.

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I promised my mom that we’d go back after the Gangster Tour to pick up some of the fresh foccacia that we didn’t think would keep well in the car. But after this fun and incredible historical tour…

Did you know that the Volstead Act (Prohibition) was signed in St. Paul, MN?

…We completely forgot all about going back to the Italian Market. Instead, we made a trek all the way across the cities to try some special samples of Steel Toe Brewery‘s Scotch and Barrel Aged sudsy beverages. On tap were the Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, the Lunker Barleywine, the Steel Toe Size 11 DIPA and the Dissent Imperial Stout. Steel Toe Brewery became one of our favorites in the Twin Cities after we were introduced to them on a Beer Trolley Tour. We wanted to make sure my dad had a chance to try their brews, too.

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As usual, the beer tasted, oh, so good! But because these particular batches were just limited editions, we couldn’t get a growler to go. Some people ask why you’d visit a brewery if you can get the beer on tap around town. This is exactly why – for the specialty stuff! {I may have won out on a Steel Toe sweatshirt, too, from Rob for carting everyone around town.} While we were there, there was some sort of Amazing (Bike) Race going on because serious bikers were stopping by, running in, getting a slip of paper signed and scurrying back out. They didn’t even stop for a beer! So sad.

While, I probably normally wouldn’t do all of these things in one day, we managed to fit it all in and take my parents out to dinner to Sul Lago. Everything just seemed to fall into place. And I think Cossetta’s Pasticceria just might become our new PMF.

What activities do you plan for out-of-town guests?

Let me know what’s fun in your neighborhood!

Cheers~
Carrie