Blog: The Current TESTEvery good road trip has some story about a diner in Mitchell, S.D., where you swore the guy at the grill seasoned your skillet with ash from a Marlboro, and your server had a charming accent and a wonky eye.
We are News Tribune staff writers and copy editors who eat out, go out and cook a lot. Then we write about our experiences. Mostly Northland-centric, with some random stuff thrown in on occasion. Click here to view previous posts or additional resources.
Vintage Italian Pizza
Jana Hollingsworth/News Tribune
I already know that what I write will probably raise the ire of many VIP lovers.
But the bacon cheeseburger pizza from the Chester Park location is not one I would ever choose again if it's always made the way it was served to me. It looks very nice, I know. The toppings and cheese WERE nice and tasty. But the pie was lacking something crucial to tie most pizzas together: sauce. A ton of meat, onions and cheese, but nary a tomato could be tasted. The menu lists the ingredients as lightly seasoned beef, chopped onions, with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, cheddar and bacon.
Generally speaking, sauce is not listed as an ingredient unless it's special, like alfredo or olive-oil based. Thinking back to my favorite bacon cheeseburger pizzas -- the Shamrock and Do North -- I realize they had sauce. They also had pickles, which is the biggest reason this version did nothing for me. There is a place for a sauceless pizza, but usually they are Neapolitan style, which this is not. Sauce also does a good job of softening hard crust and adds a taste dimension. It also works to hold the pie together. I was able to lift the cheese and topping layer right off the crust. It lay there, like a blanket.
To be fair, this was a busy night for the teens working the counter. Maybe someone forgot to add it. Or maybe it's just the way it's served. I've had other pizzas from that location that were OK, and I've had excellent pizzas from the Superior location.
To save the expensive ($18.50 for a large) pizza, I tried dunking it in ketchup, but that was just gross. Sauce and pickles would have made it all OK.
I know there are VIP fans out there. Help me out. What is a good pie to order? And was the lack of sauce a mistake, or is that how it is served?