If someone mentions pizza, you might think of a dark, flour-dusted kitchen, a burly guy in a black tee shirt tossing dough around, and cardboard boxes piled to the ceiling waiting for deliveries.
Now, on the other hand, if someone mentions Pizzeria Lola, your thoughts might turn to a bright, inviting space where they make hand-tossed artisan pizzas like the Lady Zaza or the Hawaii Pie-O. You might think of the gleaming copper pizza oven that smells like wood smoke and any number of delicious baked things. Or you might even envision the kitschy mismatched luncheon plates that color the tables with whimsy.
Pizzeria Lola on Xerxes Avenue in South Minneapolis is tucked into a quiet neighborhood, and all I can say is how I wished I lived close enough to satisfy my cravings. This is my kind of pizza. It’s fun, and the food is fabulous. Take today’s special for example: the OKTOBERFEST is made from local Kramarczuk’s Smoked Ukranian & Polish sausage, sauerkraut, caraway & horseradish-mustard aioli.
On my first visit, we shared the house made meatballs, packed with flavor and served with crostini. The winning formula, I’m told, is in the rich combination of secret ingredients such as grana padano, prosciutto, veal, pork, and so much more. For pizzas, we shared two completely opposite styles. Mine was The Forager, crimini, shitake, and portabello mushrooms topped with tallegio, fontina, tarragon and truffle oil. We also had the Korean BBQ pie, loaded with Niman Ranch beef short ribs, mozzarella, scallions, arugula, and sesame and soy chili vinaigrette. Pretty sensational.
Today, I enjoyed a plate of roasted cauliflower with fresh lemon and Calabrian chili, and ordered a My Sha-roni pizza to indulge in later. It’s a classic take on pizza, with house red sauce, mozzarella, natural-cased pepperoni and house-made fennel sausage.
With a wall of photo booth images of happy customers, the vibe is hip and family friendly. Outdoor patio seating is pup-friendly, too. In fact, the restaurant is not named for the owner – it’s named instead for her beloved Weimeramer, Lola. Though Pizzeria Lola doesn’t take reservations or call ahead seating, you won’t mind waiting. Not one little bit.