As I mentioned in the last post on my Doctor Who-themed lunch, in addition to the 50th anniversary episode being shown on television, movie theatres all over the globe were simulcasting it as it played in England. The closest theatres to us showing it on Saturday were in Chicago and Minneapolis. The tickets sold out in just about ten minutes, but luckily, we snagged two for a showing in Minneapolis!
So on Friday we drove north for a very quick, 24 hour-style trip. (That’s why there was no Friday Mail Day post last week! If you have any questions you’d like me to cover for this week, send them my way!) We got into the city in the late afternoon, did a requisite walk around the Mall of America, and then went to our hotel to check in.
Considering the balmy weather that night in the 20’s and below, in retrospect we should have ordered Pizza Luce for delivery to our hotel room. We never get pizza (or anything else) delivered where we live, because the vegan delivery options are pretty lackluster. So it would have been a rare treat to have someone bring us a pizza, topped with cashew-based cheese brought right to our room. However, it seemed like we should venture out a bit while we were there, and we headed to the downtown location, which I wrote about a few years ago.
There must have been an event going on that night, because there was no street parking to be found. Not wanting to walk forever in the bitter cold, we ventured off to the Uptown location, which doesn’t have the same cool ambience as the downtown location but has the bonus of a parking lot. I didn’t get pictures of the interior, because they were hopping that night. (I felt a bit awkward about the idea of pulling out my camera and saying to the packed restaurant, “Say cashew cheese, everybody!”) In fact, there was about a 20-30 minute wait. So we grabbed a couple of glasses of wine at the cramped by-the-slice area while we waited for our table to open up.
Pizza Luce offers lots of clearly marked appetizers, sandwiches, and salads that are vegan as-is or can be prepared vegan. With their salads, cheese can be replaced with lemon pepper tofu. For the pizzas, they make their own “rinotta” cheese made with tofu and cashews. They also make one of my all-time favorite pizzas, the Athena. That night I felt like ordering something a little different, though. The server said that a small size (10 inches) was good for one, and so David and I each ordered our own.
I went with The Rustler. This vegetarian pizza can be made vegan with their housemade rinotta (my preferred option) or Daiya. It’s topped with mock duck, pineapple, banana peppers, red onion, and a barbecue/red sauce. It reminded me of the barbecue pizzas that were popular at California Pizza Kitchen when I’d go in my pre-vegan days. It was a really unique pizza with the tangy, smoky, sweet barbecue sauce combining with pops of pineapple and savory, chewy mock duck. I’d never actually had mock duck before, and it didn’t have loads of noticeable flavor.
We could have easily split the small and had a comfortable amount for each of us, but no complaints from me! With the frigid temperatures, we were able to just leave the leftover pizza in the trunk, where it stayed plenty cool. Then I had it for breakfast for two days. It was a meal that kept on giving!
David ordered one of their seasonal specials, the Curried Coconut Butternut Squash Pizza. The butternut squash was blended with curry and coconut milk and topped with red bell peppers, red onions, pineapple, and fresh cilantro. Adding rinotta instead of the typical dairy-based cheeses it comes with was an additional topping charge. It was a really unique Thai-inspired pizza, unlike any pizza I’ve ever had. The topping was velvety smooth and creamy.
I wouldn’t say that either of these pizzas would beat out the Athena overall on my favorites list, but sometimes it’s fun to try something really unusual that you can’t find at every pizza joint.
Tomorrow I’ll be back with more Minneapolis eats & treats!