Black Sheep makes their pizza in a coal-fired oven, and they're burning Anthracite coal, which burns relatively cleanly with little soot, making it ideal for their purpose. They're making their sausage and meatballs in house. They source their cheese from Wisconsin. Black Sheep founder Jordan Smith was quoted in a piece by Heavy Table:
“I try to buy local ingredients where it’s applicable, and do business with local vendors so that the dollars stay in our local economy. Sometimes it gets overlooked how critical that piece is, in the buy-local movement. I’m not going to get olive oil from Minnesota. But I can buy my olive oil from a local company as opposed to a multinational company like US Foodservice or Sysco.That's the kind of philosophy I like to support. It makes me wonder if they're aware of Valli dell'Etna Olive Oil, a family-run olive oil business with distribution in Minneapolis?
I digress. Back to the pizza.
We'd heard that the wait can be long at Black Sheep, so we thought a weekday lunch would be the best option. When we arrived at 1:30pm on a Monday, there were two tables of couples enjoying pizza, and a couple of people at the bar. "Huzzah!" thought I, "This plan is going splendidly."
After looking over the menu, recalling recommendations from friends, Heavy Table, and a couple other reviews, we settled on a starter of roasted vegetables.
The roasted vegetables were mighty in flavor. The onions melted in my mouth. The mushrooms were packed with tangy, garlicky flavor. They were served with a surprise dollop of goat cheese. We ordered them with a side of their savory and zesty marinara.
As for our entree, we selected the 12" fennel sausage, hot salami, onion and cracked green olives pizza.
The flavorful crust was chewy and a bit crunchy and handled the ingredients with aplomb. Green olives and hot salami are bold in flavor, but the star of the pizza show was the house made fennel sausage, which brought a balance to the other salty ingredients. With their zesty marinara doing its thing in the middle, we had a winning combination on our hands and in our bellies.
Find your winning combination!
Black Sheep Pizza
600 Washington Ave N
[where: Sustainable Food, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota]