More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half-century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.
Few Americans know this, but if a pizzeria has the V.P.N. stamp of approval, they have membership in an elite organization founded by Neapolitan pizzaiolis—that’s right, pizza makers. As a legal entity, it can give special recognition to pizzerias that follow strict guidelines when it comes to building their ovens and preparing their pizzas. By knowing who the Vera Pizza Napoletana is, you can better understand why Punch Neapolitan Pizza could be the best pizza place in Saint Paul. In 1996, John Soranno opened Punch and fulfilled a childhood dream (and probably the unrealized dream of many of his neighbors, too). In 2002, he opened his second restaurant with his business partner, John Puckett. All of the Push locations adhere to the same rules dictated by the Vera Pizza Napolentana, so customers know that when they dine with the Punch family, they are getting an authentic taste of Italy!
Did you know there was an organization known as the pizza poliza that provides rules to – and polices – the Neapolitan pizza industry? Neither did I. And yet, Punch Neapolitan Pizza is a member of just such an organization: the Vera Pizza Napoletana. According to this distinguished body, to be a true Neapolitan pizza, dough must be both rolled and shaped by hand and the pizzas cooked in a bell-shaped, wood-burning brick oven. They maintain the highest of standards so you, the consumer, are assured of the highest quality every time. But being a part of such an organization makes no difference when the pizza isn’t just right. But Punch Neapolitan Pizza does pizza right according to these time-honored traditions so its Saint Paul customers keep coming back again and again.
At Cosetta Italian Market and Pizzeria you can live like an Italian and eat like one, too. Enter the large, spacious building and decide whether you are looking to eat, drink or cook. For those looking to eat, Cosetta features a cafeteria-style eatery for pasta, salads, and pizza. If you are interested in a drink, try Louis, a full-service restaurant and bar. For those with a sweet tooth, sample some of the treats at their Pasticceria, a bakery and desert shop filled with gelato and pastries. Finally, take the magic home by stopping by their market for fresh meats, cheeses, and other ingredients. The Cosetta Italian Market and Pizzeria is a destination restaurant that takes you to Italy without ever leaving town.
Paisano’s Pizza's sauce slingers create the menu's specialty thin-crust pizzas, Stromboli, and hoagies. Breadsticks escort 16-inch signature pizzas ($19.99) such as the mediterranean pie, whose artichoke hearts sidle up to olives and feta, and whose sun-dried tomatoes resolve to avoid the sun during their next trip to the beach. The tuscan disk unites canadian bacon and fresh basil, and the taco specialty brims with tortilla chips and seasoned beef under a layer of cheddar. Bright yellow and green walls wrap around group tables, where diners can bite into hoagies ($7.29) and look out wide windows. A high red counter with individual seating supports original, vegetarian, or pepperoni Stromboli ($6.99), and allows guests to bring along their laptops, books, or imaginations.
For over 50 years, Carbone’s Pizzeria has been treating Twin City residents to delicious food that fills the stomach and warms the spirit. For two generations, Carbone’s Pizzeria has everything from scratch – their dough, their sauce, their Italian sausage topping, even their hand-rolled meatballs. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, Carbone’s can still supply a tasty treat to make your taste buds stand up and sing. Pasta, sandwiches, salads, soups, and appetizers complement the menu and provide appetizing alternatives – and excellent additions – to their signature dish. For the best pizza in St. Paul, Minnesota, visit Carbone’s Pizzeria where their motto is: “Pizza As You Like It!”