The other day, my wife Yumi and I stopped in to a pizza place in the suddenly hip area where we live. The place is called Big River Pizza, and the owner’s name is Steve. He sums up his shop as “pizza that’s good for you and good for the local community.” What does he mean by this? The ingredients are simply first-rate—which makes for a superior product—and buying from local growers, keeps the cashflow local and out of deep corporate pockets and their substandard products.
Described as Minnepolitan (obviously a take on Neopolitan) pizza, we ordered “The Daisy,” which is really a breakfast pizza with crushed tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and two eggs. It was fabulous. After all, their ingredients are locally sourced (from the farmers market across the street, whenever possible) and their crust and sauce are made in-house.
Our Daisy had huge basil leaves, just the right amount of sauce and cheese, and perfectly cooked eggs with solid whites and runny yolks, which was a surprise to me that they timed the eggs so well with the rest of the pizza.
The crust was perfectly crisp, with a slight char on the bottom. This is the result of a wood-fired oven that’s run at 650 to 850 degrees.
They seat about 70 at a time, and they serve a full complement of wine, beer and really good soft drinks, such as the flavored San Pellegrinos.
When I asked Steve about his passion for opening the restaurant, he said he was “food-driven.” Indeed.