Dined on October 6th.
I have to admit that I was not familiar with Red Wagon Pizza. It was not on my list nor my radar. We had dinner there with our friends Jessie, Lucas, Nate & Kristen. Jessie was the one who recommended the place and we went along for the ride knowing she has good taste in restaurants. Red Wagon is a wood-fired pizza joint located on Penn Ave in Minneapolis. According to the owner, the restaurant specializes in modern American pizza paired with American craft beer. Red Wagon serves 36 beers on tap. Guy Fieri highlighted the restaurant on his show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives back in May.
First Impression: The restaurant was busy and there was indeed an expected wait. The host was gracious, as the lack of waiting area means you are standing in his space. The dining area is pretty small, with a combination of booths and tables. There is also seating at a high-top near the bar and the kitchen or outside. Speaking of the bar, check out the presentation of the 36 beer taps. Above each tap sits a jar that tells the customer what kind of beer it is.
Our first order was the Arugula ($10) salad. A well balanced salad with pickled pears, Stickney Hill chevre, toasted pistachios, black pepper, and olive oil. It was a great start to the meal. Light and flavorful.
Being a party of 6, we realized that the salad was not going to be enough as an appetizer so we also added these Fire Roasted Veggies ($10), fire roasted squash, cauliflower, garlic confit potatoes, and jalapeno, dressed with a carrot ginger vinaigrette. We all loved this dish. It was absolutely delicious. We actually gave in and ordered a second round of veggies.
After reading some reviews on Yelp, the Banh Mi ($19) pizza came highly recommended. It is arguably their most popular pizza, at least from the reviews I read. ‘Banh Mi’ is a Vietnamese sandwich, but in this case it has been transformed into a pizza. The pizza includes a 12 hour braised sweet soy glazed pulled pork with house cheese. It is finished with ginger pickled carrots, radishes, julienne cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, and sriracha aioli. This pizza is fantastic, and now a favorite of mine. It is definitely unique but most importantly it was delicious.
The Red Wagon Pizza ($19) which shares its name with the restaurant is their take on a classic pizza. It is the one that Guy Fieri tasted when he was in town. The pizza comes with house cheese over red sauce, topped with crispy sopressata (Italian dry salami) ribbons, banana peppers, and house made sausage. It is finished with chili flakes which we got on the side, and fig balsamic. A good standard pizza that was nicely prepared and tasted great.
Yes, we ordered 3 pizzas. This last one was the Popeye ($19). This pizza has garlic oil with spinach, house sausage, and Robiola cheese. The pizza is finished with a squeeze of lemon and black pepper. It sounds like a simple pizza but it carried a lot of great flavors. A nice switch from the red sauce pizzas.
Verdict: With so many great pizza places around the Cities, I have to say that this is one of the best. We truly had amazing service from the door to the check. This place is full of life with a welcoming, stay-awhile atmosphere. I think they have a winner with the Banh Mi pizza and the 36 beers on tap don’t hurt either. There are other pizzas and pasta dishes that I still want to try, so I will be making another visit in the near future. If you haven’t done so, be sure to check this place out.
5416 Penn Ave. S Minneapolis, MN 55419
Mon – Thu: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Sat: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm