Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crescent Moon Pizza, Minneapolis, MN

Last month, I found myself traveling solo to Minneapolis for a conference where I was presenting some of my newer research. I was too cheap to pay for a rental car that I may or may not end up getting reimbursed for, so I commuted between the conference and my hotel by foot, which ended up being a considerable hike.

After a long day of seminars and networking, I was searching for interesting eats on my evening return to my hotel room, when I stumbled upon this promising storefront.

Inside, the place was sparkling and new. I ordered a lamb kebob sandwich to go, and took it back to my hotel room to devour it. It turned out to be quite simple, but good. Gas grilled chunks of lamb, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes filled a grilled, lightly charred and slightly oiled flatbread. Two little plastic cups containing the prescribed condiments were included so I obediently added them to the sandwich. The first consisted of a minty tzatziki-like yogurt sauce, while the second was a thin, cilantro-chili pepper sauce. Almost like a salsa verde, but with a middle-eastern twang. Did I detect a hint of za'atar, or was I dreaming?

Impressed enough by the sandwich, I decided to give Crescent Moon Pizza a second chance two nights later, when I once again had no dinner plans. This time, I decided to try out their "famous Afghani football pizza", advertised on the flat screen monitors at their register. Never having had either a football pizza or an Afghani pizza, it was hard to resist. There was something about the juxtaposition of the Midwestern All-American sport of football and the central front of the so-called "war on terror" that was irresistible. Plus, who doesn't like football? Or pizza?

I opted for the "house special", which included Afghani beef, diced green peppers, and diced onions. I brought it back to my hotel room where I slowly ate it while watching my beloved hockey team embarrass themselves in the playoffs.

The pizza turned out to be the best part of the night. The Afghani beef was ground, seasoned, with a touch of heat, and pre-cooked before being spread on an flatbread crust topped with a layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella. The diced peppers and onions provided a bit of crunch, and the whole thing had been cooked until the cheese bubbled nicely and the crust was chewy and crisp. It also turned out, as you might have guessed, that a "football pizza" is approximately shaped like a football.

My only criticism was that the tomato sauce was sweeter than I would have liked, but otherwise, this was a good pie. A nice touch was that a small plastic cup of same green cilantro-based sauce that I had enjoyed with my lamb kebob was offered, and in case it was unclear what I was meant to do with it, the pizza was cut into rectangles that were perfectly sized for dipping in the cup. The mild heat from the beef combined with the spice and acidity of the sauce made for a great combination of flavours that I wouldn't have expected in a Minnesota pizza.

Crescent Moon Pizza is located at 1517 Como Avenue SE, near the University of Minnesota Campus in Minneapolis, MN. Call 612-767-3313 or visit their website for more info.

1 comment:

alauna said...

yum! this looks interesting and tasty. i have never heard of this place but now i'm going to have to try out football pizza next time i go back.

also, it's hard to look down your blog page and see all that good mexican food because as you mentioned, we have none here!!!