Black Sheep Pizza: A Twin Cities take on American pizza


Black Sheep Pizza topped with goat cheese, feta, onions, garlic and pepperoni. Photo courtesy of Lee Guekguezian ’18.

Alex Brahm

Black Sheep Pizza topped with goat cheese, feta, onions, garlic and pepperoni. Photo courtesy of Lee Guekguezian ’18.

Judging pizza can be a contentious issue. Each individual carries their own specific taste and preferences. In some cases people feel so strongly about their prefered style of pizza that all other slices seem inferior. At some point, it becomes hard to discern between loyalty to your favorite slice of pizza and the objective attributes of the pizza you are currently eating. But in an attempt at appearing unbiased I will review Black Sheep Pizza by drawing a comparison of pizza styles.

Black Sheep Pizza claims to bake “American style” of pizza. Depending on who you are, this statement can mean a lot of different things but to the folks at Black Sheep this means using coal fired ovens. This style of preparation results in a high oven temperature with a low flame leading to a pie that is crisp and slightly charred around the edges while still maintaining substance in the crust. It is in the crust that I think Black Sheep achieves a unique balance between a lighter neapolitan style pizza and the heavy doughy style of American pizza normally (delivered to intoxicated college students) associated with big chain pizza companies like Domino’s or Pizza Hut.

The middle of the pie was still relatively thin and each slice was weighed down by the toppings, but when I bit into the crust, it did not crunch and reveal an air-filled cracker. Instead, the crust offered a gentle skin that was filling without excessive amounts of dough.

The crust also paraded its coal fired inception with slight charing that added a smokiness to the flavor. I was impressed with the base of the pizza and felt that it set the tone for a respectable meal. Since I was eating with a group, we ordered a couple of pies to share and what stood out to me was the hot salami and dried chili pepper pizza. Normally I think that salami serves as a poor substitute for pepperoni. In my experience, salami has a tendency to become chewy and soft instead of crisp and smoky like pepperoni. In this case, my qualms with salami were contradicted by a consistent blend of supple and crispy slices of hot salami. The salty flavor of the salami also presented a welcomed balance to the sweetness of the tomato sauce and helped cut though the creaminess of the cheese. Moreover, the addition of dried chili pepper contributed a pleasant heat to the pizza without overpowering the other flavors.

In the end, I left Black Sheep Pizza satisfied. This is even in spite of the pizza not presenting any truly revelatory flavors or seeming truly special. But I struggled to think of any major aspects of the food that detracted from my experience and in my honest opinion, that still qualifies as a worthwhile meal. And as a college student who still turns his head when he smells Domino’s wafting down the hall, Black Sheep Pizza is definitely worth the time. So get some friends and go get yourself some good pizza.