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Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Frozen Pizza’

Frozen Pizza Review – Green Mill

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Green Mill Frozen Pizza ReviewSuzy Applebaum introduced me to the Green Mill;  we were both employed at KSTP in Minneapolis- St. Paul, and I had asked her to go to lunch.  She suggested the Green Mill.  At the time, it was a small bar on Hamline Avenue in St. Paul that specialized in deep dish pizza.  It had opened in the 30s as a soda fountain at the same location.

I had a monster crush on Suzy, who hailed from a local grocery store dynasty family;  if I knew then I was going to spend the rest of my life obsessed with food, well, I might have wised up and pursued Suzy with vigor, but I knew I was outclassed from the get-go.

The legend of the local bar with great pizza grew, and today, there are 27 locations across the Midwest, serving a full menu in addition to their pizza.

There was one other significant event in my life that took place at a Green Mill, the rehearsal dinner for my wedding.  It was at the Uptown location on South Hennepin in Minneapolis, and no, it wasn’t my  selfish love of pizza that made that event happen there, but was rather my mother’s choice.  My mother loved to go with me to places that were “on the wrong side of the tracks”, and it was “our thing” to explore someplace new every time she came to the Twin Cities when I was living there.

As with most successful pizzerias, Green Mill has launched a frozen pizza line, and they are being made and distributed by a Minnesota pizza manufacturer, Bernatellos.  Minnesota somehow became the frozen pizza capital of the US, with a gaggle of brands being made across the state:  Jeno’s, Totino’s, Roma, Red Baron, Freschetta, Tony’s, Giovannis, Kettle River….I’m sure I’m forgetting many, but you get the idea.

I purchased the “Thin and Crispy” style with three meats, sausage, pepperoni and bacon.  It’s a 15 ounce affair and was priced at 2 / $11 or .73 per ounce, and that’s steep for a frozen pie.

The three pix below represent the box, note the “authentic restaurant-style flavors”  (boy, that’s as vague as can be, isn’t it?);  the unbaked pie is kind of a misrepresentation, I pushed all the included pepperoni to one side of the pie.  The last picture represents the baked pie, 10 minutes at 425.

The picture of the cooked pizza kind of tells the whole story, when you note the “glistening” on the surface.  This is a fairly greasy pizza, and the ‘cupping’ and slight char on the pepperoni indicates a high fat content (which would explain some of the oil).  The pork sausage is realtively unseasoned.  It’s a crispy crust, pleasant enough, nice herb treatment, including fennel.  Tomato sauce on the sweet side.

The ingredients list doesn’t include a whole lot of preservatives, these are pretty pure ingredients.   The flavor is simply not to my taste, but it might be perfect for you!

 

green mill

 

 

Green Mill Frozen Pizza

Unbaked

 

Green Mill Frozen Pizza

Baked, 10 minutes at 425

 

 

 

 

Frozen Pizza Review

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Heggies Pizza Review

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Heggies Pizza ReviewIf you look at the history of frozen pizza in the U.S., many of the largest brands started out as “bar pizzas” in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Small manufacturers  made frozen pies, sold them to bars, to which they furnished a counter top oven free of charge.  (There used to be laws that a certain percentage of sales at a bar came from food).

Manufacturers in the two states today sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pizzas per year, from many of your favorite brands.  I’m written about quite a few of them, these are the Minnesota ones:  Totino’s Party Pizza and Jeno’s Crisp ’n Tasty Pizza, Red Baron, Tonys, Freschetta, BernatellosBellatoria, Orvs, Roma, Brew Pub,  Green Mill, and literally dozens of single brand independents, like Kettle River, and pizzerias that make frozen pies to sell in-house.

Today’s sample is a regional favorite, in mid-Minnesota, which was spawned out of an Anoka restaurant, before hitting the bar and club circuit with frozen pies. Heggie’s Pizza is heavy on ingredients and mystery.  Started in a garage, but now operating out of a newish plant in the middle of the state, an hour north of Minneapolis, the family run operation doesn’t talk about it’s ingredients or methods.

I don’t know if you can find them in a lot of local grocers, but I did see them in quite a few gas stations in the Twin Cities.  They are a little spendy compared to most local frozen pies  ($6 – $10).

They make a dozen varieties, and I started out with the “Six Pack,” which has sausage, pepperoni, bacon, Canadian bacon, cheddar and mozzarella cheese in ample quantities. (It’s their best seller).

In my opinion (the only one that counts here)  Heggies makes one of the very, very few frozen pizzas that equals a pizzeria pie, in flavor and texture. Good sauce, good crust, great cheese ( a lot of it!), good toppings.

I only have two minor gripes about the Six Pack;  even tho everybody loves bacon, the bacon “flavor” is the overwhelming one on the Six Pack. It is very similar to the taste and aroma of “bacon flavored” items.  Also, for me, the sausage doesn’t have enough texture. It is reminiscent of institutional food service, pre-cooked sausage crumbles that some pizza shops use.

The gas station clerk that sold me the pie said she was an expert at cooking them, and baking them at a lower temp for longer than the directions would bring the best result;  but I followed the package directions and it was just swell.

Neither of these are deal killers.  If these pies were sold in my area, they would be my regular go-to frozen pie.  No question.

Pies are made in Milaca, Minnesota at USDA est. M15816-P15816.  Pic below.

Heggies Pizza Review

 

Heggies Pizza Review

Heggies Pizza Review

 

 

 

 

 

Heggies Pizza Review

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