May 23, 2016
St. Paul, MN
After our second night in St. Louis, and our spur-of-the-moment trip to Memphis, we left bright and early for the drive to St. Paul/Minneapolis. This was one of our longer drives – about 8 hours north. We got in to St. Paul for dinner before checking in to our AirBnB.
Punch Neapolitan Pizza was the first stop on our list. They make true, Neapolitan-style pies that are quickly baked in a 900-degree oven. We went with the “Margherita Extra” pizza. This is a step up from the traditional margherita pizza because it is topped with mozzarella di bufala (fancy words for “buffalo mozzarella”, or mozzarella from an Italian breed of water buffalo). We should have had a taste test to compare with the regular margherita pizza (which I’m assuming was regular cow’s milk mozzarella, although I’m not really sure about this). We really liked the taste of this cheese, but we’d need to compare it side-by-side with regular mozz to tell if it’s worth the extra $5.
To round out our pizza, we also got an arugula salad that was served in a warm pita. We felt like we needed some vegetables to go along with our pizza, and this salad was awesome. We highly recommend trying it.
The pizza itself was good, but it wasn’t our favorite Neapolitan. It wasn’t as good as Hog & Hominy (but, yes, that wasn’t a VERIFIED Neapolitan pizza). On average, we find traditional Neapolitan pizzas too thin and flimsy. They can get a little watery with too many toppings or thin sauce. We definitely appreciated the freshness of the mozzarella and tomato sauce, and we like the taste of a doughy crust, but we also need our crust to have some weight. So, Punch gets points for staying true to its style, but loses some for letting the fancy mozzarella slide off the crust when we picked it up.
Another plus: the location that we went to had a really nice patio outside, which was so enjoyable after sitting in a car for 8 hours.
Fun fact learned while writing this post: Did you know that to make 2.2 pounds of mozzarella cheese, you need 18 pounds of cow’s milk, but only 11 pounds of buffalo milk? If you want to know more about buffalo mozzarella, this article was really fascinating.
Punch Neapolitan Pizza
704 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116