Focaccia Pizza at Isles Bun & Coffee
“There’s a place for sugar all day, but not for everyone,” says Jeff Veigel, who has co-owned Isles Bun & Coffee with his wife, Catherine, for 12 years. The Bun specializes in breakfast sweets, like scones, cookies, and giant cinnamon rolls that could double as Halloween masks (they’re so big!). And unlimited globs of silky frosting. You can find a container of it near the cream and napkins.
Although the Bun’s little corner of 28th St. does sweets like a champ, when Jeff and Catherine took over they knew they wanted to offer a savory lunch option to Uptown walkers.
Pizza by the slice is classic and came to mind right away. “We don’t have any round pans,” thought Jeff, “so let’s do a rectangular pizza!”
Almost ever since, every weekday around noon one of the Bun’s skilled bakers throws together an abstract painting of a pizza, compiled of whatever produce is lying around. If they sell out before 12:30, they’ll bake another. Fluffy focaccia acts as a crust, and gives each fat, square slice of pizza ($3.50) the weight and portability of a proper lunch on the go. The fatty, olive-oil undercurrent of that focaccia makes the Bun’s pizza feel like a homely Italian kitchen sort of snack, conjuring visions of checkered tablecloths and families shouting in the background.
We tried a slice on two different days. One version was a pleasantly spicy medley of rainbow peppers, artichokes, olives, spinach, and red onions. Another was even better and tangier, piled with barely crunchy green and red onions, chunks of feta, and a deeply roasted red pepper spread. If you haven’t eaten your vegetables all day, a slice at the Bun will make you feel as if you have.
But get it while it’s hot. It’s hard to believe such killer flatbread’s been around so long without a line out the door.
Isles Bun & Coffee, 1424 W 28th St, Minneapolis, MN 55408; 612.870.4466