Editor’s note, Jan. 12, 2015: Di Noko’s has closed; it may reopen in South Minneapolis.
It’s no secret. This winter has been a real thorn in our side, to say the least. Bundling up to bear the bitter vortex seems almost as daunting as doing your taxes. (Anyone else counting down the days until those H&R Block commercials die?) However, in true Midwest fashion, we braved the conditions and decided to eat our feelings at the newly relocated Di Noko’s Pizzeria. After all, misery loves company – and Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.
The temperature outside was at an all-time low, but the bar was set high. We knew you could take Di Noko’s out of Nokomis, but could you take good pizza out of Di Noko’s? The answer: with the exception of substantially raised prices, no. Reasons why are threefold: deep dish, thin crust, and wings.
Quality deep-dish pizza: confirmed, again. Di Noko’s 12” deep dish ($24 + $4 a topping) was a basin of hearty crust filled with what seemed be an abyss of Burnett Dairy Co-op mozzarella and Di Noko’s signature, well-spiced chunky tomato sauce. The crust, cheese, and sauce came together to tell a convincing story. A massive heap of low-grade cheese would’ve been a waste of space, but the high-quality cheese used was smooth, fresh, and exciting. It was cheese that made the Wisconsinites at the table proud. And yes, it still takes 45 minutes to make. But like my fifth-grade teacher always said, “Good things come to those who wait.” So, we sat back and relaxed.
Di Noko’s thin crust ($14 + $3 a topping) was just as tasty. The crust was sturdy yet chewy, while the sauce had the same well-balanced vigor but was lacking in the chunky department. As for toppings, we followed suit from our last review and ordered pineapple and Canadian bacon. The pineapple struck a nice, sweet note and the bacon added heartiness, texture, and acidity. Despite the generous portion, leftovers ceased to exist. (And yes, the Burnett Co-op mozzarella was still the belle of the ball.)
Similar to the aforementioned eats, history repeated itself when it came to the wings ($9), too. Doused in hot, tangy buffalo sauce, the wings were tender, but were a tad on the mushy side and beckoned for crispiness. The teriyaki sauce was also pleasing, marrying sweet and salty in perfect harmony.
After reaching our monthly caloric intake and using an extensive amount of napkins, we came to the conclusion that we’d be back again – hopefully on a warmer day. With pool tables, dart boards, and a full bar in the new spacious living quarters, perhaps Di Noko’s will be a hotspot for Vikings game goers. We’d like to think so.
In a nutshell: Di Noko’s is still delicious. You’ll still get a lot of bang, but this time, for more buck.
Di Noko’s Pizzeria
Delivery and take-out pizzeria in downtown Minneapolis
420 S 4th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
OWNER: Rich Moore & Travis Phillips
Open one hour earlier before Vikings games
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / No
ENTREE RANGE: $14-28
PARKING: Meters (free after 6pm on non-event days)