Your ordinary pizza parlor is not a good place to start when searching for a great salad, but Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza is not your ordinary pizza parlor. The recently opened Warehouse District hot spot boasts pizza with a beautiful crispy / chewy crust that recalls the East Coast’s finest, and its menu is confidently spare — there’s not much on it beyond pizza and salads.
The salads, in this kind of an environment, are easy to overlook. That’s a mistake. They taste garden fresh. Not TGI Friday’s, flavorless, soulless, crappy “garden fresh,” but actually recently picked from a real garden garden fresh, with zip and crackle and crispness and vital life in each bite. The farmers market salad (which varies in composition and price and tends to be about $8) is a great starter for two; each time I’ve ordered it, it’s been different and terrific.
Last week, it was thin slices of fennel, portabella mushrooms, parsley, lemon olive oil dressing, and a thin dusting of parmesan cheese. Sound unusual? It was. It was weird and beautifully calibrated, fresh both in a taste and conceptual manner. This somewhat crazy newfangled salad was an outlier even for Black Sheep, but was, at the same time, typical of their approach — a few complementary high quality ingredients that speak for themselves, not much in the way of dressing, and a kick to the face of flavor. In this case, the snap of the fennel was played up by the lemon oil, and complemented by the funkier, earthier embrace of the cheese and mushrooms.
So here’s the protip for ordering at Black Sheep: One 12-inch, topping-loading pizza per two people, and one salad as well, to get you started. You’ll come back with a check of about $12 a person and one of the best — if simplest — meals in town.
Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza
East Coast pizza in the Warehouse District, Minneapolis
600 Washington Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
OWNERS / CHEF: Colleen Doran and Jordan Smith / Jordan Smith
BAR: Beer and Wine
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / Yes
ENTREE RANGE: $10-15