Sammy Perrella’s Pizza and Restaurant

Up next on the #mnbucketlist is Sammy Perrella’s Pizza and Restaurant, a decades-old regional pizza chain. Sammy’s is one of my favorite places for pizza, specifically the one in Brooklyn Park. Say what you will about chain restaurants – Sammy’s is the place for authentic Italian cooking. Started 61 years ago as a small café in Keewatin, on Minnesota’s Iron Range, Sammy’s moved to Hibbing in 1954 and has since grown significantly, with locations all over; Cloquet, Coon Rapids, Downtown Duluth, Eau Claire, Grand Rapids, Hermantown, Hibbing, Lakeside (Duluth), Minot, Superior, Waite Park / St. Cloud, West Duluth, Winona, Woodland (Duluth). As for the pizza, I suggest trying the house special thin crust, it does not disappoint – and with four generations of pizza making, it comes as no surprise. You can stop in for lunch for their pizza buffet or grab a frozen pizza to go.  Some say they have the best pizza in the Twin Cities metro area and northern Minnesota, in 2015 PMQ Pizza Magazine, the pizza industry’s No. 1 publication, inducted Sammy’s into its Pizza Hall of Fame — which pays tribute to popular pizzerias in business for 50 years or longer. Also, Sammy’s takes part in local charity events, from delivering Random Acts of Pizza to giving back to local Disabled American Veterans chapters and they even have something called Pizza with Purpose fundraising program. How great is that?!

Zorbaz

ZorbazIn the interest of taking a break, and finding food that doesn’t come from a cabin fridge, I give you Zorbaz on the bucket list. Zorbaz is a Minnesota lakeside staple. They are in Detroit Lakes, Little Pine Lake, Pelican Lake, Ottertail Lake, Cross Lake, Gull Lake, Pokegama Lake, Big Sandy, Green Lake, Alexandria and my favorite, Park Rapids. If you love a backwoods on the lake bar filled with live music, pizza and Mexican food, you’ll be right at home at Zhateau Zorbaz. They are great because they are open late when nowhere else in the area is. Side note: I have a soft spot for their sauerkraut and green olive pizza, judge me all you want.