Sep 292010

Cuisine: Pizza, Salads
Restaurant Features: Counter Service
Locations: Eden Prairie, St Paul, Minneapolis, Wayzata (MN)
Addresses & Maps:

Eden Prairie – 8353 Crystal View Rd  Eden Prairie MN 55334  952.943.9557

Calhoun Village Shopping Center – 3226 W Lake St  Minneapolis MN 55416 612.929.0006

Grand Ave– 769 Grand Ave  St Paul MN 55105 651.602.6068

Highland Park– 704 Cleveland Ave S  St Paul MN 55116  651.696.1066

Northeast Minneapolis– 210 E Hennepin Ave  Minneapolis MN 55414 612.623.8114

Stadium Village– 802 Washington Avenue SE  Minneapolis MN 55414 612.331.3122

Wayzata– 1313 Wayzata Blvd E  Wayzata MN 55391 952.476.7991

Hours: Open Daily 11-10pm
Links:Punch Pizza Website * Punch Pizza Facebook Page *

Atmosphere: The Punch location on Grand Ave is  bright and energetic, with mosaics gracing both the walls and the outside of this glorious wood-burning pizza oven.Punch Pizza Wood Burning Oven ~ St Paul, MN

The space inside is not very large but they have gotten creative with using the space. There are a mix of both booths and tables, with the tables all strung together forming a large community table that anyone can sit at.

Menu: Salads at Punch include Punch Salad (pine nuts, prosciutto and balsamic vinaigrette), Chopped Italian, Greco, Caesar, Gorgonzola and Walnut, Artichoke Dip and Focaccia Bread.

Classic Pizzas include Margherita (basil), Napoli (oregano), Adriatico (feta, caper, onion, olive), Borgata (goat cheese, sundried tomato, eggplant), Bruni (salami and sausage), Milanese (roasted red pepper, ham and gorgonzola), Palermo (salami and sundried tomato), Puttanesca (anchovy, caper, onion and olive), Quattro Formaggi (fontina, goat cheese and parmesan), Salame E Funghi (salami and mushroom), Siciliana (prosciutto and artichoke), Toscano (sausage and roasted red pepper), Toto (prosciutto, garlic, goat cheese and arugula), Vescuvio (spicy salami, olive and pepperoncini), Bufalina (mozzarella and olive oil), Cortina (mushroom, garlic, olive oil and prosciutto).

You can also Craft-Your-Own-Pizza, starting with the crust for $6 and adding your toppings of choice ($1.25-1.95 per ingredient)
Price guide: Salads $4-9  Pizzas $6-11+

What I ordered: This was my first time at Punch pizza and I wasn’t sure how or what I should order, there were so many options! I went with the Salame and Funghi pizza, but I substituted pepperoni for the salami.  It had a base of San Marzano Italian tomatoes, then layered with slices of fresh garlic and oregano and was topped with fontina cheese, which is stronger and more flavorful than the traditional mozzarella.  I loved the flavor of the toppings and I liked the crust, but the top just did not get crispy enough for me.  The cheese was runny and just barely melted, I prefer it brown and bubbly which is harder to accomplish in a wood-burning oven.

Service: I arrived on a Friday just before noon and the line was not very long which is great for many but didn’t afford me much time to decide on my order.  I was lucky to find one booth that had just opened up after I ordered, and I had barely sat down and grabbed a drink when my pizza showed up not even five minutes later.  That was record time for a pizza!  (It actually only takes 90 seconds to cook the pizza in Punch’s wood-burning oven). I ate half my pizza and was out the door about 20 minutes after my arrival.  The line was almost out the door by that time and people were waiting for tables to open.
Overall Impression: I had high expectations for Punch and can see why it is a popular pizza place, with everyone ordering their own individual pizza how they like it.  I thought the prices were a little high and would have preferred the top of my pizza to be a little crispier, but I still enjoyed the flavor of the ingredients.

Punch Neapolitan Pizza on Urbanspoon