Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza

aimee borwn

A new technique for cooking pizza is used at Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza, where coal replaces wood to keep the oven burning at over 1800ºF. Opened on October 20 by owner Jordan Smith, this small restaurant is the first of its kind in Minnesota.

Pizzas are the main dish at Black Sheep and they have many toppings to choose from, such as cracked green olives, fennel sausage, garlic, hot salami, meatballs, oyster mushrooms, and salt-packed anchovies. They come in two sizes of 12-inch ($7 for plain cheese) and 16-inch ($13 for plain cheese). On the menu, there are also some choices of salads and appetizers, and of course, dessert. A large chocolate chip ice cream sandwich is perfect to cool the tongue after a helping of Black Sheep’s hot salami and chili pepper pizza. The overall flavor of their pizzas is lively, complemented with a crust that is perfectly crisp.

Coal ovens, introduced to Smith while in New York with his wife (Colleen Doran), ignited the idea of opening a similar place in Minneapolis. “We were in a restaurant and we were just kicking around the idea of doing this and I said, ‘someone should open a restaurant like this,’ and we decided we should do it,” said Smith. Having opened a series of many other restaurants such as D’Amico & Sons, Mission American Kitchen, Downtowner Wood Fire Grill, along with some sky way restaurants and three restaurants in Florida, Smith was ready to take the next step by introducing a restaurant of his own creation.

“I want the restaurant to be a place that people can use in their lives…a spot [they] can go to on a regular basis,” said Smith, “a neighborhood restaurant.” Working on reaching that next level, Smith has become a firm believer in coal ovens, “it’s amazing…the coal has such a deep, even heat,” said Smith.