|Springy pizza topped with asparagus, ramps, peas, and smoky pork belly|
There are a few things you'll want to know before heading out to Pig Ate My Pizza, the new restaurant in the former Travail space (also owned by the same guys). First, parking is easy on main street, but the entrance is actually in the back, past the dumpsters and through a short, pig art-adorned hallway.
Like Travail, this is a chef-run joint, so there is no greeter at the door, just find a spot at one of the communal tables, make some friends and prepare for pizza unlike anything else you'll find in town.
|The path to porky paradise|
Appetizers utilize every part of the pig. There's the cheekily named Hoof and Mouth, head cheese served with crispy fried trotters. There is also a spread of charcuterie served on a large plank. All lovely, but the dish worth driving across town for is the steamed pork buns. Tender disks of pale dough cradle unctuous belly, topped with flavor-packed peppers, crunchy veggies, and delicate baby greens.
|Baby got buns|
The pizzas are available either Neapolitan style or as a deep-dish brioche. The pedestrian cracker was thin and crispy, topped with tomatoes and cheese. It was served with a side of Parmesan foam that soon melted from the heat. We visited on a summery afternoon and the lack of air conditioning combined with pizza ovens made for a warm room.
The springy pork belly pizza arrived under glass, swirling with smoke. The fat, pale slices of belly picked up that flavor and imparted it with each bite. The belly texture was chewy, but the spring vegetables were bright and crunchy.
|Perfectly Pigtacular Pizza|
Meanwhile, the piggy pizza was a slice of heaven. The brioche crust is toothsome and rich, reminiscent of what a Pizza Hut crust would be if it was, you know, good. It's thick, but puffy and light, the edges crunchy and laced with charred cheese. Studded with a cacophony of porky goodness, it featured sausage, prosciutto, pepperoni, and bacon, drizzled with a springy green oil.
We were only able to handle so much pork, and the menu is filled with more to explore. They have a fresh pasta and the sort of affordable tasting menu Travail fans have come to expect.
|Piggy in the front, pizza party in the back|
It's a boisterous room and can be challenging to carry on a conversation across one of those big communal tables. Also, it's cozy in there, so plan on eating with elbows tucked into your sides.
That said, this first step in the reinvention of Robbinsdale's gastronomic dining destination has some delicious high notes. They've also expanded their hours, open noon to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. The pizzas are also available for takeout.
4154 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale, MN