I’m a small town Minnesota native. I moved to the Twin Cities about 6 years ago craving variety and opportunity. What I didn’t realize then was how much I would miss the the many familiar small businesses and establishments that make small towns so special. Luckily, I’ve learned that each neighborhood in the city has their own charming restaurants and cafes to call your own. In my neck of the woods we pridefully claim Hazel’s NE, The Coffee Shop, and Sarah Jane’s Bakery.
With my husband’s family coming to visit, originally small-town folk like myself, we were looking for a down-to-earth, independently owned place for dinner. We decided on Fat Lorenzo’s in South Minneapolis, right off Lake Nokomis. No frills dining to meet my father-in-law’s standards. Tasty and quirky to meet mine.
I love their small space, modest decor and friendly staff – the perfect choice for our casual family gathering.
We pulled in around lunchtime on a beautiful sunny day. Lots of families were stopping in after a walk around the lake so we had to add our name to the list on the wall and take a seat. They actually use the list so don’t hesitate to chalk in your name.
While we waited we took in the fresco murals covering the walls and salivated over the scent of garlic and mozzarella that filled the small waiting area.
We were seated in a cozy booth and table along the wall. We placed our order with the waiter and then quickly grabbed our choice of crayons. With no TV to distract us, we doodled on the paper tablecloth and caught up on family happenings. There’s nothing pretentious or phony about this place; it has the atmosphere of a classic pizzeria.
After filling the table with our best landscapes and stick figures, our food arrived. The smell of garlicky, cheesy dough distracts us from our conversation and we quickly dig in. We ordered the Garlic Cheese Bread served with homemade marinara ($4.69), a 16″ Fat’s pizza with italian sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onions, green peppers, black and green olives ($21.49) and a Build Your Own 16″ pizza (starting at $14.49; price varies based on ingredients).
25 years of practice has solidified Fat Lorenzo’s as one of the best in the Minneapolis pizza scene. Is there a Minneapolis pizza scene? After stuffing my stomach with all kinds of Italian goodness I thought to myself – why do I ever order Domino’s when this is available?
And it’s pretty reasonably priced too. We spent about $50 (without drinks) between eight people and even had a couple of pieces of pizza to take home for lunch the next day. Not only a great neighborhood restaurant, but also a great deal. Just what the Hicks’ were looking for.
…And save room for the gelato!
Welcoming, family-friendly environment. Almost felt like we were sitting around our own kitchen table.
The service was great. Very accommodating to our group of 8.
Classic pizzeria. No frills, just flavor.
Fantastic. The pizza crust was crisp without being too crunchy, the sauce was well proportioned, and the fresh toppings were enhanced by a great italian season. Definitely worth the hype.
Value for Dollars
Affordably priced. We got out of there at about $6 a person!