Review: Hello Pizza

The southern suburbs greet a playful pie-shack.

The

Ichigo Takikawa

The "Hello Rita" pizza at Hello Pizza in Edina, Minn. This restaurant is the second pizza store owned by Ann Kim, the owner of Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis.

Lucy Nieboer

3904 Sunnyside Road, Edina, Minn.

 

 Chaos is inherent to by-the-slice pizza joints. In the suburbs, there may not be intoxicated college students shouting in line or getting in fights. Here, the craziness takes another shape. Parents who are too tired to cook try in vain to maintain control as their toddlers dump hot pepper flakes into their tiny mouths and throw bits of pizza into their siblings’ hair.

Hello Pizza, located just south of the Linden Hills neighborhood, sits on a convenient stretch of Sunnyside Road, just far-enough from the ’burbs to make it an outing but close enough for weeknight take-out. Opening in mid-March, Hello shares owners with beloved southwest spot Pizzeria Lola.

The aesthetic of Hello Pizza is that of a thirty-something trying to re-live his partying pizza days. On one hand, it competes with the campus vibes of brightly colored walls and loud tunes, but in reality, you sit down with a number and wait for your pizza to be delivered on kitschy plastic plates in the shape of the paper standbys.

You can use nice silverware to cut your pizza if the hand-to-mouth fold won’t do. And forget about bussing your own table, the staff has got that covered. It may be worth the drive for an older demographic, but for the typical college-age pizza inhaler, the overpriced slice here depends on a forced “fun” vibe.

Inside the restaurant, the decibel level peaks, and the settled nature of the suburbs is sucked into oblivion. Loud ’80s funk blasts as a team of frazzled waiters and pizza chefs try to keep up with the early Friday evening rush. The crew moves hurriedly in and out of a swinging door screen-printed with a black and white shot of Lionel Richie’s face to deliver steaming slices of fresh ’za.

Much like the typical by-the-slice spot, you stand in a line to give your order. Although the choices here are more artisan and less 4/20, a few combinations are still eye-catching and mouthwatering. The “Hello Trinity,” a slice featuring huge chunks of hearty, fennel-spiked sausage, tiny rounds of thick pepperoni and soft, buttery crimini mushrooms, is a standout. Ranging from $3.25 for the basic cheese to $4.50 for the featured specialty, the slices here are gargantuan and qualify as a meal.

 There are perks of growing up, however. The ingredients that compose these slices are of superior quality — whether it be slippery, gooey mozzarella atop the “Hello Rita” slice, or the charred and delicate onions that complete the “Veggie Supremo.” Cooked in a large pizza oven, the crusts are thin and crunchy and have the slightest aroma of charred dough on the bottom.

There are more options than a can of root beer to wash down the pizza, too. There’s a small tap selection and wine list for the babysitters and flavored San Pellegrino or Mexican Coke for the kiddies.

Growing up is hard to do. Luckily, Hello Pizza lets you hold on to the fun with a more grown-up taste.

 

Rating:

2.75 out of 4 foodmonsters.