09 September 2012

Minneapolis: Psycho Suzi's

My dear muffins,

I have a confession to make.  A brutal vegan confession.  No!  It's not what you're thinking.  I didn't eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's and blow chunks at somebody's wedding or anything so glamorous.  Mine is a tale of gore.

This Monday morning, before Matt headed down to the Renaissance Festival - where, by the way, he performs all day every weekend* - I started making him tea.  His voice needed some love, and one of the best ways to fix a damaged larynx is by drinking hot herbal tea with honey and lemon.  I put the water on to boil and grabbed a lemon from the fridge.  With a sharp steak knife in my right hand and the lemon pinned on the counter with my left, I set about slicing out a piece just like I've done a hundred million gajillion bazillion chagrillion times before.

The knife sank into my finger all the way down to the bone.  I'm sure it would've hurt less if it wasn't covered in lemon juice.

3 hours later, I was all set with 4 stitches in my left index finger, an almost complete inability to type the letter R, and no desire to cook whatsoever.

So we went to Psycho Suzi's for dinner.  OH DARN.

Psycho Suzi's
1900 Marshall St NE
Minneapoils, MN 55418
(612) 788-9069

Before I take you inside, I'd like you get the full experience.  The sign pictured above the map is pretty straight forward, but the building on the left here is the actual restaurant.  Did it begin its life as a church or a VFW?  You decide.

When you step inside, you won't believe an old Knights of Columbus or whatever could house such an off-the-hook Tiki Room.  So don't judge this joint by its stale patriarchal un-vegan-friendly-looking shell.

Becca would like you to know that Suzi's is one of those places that uses bamboo plates and plants a bucket of recycled napkins and silverware at each table.  This eliminates the need for extra napkins and dishwashing - you only take what you need.  You won't have any of those alienating If I'm eating pizza, what will I do with this spoon? moments here.  Unless you're an alien.

As a vegan, I recommend ordering any combination of the following: Triple Garlic Hummus Plate ($8), Spinach & Walnut Salad (without the bleu cheese), and/or a Design Your Own Pizza (with soy cheese).  And a drink.  Some of them come with pineapple slices!  And we all know there is literally no greater joy in life than a pineapple slice on a drink.

Suzi's Triple Garlic Hummus Plate is good enough to rival Holy Land for the best hummus I've ever had ever.  This dish smells amazing.  It's the kind of smell that would make you bang down your downstairs neighbor's apartment door just to stick your face in the stuff.  It doesn't always have all this glorious cayenne sprinkled across, but it IS always phenomenal.  Like the name suggests, there's plenty of well-used garlic in here - not enough to make it burn, but it's near the threshold.  To me, the mark of a great hummus is the aftertaste, and this one has a delectable flavor of high-quality olive oil and chickpeas.  The pita's fantastic in its own right, too, all moist and cohesive and perfect.  It's worth coming here just for this plate.

Matt, Becca, and I split a Design Your Own Pizza: a large deep dish with cayenne barbecue sauce, soy cheese, pineapple, and spinach, for $27.  When ordering, make it very clear that you need soy cheese and only soy cheese, and that if it comes with dairy cheese you'll be sending it back.  They've been known to mess this up multiple times.  But when they get it right, it's so worth every nit-picky specification.

Each bite is a nice melty, hot, crispy, cohesive, spicy mess.  The crust is very well prepared, and the tang of pineapple complements the heat of the BBQ sauce splendidly.  The saltiness of the fake cheese builds the total flavor up subtly as well, and the pineapple slices are small enough that you can enjoy other tastes in your mouth at the same time.  As Becca pointed out, that's not always the case with pineapple pizza.

Of course, when you go here, you can make up whatever pizza you like.  I'm hoping the one I described above will one day be referred to as The Becca across the Twin Cities.  You should start spreading the word.  Order The Becca and when your server gives you a blank look, patiently explain exactly what goes on it, but also imply that everyone else already has this sucker on their menus.

Thanks for helping me make the world a better place.  BBQ for all.

* Captain Adventure plays a very particular role at Ren Fest.  I can't tell you exactly who, but I can tell you it involves a necklace.  A manly necklace.

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