When I was a young boy, my father and I had a tradition of going to Little Caesars, ordering their two-for-$10 deal, and pigging out on greasy goodness in pizza pie form. Since then, my taste buds have matured a bit, but my love for pizza is still the same.
My refinement in pizza-loving began in my college days at UMD when Pizza Luce opened up in downtown Duluth. Their Baked Potato Pizza opened my eyes to what pizza should be. In the time since, I have added a long list of favorites to my pizza must-hit list: from Pizzeria Lola, to Black Sheep Coal Fired, to my favorite “superhero” delivery option – Galactic.
On a trip up the Saint Croix River Valley this past weekend my friends and I stumbled upon what may be my new favorite wood-fired pizza joint – Olives. This little gem is located in the quaint small town of Marine on the St. Croix, which is tucked away on the lush shores of the Saint Croix River.
From the moment you walk into Olives you step back into a time where life moved a little slower. The locals are all bellied up at the bar; sipping on local brew and popping open some bold wines. Their menu is proudly written on a chalkboard on the wall and you can choose from the simple to the extravagant. We went with the “farmers market” which appropriately included almost every fresh vegetable you can find at your local farmers market. The crust was crispy, the toppings were fresh, and the sauce was wonderful and light. Overall this place is great, from ambiance to the toppings themselves!
After your wood-fired pizza affair, make a stop at the General Scoop for a scoop of your favorite ice cream and wander through the streets of Marine, listening to the sounds of the creek running by, and enjoying the simple fact that they still have a “General Store.” This pizza place offers more than great flavors; it offers an excuse to escape from the hustle and bustle of the Cities.