Sunday, March 30, 2008

Red's Savoy Inn

Visited on Wednesday, March 26th with Dad K. and Liz

Savoy Inn

Ben's Review
We made a quick impulse decision to go to Red's Savoy Inn last Wednesday. Erin and I came home from work and saw the roofers who were putting a new roof on our house still hard at work, and the yard was a disaster. I looked at Erin as we pulled up and said "I don't want to go in there or deal with this in any way, lets go out to dinner." We sat in the car, thinking of a place on our list, and came up with Red's Savoy Inn.

We arrived around 6pm, I was amazed that the parking lot out back was completely full. I dropped Erin off at the door so we could get a table, while I drove a couple blocks away to find a parking spot on the street.

Walking into Red's on a sunny day is a little disorienting. There are zero windows in the entire restaurant, and the lighting is low. It took me a good thirty seconds before I could actually see anything. Like the parking lot, the restaurant itself was full, but Erin had gotten a table for us, her sister, and her dad. Again, it was weird to see a full restaurant on a Wednesday night, but apparently Red's is a popular place to go after work, there are lots of offices nearby.


The waitstaff at Red's reminds me of Nye's; all the servers appear to be lifers and nobody looked younger than 55. I get the impression they've been there awhile. If you look at the ceiling you can see the artifacts from when smoking was allowed in restaurants - there's a nasty yellow color over everything.

We had a couple pitchers of beer while we waited for our pizzas, the only relatively interesting beer they have is Amber Bock, other than that its the standard dive bar lineup: Bud, Bud Light,MGD , etc. (but no Miller Lite??). We ordered a regular pepperoni pizza and a large special pizza (pepperoni, sausage, onions, green peppers, we took off the mushrooms and olives). I think the pizza took about 30 minutes to arrive, no big deal when you've got beer.

The pizza is incredible. The crust isn't thin, but has just the right amount of crispiness. It's loaded with cheese. The sausage pieces are practically golf ball sized. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it. My co-worker Scott doesn't even like pizza, but he likes Red's. When we go next time, I'm going to try the pizza with pickles, I'm a huge fan of the pickle pizza at Dulonos, so I bet this one is good as well.

The special
(Large special pizza)

We had about half a pizza left over when we were done, which I had for dinner on Friday. It's good the second time around, but nothing like the first. I will most definitely be going back to Red's.

Red's Ratings:

  • Service: The service was satisfactory, the elder waitress seemed to warm up to us after Erin's dad arrived, it must have been his gray hair.
  • Food: I wish I could think of a better adjective to describe how good the pizza is, but I can't. It's just really f-ing good pizza.
  • Drinks: Standard taps, no Summit though which was disappointing. They do have a full bar though, if that's your thing.
  • Ambiance: It was pretty active on a Wednesday night, I bet its even more so on the weekends. It feels like a VFW inside, a real casual atmosphere.
  • Price: The total was $44 I think. The "special" was $19, the pepperoni was $11, which means the pitchers of beer were $7. NOT BAD :)
  • Convenience: They have a parking lot, but the damn thing was full on a Wednesday. I had to find a spot a couple blocks away.
Savoy Inn

Erin's Review
For some reason, I thought Savoy was a fancy place. I have no idea why, Savoy to me has a fancy connotation. Boy, was I wrong! This place is definitely NOT fancy, for those who had the same idea I did. It wasn't really dirty or anything, except for the previously mentioned yellow ceilings. The booths were all in one piece, and there were some cool murals on the wall too.

Mural on the wall

The service was a little snide - for example, we asked how many people a large pizza fed, and the server rolled her eyes and seemed annoyed at the question. I'm sure that is a pretty common question, I mean, come on. All it says on the menu is "large" and "regular" - I didn't see any mention of how many inches the sizes represented on the menu. For everyone else out there - a regular is plenty for 2, a large would probably serve 3-4. Now you won't have to ask anyone if you go, heaven forbid.

Again, disappointment at the lack of Miller Lite - but my Dad prefers Bud anyway, so it was probably best that we had that since he paid :) And let's be honest - I can't tell the difference anyway.

Bud Light (no Miller here, sad)

The pizza was amazing. Just amazing. I actually didn't really like the huge hunks of sausage, I preferred the pepperoni pizza to the special - but I'm a simpleton when it comes to pizza (and apparently, most everything) I like just pepperoni and nothing else.

(regular pepperoni pizza)

I'd definitely go back to Red's Savoy Inn - it's really cheap and has a fun atmosphere.

Red's Savoy Inn (no website that I could find)
421 Seventh St E
St Paul, MN

Highly Recommended


Aaron said...

I used to live in Lowertown and would end up at Savoy's now and then. I think how you described it is spot-on. I wouldn't say the pizza is "incredible" though, but I know a lot of people that fully agree with describing it that way.

I'd also note that it can get really packed sometimes. Really late at night it's not uncommon to see police around there too.

Some friends and I are going there a week from today and I'll probably post about it as well.

Good write-up and photos.

ben said...

Aaron, out of curiosity what's your favorite pizza place in the twin cities?

I put Savoy Inn right up there with Leaning Tower and Dulono's (both of which are excellent in their own way).

Kate said...

What kind of person doesn't like PIZZA? Pinko commie!

Kate said...

just to clarify, ben said that one of his co-workers claims to not like pizza. I'm implying that that person is a pinko commie, not Ben and Erin... and I really doubt that guy is a pinko commie anyway... but it's okay if he is.

Just Roaming The Cities said...

I might be the only anti-Savoy's comment you get, but we had quite the different take on the pizza. I can put up with cranky 55 year old waitresses who bring me diet pop when I ordered regular and then look at me as if I'm wrong; and I can put up with the dark, windowless atmosphere and slow service. But I'm sorry to say the pizza was almost, to us, worse than eating a frozen pizza at home. In fact, we prefer a Jack's frozen to this pizza, because the sauce was gross, the crust was not unique or crispy, and while the toppings were plentiful, the flavor was just not all that great. Maybe it's because we didn't have the pitcher of beer first?
Cossetta's rocks over this place 100 times over! Maybe we just visited on a bad day, but we will never return to test that theory. We now refer to Reds as "Red F'in Savoys Pizza".
Oh well.

On the flipside, I am so excited to discover your blog! Because we, too, have a fascination with trying new restaurants and discussing what we thought of them. We especially like to try new breakfast places. Our most recent try was also in St. Paul- The Uptowner. We sat at the counter and got a great view of everything cooking on the grill. Fun. Food was mostly good. We had the French Toast with strawberries and an all-american type breakfst with eggs, toast, bacon, and hashbrowns that were thrown back on the grill when it was discovered the french toast wasnt even started-which then made them extra-greasy. Overall we enjoyed the experience because we got to watch the cooks and we rarely sit at a counter, so it was fun.

I will be a daily reader! Hope you come see mine; photos of the Twin Cities daily :)

Liz said...

Next time try the sauerkraut pizza! Yum!

Anonymous said...

Go to Leo's chowmein for some greasey goodness!

Misty said...

I used to work at Savoy (and yes, I was in fact the only server under the age of 55!!) and can honestly tell you that I have yet to find a pizza that satisfies me as much as one from this joint. You mentioned adding pickles the next time you go - - and I will say that pepperoni and pickle is quite possibly the most perfect pairing! Yum!

Rick said...

Rick said...I have been going to Red's since 1976 when I started working on the East side at a bank. The pizza is as awesome now as it was then and a great value. I brought my sons up on Friday night pizzas there youngest son is a St. Paul cop and eats there often with his cop buddies. Sausage has always been our favorite...I now live in Oklahoma and always go there when I am back in town. There are waitresses there yet from 1976.