Our good friend Rebekah just finished her MBA, so Ben and I wanted to take the family out to celebrate - I know how awesome it feels to FINALLY be done with a masters program!! I still find myself happy just thinking about NOT having to do homework anymore :) I told Rebekah to pick the place, and she chose Black Sheep - I was super excited since I've suggested we go there to Ben several times before, but for some reason he kept shooting me down - he couldn't this time though!
I had just seen that Black Sheep was nominated for the best new establishment by Heavy Table, so I was a little nervous that it would be packed on a Friday night - Becky called earlier in the day and they did say 6pm got really busy but that 4 + a baby wouldn't be a problem. I was definitely glad we had gotten there a bit early though, as it gets a little harder to wait too long for a table with a 10 month old that likes to be entertained!
The atmosphere at Black Sheep reminded me a little of Punch in Highland Park - bustling and family friendly. There were quite a few kids there when we were there, and there were always several people waiting for a table. I liked the decor and the open kitchen so you could see the coal pizza oven. I also LOVE their logo - that little sheep is just so cute :)
Ben, Rett and Becky all ordered drinks and they came out quickly. It took us a bit to decide on pizzas, but we didn't feel rushed at all. We ended up choosing one with meat - the #5, sausage, salami, onion and green olive, and then created our own veggie with artichokes and tomatoes. I really enjoyed both pizzas, but especially loved the #5 - the combination of flavors was perfect! I don't even like olives, but I liked them on this pizza. I loved the crust as well - it was thin but not mushy at all. I think I even liked it better than Punch, but that's just a matter of personal preference.
By the time we left, we had quite the audience observing us sitting at the table. We did sit there chatting for awhile after we were done eating, and I felt a LITTLE bad, but not bad enough to rush out of there or anything. Adelaide definitely enjoyed herself - she had fun staring at the people waiting for awhile :) I got the impression that she loved the tiny piece of crust that she was given as well! Thumbs up all around.
I really love pizza, and would definitely return to Black Sheep - it is very affordable and I like that they have table service as well as take out. It is also near quite a few bars if you are into that type of thing.
After having not done a review for several weeks we went out twice in two days last week, go figure :) After going out with Becca and Joe on Thursday we met Rebekah, Rett, and Adelaide for dinner on Friday at Black Sheep Pizza in the warehouse district.
We arranged to meet after work around 6pm and knowing that it gets busy there, Erin and I planned on going over a little early to get in line for a table before the others arrived. We ended up having to wait about twenty minutes for a table, which was a reasonable amount of time. We didn't do this, but you can order beers while you wait which would certainly make the time pass quicker. Waiting for a table is a little awkward because you are so close to the people who are eating. We were literally about two feet away from a table of eight people. I didn't mind it from my perspective, but being at the table gets a little weird. By the time we left there were a good ten to twelve people standing around right near our table just watching us, it definitely makes you conscious of not hanging around too long after you've finished eating.
We made a couple quick decisions on two pizzas: a sausage, onion, salami, and olive (I believe it's the one on their home page) and an artichoke and tomato pizza. They have a good selection of tap beers and I went with the Furthermore Fallen Apple, a "Fresh-pressed cider blended with cream ale." The beer was okay, I'm not much of a fan of ciders, but it sounded interesting. I got a second beer a little later and got a Rush River porter which was much better (this is another beer I had wanted to try but never wanted to commit to a 6 pack).
The pizzas came out quickly, maybe within ten to fifteen minutes. They have clever racks that allows them to raise one pizza off the table and put the second one underneath. Our table had plenty of space but some of the tables are small so this would come in handy. Rett and I dug into the meaty pizza first and it was delicious. The crust is soft and thin making it easy to fold in half and eat as a "pizza sandwich", I started off with a fork and knife but quickly devolved to the folding style. When you're eating pizza with others it always turns into a race for the most slices and folding the pizza in half is just the smart play :)
The tomato and artichoke pizza was just as good as the other, though I am partial to meat on my pizza. I was surprised that we ate two large pizzas, I thought we would have plenty of leftovers to split up, and Adelaide didn't even eat her share!
After we finished we chatted for a bit before giving in to the glares of the beer drinking people waiting for a table, silently staring us down. A great meal to start the weekend, I wouldn't hesitate to go back.
- Service: Hard to go wrong at a pizza place and this was no exception.
- Food: Wonderful pizza, and it came out fresh and hot.
- Drinks: They have a good variety of taps and they rotate out seasonal/specialty brews.
- Ambiance: This is another "cozy" restaurant, but it doesn't feel cramped. They do a good job of maximizing the space for eating and I think people would rather have that than to have them use space for people waiting for tables.
- Price: The pizzas range from $13-$22 for large pizzas and you can add extra toppings for a nominal fee. Pizza is one of those things that you can make as cheap or expensive as you want. I think these prices are good for the quality of pizza.
- Convenience: There are plenty of meters along this stretch of Washington Ave, but they always seem to be full from the restaurants and lofts in the area. I found one about four blocks down and miraculously had a single quarter that I need to get me past 6pm when the meters weren't enforced.
Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza
600 Washington Ave