Cedar Teeth takes a bite out of local pizza market
Hannah Roland grew up in rural North Dakota where the nearest grocery store was 90 miles away. Consequently, her family grocery shopped about once a month which inspired Roland to get creative in the kitchen and make use of whatever food items were available.
"I always loved to cook and knew it was what I would do when I grew up," says Roland.
Eight years ago, Roland moved to Bay View, started working at Three Brothers, 2414 S. St. Clair St., and worked there until recently.
"I learned a lot while working at Three Brothers," she says.
In April, Hannah Roland launched a small, Bay View-based pizza business called Cedar Teeth. The pizzas are mostly natural, rectangular and available in six varieties.
After a week of tasting all of the pies, we formed a few opinions.
The smashed potato pie – a daring and genius mix of garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes, sharp cheddar, bacon, scallions and sour cream dollops – was our favorite. The firm, sourdough rosemary crust was the perfect flavor and texture complement to the deliciously mushy toppings.
"Many people have told me the best quality of my pizzas is the crust. For a frozen pizza, I think it's really good," says Roland.
As huge fans of Thai food, our second favorite was The Peanut Gallery, topped with roasted broccoli and cauliflower florets, mozzarella, sharp cheddar, toasted sesame seeds and an Asian peanut sauce. A vegan version is also available. Not overdoing the cheese is key here. It's prevalent but not overpowering, allowing the other, more interesting flavors to dominate the taste.
The Bronze Fonz introduced us to flavorful "Swedish style homemade sausages" and the freshness of the basil and the mushrooms was apparent even though the pie had been frozen for a couple of days.
We had no complaints about The Ole Pro – a simpler 'za with pepperoni, marinara, mozzarella, parmesan, basil and sun dried tomatoes – to The Abracadanzer, a "white pizza" with one of our favorite toppings, artichoke hearts.
Our least favorite was the Ivan the Terrible, but certainly not because of the preparation; we're just not fans of hot pineapple. But, if that's you're thing, this is your pie. The rest of it was really good, particularly the spicy chili garlic sauce and the addition of both ham and bacon.
Cedar Teeth frozen pizzas are available, so far, at Groppi's Food Market, 1441 E. Russell Ave., Beans & Barley, 1901 E. North Ave., and Burt's Beer & Liquor, 2523 E. Oklahoma Ave. The cost is $7.99.
R & D Pub – located inside the former Hector's space in Bay View at 3040 S. Delaware Ave. – serves baked Cedar Teeth pizzas for $10. Roland also takes orders and special orders via Facebook.
Roland rents out the kitchen at R & D and makes her pizzas in the morning and early afternoon, prior to the pub's 3 p.m. opening time. She also makes sandwiches daily on homemade focaccia bread for Anodyne, 2920 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
"I usually make a vegan, meat and chicken sandwich every day and Anodyne sells them until they're gone," she says.
Roland's husband, Chris, came up with the idea for the Cedar Teeth name. The intention of the name is to suggest nature and wholesomeness with some humor.
"He is an artist and he thinks visually," she says. "The name came as a picture before it was a name, when we were trying to come up with something."
Making and selling pizzas goes beyond a source of employment and personal interest. Roland also envisions it as a way to support the local community and in the future, the labels might feature the work of local artists.
"This is more than a living for us. We feel that all creativity is linked, be it musical, artistic, culinary, etc.; it's all an expression providing enjoyment, camaraderie, and inspiration to the heart, soul, mind and gut," says Roland. "It's a way for us to connect and have fun with the community."
I have a feeling this article just changed my life...
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