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Old 01-19-2019, 05:07 AM
Smapti is offline
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Location: Olympia, WA
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Minneapolis Dopers: Was the original Totino's restaurant any good?

Totino's frozen pizzas were a staple of my childhood, and even today they're a comfort food I enjoy now and then. They're not great pizzas, and honestly they're on the low end of the frozen pizza food chain, but there's nothing else quite like them - the crispy thin crust, the sweet sauce, the not-quite-enough shredded cheese that browns up just right, the salty nugget-sized bits of diced pepperoni - and for a dollar a pizza, it's an easy dinner for one on a lazy night.

Imagine my surprise when I looked up the brand on Wikipedia and found out that it was a restaurant before it was a grocery brand;

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Rose Totino and her husband, Jim, founded a take-out pizzeria in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1951. They later expanded it to a full-service restaurant, which closed in 2011.
Looking in the Web Archive I found an old PDF of their menu, and it sounds like a typical Italian family restaurant that you'd find in any part of the country. I found it interesting that the menu mentions their pizzas were square, as the frozen pizzas used to be round and only switched to being square a few years ago.

Did anyone who lives/lived in the Minneapolis era ever eat at the place in its 60-year run? If so, how was the pizza there? How did it compare to the frozen product? How was the rest of the stuff on the menu, the décor, the service, etc.?

I'd be interested in hearing about this little bit of history from anyone who was around to experience it.
Old 01-19-2019, 05:25 AM
Chisquirrel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2,344
You're telling me Totino's pizzas started in northeast, and closed not long before I moved here? Say it ain't so!

Also, I learned something today.
Old 01-19-2019, 07:48 AM
Arjuna34 is offline
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 1,572
Interesting, I never knew Totino's started as a restaurant. If I squint, the picture of the pizza going into the oven in the PDF menu looks like a large, rectangular frozen Totino's Party Pizza (light on the cheese, like Smapti described).
Old 01-19-2019, 11:27 AM
hajario's Avatar
hajario is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 15,877
I started a thread in the Minneapolis subreddit. A lot of good replies so far.


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