Long ago, back in 2005 actually, we visited Piccolo’s Pizza in Eagan on multiple occasions and always recommended it as a place people should go if they were looking for a place to eat pizza in Eagan. After not visiting the location in nearly 7 years and having it change ownership in the mean time, we decided to head on over and give it another shot.
We arrived at the restaurant before 7:30 on a Friday night and found the previously horrendous decor slightly updated. Out were the analog TV with rabbit ears and dark and dimly lit interior and in was a slightly rearranged dining setup. The menu remained fairly similar but with a few new additions and many of the same familiar options from our fond memories of 2005.
We took a seat in a booth along the wall and our friendly server stopped by to take our drink orders. She arrived soon after with three paper cups, two filled with water and one half-filled with milk for The Rooster. We looked over the menu and decided to get an order of Buffalo Chicken Rolls, a pepperoni and mushroom Calzone, a strawberry shake, and a medium mushroom pizza (cut into slices, not those ridiculous squares). There were plenty of other options including the Pizza Fries we loved in 2005 and hoagies in addition to the usual pizza place favorites.
By 8:00 PM, over 30 minutes since we placed our order, the Buffalo Chicken Rolls were out. Described on the menu as: “chicken tenderloins marinated in hot sauce and then rolled up in dough just like our pizza rolls.” We ordered 4 for $6.75 and they came out looking similar to my world famous chicken and cheese stuffed breadsticks. I took one and cut it in half revealing quite a bit of marinated chicken, very little cheese, and a lot of empty space. While the menu noted the chicken was supposed to be marinated in hot sauce, 50% of ours were marinated in what tasted like Italian dressing. The pieces marinated in dressing tasted off and were nearly inedible. The Rooster wouldn’t touch his pieces at all and The Wife and I kept wondering what was wrong with them. Eventually we hit the two rolls with white meat chicken inside revealing a very mediocre and mainly boring bread-tasting appetizer that really shouldn’t be served anymore. Honestly, while I may have unrealistic expectations about what these should have been like, if I can make something very similar (on paper) at home in less than 20 minutes, I expected something incredible at a pizza shop in 30+. One word sums up our experience with the Buffalo Chicken Rolls: bleh.
After finishing our rolls, we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited some more for our pizza to arrive. While it was a Friday night and the very busy restaurant of three tables (us included) and two takeout orders total, I honestly didn’t expect a calzone and a medium pizza to take an additional 30 minutes to arrive at the table. But alas, they did.
The pizza ($11.20), while requested it be cut into slices rather than ridiculous squares, arrived as the latter. It had a very hard and crunchy but tasteless crust which brought back such fond and awful memories of the previously disgusting Buffalo Chicken Rolls. The sauce lacked any and all flavor, the mushrooms were canned and/or jarred, and overall even The Rooster was not in the mood to eat this one. Even though I was hungry I only ate about 1/2 of the small pizza and had the rest get boxed up to go home. While this wasn’t as disgusting as the Buffalo Chicken Rolls, there’s a reason why they weren’t doing brisk business this Friday night–because the pizza flat out sucked–bad. Later, on the way home, I noted that I would have rather eaten a pie from the now defunct and previous winner of The Most Awful Pizza in the South Metro, Linwood Pizza, than this one. Being that I noted Linwood was worse than even the worst school cafeteria pizza, you can only imagine how utterly disgusting Piccolo’s pizza was on that particular evening.
While I was fighting my way through the new Worst Pizza in the South Metro award winner, I noted The Wife’s reaction to her calzone ($5.75). Her face in a grimace, she was actively scraping the oregano piled from the top of the pocket with a fork. I asked her what was wrong and she simply said, “I don’t like this oregano flavor.” I had her cut me a piece and I popped it in my mouth hoping to get rid of the awful pizza flavor. Unfortunately, and I don’t take this statement lightly considering my rant about their pizza and the slew of absolutely awful places we’ve eaten around the area, but Piccolo’s Pizza’s calzone was, hands down, the single most disgusting item of food I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant, ever. I later commended The Wife, being pregnant and all, for making her way through half of the calzone because I honestly could not have eaten another piece without throwing up all over the table. No honey, it’s not the oregano you didn’t like, it was the entire thing. No food item should taste like what Piccolo’s Pizzeria served to our table that night and the fact that it made me–someone who has eaten pig’s uterus of all things–gag means that Piccolo’s food is simply inedible.
The Wife had to remind our server about her strawberry shake and it arrived a few minutes later filled to the brim and topped with imitation whipped cream. The shake itself was fine, nothing special and certainly not flavorful enough to erase the nightmare we had just finished, but the extra ice cream provided in the metal cup was huge and enough to take home with us.
While we boxed both us to take home, I did it simply as an experiment to see if a good night’s sleep would refresh my tastebuds and give me a more objective view of the food the next day. Well, needless to say, 12 hours did little to revive my interest in Piccolo’s offerings and I have to say that I’d rather eat rancid dead-cat roadkill than what we were served at Piccolo’s on Friday night.
Overall, Piccolo’s Pizza in Eagan definitely has not aged well and definitely has gone downhill since our last visit in 2005. Not only do I not recommend you go there to eat, I highly suggest you avoid the entire area all together for fear that this horrendous pizza may attach your clothes and spread to other local pizzerias and spur a negative revolution in the area and all pizza will degrade to their horrendous level. While the pizza, rolls, and calzone were terrible perhaps the biggest crime is that Piccolo’s still refuses to take anything except cash and/or check. Please, Piccolo’s, just do us all a favor and close your doors. You’re so far out of the loop on what constitutes a decent restaurant that it just makes the most sense for you to simply go away and leave us with the positive memories made prior to 2012 and hope we all forget this unbelievably miserable and award-winning dining experience.
Have you eaten at Piccolo’s Pizza in Eagan lately? Have you eaten there prior to the new management taking over a year or more ago? What did you order and what was your thoughts on it? Where else in Eagan do you prefer to get your pizza? Are you surprised that a pizzeria is still ignoring credit cards in 2012? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.
4162 Pilot Knob Rd
Eagan, MN 55122
See all the pictures from our absolutely awful experience at Piccolo’s Pizzeria on Flickr here.