Vicky Turk is a bona fide pizza expert. She’s been making Red’s Savoy pizzas for 34 years, moving to the newer Woodbury location as manager a little over two years ago after the original Red’s shop on the east side of St. Paul closed. (The business now has about a dozen Twin Cities locations.) “It’s just been a big part of my life,” says Turk. “Red [Schoenheider] was an awesome man to work for, and his whole family was like family. It’s a fun job, and I like interacting with the people.”
Picking up a pizza for Valentine’s Day is a tradition for a lot of families, and if yours is looking for the perfect 360 degrees of goodness this month, try one of Turk’s favorites: the house special. “It’s just a little bit of everything,” she says. “Sausage, pepperoni, vegetables.” The shop still uses Schoenheider’s original recipe for their pizza sauce and sausage. Though Turk can’t divulge the recipe, she says the real secret is balance.
“You get a good balance of the different Italian flavors. It’s not too hot, and not too mild. The sauce has a nice thick base—it’s not too watery.”
Balance, she says, is the key to any great pizza. If you’re going the homemade route, keep that in mind. “Make sure everything is evenly distributed across the pizza, so you get a little bit of everything on every slice. More isn’t always better.”
Red’s is known for their crisp, thin crust, which is baked in the restaurant at a whopping 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
Turk says she loves interacting with regular customers (at the old St. Paul shop, she says, they’d reserve special booths for longtime regulars, and even order in special bottles of wine.) “We also get our older customers who are snowbirds,” she says. “As soon as they get off the plane, they don’t even go home—they come to Savoy’s for pizza.” A few times, she says, they’d make frozen pies and ship them to Florida or California.
That kind of customer-centric, family-esque atmosphere persists at Red’s Savoy’s Woodbury location, too, Turk says. “We get a lot of people from the high school after sports events. And during the day, we get a good turnover of older folks who like to come out for the lunch buffet. And of course, families with kids.”
Because, of course, there’s nothing quite like a warm pizza to bring loved ones together around the table.
Red’s Savoy Pizza
1575 Queens Drive