Shamrock Pizza in Superior is the kind of place where you shut up, put the pickles on your pizza, and then forever trust the bar-slash-family restaurant with your wildest craves.
It’s called a bacon cheeseburger pizza, and the pickles are optional, but are they really? Pickles on pizza probably wasn’t invented here, but it feels like a worthy place of origin.
So right now, when the bartender sets two plastic containers filled with jellied cranberries atop your carry-out Thanksgiving pizza, you need to go for it. Offer that human the same level of trust that you did with the pickles. Put the cranberries on your pizza.
Shamrock Pizza is among the local restaurants offering a tiny taste of T-day in a way that deviates from a traditional hot bird and steaming sides. These alternatives mash together a tables-worth of ingredients or go all in on a single flavor — mmmmm, cranberry.
Here are five places offering a unique touch of Thanksgiving.
Shamrock Bar and Pizza
Shamrock’s Thanksgiving Pizza takes the season’s dominant flavors — roasted turkey, both dark and white meat, and bready dressing — pops them on a chewy crust and covers it with mozzarella cheese.
It comes with a side of cranberry sauce, seemingly the kind that slides from a can. It completely changes the pizza, with a dessert-y bitterness.
This pizza great. The idea of it is far more outrageous than it is in practice. It comes together like a great idea for any season. A bonus for take-out: It makes your car smell like a holiday kitchen.
The Thanksgiving pizza is available in November and December.
Pumpkin Pie Brulee
Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar
At Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar, the season-themed dessert is part pie, part brulee — a square with the creamy warm-spiced almost-pudding insides and topped with caramelized sugar that’s as fragile as a thin layer of ice.
Each piece has a flowered dollop of whipped cream and is decorated with small round cranberries. But they aren’t cranberries, which feels like something that should be kept a secret. (They are balls of cranberry marzipan and so surprising and so pretty.)
According to the lore, this wrap of leftovers was invented by young minds with a refrigerator full of leftovers and access to tortilla shells. A dozen or so Burrito Union employees had gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving, then brought the remains to work the next day.
Someone, no one remembers who, wrapped it the way they wrap most things at the restaurant. Nearby customers were intrigued, and a seasonal option was born. (It can also be served in a bowl.)
The tortilla is stuffed with slightly spicy cranberry salsa, shredded turkey and mashed potatoes or yams, dressing and corn. It comes with a side of gravy for dipping.
Burrito Union employees in 2018 told the News Tribune that, when it’s on the menu, they average selling one every 4.5 minutes.
Pumpkin spice croissant
Duluth’s Best Bread
The pumpkin spice croissant at Duluth’s Best Bread is a flakey affair, created for the kind of person who likes to covertly eat cold pie in the light of the refrigerator. This is especially true if you are a crust human who likes to pick at a piece until it seemingly just evaporates into crumbs.
This croissant has powdered sugar sprinkles and roasted pecans and thin spread of pumpkin that has absorbed into the dough.
While you’re there: This Lincoln Park shop has two handfuls of macaron options, an ever-changing list of flavors that sometimes includes flavors like ginger pumpkin or pumpkin spice.
Vikre Distillery's Cocktail Kits
Earlier this fall, Vikre Distillery offered a collection of shop-made ingredients that played into the PSL punchlines of the season: A pumpkin spice latte cocktail kit.
"We had to because it was funny. But then it was also delicious," its social media keepers posted on Instagram, introducing the drink that included spiced pumpkin coffee syrup, oat meal and its Voyageur Aquavit.
Vikre has been selling cocktail kits (and hand sanitizer) during this period of pandemic-inspired closures.
A Thanksgiving-esque choice might be the Hot Cedar Gin & Spiced Cider or the new Gals of November, which has an ingredient that is timely: Deep Breath Syrup.
And a bonus
This week, the Whole Foods Co-op shared an Instagram post to promote "The Holiday," an oven-roasted turkey sandwich available at the deli. It includes garlic and herb cheese spread, cranberry sauce and spinach on a ciabatta. It will be on the menu through Nov. 30.