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Book Review: Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition by Marilyn M. Shannon

Reviewed by Rose MacPherson

Thesis salad gfe8ae6c3c 1920

“The main purpose of this book is to offer suggestions on how to assist the natural fertility processes to function normally through self care, especially better nutrition” (97).

Unique Points

“Raising your own eggs, meat, and milk” is recommended as an enjoyable and economical method of obtaining nutritious food (36).
“Take your vitamins with breakfast and lunch, when you will appreciate the energy boost later in the day” (56).


“Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition... has an inherently Catholic outlook... Whether or not you are Catholic or Christian, you will still find it a gentle, encouraging, and practical book, whether you are using it to overcome irregular cycles or to increase your chances of having a baby” (xii). Each chapter begins with a Bible verse concerning either food or the blessing of children, with the exception of one, which instead has a quotation from Sirach – part of the Apocrypha.


Eat one serving of protein, three servings of whole grain, five servings of fruit and vegetables, and three servings of dairy and eggs each day (6-7).
“Caffeine is a good slave but a bad master” (19).
“Proper diet is a higher health priority than supplementation” (61).
“Have a protein-rich snack before bedtime if you are prone to wake up during the night” (67).

Compare/Contrast with Other Books

  • Several times, Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition recommends the microwave as an easy way to prepare food (22, 23, 25, 28). On the other hand, Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, calls for avoidance of the microwave “at all costs” (68). Her extreme caution is due to the fact that some studies suggest microwaves may kill vitamins and cause cancer.
  • Mrs. Shannon says that babies, beginning at six months, should be fed small pieces of cooked vegetables but never be spoon-fed (26). Again, Nourishing Traditions disagrees, stating that babies should be fed “an egg yolk per day, beginning at four months” (600).
  • Most drastic of all, Fertility, Cycles, & Nutrition refers to canola oil as “healthy” because it is not a trans fat (303). Nourishing Traditions declares this item “unsuited to human consumption” and asserts that processed canola oil contains “trans fat” (19).

My Critique

I appreciated the simple saying, “Caffeine is a good slave but a bad master” because many other books I have read contain conflicting ideas about coffee consumption. Some say to have none, while others strongly encourage it! Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition rests comfortably between these two extremes. I also enjoyed reading the true stories of how others have benefited from improved nutrition and supplementation.


Book Review- Vaccines: A Reappraisal by Richard Moskowitz, MD

Reviewed by Rose MacPhersonmedical g7d3c44bed 1920


“The essence of my position is simply that vaccines by their very nature have a major downside that has largely been ignored, so that it is reckless in the extreme to continue mandating them – and indeed more and more of them without limit or restraint – until these dangers are taken seriously, understood in a broader context, and assessed in a more careful and systematic fashion” (3). “Vaccination is essentially an artifice, designed to trick the immune mechanism into providing a semblance or counterfeit of immunity that is partial, defective, and temporary at best” (6).

Unique Points

Vaccines can harm pets, too! The account of a prized English bulldog receiving routine shots was mentioned in this book. Afterwards, the dog had anaphylactic shock (54). Also, tests were done on dogs that proved vaccines to have the potential to cause diseases (170).


Page 200 refers to “uncounted generations of adaptive evolution.” It was unclear to me whether the author was referring to micro evolution, which could be acceptable, or to macro evolution, which would probably make the author an atheist. At the end of the book, under a subheading entitled What I Believe, Dr. Moskowitz states, “The discipline I try to be worthy of is... simple, ...wholesome, and ...satisfying[:] offering the relevant science... to enhance [the patient’s] own innate self-healing capacity. Religion or not, that is the profession I would live by” (252-253). If he were a Christian, I don’t think that he would call being a doctor a “religion,” and he might also mention that the “innate self-healing capacity” is God-given.


Don’t trust the studies that prove vaccines safe and effective. “The lead investigator’s main assignment is to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the results of such trials conform to the company’s predetermined agenda of advertising the product to be as safe and effective as possible” (33). Dr. Moskowitz explains again and again that vaccine studies are deceptive at best and fraudulent at worst. Dr. Moskowitz quotes Dr. Robert Mendelsohn as saying, “Parents are better than doctors at managing their children’s health. ...[Parents] are willing to give [their] children the time and attention, and your doctor isn’t. ...In most instances, all [the doctor’s] tests, shots, and X-rays are no substitute for the common-sense care that an informed parent can provide” (46).


Vaccines: A Reappraisal argues that, because vaccines have the potential for side effects, parents should have the right to choose whether or how many vaccines their children should receive (50). Jabbed, by Brett Wilcox, takes a stronger stance, saying that “all vaccines result in harm to a
greater or lesser extent” (xxi). Vaccines: A Reappraisal, much like Jabbed, calls vaccines a “religion” (199).

My Critique

Dr. Moskowitz says that he is “pro-choice” for vaccines. I think that he should have found a different word or phrase, one that does not carry a negative connotation. While I found much of this book to be understandable, some parts would be better suited for someone who knows much about medicine and science. For instance, Dr. Moskowitz says, “These vaccines are bioengineered, and therefore need aluminum-salt adjuvants to achieve significant antigenicity” (221), and I am not entirely sure what he is talking about. Other than a few places such as that one, I enjoyed the book and was able to learn quite a bit from it.


Book Review: Grain Brain by David Perlmutter

Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, MDbread g84a707047 1920

Reviewed by Rose MacPherson

Thesis. David Perlmutter says that “the origin of brain disease is predominately dietary” (34). To prevent or cure mental problems he “prescribe[s] a low-carb diet rich in healthy fats” (141). “The fate of your health… is largely in your hands” (169).

Unique points.

  • Vegetable oils are not actually made of vegetables (253).

  • “We can change the expression of more than 70 percent of the genes that have a direct bearing on our health and longevity” (147).

  • It is important to choose grass-fed meat over grain-fed. “If animals are fed grains (usually corn and soybeans), then they will… be deficient in … vital nutrients” (89).

  • Dr. Perlmutter emphasizes the sad effects of a high-carb high-grain diet on the brain. “For every excess pound put on the body, …the brain gets a little smaller. How ironic that the bigger the body gets, the smaller the brain gets” (138-139).

  • “When you exercise, you literally change your genes. …Exercise isn’t just for trim looks and a strong heart; perhaps its most powerful effects are… in [the brain]” (153).

  • In America, the average person consumes well over 100 grams of sugar each day (155).

  • Whole wheat is just as high on the glycemic index as white (77), and it is addictive. “Gluten is our generation’s tobacco,” he says (75).

World View. Unfortunately, it seems that Dr. Perlmutter does not come from a Christian background. Throughout the book, he mentions evolution at least six times (74, 86, 110, 153, 202, 224). He also says, “We are designed to be smart people” (146). While this is true, it would be more true to state that we are created to be intelligent, because we are created by an intelligent Creator.


  • “An apple a day may not keep the doctor away” (145). Dr. Perlmutter recommends no more than one serving of fruit per day.

  • He says that diet soft drinks are actually worse than the regular ones (143).

  • Every person, whether he knows it or not, has at least some level of gluten sensitivity. For this reason, it is recommended that everyone should always avoid gluten.

  • “When we consume too many carbs, we eat less fat – the very ingredient our brain demands for health” (78).

  • “I recommend that you take… 2 tablespoons [of coconut oil daily]” (211).

  • Dr. Perlmutter emphasizes that rest is important for our health. “Sleep is the third pillar of good health, alongside diet and exercise” (241).

Compare and Contrast.

In his list of recommended healthy fats, Dr. Perlmutter includes sesame oil (254). However, in Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon says that sesame oil should be used in moderation (65). Another thing that Fallon says is that “it is best to avoid… coffee” (52). Dr. Perlmutter, on the other hand, says, “Don’t be deceived by cautionary warnings about coffee! The benefits… far outweigh the risks” (276).

Grain Brain reminded me of Keto Zone Diet, by Don Colbert, MD. Both books recommend limiting carbohydrates to 20 or 30 grams a day.

My Critique. When giving dietary recommendations, Dr. Perlmutter seems to only consider small families and those who live alone. He says, “Hard-boil a carton of eggs on a Sunday night and you’ve got breakfast and/or snacks for the week” (259). However, that is not enough for a large family.

Also, he recommends a very low-carb diet for everyone and does not address the fact that for some people, especially growing children, a diet higher in healthy carbs could be beneficial.

He recommends that we “go to bed and get up at roughly the same time seven days a week, 365 days a year [sic]” (266). While I can appreciate consistency, I do not think that so rigid a schedule is necessary. Dr. Perlmutter says, “Be flexible, but consistent” (270). It seems to me that this is a contradiction.

Overall, I found this book to be an entertaining and informing read.


If you enjoyed this review, you might also like:


Teaching Children Chastity: Reviewed on Lutheran Witness!

We are pleased to share that our booklet, Teaching Children Chastity for Life: Talking Points for Christian Parents, has received an unsolicited and glowing review by Katie Schuermann on the Lutheran Witness website of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Mrs. Schuermann writes:

Written by educator and mother Marie K. MacPherson along with her husband Ryan C. MacPherson, Ph.D., Teaching Chastity for Life frankly and kindly models how to think about human sexuality in light of God’s Word, then offers practical suggestions on how to discuss sexuality with children in the home at every developmental stage. From male and female body parts to clothing trends to transgenderism, the authors apply sensible, reasonable and respectful language to hot topics parents often fear broaching with their children. 

The book itself is organized into chapters that address subjects as specific and as varied as human biology, sexual identity, chastity, marriage, procreation and even pornography and masturbation. It does not shy away from the hard questions nor gloss over verbs and nouns made awkward by the world’s present depravity, but instead directly and graciously speaks to what our children need to hear most: the truth from God’s Word about their created bodies and their relationships with each other.

Marie is especially honored and humbled by this review, having been a long-time fan of Schuermann's Anthems of Zion series, as well as a relatively new fan of her non-fiction (having just discovered it at a conference this past summer)!

We hope and pray that this booklet will be a blessing to families, as they broach these sometimes difficult life topics with their children, and aim to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Read the full review here.

Marie K. MacPherson is wife to Ryan, homeschooling mother to their six living children, and redeemed child of God. They make their home in Mankato, MN. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator from CCLE, author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies(2016). She is also the author of LFL’s booklets The Story of Baby Shalom (2017) and Teaching Children Chastity: Talking Points for Christian Parents (2020). She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bethany Lutheran College, with Lutheran school certification and a specialty in communication arts and literature. Marie is an advocate for mothers, serving as a La Leche League Leader for over six years and a volunteer at a local pro-life pregnancy clinic. When she’s not caring for her own children, or the mothers of other children, Marie reads extensively, researching natural health, homeschooling, evangelism, marriage, and parenting. Read her contributions to Blest the House; The Hausvater Project; Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife; and Lutherans for Life. Follow her blog at: www.intoyourhandsllc.com/blog.

 Marie 39


Youth Educational Resources for Art and Music

This semester, I am taking a Master's Course on the great works of Western Art and Music with Memoria College with Dr. Carol Reynolds. For a discussion assignment,  I shared some art and music resources I have used with my own children, which can be seen below. Perhaps they will be useful in your schools or homeschools? (I linked to Amazon for convenience in some cases, but these resources can likely found at other retailers.)

  • Birdcage Press Go Fish Art Cards (Egyptian, Renaissance, Van Gogh, Modern). These cards feature famous works of art and can be used in a variety of ways. I enjoy playing ‘Go Fish’ with my children with these cards: In order for you to obtain a match, the artist of the two cards must be the same, and you must say the correct name of the painting (which are listed by artist on each card). It really helps with artistic fluency, and each set also has a pair for styles of the time period (not just artists).

  • Memoria Press Art Cards. Perhaps you have all seen these before, but this is my first year using them in my homeschool. In the past, I have purchased other art cards/postcards to use with my children, but I really love this collection.

  • Mary Kohl’s Art Education Books. I have used several of these, but especially love Discovering Great Artists and Great American Artists. These two have brief summaries of timeless Western artists, and teach a step-by-step art lesson for children in the style, medium, or content of the great artist. All activities are graded for preparation and time, so the instruction knows what’s coming!

  • Michelangelo for Kids (and others). This is a book in a series, including Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven, and several scientists and writers. The books are about 100 pages long and include amazing biographical information, but are also full of color pictures and primary sources. They also include dozens of activities, experiments, recipes, and more. I leave these out on the coffee table and the children love paging through them as supplements to our regular curriculum.

  • Classics for Kids Website. This website has so much content for teachers, and so much fun for children! There are music clips, extensive lesson plans, and my favorite: printable worksheets for kids, which I have used at a homeschool co-op.

  • Classical Kids. I believe this resource was recently referred to by a classmate. I just discovered it last year and ordered it. I am currently working my way through it with my children. These are audio dramas that put a “story behind the story” of the music for several famous composers, and includes the composer’s music as a background to the story. It looks like the company has a lot more than just this set on their website, but I haven’t spent much time exploring yet!

  • Kloria Art Books. This company is run by some friends of ours, and I have met a few of the artists! These are picture and board books for children featuring traditional hymns and classic (not comic) art.

Marie K. MacPherson is wife to Ryan, homeschooling mother to their six living children, and redeemed child of God. They make their home in Mankato, MN. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator from CCLE, author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies(2016). She is also the author of LFL’s booklets The Story of Baby Shalom (2017) and Teaching Children Chastity: Talking Points for Christian Parents (2020). She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bethany Lutheran College, with Lutheran school certification and a specialty in communication arts and literature. Marie is an advocate for mothers, serving as a La Leche League Leader for over six years and a volunteer at a local pro-life pregnancy clinic. When she’s not caring for her own children, or the mothers of other children, Marie reads extensively, researching natural health, homeschooling, evangelism, marriage, and parenting. Read her contributions to Blest the House; The Hausvater Project; Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife; and Lutherans for Life. Follow her blog at: www.intoyourhandsllc.com/blog.

 Marie 39


Mankato's Pizzerias: A Review


A few months ago, my family decided that—since restaurants are finally open again—we should explore the Mankato area for the best pizza restaurant around. The following blog showcases our results, evaluated on the basis of location, facilities, service, flavor, texture, and price, each of which is ranked from one to five stars based on the votes of my family and myself. We hope that you enjoy reading about our adventure, and that in the end you will know where to go next time you want pizza!

Pagliai’s Pizza—★★★☆☆

524 S Front Street, Mankato

January 7, 2022


Pagliai’s has a good location for anyone in the Mankato area. We made two stops on our way there, but I would estimate that our driving time on the way home was five to ten minutes. The streets were icy, and so on a normal day, the trip would be quicker. Pagliai’s doesn’t have a parking lot of its own, but there is some parking available along the street, as well as a parking lot half a block away. We parked a few blocks away and didn’t have a problem with the walk, even our family has several small children.


The aisles between the tables was rather narrow, and there was no good place to park the stroller. There was only one bathroom stall for each gender, but that seemed adequate given the small size of the restaurant. One of my siblings had a several minute wait for the bathroom, but this was because it was being cleaned. Despite the inconvenience of the wait, it was nice to know that the bathrooms were being kept clean. The music that was playing was not what I would have chosen, but it was soft enough that I didn’t find it to be bothersome.


The service was adequate. The younger children were given full glasses of ice water, rather than plastic cups or cups that were only partially filled, but other options might have been available if we had requested it. We were also provided with a pitcher to refill our glasses. I appreciated that we were each given a plate and a fork to eat the pizza. The wait for the pizza was about half an hour, which wasn’t ideal, but also wasn’t a huge issue.


Pagliai’s uses mozzarella cheese on its pizza, and I found this to be rather bland. We ordered a pepperoni and a sausage pizza. The tomato sauce on both had nice flavor, but the pepperoni wasn’t very flavorful. The sausage pizza was better; the sausage pieces were flavorful without being too spicy.


It was difficult to transfer the pizza from the tray onto our plates. The pizza had been cut while it was still hot, and so the cheese melted back together. We were provided with a knife, but we still had some trouble serving the pizza, and ended up with a lot of cheese on the table. The crust was thin and snapped easily, which made it difficult to pick up the pieces of pizza, and it was also very crisp, which made it difficult to eat it with a fork. The bottom of the crust was floury, and the texture was more like a crunchy cracker than chewy bread.


Due to the current supply chain problems, and the fact that many restaurants are still recovering from COVID-19 shutdowns, it was hard to analyze the price of the pizzas. We paid $39 for two 14” single topping pizzas, and we will have to compare this price with others as we continue our search for the best pizza in the Mankato area.

1000 Degrees—★★★★☆

1351 Madison Avenue, Mankato

January 14, 2021


1000 Degrees is very conveniently located for anyone in or near downtown Mankato. It wasn’t far from our house—we could have walked if not for the snow—and it only took us a few minutes to get there. It has a parking lot with plenty of space, although at the time it was several inches deep in snow.


My family all agreed that 1000 Degrees felt much more open than Pagliai’s, with higher ceilings and better lighting. However, 1000 Degrees had two TVs (Pagliai’s had none). One of the TVs was playing the Marvel movie Black Widow, which is rated PG-13. The movie was muted (with subtitles), and little blood was shown, but there was enough action that it could have been frightening to younger children. Like Pagliai’s, 1000 Degrees had one bathroom stall for each gender. I found the bathroom to be significantly warmer than the dining area—which may have been because the bathroom was better protected from the cold drafts from outside. The bathroom could have used cleaning, especially along the edges of the floor, but the toilet and sink were clean.


The workers at 1000 Degrees were all friendly and helpful. One employee immediately offered to move two tables together to fit our big family, and he encouraged my younger siblings to help him lift it to move it over. We were not brought water, but I didn’t find it to be an inconvenience to get it for ourselves. The pizza came long before any of us expected it—while some of us were still getting water! According to the worker, it took only 2 ½ minutes. I appreciated the fast service, but agreed with my mom when she said that she had in some ways liked the long wait at Pagliai’s, because it gave us more time to talk.


The flavor of the pizzas was reasonably good. The sauce was not terribly flavorful, but not noticeably bland either. The cheese was more flavorful than at Pagliai’s, although the sausage and pepperoni were less flavorful.


The texture of the pizza crust was much chewier than at Pagliai’s. The bottom of the crust was also floury. We had a much easier time serving the pizza pieces; it’s possible that this was because the pizza was cut into triangular pieces rather than into squares. The cheese was also not as sticky as at Pagliai’s. However, both the pepperoni and the sausage pizza had significantly less meat on them. The edges of the pepperoni were slightly burnt, as well as the edges of the crust. This provided entertainment for my siblings—they enjoyed the enormous blackened bubble of cheese on one of the pieces.


We paid $32 for 2 single topping 14” pizzas, which was seven dollars less expensive than Pagliai’s. However, we ended up ordering a third pizza because several members of the family were still hungry. It’s hard to tell whether the pizzas at 1000 Degrees were truly less filling. They did not seem to be as filling, but other variables—such as how hungry we were when we came in—come into play here.

Dino’s Pizzeria—★★★★☆

239 Belgrade Avenue, North Mankato

January 21, 2022


For some reason, each time we’ve visited a pizza place so far, we’ve experienced winter weather that would make Antarctica feel ashamed! This week, not only was it snowing heavily, but it was about 15°F, plus windchill. The trip to Dino’s took longer than it normally would because of the snow, and the unplowed streets meant that there was no way our twelve passenger van was fitting into the limited street-side parking. Instead we found a parking lot a block or so down from Dino’s. The walk in the cold and the wind was not ideal, but neither was it terrible. In better weather, the location of Dino’s would not have been a problem.


One thing we all noticed at Dino’s was that it was much warmer than the other restaurants—in part, perhaps, due to the location of our table. Given the snow and wind outside, it was wonderful to take off our coats and enjoy the warmth. Dino’s also had a tablecloth and cloth napkins—and spread over the table to protect the cloth was a giant sheet of paper, complete with a container of crayons. Needless to say, we kept ourselves well entertained while we were waiting for the food. The lighting at Dino’s was dimmer than 1000 Degrees and equal to or slightly brighter than Pagliai’s. The soft light provided a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. There were two bathrooms, one stall for each gender. One of the bathrooms was out of order, but we were able to use the other one. There was a wait of a minute or two, but nothing very inconvenient.


The workers were very friendly and came promptly to take our order. We were brought water, and the cups for the younger kids had straws. The water was later refilled without us having to ask for it. Our dishes were also cleared away as we finished with them. I appreciated this, because when there are eight plates and eight cups on a table, it gets very crowded very fast.


The pizza at Dino’s was more flavorful than the other places we’ve visited so far. I thought that the tomato sauce in particular had good flavor. The sausage and pepperoni were also flavorful. The taste of the cheese was not as noticeable, but if it had had more flavor, it would have been too strong overall.


The pizza seemed to serve more easily than at the other restaurants, although we did end up with a few strings of cheese trailing across the table—and ruining our artwork with grease spots. We ordered larger pizzas at Dino’s, and so the pizza pieces tended to flop when we picked them up, but the texture of the crust was good.


At Dino’s, we ordered two 18” pizzas, rather than 14”. The 18” pizzas were $18 each, plus $2.50 for each topping (we ordered a single topping on each). The 14” pizzas were $16 each, plus $1 for each topping—a little more expensive than 1000 Degrees, but less expensive than Pagliai’s.

Jake’s Stadium Pizza—★★☆☆☆

330 Stadium Road, Mankato

January 29, 2022


Jake’s Stadium Pizza was farther from our house than 1000 Degrees, probably about the same distance as Pagliai’s. The drive seemed a little longer, but wasn’t an issue. Jake’s had its own parking lot, which had plenty of room when we arrived. Of course it was once again cold out, and so we were grateful to find a spot near the entrance.


Jake’s seemed more crowded than the other places, especially compared to 1000 Degrees, but there was adequate space for all the patrons. There was no convenient place for the infant carseat we brought in, but it worked out fine. As far as bathrooms go, there were three stalls in the ladies’ room (and I’m assuming in the men’s as well). The bathroom was cleaner than a lot of public bathrooms. In the dining area, there were several prominently located TVs, which distracted us from our meal and conversation.


We were given cups for water, but had to get water, silverware, and plates for ourselves. Also, we had to go and get the pizza when it was done. The wait time for the pizza was reasonable. However, there was some confusion over the price of the pizzas, resulting in an argument between two employees. Once that was figured out, we were incorrectly charged for children’s cups that should have been free. The cashier gave us a refund, but the confusion was still frustrating.


The flavor of the pizzas wasn’t terrible, but it left much to be desired. The pepperoni pieces really had no taste. While we’ve been trying to order a sausage and pepperoni pizza at each restaurant to compare those specifically, my mom forgot and ordered cheese pizza here, so I don’t know what the sausage would have tasted like. The flavor of the sauce was fine.


The texture of the crust was more rubbery than anything else. The cheese and pepperoni were fine. We did have an easier time serving the pizza here, but that was largely because it was cut into smaller pieces. Even so, it was hard to pick up the pizza to eat it because the crust kept flopping.


As mentioned before, we mistakenly did not order the same kind of pizza as at the previous restaurants. Due to the confusion over the price, I am not sure what the price would have been if we had, but as far as I can tell from the website, the price for one 14” pepperoni and one 14” sausage pizza would have been $32.90. This is similar to the prices at 1000 Degrees and Dino’s.

Pizza Ranch—★★★★☆

1551 Tullamore Street, Mankato

February 05, 2022


Pizza Ranch is very close to our house, a few blocks farther away than 1000 Degrees. Finally some pleasant weather has come our way, and I’m happy to say that there was no polar vortex and no blizzard this weekend—the sky was clear and we could see the stars when we came out. The parking lot was filling up, but we found a spot without any trouble. The Snoopy doghouse near the front door delighted our toddler, who tried to climb inside it.


The table were placed close together, and it was a challenge to navigate all nine of us—with eight coats and one baby carseat—in and out. There’s no direct exit from the dining area; rather, you have to weave back through the buffet to get to the door. For a smaller family, though, that wouldn’t be a problem. The ladies’ bathroom had three stalls and was very clean for a public restroom.


The woman who took our order at the front desk was not very pleasant, and ordering was difficult because of some confusion over the size of the pizzas that she was either unwilling or unable to clear up. We got our own water, but the plates, silverware, and pizza was brought to us. When the server came with the forks, we were in the middle of praying, and he waited at a distance until we had finished rather than interrupt us.


The flavor of the pizzas was delicious overall, though I found the sausage slightly too spicy. The sauce was rich and flavorful, as was the pepperoni. The cheese had a milder flavor, which balanced well with the meat and sauce. I thought that the crust had more of a yeast flavor than many other pizzas. One thing to note that doesn’t fully fit into any of the categories is that we believe the pizzas contained sulfite, a kind of salt used as a preservative. One of my siblings has a sulfite allergy, and experienced canker sores later in the evening, likely due to eating sulfite in the pizza.


Everyone enjoyed the texture of the pizza. The crust was chewy and breadlike, rather than floury or crunchy. It was thick enough, but not so thick as to overpower the toppings. The cheese was still soft and melty when the pizzas arrived, but we had no issues with long strings of cheese hanging from the tray to our plates. At least one member of my family disliked the crisp edges of the pepperoni pieces, but I didn’t mind it. The only complaint I have as far as texture goes is that what appeared to be dill seeds were visible in the sausage. I dislike ground meat that has seeds or seasonings of a different texture, but that’s largely a personal preference.


The pizzas were $15.99 each for a single topping large pizza (plain cheese was considered single topping). As mentioned earlier, we’re uncertain exactly what size the pizzas were.


505 South Front Street, Mankato

February 18, 2022


Polito’s wasn’t far from our house, but we had quite the time finding a parking spot. The restaurant had no parking lot of its own, and believe me, it is next to impossible to parallel park a twelve-passenger van on any downtown street at six pm on a Friday night. We finally found a parking garage across the street and walked the half block to Palito’s. Thankfully, there was no blizzard this week.


Polito’s had a table with eight chairs ready and waiting for us. The tables were spaced a little farther apart than at some of the other restaurants we’ve visited, leaving more room for the baby carseat. The bathrooms had one stall each for men and women. The women’s room could have used some cleaning, especially the floor, but it was decent. There was no TV and quiet background music, including the theme from Star Wars, which delighted my siblings.


We got our own water, but the pizzas were brought to us. The staff didn’t give us much attention as far as bringing more water or clearing away the dishes goes, but neither was that necessary.


It was generally agreed upon by my family that both the pepperoni and the sausage were spicier at Polito’s than anywhere else we had visited, but neither was too spicy. The sauce was very flavorful, and everyone enjoyed it.


The texture of the crust was much better than at many of the other places we’ve been. The pieces here were larger and therefore floppier, but that was not due to any sogginess in the crust. The crust was neither floury nor oily, and was pleasantly chewy. One thing we also noticed was that the crust was thicker in proportion to the toppings, which made it more breadlike. However, I disliked the texture of the cheese, which was sticky and difficult to cut or chew. As the pizza cooled, the texture of the cheese improved.


A fourteen-inch single topping pizza was $13.00, less expensive than anywhere else we’ve been so far. From some scribbled math formulas on a paper napkin, we deduced that when the prices of the 14” and 20” pizzas are compared, one receives more than twice as many square inches of pizza—for about three dollars more. This seems to hold true at other pizza places as well. So, if you trust our mathematical skills, never buy two 14” pizzas—buy one 20” pizza instead. Your children and your pocketbook will thank you.


So, which restaurant did turn out to be the best? As you can see, 1000 Degrees, Dino’s, Pizza Ranch, and Polito’s all ended up with four stars. Most of my siblings say Dino’s is their favorite—they loved that they got to color on the tables while waiting for their food. But with the same number of stars for each restaurant, it’s hard to say for sure which one is best. It looks like you’ll have to try a few of them, and decide for yourself!


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