Tonight I decided to venture out of my own kitchen and into the hands of the Black Sheep Pizzeria in the warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis. The result, marvelous. Black Sheep Pizza is unique among pizza joints in the cities in that they cook their pies under a coal fired oven. Most pizza ovens use wood or gas. Coal fired ovens are hotter, and dryer, yet tougher to maintain making these ovens hard to come by. Unknown to many, coal was actually used most commonly to bake the first pizzas in the United States. Black Sheep is the first coal-fired pizzeria in Minnesota and prides itself on using emission-free coal and regaining the "original" pizza tradition in the United States. Black Sheep is located on the 600 block of Washington Ave. North in a small storefront. Seating is limited to bar stools, a few booths and a handful of tables. The atmosphere is tight yet cozy, with an open kitchen. I sat at the bar and watched the bustle of the kitchen staff tossing giant pizza rounds up into the air and dropping pizzas into the fire burning oven toward the back of the restaurant. The menu is small but showcases a unique variety of specialty pizzas, highlighting bold flavors dynamic pairings. We order #4, with meatballs, ricotta, basil and garlic... yum! The pizza arrives looking bright and delicious with crispy charred edges. The meatballs are sliced thin and taste a little spicy, just how I like it. The smooth and mild ricotta cheese pairs nicely with the spicy meatballs and fresh tomato sauce. The crust is not too thick with the perfect ratio of crispy to doughy. Because the coal oven is so hot, the pie remains dry throughout without succumbing to a soggy, limp center found in such restaurants such as Punch which use wood fired ovens.