Saturday, March 8, 2014

Discuss: Pizza!!

Doug: It seems like Karen has been hogging all the good food posts. She's done one on ice cream, and then the fun one on cheeseburgers just several days ago. Shoot, she even wrote about Chistmas tamales, for Pete's sake! But what she hasn't brought up yet is pizza! Coming from Chicagoland, you know that means deep dish for this guy, although I do have a soft spot for thin 'n' crispy pies. Today let's talk all-pizza, all-the-time! If you'd care to divulge those dark family secrets, what was Mom's homemade pizza like when you were little? Does anyone among our ranks make a killer pie of their own concoction? And, what are your favorite pizza joints, franchised or even a shout-out to a local establishment? I'm getting hungry!

Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza

Monical's Thin Crust

Giordano's Stuffed Pizza


Edo Bosnar said...

Since I'm a born-and-bred West Coaster, I always found the feuding between New Yorkers and Chicagoans over what constitutes a "real" pizza puzzling (and amusing when Jon Stewart gets into it on the Daily Show). I like all kinds of pizza - standard thin crust, deep dish, stuffed, you name it.
Most of the pizza places I recall when I was still living in the US (in Oregon and then California) were either small "mom & pop" type restaurants or small, local chains - like Abby's Pizza in Oregon.
Back when I was still living in the SF Bay Area, I think I went to a chain called Stuft most often with friends. Nothing special, just really well-made pizzas - and they were always really cool about letting us take a cup of ranch dressing from the salad bar to dip the pizza in. (And no, despite the name, I don't recall them having actual stuffed pizza on the menu.)

By the way, happy International Women's Day to Karen, and also Teresa and any other of the all-too-few women who leave comments here...

J.A. Morris said...

The best pizza in the world can be found at Pepe's in New Haven:

Rip Jagger said...

I'm fond of the New York Style thin crust pizza, as the Chicago Deep Dish overwhelms me a bit. But I'm not vociferous about it.

There's a joint named Geno's in the hills of Appalachia Kentucky that knocks out a wonderful thin crust and exceedingly greasy pizza which tastes wonderful. It's probably the best I've had. The local chains are typical; Pizza Hut is not a favorite and Domino's is fine in a pinch.

We do have LaRosa's here, a Cincinnati chain which has in the last five years or so gotten as far south as my little town and it has some great stuff, but I'm a sandwich man mostly from them.

Rip Off

Redartz said...

For a chain : Noble Roman's does well; their Deep Dish Sicilian is always a treat. Very tasty sauce. Of course, they also have pretty good breadsticks to go with your pizza.

As for all, local and noteworthy: in Lafayette, Indiana you find "Bruno's". They have been in business for decades on the strength of their incredible pizza. As a side. One must indulge in an order of "Bruno Dough": pizza dough fried and coated with melted butter and Parmesan , dipped in cheese. Uhhhhh... Is it lunchtime yet?

Doug said...

We have a chain in the south suburbs of Chicago called Nancy's, which serves a stuffed pizza very similar to the one I pictured from Giordano's. However, a real treat from them is their thin crust Buffalo chicken pizza -- Buffalo sauce, chicken, celery, and mozzarella cheese. It also comes with blue cheese dressing for dipping. It's dynamite!


Doug said...

Redartz --

Do you have a Donato's in Lafayette? I don't know if they are still franchised. There used to be one in Noblesville. Really good thin crust pizza.


mr. oyola said...

Chicago pizza sucks.

Hell, Manhattan pizza kinda sucks, too.

The best pizza is in Brooklyn.

L&B Spumoni Gardens in Gravesend/Bensonhurst.

The spot around the corner from me, La Bella's is also damn good.

Vezuvio's in Bay Ridge - so good, too.

Doc Savage said...

Carino's in La Jolla is my favorite local establishment.

Personally I find it hilarious when folks from Chicago and NY argue about whose pizza is real or best. I think they both are not very good. Had better frozen pizzas.

Redartz said...

Doug- funny you should mention Donato's . There are several in Indianapolis; sadly none in Lafayette. I almost mentioned them, that do make a fine pizza. That pepperoni runs right to the edge and covers the whole pie!

Teresa said...

The big national chains are second choice around here in the PacNW, PDX Metro area.
The chains are where you go when nobody can agree...
I like a veggie pizza, normal crust, eggplant is a must and then a little Canadian Bacon.

I was in Chicago last year and tried the Chicago style pizza. It was really good, but I only made it through one piece. It was a tad heavy.

Thanks, Ed!

Karen said...

We still haven't found a 'great' pizza place since we moved to AZ 7 years ago. Most of the chains I don't care for -but if we had Round Table out here, I'd be there once a week. I don't know what it is -by any measure, I shouldn't like their pizza, with the crust that has air between the bottom and top, and the ton of grease oozing out of it. But their pizza is damned delicious. The pepperoni and sausage is so tasty. My mouth is watering already.

I don't care for the deep dish variety -I've had some that was like soup pie. But I like a good thick crust around the edge of the pizza. When I was a kid, we used to go to a joint called Shakey's, which I believe was a chain, and they had all you could eat pizza slices, fried chicken, and fried potatoes. Talk about grease! They should have offered free Alka Seltzer.

Hoosier X said...

For the guys that are going to Indiana soon, see if there is a Pizza King in the area.

I haven't lived in Indiana for a long time, and one of the things I miss is Pizza King.

The way they cut the pizza into the squares, the chopped pepperoni, GREEN OLIVES on pizza!


(Last time I was in Indiana (2010), we got Pizza King at a gas station! Awesome! And for dessert, we had BUN candy!)

Doug said...

Thanks, Matt. You drew my ire away from Osvaldo. Osvaldo thanks you, too.

Eggplant, hmm Teresa? I've never tried it so cannot knock it. However, that would not be on even my long list of pizza toppings. I love how this conversation is pretty regional in nature.


Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, Shakey's is definitely a chain, there was a bunch of those in Oregon when I was growing up there - and yes, I remember their pizzas being quite greasy as well.

Doug said...

I've had that, Hoosier X, and yes -- it was pretty good!

For anyone passing through Anderson, IN, where my sons go to school, try Art's Pizza. It's thin crust, but man-o-man do they pile on the toppings! Each square can weigh an ounce or two! However many people you think can split a normal large pizza... well, you'd need to recruit another person to help you get through one of Art's.

That brings up the question -- do you like a lot of toppings, or somewhat light on the toppings? Do you like that slice to be heavy, or easily handled?


Edo Bosnar said...

Actually, Doug, eggplant is pretty good on pizza. When my wife and I make pizza at home, we often put lots of creative veggie toppings on it - believe or not, zucchini is also good on pizza.
Another interesting topping - which you will often find on pizzas in various European countries - is a sunnyside-up egg. Yes, it's cracked over the pie just before it's done. At first I thought that was just sick, but then I tried it - it's actually quite good.

Humanbelly said...

Redartz, I totally forgot about Noble Roman's as I was mentally running through a happy lifetime of pizza consumption! There was one in Mishawaka/South Bend that I hit many times in the summer of (gulp) '79 (!!!). That is- or at least was- a particularly tasty pie. A very spicey/sweet tomato sauce, smooth (but not bland) cheese, and their pepperoni crisped just perfectly around the edges. I recall it being just about the perfect with-a-pitcher-of-Coke pizza.

And wow, Karen, there was a Shakey's when I was a kid in nearby Elkhart, IN, as well. It was a Big Deal for us to go there for an "Out on the Town" Sunday dinner (I kid you not-- going to our town's frequently-shut-down, drive-in-only A&W was considered "eating out". My folks both came from rural, smalltown farmer stock.). I actually have no memory of the pizza, though-- just all of the wood & tiffany & player piano & old-timey decor.

Did a few months delivering for Pizza Hut in their first year of taking that enterprise on. I disliked their pizza so much that I generally didn't even take the free one that you were entitled to per shift.

Little Caeser's has always, always been inedible, bland, cheese-covered cardboard-- w/ an often-amusing add campaign. Ugh. It's like dwarf-bread, for any DiscWorld followers out there.

Dominos kept my roommate and I going through college when the cafeteria meals didn't fill us up. There's something about that greasy taste late at night w/ the complimentary free (& flat) pepsi that still tingles my taste-buds.

I. . . am going to stop burdening you kind folks at this point, and will perhaps come back later (after painting my wife's office). I am. . . heh. . . a very comfort-food oriented person, and do tend to rattle on & on & on. . .


Hoosier X said...

Hey, Doug!

I was in Anderson most of the time I was in Indiana in 2010. (But I grew up in Middletown.)

We had Pizza King when I was in Anderson because my dad loves it.

The gas station that had the Pizza King inside was closer to New Castle. I think the state road is the 36, and the town is ... either Sulphur Springs or Mt. Summit. (Even when I lived there, I used to get those two mixed up.)

Anonymous said...

When I was a soldier over in Germany in the '80's we used to get Greek pizza. Anyway, it was a little pizza place run by Greek immigrants.
Man o' man, I wish I could get some of that now. It was unlike anything else I ever had.

Anonymous said...

Growing up, the two pizza places we had were Pizza Hut and Pizza Inn. Pizza Inn had sandwiches and pasta, Pizza Hut had a salad bar.

When I was in college, one of the pizza places had a truck with a warmer box in the bed that would drive around campus. When you wanted a pizza, you stood out in front of the dorm and stop it as it drove by. They had three choices, pepperoni, sausage and cheese.

Now we have places that sell pizza by the slice. The slice is bigger than the plate, heck, it's bigger than your head.

The Prowler (soaking and spraying to get all the sauce stains out of the cowl).

Anonymous said...

Edo buddy, I'm like you - I love all pizzas (OK, and hamburgers, fried chicken and hot dogs too!).

In Trinidad we have the usual international pizza franchises like Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's but two of my personal favourites are totally local - Joe's pizza and Mario's. Both offer New York styled thin crust pizza, and I've always liked their pizzas. I love Joe's because their pizza always tastes really fresh, while Mario's lays on the cheddar cheese really thick. Mmmm.

- Mike 'I just ate a humungous burger' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Stephen said...

I live in San Francisco and there are very few good pizza places here. Or good places for bagels for that matter. I'm an East Coast snob (although I'm from Massachusetts, not NYC).

The best pizza place here is a little hole in the wall called Arinell Pizza that serves the only authentic NYC-style pizza I've found in the city, which is thin crust, served in two flavors: plain cheese or plain cheese, little greasy on top, served on a piece of wax paper on a paper plate handed to you over the counter. There are I think 4 stools in the entire place you can sit on if you want to eat in the store (I can't bring myself to call it a restaurant).

Can you do a post devoted to the best Dunkin' Donuts donut?

Doug said...

Hi, Stephen --

We actually did discuss donuts back in October; only 11 comments on that one, though. Check it out and see if there's anything worth noting even at this late date.



Karen said...

Boy, we've discussed a lot of food here, haven't we?! Besides teh topics already mentioned, I know we've done candy too -at least Halloween candy (, and we had a face-off between Zingers and Hostess cupcakes ( What unhealthy food group haven't we plundered? Hmmm...maybe a battle of fast food chains is due?

mr. oyola said...

So much ire!

My wife and I make a pesto pizza with breaded fried eggplant and fresh mozzarella. So good!

I also really love Hawaiian pizza.

Garett said...

Is Famoso pizza in the States? There are 3 locations in my city. Great pizza, just a few toppings but high quality and delicious. The Vesuvius hot spicy pizza is my fave.

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