Finding out that Lou Malnati's leaves something to be desired...

Finding out that Lou Malnati's leaves something to be desired...
Lou Malnati's Logo

Everybody knows that Chicago is known for pizza. After living here for 16 months, I can tell you that great pizza is very easy to come by here. Kyle and I have our favorite pizza places already. However, one of the places we had failed to visit was Lou Malnati's.

My friends, co-workers, and even strangers have told me that Lou Malnati's is fabulous. Some even going so far as saying it is the best pizza ever. So, when my friends from out of town showed up, we decided to try it with them.

We started our meal off with the Toasted Mozzarella Sticks and Cheese Cubes. The cheese cubes were wonderful; however, the mozzarella sticks were the equivalent of what I could purchase at Costco for a lot cheaper price.

Regardless of the appetizers, when it comes to pizza in Chicago, it all comes down to whether the pizza is good or not. Service can suck (which ours did), prices can be expensive, or the place can be dingy, but if they have great pizza, we keep going back.

Unfortunately, Kyle and I tried the Chicago Style Malnati's Chicago Classic. Expecting to be blown away, we were ready to rip into our pizza and tear it up.

Sadly, we found the pizza to be rather bland. I had assumed that "lean sausage" meant a healthier sausage; however, the pizza had very little sausage on it. So little, that I had to check the menu to make sure the pizza was in fact suppose to have sausage on it.

Thinking maybe that we just had a bad pizza, we asked our guests what they thought of their separate and differently-styled pizza. While they did not complain, they did not talk about how great it was either. They simply said that it was "okay."

So, if you are looking for pizza, and you want it good, my recommendation is to avoid Lou Malnati's. There are so many places here to get great pizza, that Lou's will leave you feeling less than satisfied.


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  • I think if one is a Lou Malnati's fan it is mainly because of the flavor and consistency of the crust. The rest of the ingredients don't really stand out. I'm not a big fan because they don't offer coupons. All other things being equal, I don't find Lou's worth paying an extra two to three dollars for.

    My favorite is Nancy's. I love the flavor of their original stuffed pizza. IMHO, it has just the right flavor mix with sauce, cheese, and crust. A close second for me is Gino's East.

    Out in the 'burbs, Generoso Pizza in Glendale Heights has both an excellent Sicilian Stuffed and Chicago Style deep dish. My favorite version uses their seasoned Italian beef in place of sausage. It's just a short drive down 53/355 from where you're at and they even have a couple of tables for eat-in.

    This post has me thinking about pizza for dinner tonight...

  • I am not a native Chicagoan and I similarly did not find Mal's to be so wonderful, ESPECIALLY in that it is twice as expensive as any one else's piazza. It isn't horrible, mind you, but I just don't think it is the endall/be all of pizza.

  • I grew up in Chicago, still live here and I agree, Lou's is overrated, there are so many great pizza joints in Chicago, the media hypes them up to be the king and there not! Pizza is an acquired taste and some may like Dominos and some may like Lou's and the better ones get un-disocovered for they do not have the funds to market their pies. Just take Great Lakes Pizza someone from a media source wrote about them and now you can't get in the place nor would I want to, there rude, not accomadating and there pizza is hit or miss. Why would anybody want to be treated like that? Living in Rogers Park I have tons of choices, I like Grandstand Pizza in Franklin Park, but my favorite is Panino's in Evanston, They have every variety of pizza and they are all good! I have never experienced a bad pizza, and now they have hit a home run with this Artisan pizza, unbelievable! Well its a hidden gem and I hope it remains that way so I can get excellent service like always......

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