review

A Native Chicagoan’s Review of Lou Malnati’s

Chicagoans have all heard of the following pizza places: Gino’s East, Giordano’s, Home Run Inn, Lou Malnati’s, and Pizzeria Uno. Chicagoans also usually run a gamut of opinions on each of these respectively or sometimes have the same collective opinion that these are all “commercial” chain pizza restaurants that don’t reflect how good Chicago pizza […]

6 / 8
Slice Rating

A Native Chicagoan’s Review of Lou Malnati’s

Posted By: martha
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lou_malnatti.jpgloumalnatti.jpgChicagoans have all heard of the following pizza places: Gino’s East, Giordano’s, Home Run Inn, Lou Malnati’s, and Pizzeria Uno. Chicagoans also usually run a gamut of opinions on each of these respectively or sometimes have the same collective opinion that these are all “commercial” chain pizza restaurants that don’t reflect how good Chicago pizza can get. I can respect that and sometimes I feel the same way. But last night I had Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza, and it was one of the best I have had in awhile.

I didn’t have high hopes at first. Like most food chains, the pizza quality at Lou Malnati’s can be come-and-go, and I wasn’t pleased to see a soupy trail of tomato sauce atop my pizzas. As soon as I bit into the pizza, everything changed…

The crust was perfect. Perfect! It was so delectably satisfying, such crispy fun to bite into, I ate all of it immediately instead of finishing all of the slices I wanted and then waiting to see if I was still hungry enough to eat the crust. The cheese and ingredients were a perfect harmony of salty and savory, and even the soupy sauce tasted great. But really, how good was the pizza? I ate 3 slices of it. In one 30-minute sitting. And I weigh under 130 pounds.

First I placed only 1 slice on my plate. I figured I would come back for seconds, but maybe my tall glass of Pinot Grigio accompanying the pizza would make the 1 slice sufficient. I finished the pizza, then the drink, exhaled a small belch, waited a few moments, and cut the next slice. I finished that one and thought that would be the end of it. I poured my next glass and quietly watched a few minutes of True Blood, paused the show, and cut half of a third slice. Five full minutes later, I realized who was kidding here, and ate the last half.

Overall, I’m pretty pleasantly surprised I had such a great time eating pizza from “one of those” pizza places. Was my incredibly pleasing Lou Malnati’s pizza-eating experience a freak occurrence, or is their deep dish really that good usually?

Lou Malnati’s gets 6 of out 8 slices.

You can follow Martha on Twitter @examinerchicago

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8 Responses to “A Native Chicagoan’s Review of Lou Malnati’s”

  • mattspizza wrote:
    03 Aug 2009 at 5:07 am

    I am not from Chicago, been there 1x and not impressed by the pizza. But I get Lou's to go and find it to be the Height of Deliciousness!!!

  • Kat Fields wrote:
    08 Aug 2009 at 5:03 am

    Being from Chicago I have tried too many pizza places down here in South Florida. My only option has been to order rozen pizzas shipped from Chicago's Lou Malnati's. It's the very best!

  • IL_carguy wrote:
    28 Aug 2009 at 9:47 am

    I found your site from Thrillist.com and I would agree with many of your reviews of pizza in Chicago. However, my opinion is that your Lou Malnati's experience is as you describe “a freak occurrence”. I have dined at both the Chicago and Naperville locations many times over the years with friends who love the pizza, and I have consistently found the tomato sauce to be runny and have a metallic taste. The crust does have a lot going for it, just the sauce ruins the pizza. I'd give it 3 slices. But that is why there are so many pizza joints out there!

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    28 Aug 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I personally have not had the pizza fresh from Chicago, so I wish I could comment on it better. I did have it shipped here, but that is nothing compared to eating it out of the oven.

  • Johnny G wrote:
    30 Sep 2009 at 11:38 am

    I lived in downtown Chicago for over 15 years and have tried nearly every pizza place around. Lou Malnati's is not only my favorite but the place that my friends and relatives want to go to every time they come back to visit.

    Pizzeria Uno is a close second, followed by Gino's East though I haven't been there in years. I don't care for Home Run Inn or Giordano's

  • Johnny G wrote:
    30 Sep 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I lived in downtown Chicago for over 15 years and have tried nearly every pizza place around. Lou Malnati's is not only my favorite but the place that my friends and relatives want to go to every time they come back to visit.

    Pizzeria Uno is a close second, followed by Gino's East though I haven't been there in years. I don't care for Home Run Inn or Giordano's

  • Sid B wrote:
    08 Aug 2012 at 5:20 pm

    If you are going to have “Chicago Pizza” THIS IS THE PLACE to COME!!! I’ve lived here for over 20yrs and have had all kind’s of pizza, BUT…Lou Malnati’s is the best, by far, going away!!! Nothing comes close to thier crust, sause, and other fresh ingredients..OMG I cant say enough good things on this pizza. Makes everything else pale in comparison.

  • Anna maria wrote:
    04 Jun 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Worst pizza ever. I am 76 years old and grew up on pizza on the south side of Chicago in Roseland. I love good pizza but I found Malnatis pizza to be the worst, by far that I have ever had. By far.

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