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Is there bad pizza in the Chicago area?

Is there bad pizza in the Chicago area?
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  • Post #61 - October 18th, 2006, 12:55 pm
    Post #61 - October 18th, 2006, 12:55 pm Post #61 - October 18th, 2006, 12:55 pm
    eatchicago wrote:
    Cogito wrote:The last time I went to Gino's East thew sausage was in the form of a flat one-piece disk that covered the entire crust, instead of individual pieces. Awful.


    This is also how Lou Malnati's handles it. I consider it to be the opposite of awful.

    To each his own. I couldn't handle it.
  • Post #62 - October 18th, 2006, 1:06 pm
    Post #62 - October 18th, 2006, 1:06 pm Post #62 - October 18th, 2006, 1:06 pm
    Cogito wrote:To each his own. I couldn't handle it.


    Yeah, it doesn't work for me, either. It also reheats very poorly, in my experience.

    I had a truly awful Malnati's pizza (carryout) from the Lawndale location. The crust wasn't merely soggy, it was soaked through like a ladyfinger in tiramisu. Where the crust wasn't soggy, it was tough.

    This is my second time having a poor to terrible experience at this Malnati's, and I think I'm going to write it off completely. A shame, too, since it has more character than most of their other locations.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #63 - November 12th, 2006, 8:37 am
    Post #63 - November 12th, 2006, 8:37 am Post #63 - November 12th, 2006, 8:37 am
    rick bayless recently introduced frozen pizza to his line of salsas and chips. i dont know what the rationale was in expanding into italian food- i have total confidence in him when it comes to mexican food, why couldnt he stick to that? i couldnt resist buying one (i think it was at jewel), and was horribly disappointed. yes, of course frozen pizza is nothing like the real thing, dont even go there. but i figured he has high standards and the pizza would be edible. well, the crust tasted like cardboard (ie: it had no taste, just dry texture) and the toppings were sparse and not evenly dispersed on the crust. it was so bad that i called the frontera grill products phone number to offer constructive criticism. i spoke with a woman named anna who seemed to be more than a customer service listener. after listening and asking relevant questions she asked for my name and address so she could 'send me some salsa and chips'. i assumed she meant coupons for the above, but a few days ago a large box arrived by UPS, containing carefully bubble wrapped items. 3 different types of their organic tortilla chips, a bottle of their original habanera salsa (i had told her it was my favorite, even though it isn't remotely hot, as advertised), and a bottle from their new line of salsas called, 'salpica'. i'm not sure what differentiates them from the original salsas, other than a squatter shaped jar, but the one i received, habanero and lime did have some kick to it. i called and thanked her for the generous gift. it doesnt change my mind about the bad pizza, but i was pretty impressed. i have to wonder what inspired such an expensive apology, maybe they are getting nothing but bad responses to the pizza.
  • Post #64 - November 12th, 2006, 11:00 am
    Post #64 - November 12th, 2006, 11:00 am Post #64 - November 12th, 2006, 11:00 am
    Here's a funny one - About 6 yrs ago, I moved to the Logan Sq area. I am a native Chicagoan, and as such, when you move to a new area, you look for a new pizza /chinese/sushi/thai/mexican spot etc in your new digs. ok so ennywase - we order a pizza from a new joint that threw a coupon in the mailbox. Large veggie, with fried squidamari appetizer. I wish I could remember the name of the place. It was on Milwaukee avenue probably somewhere close to Lucky Vito's (It was deinitely NOT Lucky Vito's though!!). It had a seperate take out counter that was right next to the Kitchen, and right next to the take out counter was a couple of ppl in tiny booths taking phone orders. So I'm thinking this place does a good business (phones were off the hook, kitchen staff was flying around) and I'm in for a decent Chicago thin crust delight. WRONG!. WRONG! WRONG!.

    Their version of a "Veggie Pizza" had, - brace yourselves, please.

    FRENCH FRIES on it!!! These were thick cut, still hard in the middle fries, too.
    Pizza - ruined.
    So ok, on to the squidamari. Not CLEANED!!. I'm talking beaks, ink sac and all.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #65 - November 12th, 2006, 1:01 pm
    Post #65 - November 12th, 2006, 1:01 pm Post #65 - November 12th, 2006, 1:01 pm
    Oh, that reminds me of a terrible, terrible kitchen mistake at a sort-of-upscale downtown pizza/Italian food place, many years ago. Apparently they had run out of spinach for the spinach pizza at lunch, so someone had the idea... we'll just put lettuce on it, same difference. Suffice it to say that baked lettuce is largely indistinguishable from barfed lettuce.
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  • Post #66 - May 12th, 2019, 2:58 pm
    Post #66 - May 12th, 2019, 2:58 pm Post #66 - May 12th, 2019, 2:58 pm
    I don't have pizza that often, strange as much as I love it.

    Recently went to Danny's Pizza in Elgin. Completely forgettable. No taste crust (I'd be very surprised if made in house), near tasteless sauce, as well as gobs & gobs & gobs of mediocre cheese.

    Nothing redeeming about it.

    Danny's Pizza
    231 Douglas Ave, Elgin IL, 60120
    Phone: (847)742-5400
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #67 - May 12th, 2019, 10:58 pm
    Post #67 - May 12th, 2019, 10:58 pm Post #67 - May 12th, 2019, 10:58 pm
    Dominos
    Little Caesar
    Pizza Hut
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #68 - May 13th, 2019, 8:14 am
    Post #68 - May 13th, 2019, 8:14 am Post #68 - May 13th, 2019, 8:14 am
    This is a perfect place to post what happened to me on Saturday. Had something happen that has never happened in my 49 years of eating pizza nor did it ever happen in my 6 years of delivering pizzas.

    Ordered 2 pizzas Saturday night from Pi-Hi for delivery. They arrived upside down. Never seen that before.

    Moral of the story: Never use the tip in advance feature.


    Later, when the delivery girl brought back replacement right side up pies I asked her how that even happened. She replied that they fell over in the backseat of her car. I didn't follow up with the obvious question of how do they fall over in the backseat of your car yet you still went and delivered them to me after you found them upside down on the floor of your vehicle? I regretted that I didn't ask her for the 20% tip back that I gave her.
  • Post #69 - May 13th, 2019, 8:36 am
    Post #69 - May 13th, 2019, 8:36 am Post #69 - May 13th, 2019, 8:36 am
    shakes wrote:Moral of the story: Never use the tip in advance feature.

    Yep. Words of wisdom. That is one helluva wacky story.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #70 - May 13th, 2019, 9:26 am
    Post #70 - May 13th, 2019, 9:26 am Post #70 - May 13th, 2019, 9:26 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    shakes wrote:Moral of the story: Never use the tip in advance feature.

    Yep. Words of wisdom. That is one helluva wacky story.

    =R=


    yep, never did the tip in advance thing before, but figured I'd give it a try. Never again.

    I will say that Pi-Hi management was very apologetic and sent over new pies right away. And they do have great pizza there.
  • Post #71 - May 13th, 2019, 9:49 am
    Post #71 - May 13th, 2019, 9:49 am Post #71 - May 13th, 2019, 9:49 am
    eatchicago wrote:
    Cogito wrote:The last time I went to Gino's East thew sausage was in the form of a flat one-piece disk that covered the entire crust, instead of individual pieces. Awful.


    This is also how Lou Malnati's handles it. I consider it to be the opposite of awful.

    You can also ask for crumbled at Lou’s but it is still a edge to edge layer.

    Funny story...

    We were visiting the...

    Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
    1038 Lake St, Oak Park

    ... possibly within the first week of opening. One of the gray haired brothers was circulating and talking with the guests.

    I brought up the subject of the wall to wall sausage and he admitted that he wasn’t a fan either. He would order ‘easy sausage’ which would be traditional chunks spaced apart.

    :)
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #72 - May 13th, 2019, 9:55 am
    Post #72 - May 13th, 2019, 9:55 am Post #72 - May 13th, 2019, 9:55 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:Dominos
    Little Caesar
    Pizza Hut


    When you have to feed a bunch of 8 year olds, need to get 8-10 of them, and the local Dominos will sell you pizzas at $5 each, they are more than acceptable.

    None of the above are Bad, per se, they are edible. I think we all have had food from a variety of establishments that is not edible, and truly bad, They are just not even close to as good as can be had from the myriad of local places in most neighborhoods.

    Speaking of chain pizza, has anyone ever sampled the likes of
    Papa Johns
    Sarpinos
    CiCi's
    Jets

    Just curious
  • Post #73 - May 13th, 2019, 10:20 am
    Post #73 - May 13th, 2019, 10:20 am Post #73 - May 13th, 2019, 10:20 am
    After buying into a bunch of marketing drivel about the quality ingredients that Papa John's used, I got one. Sausage and mushroom (my go to pie).

    Thoroughly disgusting. Crust, cheese, sauce all cheap and flavorless. Worst part was the little rabbit-droppings sized and shaped bits of sausage. Tasteless, textureless and scarce.

    It's rare that I can't finish a food, but it was so awful I tossed it out.

    Plus, the founder is a racist, so there's that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #74 - May 13th, 2019, 10:22 am
    Post #74 - May 13th, 2019, 10:22 am Post #74 - May 13th, 2019, 10:22 am
    thetrob wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Dominos
    Little Caesar
    Pizza Hut


    When you have to feed a bunch of 8 year olds, need to get 8-10 of them, and the local Dominos will sell you pizzas at $5 each, they are more than acceptable.

    None of the above are Bad, per se, they are edible. I think we all have had food from a variety of establishments that is not edible, and truly bad, They are just not even close to as good as can be had from the myriad of local places in most neighborhoods.

    Speaking of chain pizza, has anyone ever sampled the likes of
    Papa Johns
    Sarpinos
    CiCi's
    Jets

    Just curious

    Papa John's - The pizza of mycollege years! Not too terrible especially if you drown it in their garlic sauce.
    Sarpinos - Possibly the worst pizza I've ever had including frozen pizza. The crust was terrible and the sauce had a weird flavor.
    CiCi's - Fine, decent variety of pizza choices in their buffet. You can request different toppings.
    Jets - Get the square pizza with the turbo crust.
  • Post #75 - May 13th, 2019, 10:22 am
    Post #75 - May 13th, 2019, 10:22 am Post #75 - May 13th, 2019, 10:22 am
    thetrob wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Dominos
    Little Caesar
    Pizza Hut

    When you have to feed a bunch of 8 year olds, need to get 8-10 of them, and the local Dominos will sell you pizzas at $5 each, they are more than acceptable.

    None of the above are Bad, per se, they are edible. I think we all have had food from a variety of establishments that is not edible, and truly bad, They are just not even close to as good as can be had from the myriad of local places in most neighborhoods.

    Speaking of chain pizza, has anyone ever sampled the likes of
    Papa Johns
    Sarpinos
    CiCi's
    Jets

    Just curious

    I might agree, there is not much more that kids enjoy. Maybe because it is what they are being force fed? Easy to eat and not very messy.
    Plain cheese pizza.

    My kids are grown but I remember ordering at least one that would be bacon and green pepper for myself.

    That seemed to be the least offensive combination. :)

    I have tried Cici’s and Papa John’s and the pizza buffets (Cici’s and including the now defunct Sweet Tomatoes) seemed to be a little better as they might be fresher.

    Almost tried...

    Jet's Pizza
    1805 N Harlem Ave, Chicago

    ... during National Pizza Day when they were offering a free slice, but didn’t.
    Last edited by Panther in the Den on May 13th, 2019, 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #76 - May 13th, 2019, 10:25 am
    Post #76 - May 13th, 2019, 10:25 am Post #76 - May 13th, 2019, 10:25 am
    thetrob wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Dominos
    Little Caesar
    Pizza Hut


    When you have to feed a bunch of 8 year olds, need to get 8-10 of them, and the local Dominos will sell you pizzas at $5 each, they are more than acceptable.

    None of the above are Bad, per se, they are edible. I think we all have had food from a variety of establishments that is not edible, and truly bad, They are just not even close to as good as can be had from the myriad of local places in most neighborhoods.

    Imo, they're pretty bad. Having to feed a bunch of children is not a meaningful measure of quality. Otherwise, I'd still eat at Old Country Buffet once a week. In any event, starting kids on bad pizza is a gateway mistake that can only lead to bad taste and bad palates down the road. :lol:

    thetrob wrote:Speaking of chain pizza, has anyone ever sampled the likes of
    Papa Johns
    Sarpinos
    CiCi's
    Jets

    There's a thread about Jet's here, in which Jet's was described as "great bad pizza," a terrifically accurate description that was coined by a friend of mine.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #77 - May 13th, 2019, 10:40 am
    Post #77 - May 13th, 2019, 10:40 am Post #77 - May 13th, 2019, 10:40 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:...
    Imo, they're pretty bad. Having to feed a bunch of children is not a meaningful measure of quality. Otherwise, I'd still eat at Old Country Buffet once a week. In any event, starting kids on bad pizza is a gateway mistake that can only lead to bad taste and bad palates down the road. :lol:

    =R=


    My kids ate enough Dominos as kids and their palates survived with no problem. They won't touch the stuff now.
  • Post #78 - May 13th, 2019, 10:44 am
    Post #78 - May 13th, 2019, 10:44 am Post #78 - May 13th, 2019, 10:44 am
    thetrob wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:...
    Imo, they're pretty bad. Having to feed a bunch of children is not a meaningful measure of quality. Otherwise, I'd still eat at Old Country Buffet once a week. In any event, starting kids on bad pizza is a gateway mistake that can only lead to bad taste and bad palates down the road. :lol:

    =R=


    My kids ate enough Dominos as kids and their palates survived with no problem. They won't touch the stuff now.

    Yes, understood. You left out my LOL emoji when you quoted me.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #79 - May 13th, 2019, 10:46 am
    Post #79 - May 13th, 2019, 10:46 am Post #79 - May 13th, 2019, 10:46 am
    We might agree that most are edible but we have to draw the line somewhere (actually I can’t believe we are considering eating these pizzas).

    What distinguishes bad pizza? Would you go out of your way to eat any of these? Destination dining? I don’t think so.

    Hence bad.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #80 - May 13th, 2019, 10:56 am
    Post #80 - May 13th, 2019, 10:56 am Post #80 - May 13th, 2019, 10:56 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    thetrob wrote:
    thetrob wrote:Speaking of chain pizza, has anyone ever sampled the likes of
    Papa Johns
    Sarpinos
    CiCi's
    Jets

    There's a thread about Jet's here, in which Jet's was described as "great bad pizza," a terrifically accurate description that was coined by a friend of mine.

    =R=
    I really like Jet's (deep dish only) and have no issues with ordering it when I am near one. To me they are the best of the chain pizzas I've had over the years.
  • Post #81 - May 13th, 2019, 10:59 am
    Post #81 - May 13th, 2019, 10:59 am Post #81 - May 13th, 2019, 10:59 am
    Pizza Nova in Pilsen. I see them making the Pizza in front of me. Even with that; it tastes like it has been sitting around in the heater for 3 hours. I don't know how they manage that.

    I used to think in my innocent days that there is no Bad Pizza. But Pizza Nova, Gino's East and the like have convinced me otherwise.
    The art of living well and art of dying well are one. ---Epicurus
  • Post #82 - May 13th, 2019, 11:02 am
    Post #82 - May 13th, 2019, 11:02 am Post #82 - May 13th, 2019, 11:02 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:We might agree that most are edible but we have to draw the line somewhere (actually I can’t believe we are considering eating these pizzas).

    What distinguishes bad pizza? Would you go out of your way to eat any of these? Destination dining? I don’t think so.

    Hence bad.


    I don't think any of us are going out of their way to eat these, nor are we even considering it knowing we have many other places to order from. But to classify it as bad, to me, means it is something I just won't eat. I have had pizza from plenty of places with cardboard crust, rubbery sausage, off-tasting cheese, etc. which I would consider bad, and inedible.

    As I write this I find it hard to believe that I am defending Pizza Hut, Dominoes and the likes, but for people I know that travel extensively to small towns and out of the way places, they relish a chain pizza joint nearby to get something they at least know will be edible.
  • Post #83 - May 13th, 2019, 11:05 am
    Post #83 - May 13th, 2019, 11:05 am Post #83 - May 13th, 2019, 11:05 am
    Okay. I took one for the team. :) I was fully expecting to eat one piece, send the rest back and beg for a refund. :)

    Chi style hot dog pizza,with all the fixins...

    Mustard, no ketchup (or tomato sauce) of course. :)

    5EA3D49F-AAC2-4D54-BD4B-C49E8F5A1A69.jpeg

    District Kitchen & Tap
    220 Harrison St, Oak Park

    You might remember my mentioning they also had an Italian Beef and Giardiniera that they were proclaiming to be The True Chicago Pizza.

    The pictures they posted online was a little different than what we received...

    BBEBCF01-5000-4CFE-AB3A-AA028DC12349.jpeg

    The tomato and onion was cut a little bigger than on a hotdog and while there was a light touch with the mustard it appeared to be a white sauce as a base.

    F8CA9789-F602-476E-94D9-4E6FD053B65E.jpeg

    The robust hotdog flavor appeared to be Vienna, the peppers appeared to be cut sport peppers rather than a Giardiniera. I’m sure there was pickle relish but not that I could detect. Some pickle pieces might of been good.

    The waitress mentioned that I was the first person she saw ordering it.

    Maybe a squirt of ketchup might of brought a little more pizza to the party? :)

    All in all not totally offensive (I didn’t send it back) but not sure if I would order it again. Maybe as a joke? :)
    Last edited by Panther in the Den on May 13th, 2019, 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #84 - May 13th, 2019, 11:30 am
    Post #84 - May 13th, 2019, 11:30 am Post #84 - May 13th, 2019, 11:30 am
    thetrob wrote:As I write this I find it hard to believe that I am defending Pizza Hut, Dominoes and the likes, but for people I know that travel extensively to small towns and out of the way places, they relish a chain pizza joint nearby to get something they at least know will be edible.

    I find it hard to believe too and hence my post.

    I also not going to buy the small town thing either. I travel a fair amount and will always seek out a local, privately owned place, a diner, anything.

    Okay, I fully understand that most of the population is scared of small places and will h ad to a chain, McDonald’s, Taco Bell because they know what to expect and won’t get sick.

    But not here on the forum. That is just being lazy and giving up. :)

    Maybe some of us here are afraid of small town diners too?
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #85 - May 13th, 2019, 12:34 pm
    Post #85 - May 13th, 2019, 12:34 pm Post #85 - May 13th, 2019, 12:34 pm
    Never afraid, always seek those out. Great 99% of time. Just ask what they specialize in, or in most cases they have daily soups and specials. I go to lunch with customers often. A few years ago I was in Middleton (Wi) for a meeting and lunch afterwards with someone I have known for years. He started to direct me to a Quaker State. I asked if we could go to a local place. He beamed and brought me to a local breakfast and lunch place called Two Sisters (now called My Sisters Cafe). We visited here many more times, all homemade. Always ordered the daily special. Find these places and you will be happy.
  • Post #86 - May 13th, 2019, 12:36 pm
    Post #86 - May 13th, 2019, 12:36 pm Post #86 - May 13th, 2019, 12:36 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:You left out my LOL emoji when you quoted me.

    I think thetrob tried to quote you correctly. Here's the code:

    Code: Select all
    [quote="ronnie_suburban"][quote="thetrob"][quote="ronnie_suburban"]
    ...
    Imo, they're pretty bad.  Having to feed a bunch of children is not a meaningful measure of quality.  Otherwise, I'd still eat at Old Country Buffet once a week.  In any event, starting kids on bad pizza is a gateway mistake that can only lead to bad taste and bad palates down the road. :lol:

    =R=[/quote]

    My kids ate enough Dominos as kids and their palates survived with no problem.  They won't touch the stuff now.[/quote]
    Yes, understood.  You left out my LOL emoji when you quoted me.

    =R=[/quote]

    Just yesterday, in another thread, I tried to post a response that included a quote with an essential emoji. Everything appeared properly except the emoji was missing. I tried troubleshooting, but eventually just gave up and didn't post. I didn't want to "misquote" the person.
  • Post #87 - May 13th, 2019, 1:23 pm
    Post #87 - May 13th, 2019, 1:23 pm Post #87 - May 13th, 2019, 1:23 pm
    Rene G wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:You left out my LOL emoji when you quoted me.

    I think thetrob tried to quote you correctly. Here's the code:

    Code: Select all
    [quote="ronnie_suburban"][quote="thetrob"][quote="ronnie_suburban"]
    ...
    Imo, they're pretty bad.  Having to feed a bunch of children is not a meaningful measure of quality.  Otherwise, I'd still eat at Old Country Buffet once a week.  In any event, starting kids on bad pizza is a gateway mistake that can only lead to bad taste and bad palates down the road. :lol:

    =R=[/quote]

    My kids ate enough Dominos as kids and their palates survived with no problem.  They won't touch the stuff now.[/quote]
    Yes, understood.  You left out my LOL emoji when you quoted me.

    =R=[/quote]

    Just yesterday, in another thread, I tried to post a response that included a quote with an essential emoji. Everything appeared properly except the emoji was missing. I tried troubleshooting, but eventually just gave up and didn't post. I didn't want to "misquote" the person.

    Thanks, Peter, for the heads up. Flame wars have erupted over less, especially on threads about pizza! :D

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #88 - May 13th, 2019, 1:32 pm
    Post #88 - May 13th, 2019, 1:32 pm Post #88 - May 13th, 2019, 1:32 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    thetrob wrote:As I write this I find it hard to believe that I am defending Pizza Hut, Dominoes and the likes, but for people I know that travel extensively to small towns and out of the way places, they relish a chain pizza joint nearby to get something they at least know will be edible.

    I find it hard to believe too and hence my post.

    I also not going to buy the small town thing either. I travel a fair amount and will always seek out a local, privately owned place, a diner, anything.

    Okay, I fully understand that most of the population is scared of small places and will h ad to a chain, McDonald’s, Taco Bell because they know what to expect and won’t get sick.

    But not here on the forum. That is just being lazy and giving up. :)

    Maybe some of us here are afraid of small town diners too?


    I think that's a bit too judgmental. There are thousands and thousands of small towns and rural areas in the US that would love to have a pizza or Chinese or barbecue or fried chicken place, but there often is just not enough population nearby to keep such a place in business.

    Case in point: my mom came from a small town downstate, 13 miles away from the nearest interstate, population about 3,000. The town has occasionally and gratefully hosted a pizza place or a Chinese restaurant or something similar, but has much more often than not only been able to pine for such a place. It is a typical small town in farm country with a long-dying Main Street, a small IGA, a gas station, exactly one restaurant in town (currently a Subway), and a Casey's gas station (which has decent things to eat when you need them). I'm certainly not "afraid" of mom's home town; I'm down there a couple of times a year. But, much to my cousins' chagrin, there's basically no place to eat there.

    My dad came from a town 13 miles away, alongside the interstate (technically, on Route 66 before it was mostly overlaid with I-55), population about 7,000, a town that, despite its similarly dying old Main Street, by virtue of its location next to the interstate, has plenty of gas stations, fast-food restaurants, hotels, sit-down restaurants, Chinese and pizza carry-out places, and a Super Walmart.

    You shouldn't assume that people who travel away from urban areas and interstates in the US (or the people who live in such places) eat at chain restaurants because they are afraid of nonchain local places or that they're unadventurous or unsophisticated or lazy. Away from the interstate system and from towns at junctions of US or state highways, the dining options---even chains, much less nonchains--- are very often few and sometimes none. Jane and Michael Stern's Roadfood enterprise would never have been so successful if it weren't as uncommon as it is to find "hidden gem" dining options away from urban areas and interstates.

    There are about 4 million miles of roads in the US; about 1% are interstates; another 2-3% are US highways. If you say you have no trouble finding decent to good to "hidden gem" local eateries while driving around the US, I'd conclude you don't often stray very far from the 4% of the road system that carries the vast majority of the traffic. But many, many millions of people do live farther away than that from such options, and have to drive farther than we, up here in the big city and leafy suburbs, have to drive to get to them.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #89 - May 14th, 2019, 11:26 am
    Post #89 - May 14th, 2019, 11:26 am Post #89 - May 14th, 2019, 11:26 am
    Just because something is edible, passable, acceptable to kids or best available doesn't mean it isn't also bad. Yes, some relativism is unavoidable but c'mon! We're having this discussion here, not at the mall.

    Whatever, chains are chains. Based solely on my personal experience, I can confidently say that there is plenty of independently-operated bad pizza in Chicagoland. And I think it survives because "edible, passable, acceptable to kids or best available" is good enough in some venues.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #90 - May 14th, 2019, 11:35 am
    Post #90 - May 14th, 2019, 11:35 am Post #90 - May 14th, 2019, 11:35 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Just because something is edible, passable, acceptable to kids or best available doesn't mean it isn't also bad. Yes, some relativism is unavoidable but c'mon! We're having this discussion here, not at the mall.

    Whatever, chains are chains. Based solely on my personal experience, I can confidently say that there is plenty of independently-operated bad pizza in Chicagoland. And I think it survives because "edible, passable, acceptable to kids or best available" is good enough in some venues.

    =R=


    What I always tell people is that I'm particular but not picky. So I'll tell you my strong opinions on what I'm eating, but I'll still eat it all even if it's terrible.

    That's how I feel about bad pizza, whether it's a chain or family run business.

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