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Pizza in Highland Park

Pizza in Highland Park
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  • Pizza in Highland Park

    Post #1 - November 14th, 2007, 9:48 am
    Post #1 - November 14th, 2007, 9:48 am Post #1 - November 14th, 2007, 9:48 am
    Has anyone tried Homemade Pizza Company or NY Slices? Other Pizza recommendations in Highland Park?

    NY Slices
    1843 2nd St.
    Highland Park, IL
    847-432-6979

    Homemade Pizza Company
    1849 Green Bay Rd
    Highland Park, IL
    847-433-3343
    luvtoeat
  • Post #2 - November 14th, 2007, 9:50 am
    Post #2 - November 14th, 2007, 9:50 am Post #2 - November 14th, 2007, 9:50 am
    luvtoeat wrote:Has anyone tried Homemade Pizza Company or NY Slices? Other Pizza recommendations in Highland Park?

    Luv,

    Have you tried any pizza in Highland Park? What are some of your favorite pizza places in HP or Chicago?

    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - November 14th, 2007, 9:59 am
    Post #3 - November 14th, 2007, 9:59 am Post #3 - November 14th, 2007, 9:59 am
    Hi Gary,
    I like thin crust pizza with thick, gooey cheese, don't like doughy or cracker-like crusts. Thanks!
    luvtoeat
  • Post #4 - November 14th, 2007, 10:01 am
    Post #4 - November 14th, 2007, 10:01 am Post #4 - November 14th, 2007, 10:01 am
    luvtoeat,

    Where do you go for pizza?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - November 14th, 2007, 10:01 am
    Post #5 - November 14th, 2007, 10:01 am Post #5 - November 14th, 2007, 10:01 am
    Homemade Pizza Co isn't really a pizza place. It's a store that will sell you an unbaked pizza, topped to your specifications.

    You still have to bake it yourself.

    I don't really see the point in paying them $14 to not turn on their ovens, when the raw ingredients don't top $4.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #6 - November 14th, 2007, 10:14 am
    Post #6 - November 14th, 2007, 10:14 am Post #6 - November 14th, 2007, 10:14 am
    A couple more . . .

    Lou Malnati's
    1890 1st St
    Highland Park, IL 60035
    (847) 266-9000
    (carry out only)

    Viccino's
    1960 1st St
    Highland Park, IL 60035
    (847) 266-8300
    (carry out only)

    I think New York Slices is pretty mediocre. I've never been there at peak times nor ordered a whole pie, but the few times I stopped in for a slice, they'd been sitting around for a while and were fairly gummy. Before serving, they were briefly reheated. You'd figure that a place with "slices" in the name would have worked out a way for their slices to be decent at all hours but that doesn't appear to be the case here.

    luvtoeat, based on the description of what you prefer, you might want to check out Viccino's. Their 'thin' is pretty hearty, with a thick layer of fairly decent cheese on top. Another place that does pies in a similar style is Buffo's in Highwood:

    Buffo's
    431 Sheridan Rd
    Highwood, IL 60040
    (847) 432-0301

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #7 - November 14th, 2007, 10:24 am
    Post #7 - November 14th, 2007, 10:24 am Post #7 - November 14th, 2007, 10:24 am
    I think NY Pizza is awful. We have had it a few times and I find the sauce to be overly sweet and the crust to be mediocre at best.

    I have always liked Piero's pizza on Broadview in Highland Park (just off Green Bay and Rodger Williams).

    Piero's has good thin crust pizza, good sandwich's and good salads. Piero's is always our goto pizza in Highland Park when we don't want a thick crust Lou Malnati's.

    JTM
  • Post #8 - November 14th, 2007, 10:28 am
    Post #8 - November 14th, 2007, 10:28 am Post #8 - November 14th, 2007, 10:28 am
    For what it's worth, Time Out Magazine just picked NY Slices as the best New York style pizza in the Chicago area.
  • Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 10:32 am
    Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 10:32 am Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 10:32 am
    ParisCat wrote:For what it's worth, Time Out Magazine just picked NY Slices as the best New York style pizza in the Chicago area.

    I think "best" and "only" are relatively interchangeable in this case. :D

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 10:34 am
    Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 10:34 am Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 10:34 am
    I love the concept of NY Slices and think that their pizza has improved since they first opened. They need to crank up their oven or heat the slice a little longer, but otherwise, it's a pretty good approximation of NY pie.

    We alternate between Viccino's, which has a good variety of styles and is very solid on all fronts, and Lou Malinati's, which is always good. Pierro's is excellent, too, and I just discovered they have a nice beef sandwich.

    I really like Il Forno, but it's all the way up at the NE corner of HP (Old Elm and Sheridan, by the Ft. Sheridan Metra station). They have an excellent breaded eggplant pizza.

    I see people carrying out from Bella Via, but have never tried their pizza. I am not a huge Buffo's fan, but it has its following.

    The HP location of Homemade Pizza Company, which never seemed to be open, has relocated to Deerfield.
  • Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 10:34 am
    Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 10:34 am Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 10:34 am
    ParisCat wrote:For what it's worth, Time Out Magazine just picked NY Slices as the best New York style pizza in the Chicago area.


    The Highland Park location or are there others?

    I have walked into NY Slices, heard their spiel and left. They claim their method of (semi?) cooked slices waiting for the customer to arrive, then it is briefly heated in the oven and presented to the customer. They stated this order of operations is typical for NY. I just don't enough to divine whether that is really true.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 10:40 am
    Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 10:40 am Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 10:40 am
    ParisCat wrote:For what it's worth, Time Out Magazine just picked NY Slices as the best New York style pizza in the Chicago area.


    The Highland Park location or are there others?

    ***

    It was the HP location of NY Slices that Time Out liked. They picked Coal Fire as best overall pizza in Chicago.
  • Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 10:57 am
    Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 10:57 am Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 10:57 am
    I called Homemade Pizza Co last week and got a message that they had closed and to call the Glencoe store. We like homemade pizza company for a variety of reasons but it is not a traditional pizza place for us, we treat it like a flatbread and get very little sauce and cheese on our order.

    I really like Piero's Pizza in Ravinia as a delivery option. Try the extra thin it is pretty good. www.pieropizza.com

    For pickup my default thin is Barnabys in Northbrook. It is worth the drive. There is a dedicated Barnaby's thread. http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5878

    BTW GNR winner Maria's Bakery makes a great foccaccio that in some incarnations (like sausage and cheese) is a pretty good rendition of thick square cut rustic pizza.
  • Post #14 - November 14th, 2007, 11:39 am
    Post #14 - November 14th, 2007, 11:39 am Post #14 - November 14th, 2007, 11:39 am
    Cathy2:

    It is, indeed, standard at New York pizzerias to have fully cooked pies laid out. They will frequently have several different kinds of pies. You pick what you want, order a slice, and they warm it up in the oven. They bake a fresh pie when they see they will run out of a flavor.

    Jonah
  • Post #15 - November 14th, 2007, 12:20 pm
    Post #15 - November 14th, 2007, 12:20 pm Post #15 - November 14th, 2007, 12:20 pm
    Jonah wrote:Cathy2:

    It is, indeed, standard at New York pizzerias to have fully cooked pies laid out. They will frequently have several different kinds of pies. You pick what you want, order a slice, and they warm it up in the oven. They bake a fresh pie when they see they will run out of a flavor.

    Jonah


    Yes Jonah is right if you're talking about NY "street-style" pizza. That is not to say that they won't bake you a whole pie to order if you should so desire. In NY (or the East Coast in general), pizza slices are kind of like a fast-food snack, so the re-warmed slices are something you'd get on the fly, if you didn't want to sit down to a whole meal.
  • Post #16 - November 14th, 2007, 12:34 pm
    Post #16 - November 14th, 2007, 12:34 pm Post #16 - November 14th, 2007, 12:34 pm
    Wow, you guys reply fast!


    New York Slices
    NY Slices is really good, and I demand that they heat my pizza slices up to molten temperature! (I really like pizza as hot as possible - even if I get injured!) But their slices are just like Sbarro or any other place that sells them - they get OLD as they sit there! A fresh pizza is always best.

    IL Forno
    There are two IL Forno locations and both are different. If you prefer a greasier, heavy cheese pizza, the one in Highland Park on Old Elm is for you. The other one is in Deerfield and is also very good. I consider the HP one the real recipe that I grew up with (they served this at my schools for pizza day every month - oh how I yearned for pizza day!)

    Judy's
    Very thin, greasy cheese. They have a similar recipe to Bill's Pizza in Mundelein. Has a loyal following.

    Buffo's (Highwood)
    This pizza is decent, but the cheese turns to rubber as it cools. I've been eating there since 1979, but it has gone a little downhill. Lenny did spruce up the place and no smoking (yay).

    Barnaby's of Northbrook
    Beats them all - probably my #1 thin crust pizza. Only 10 minute drive. Never go around 6PM!

    Lou Malnati's (carry out only)
    Always one of my favorite deep dish pizzas. TIP: Always ask for Deep Dish to be UNCUT!!! Heat your oven to around 335-350, put the whole pizza on a cookie sheet (I use a round pizza pan with holes in), cover the top with foil, and bake about 10 minutes to crisp up the bottom. Good as new! Lou always does deliver the pizza piping hot, but the bottom still gets soft/soggy. Lou also has par-baked pizza now and their own thin pizza which is a little different.

    Gino's East (Deerfield)
    I probably shouldn't mention this! It's located in the Embassy Suites Hotel on Lake Cook Rd and is pretty small. It's definitely for the hotel guests, not the locals. It's very hidden too. But they are a Gino's East, and they actually do make a great deep dish pizza (unlike some of the other Gino's East locations that are not as good as the River North locations). You can eat there or carry out.

    Piero's
    I haven't had this in ages. I need to try it again.

    Homemade Pizza Co.
    Good riddance!

    Viccino's
    Didn't impress me when they opened, but I might give them another try.

    Pizza Hut
    It's a Domino's now! But I worked there in 1993-94. :wink:

    Papa Romeo's (Highwood)
    They are a chain like Papa John's or Domino's. If you are a late night owl like me, and it's 1AM they're open. At least they were. They haven't been answering the phone lately. :? Better stock up on frozen pizza or make my own for late night eats!

    Washington Gardens (Highwood)
    I don't know if they are still around, but my friends loved their thin pizza.

    Whole Foods (Deerfield)
    I kid you not - they have a great wood fired NY Style pizza! They have a Wednesday special for a 16". Try it, it's good and it's Whole Foods so you know they'll make sure it doesn't have weird stuff in it.

    Italian Kitchen (Deerfield)
    My cousin Steven loves it. I can't remember eating it. It's up to you!

    That's all for now... :)
  • Post #17 - November 14th, 2007, 1:06 pm
    Post #17 - November 14th, 2007, 1:06 pm Post #17 - November 14th, 2007, 1:06 pm
    The best tip for Barnaby's is to call and place your pizza order about 20 minutes before you arrive. Gives you time to get a table, drinks at the bar, and some of those Ritz crackers with that addictive cheese spread before your pizza is ready.

    And for Lou Malanti's, we always order extra sauce on the side. You get a huge container of sauce you can add on your own, keeping the pizza from getting any soggier and its great to add the next day when you are reheating a slice (we always order too much).
  • Post #18 - November 14th, 2007, 1:44 pm
    Post #18 - November 14th, 2007, 1:44 pm Post #18 - November 14th, 2007, 1:44 pm
    AlexG wrote:The best tip for Barnaby's is to call and place your pizza order about 20 minutes before you arrive. Gives you time to get a table, drinks at the bar, and some of those Ritz crackers with that addictive cheese spread before your pizza is ready.

    And for Lou Malanti's, we always order extra sauce on the side. You get a huge container of sauce you can add on your own, keeping the pizza from getting any soggier and its great to add the next day when you are reheating a slice (we always order too much).
    Extra sauce on the side - another good idea. Thanks!

    Barnaby's doesn't take long at all if you eat when the families are not there. I can't stand families with kids (no offense to anyone), so I usually eat after 8 or 9. Nice and quiet!
  • Post #19 - November 14th, 2007, 1:56 pm
    Post #19 - November 14th, 2007, 1:56 pm Post #19 - November 14th, 2007, 1:56 pm
    Don't forget you can get a half-baked from Barnaby's. Finish it off at home and have that great pizza without facing the Friday night kid fest.
  • Post #20 - November 14th, 2007, 2:16 pm
    Post #20 - November 14th, 2007, 2:16 pm Post #20 - November 14th, 2007, 2:16 pm
    Wow thanks everyone! I have not been able to find good NY style pizza so sorry I couldn't answer your question Gary and Cathy about where I like to go. I was really hoping that NY Slices would get better reviews - is it possible to request a fresh pie (if I buy a whole pie) to avoid the reheating problems? Wonder if Coal Fire really tastes like NY style.
    luvtoeat
  • Post #21 - November 14th, 2007, 2:56 pm
    Post #21 - November 14th, 2007, 2:56 pm Post #21 - November 14th, 2007, 2:56 pm
    Washington Gardens still has good pizza based on the leftovers that I ate last week. I was not impressed with the NY slices whole pie that we had delivered....it wasnt bad but not particularly NY'y. I want to go by and try one of the reheated slices because that is the way I always had pizza when I lived in NY. Ferentinos in Highwood, in the strip mall almost to Lake Forest, just north of the defunct Eriks which is just north of the defunct Mocha, has my favorite thin crust. It is probably similar to Pieros since they are the owned by different branches of the same family.

    -Will
  • Post #22 - November 14th, 2007, 2:57 pm
    Post #22 - November 14th, 2007, 2:57 pm Post #22 - November 14th, 2007, 2:57 pm
    When I order Lou Malnati's take-out, I get the half-baked pizza and then put it directly on my pizza stone in the well-preheated oven. This allows the bottom to get (and stay!) crisp. One of my complaints about Lou's is that if you don't specify when ordering, the pizza arrives a soggy mess, so I always order mine "well-done" at the restaurant. This, believe it or not, yields the perfect pizza which is not overcooked in the least.
  • Post #23 - November 14th, 2007, 3:09 pm
    Post #23 - November 14th, 2007, 3:09 pm Post #23 - November 14th, 2007, 3:09 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I have walked into NY Slices, heard their spiel and left. They claim their method of (semi?) cooked slices waiting for the customer to arrive, then it is briefly heated in the oven and presented to the customer. They stated this order of operations is typical for NY. I just don't enough to divine whether that is really true.


    Just to add another voice to what a few others have already said, yes, this is fairly common in the NY/NJ area (and maybe further). There might be a very large cheese pizza, a sausage pizza, and say a mixed veggie pizza arrayed on the counter. A customer walks up and asks for a slice with mushrooms. The pizzaman then slides a slice of the cheese pizza onto wheel, tops it with some slides mushrooms, and puts it into the oven. 5 minutes later, you have a slice with mushrooms.

    If you want a slice with sausage, he just moves a slice of the premade sausage into the oven. No extra toppings required.

    Like most other foods, when done well, this method of serving slices is excellent. Indeed, this is the fast-food style of pizza. Having said that, you don't want to imagine your day-old, reheated pizza. A place doing brisk business might bake the whole pizza at 11am and sell the last slice at 11:30am.
  • Post #24 - November 14th, 2007, 3:30 pm
    Post #24 - November 14th, 2007, 3:30 pm Post #24 - November 14th, 2007, 3:30 pm
    luvtoeat wrote:Wow thanks everyone! I have not been able to find good NY style pizza so sorry I couldn't answer your question Gary and Cathy about where I like to go. I was really hoping that NY Slices would get better reviews - is it possible to request a fresh pie (if I buy a whole pie) to avoid the reheating problems? Wonder if Coal Fire really tastes like NY style.
    They sell whole pizzas (I will not call them pies - just as I won't call pop - soda. I'm from Chicago!) :wink: frest for you. The trick with the slices is if they reheat long enough, they can "revive" the slices at the store. So you have a fighting chance!

    I have never been to New York, but I did have pizza at a place in Scotsdale, AZ called Patsy Grimaldi's that had a coal fired oven and claimed to be authentic NY style. The main herb on it was basil, but the pizza left me with a feeling of "decent - at best." It was kind of bland, no frills. NY Slices is not quite like that pizza. So I don't know how authentic of a NY style it really is.
  • Post #25 - November 14th, 2007, 10:11 pm
    Post #25 - November 14th, 2007, 10:11 pm Post #25 - November 14th, 2007, 10:11 pm
    Nite N' Gale actually makes a dynamite thin crust pie...

    Bella Via's deep dish is very good but sometimes they don't put enough sauce on it. I'd have to say it's the closest (while still a long way off) to my favorite deep dish of all time...the long defunct Ermando's in Deerfield (has since been Spazio and Nick's Fishmarket Grill in Lake Cook Plaza)...

    I tried Father & Son's (new location in Northrbook) thin crust recently and it was good, but the crust is too thin for what luvtoeat is looking for.

    Speaking of Northbrook, the Tonelli's special is up there with my faves, but this can turn into a mushy disaster if carried out instead of being eaten in house...

    Sorry to get slightly off track, I know this is an HP pizza thread, but everyone already covered the spots so I figured I'd mention some other close places.
  • Post #26 - November 15th, 2007, 12:28 pm
    Post #26 - November 15th, 2007, 12:28 pm Post #26 - November 15th, 2007, 12:28 pm
    TonySpilotro wrote:Nite N' Gale actually makes a dynamite thin crust pie...

    Bella Via's deep dish is very good but sometimes they don't put enough sauce on it. I'd have to say it's the closest (while still a long way off) to my favorite deep dish of all time...the long defunct Ermando's in Deerfield (has since been Spazio and Nick's Fishmarket Grill in Lake Cook Plaza)...

    I tried Father & Son's (new location in Northrbook) thin crust recently and it was good, but the crust is too thin for what luvtoeat is looking for.

    Speaking of Northbrook, the Tonelli's special is up there with my faves, but this can turn into a mushy disaster if carried out instead of being eaten in house...

    Sorry to get slightly off track, I know this is an HP pizza thread, but everyone already covered the spots so I figured I'd mention some other close places.
    Yeah, but you have to be able to fan out of HP a little bit. I was at Marcello's in Northbrook (Father and Son) and it was great thin pizza (their NY style was not very good), but like you said, luvtoeat probably wouldn't like it.

    Nite N Gale (Highwood) is another decent thin pizza.
  • Post #27 - November 15th, 2007, 3:58 pm
    Post #27 - November 15th, 2007, 3:58 pm Post #27 - November 15th, 2007, 3:58 pm
    Other's have mentioned Bella Via which I have had but not a "pizza" place. The thin crust at Bella Via is very good but I am partial to their spinach ravioli. It is a spinach pasta filled with ricotta cheese and your choice of marinara or meat sauce.

    Bella Via is also a bit pricier than a standard pizza joint.

    JT
  • Post #28 - November 16th, 2007, 4:14 pm
    Post #28 - November 16th, 2007, 4:14 pm Post #28 - November 16th, 2007, 4:14 pm
    TonySpilotro wrote:Nite N' Gale actually makes a dynamite thin crust pie...

    Oh, yeah! I forgot about that. I do like the pizza at Nite N' Gale, but haven't been there in a long time. (I like their oysters too, though I don't think I'd order them and the pizza on the same visit).

    I think I just decided where we're going out tonight. Thanks for the reminder, Tony!
  • Post #29 - November 17th, 2007, 8:48 am
    Post #29 - November 17th, 2007, 8:48 am Post #29 - November 17th, 2007, 8:48 am
    My pleasure Katie, almost went there last night myself...hope you guys had a good time.
  • Post #30 - November 17th, 2007, 11:16 am
    Post #30 - November 17th, 2007, 11:16 am Post #30 - November 17th, 2007, 11:16 am
    About six weeks ago Cathy2 and I had to work on a project for the HP Historical Society. Naturally, we used the opportunity to do a pizza comparison.

    I brought pizza from Piero's and she got pizza from Malnati's. We both tried to time the order so they would be ready at the same time. Both were large pan pizzas with sausage.

    As always it's interesting to do a side-by-side comparison. Piero's has been my family's go-to pizza since moving to HP 16 years ago. I hadn't had a Malnati's in ages, but enjoyed them in the past.

    I thought both pizzas were good but different in approach. I didn't make any notes, but my recollections are as follows.

    --Piero's had a thicker doughier crust while Malnati's was crisper, more pastry like.

    --Malnati's sauce was mild and Piero's was more assertive.

    --Both had good sausage but Malnati's was a little sparse.

    --Piero's definitely had more cheese.

    The overall tasting experience was that Malnati's was more delicate (if one can use that expression with pan pizza) and Piero's was heftier and more intense (and with all that cheese and sauce more gloppy).

    I preferred the Piero's, Cathy's dad liked Malnati's better.

    As I said above, both were good. The choice comes down to personal preference and convenience.

    By the way, the Piero's in Highland Park is unrelated to the Piero's in Wilmette on Ridge Road. I tried the Wilmette location a few years ago and thought it was an OK pizza, but not in the same league as the HP Piero's. The people in Wilmette told me the owners are different branches of the family, but when I related this to the owner of the HP Piero's he said no way.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.

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