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Why I no longer order lunch from Malnati's [Highland Park]

Why I no longer order lunch from Malnati's [Highland Park]
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  • Why I no longer order lunch from Malnati's [Highland Park]

    Post #1 - January 30th, 2009, 12:32 pm
    Post #1 - January 30th, 2009, 12:32 pm Post #1 - January 30th, 2009, 12:32 pm
    Yeah, I know. Woe is me. :roll:

    I'm generally a big fan of Malnati's but I have to say that I'm sorely disappointed by several recent experiences at their Highland Park carry-out location, which is only open for lunch on Fridays. The crew at my office frequently orders from this location on Fridays -- today being no exception -- but I'll be on the side-lines, eating leftovers I brought from home.

    Over the past few weeks, we've experienced the following:

    -- 90 minute wait time for delivery
    We normally go pick it up ourselves but a few weeks ago, we were really busy, so we requested delivery. We called in our order at 11:30 and it was delivered -- ice cold -- at 1 pm. This was after we were told that it would be delivered within an hour. Even 90 minutes would have been ok if the food was hot but it wasn't. It wasn't even warm.

    -- Nasty salad
    Yeah, I know. Who orders salad from a pizza place? Well, we do -- and we usually order 3 or 4 of them -- with good results. They're nothing special but they're normally decent. At one recent experience, the diced tomatoes were like nothing I'd ever experienced before. Not only were they slimy but when I lifted a forkful of them, strands of slime extended down from the fork all the way back to the salad. It was mucous-like and I have no idea what it was. Against my better judgment, I briefly considered working around the tomatoes but the lettuce was so nasty and so brown, I joked with my co-workers that it looked like it had been pulled from the dumpster. Into the garbage with thee.

    -- Difficult to order
    For whatever irrational reason, thin-crust pies are available only in medium or large at lunch. It's annoying to have to order more than you want but whatever. Normally, I would just split a pizza with a co-worker but we couldn't make that happen, so I ordered my own medium. I wanted a pizza with italian beef and hot giardeniera. I was told they couldn't do it because they had no way to charge me for the beef, which is not listed as an 'official' pizza topping on their menu. I couldn't understand why they just couldn't charge me for it as if it were any other topping but they refused. So, using Five Easy Pieces as my inspiration, I told them they could charge me for an entire IB sandwich -- hold the bread, add the beef to the pizza. I had to explain it a couple of times but eventually I was told they would do it. I suppose it was my own fault for going "off menu" but I didn't think I was asking for anything outlandish. Resulting pizza was ok. The beef was kind of tough and flavorless but again, that was my own fault for ordering something they were't set up to do.

    I did call the restaurant about the late/cold delivery and the nasty salad but the manager with whom I spoke seemed unconcerned. So, at least for now, Malnati's is off my lunch rotation. I'm disappointed that my co-workers have no problem putting up with this lousy performance but apparently they're not fussy little bitches, like me. In fact, they're like moths to a flame. They acknowledge how bad it's been lately but are too lazy and apathetic to order from somewhere else. That's not a perspective to which I can relate. I'd rather eat nothing (or leftovers) than order from someplace that's known to do a lousy job. It's like rewarding them for sucking, which just cannot be a part of.

    </rant>

    =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 #2 - January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm
    Post #2 - January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm Post #2 - January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm
    I love a good justified boycott.

    There are many places that are probably more deserving of your business (and your coworkers).
  • Post #3 - January 30th, 2009, 1:43 pm
    Post #3 - January 30th, 2009, 1:43 pm Post #3 - January 30th, 2009, 1:43 pm
    While the delivery time issue and the disgusting salad issue are inexcusable, I will note that Lou's thin crust pizzas only come in medium and large at all times and not just during lunch.

    Lou's in HP has been our go-to place for pizza night for some time and we generally have good results even on the busisest nights by going with carry-out vs. delivery. In general I try to avoid delivery at all costs because of issues with time and temperature and if anything, I am glad to now know to skip the salads and pick up the pizza myself.
  • Post #4 - January 30th, 2009, 1:50 pm
    Post #4 - January 30th, 2009, 1:50 pm Post #4 - January 30th, 2009, 1:50 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:refused. So, using Five Easy Pieces as my inspiration, I told them they could charge me for an entire IB sandwich -- hold the bread, add the beef to the pizza.


    I just have to ask. Did you ask them to hold the bread between their knees?
  • Post #5 - January 30th, 2009, 1:58 pm
    Post #5 - January 30th, 2009, 1:58 pm Post #5 - January 30th, 2009, 1:58 pm
    AlexG wrote:While the delivery time issue and the disgusting salad issue are inexcusable, I will note that Lou's thin crust pizzas only come in medium and large at all times and not just during lunch.

    Lou's in HP has been our go-to place for pizza night for some time and we generally have good results even on the busisest nights by going with carry-out vs. delivery. In general I try to avoid delivery at all costs because of issues with time and temperature and if anything, I am glad to now know to skip the salads and pick up the pizza myself.

    Thanks, Alex, for the clarification/correction. I've usually had excellent results with this location in the evenings, too -- even with delivery -- but there just seems to be a serious disconnect at lunch. I'm guessing the fact that they only offer lunch a few days a week has something to do with it.

    =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 #6 - January 30th, 2009, 2:00 pm
    Post #6 - January 30th, 2009, 2:00 pm Post #6 - January 30th, 2009, 2:00 pm
    eatchicago wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:refused. So, using Five Easy Pieces as my inspiration, I told them they could charge me for an entire IB sandwich -- hold the bread, add the beef to the pizza.


    I just have to ask. Did you ask them to hold the bread between their knees?

    LOL! Since I still wanted the pizza, it probably wouldn't have been in my best interest, though, the thought did cross my mind :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 #7 - January 30th, 2009, 2:40 pm
    Post #7 - January 30th, 2009, 2:40 pm Post #7 - January 30th, 2009, 2:40 pm
    I was actually just thinking about ordering a Lou's pizza for delivery for dinner tonight (from the Lincoln Park location), because it's been so long. But I think I've changed my mind after reading this thread, and think I'll just wait until I'm in a situation where I can pick it up, rather than risk it. It makes a lot of sense that delivery might lead to a substandard Malnati's deep dish (though I understand this is not always the case).

    One last Malnati's qualm: I've found the customer service in the Carry Out section at the Buffalo Grove location to be pretty terrible. A bunch of high schoolers who have about as much respect for time as Madeleine L'Engle and the math/changemaking skills of her target demographic. This criticism is based off of probably 20-30 visits in the last four or five years.
    "People sometimes attribute quotes to the wrong person"--Mark Twain
  • Post #8 - January 30th, 2009, 3:04 pm
    Post #8 - January 30th, 2009, 3:04 pm Post #8 - January 30th, 2009, 3:04 pm
    I used to order from their carry out location in Palatine from time to time. My last deep dish pizza crust was kind of soggy and the sauce was so sour and tangy.

    We asked if we could substitute the pepperoni for the sausage on their Deluxe pizza and was told that it'd be no problem. When I picked up the pizza, I saw that they charged us extra for the switch. We asked them why they didn't tell us this in the first place so we could at least expect it. They said there was nothing that they could do so we had to pay the extra charge. They should've just been upfront about it. And what's the big deal? It's not any more work or any additional ingredients.
  • Post #9 - January 30th, 2009, 4:24 pm
    Post #9 - January 30th, 2009, 4:24 pm Post #9 - January 30th, 2009, 4:24 pm
    We just got a carryout deep dish pizza from the Libertyville Malnati's the night before last. So far the service and the pizza have been consistently fine for us from that location.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #10 - January 30th, 2009, 5:07 pm
    Post #10 - January 30th, 2009, 5:07 pm Post #10 - January 30th, 2009, 5:07 pm
    I had a superb carry out pizza from the Lincolnwood flagship on Tuesday night. It was the first time in a while that I've had a pizza from Lou's because I've been on such a Burt's streak. Sorry to hear about the HP problems.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #11 - January 30th, 2009, 5:59 pm
    Post #11 - January 30th, 2009, 5:59 pm Post #11 - January 30th, 2009, 5:59 pm
    stevez wrote:I had a superb carry out pizza from the Lincolnwood flagship

    Living in the far Northwest quadrant of Chicago proper Lincolnwood Malnati's is my choice for delivery pizza, typically thin crust, occasionally buttercrust thick. Always within the time frame, always the correct order, unlike the last non-Malnati's delivery we had where they brought our salad and forgot the pizza.

    As a Malnati's Lincolnwood data point, two thin crust pizza pickups earlier in the month were made short happy work of.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - January 30th, 2009, 6:15 pm
    Post #12 - January 30th, 2009, 6:15 pm Post #12 - January 30th, 2009, 6:15 pm
    skess wrote:I was actually just thinking about ordering a Lou's pizza for delivery for dinner tonight (from the Lincoln Park location), because it's been so long. But I think I've changed my mind after reading this thread, and think I'll just wait until I'm in a situation where I can pick it up, rather than risk it. It makes a lot of sense that delivery might lead to a substandard Malnati's deep dish (though I understand this is not always the case).


    Personally, I wouldnt let the above bad-review dissuade me, valid though it was. Primarily because in this case it involved getting poor food items from Malnati's that are never on my personal radar at Lou's anyway :-)

    Its obviously not a good thing that they dont have good salad (or slimy tomatoes), or that they didnt do a good job on a thin-crust... but me, personally, I have never ordered those things from Lou's, and havent planned to. I always go with their deepdish, which is IMHO the best in the city.. and that theyve pretty much always hit on, so far, and few reviews have ever suggested otherwise. If that was what you had in mind for your order (as it seems above), Id say go for it anyway :-)

    c8w
  • Post #13 - January 30th, 2009, 6:16 pm
    Post #13 - January 30th, 2009, 6:16 pm Post #13 - January 30th, 2009, 6:16 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    stevez wrote:I had a superb carry out pizza from the Lincolnwood flagship

    Living in the far Northwest quadrant of Chicago proper Lincolnwood Malnati's is my choice for delivery pizza, typically thin crust, occasionally buttercrust thick. Always within the time frame, always the correct order, unlike the last non-Malnati's delivery we had where they brought our salad and forgot the pizza.

    As a Malnati's Lincolnwood data point, two thin crust pizza pickups earlier in the month were made short happy work of.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Yes, the food at the Lincolnwood location has been very consistent, in my experience.

    =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 #14 - January 30th, 2009, 6:19 pm
    Post #14 - January 30th, 2009, 6:19 pm Post #14 - January 30th, 2009, 6:19 pm
    c8w wrote:
    skess wrote:I was actually just thinking about ordering a Lou's pizza for delivery for dinner tonight (from the Lincoln Park location), because it's been so long. But I think I've changed my mind after reading this thread, and think I'll just wait until I'm in a situation where I can pick it up, rather than risk it. It makes a lot of sense that delivery might lead to a substandard Malnati's deep dish (though I understand this is not always the case).


    Personally, I wouldnt let the above bad-review dissuade me, valid though it was. Primarily because in this case it involved getting poor food items from Malnati's that are never on my personal radar at Lou's anyway :-)

    Its obviously not a good thing that they dont have good salad (or slimy tomatoes), or that they didnt do a good job on a thin-crust... but me, personally, I have never ordered those things from Lou's, and havent planned to. I always go with their deepdish, which is IMHO the best in the city.. and that theyve pretty much always hit on, so far, and few reviews have ever suggested otherwise. If that was what you had in mind for your order (as it seems above), Id say go for it anyway :-)

    c8w

    I wouldn't let my negative experience dissuade anyone, either -- even if they liked these particular items. Places go through bad streaks. It happens. I've just been very frustrated with the HP location lately and had to vent. That said, Lou and I are taking a break in our relationship. :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 #15 - January 30th, 2009, 8:16 pm
    Post #15 - January 30th, 2009, 8:16 pm Post #15 - January 30th, 2009, 8:16 pm
    Ron, we've been successful with the Northbrook location on Shermer, though we typically do carryout, not delivery.
  • Post #16 - January 30th, 2009, 10:44 pm
    Post #16 - January 30th, 2009, 10:44 pm Post #16 - January 30th, 2009, 10:44 pm
    Don't get me wrong, Lou Malnati's is my pick for deep dish. I intend to continue patronizing their establishments both in person and through carry-out. Possibly delivery if the craving really strikes, because I'll never know unless I give them a chance. Just not tonight.
    "People sometimes attribute quotes to the wrong person"--Mark Twain
  • Post #17 - January 31st, 2009, 12:42 am
    Post #17 - January 31st, 2009, 12:42 am Post #17 - January 31st, 2009, 12:42 am
    I had a Lou's pie delivered from the Mt Prospect/Prospect Heights unit (Camp McDonald & Elmhurst) about ten days ago, no qualms about ordering again.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #18 - January 31st, 2009, 8:26 am
    Post #18 - January 31st, 2009, 8:26 am Post #18 - January 31st, 2009, 8:26 am
    Coincidently we ordered a large stuffed pizza and three salads from Lou's HP for dinner last night. I picked up, all was ready in 30 minutes and everything was perfectly Lou. I am enjoying a breakfast slice as I type.

    I dont usually order from Malnatis in HP, we order Pieros more regularly, but I do like to eat in in Lincolnwood and on Wells. The pie at the HP location wasnt a problem for us. Sorry to hear about the bad experiences.
  • Post #19 - January 31st, 2009, 9:53 am
    Post #19 - January 31st, 2009, 9:53 am Post #19 - January 31st, 2009, 9:53 am
    G Wiv wrote:Living in the far Northwest quadrant of Chicago proper

    I was certain you lived in the suburbs. :wink:
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #20 - January 31st, 2009, 10:17 am
    Post #20 - January 31st, 2009, 10:17 am Post #20 - January 31st, 2009, 10:17 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:... apparently they're not fussy little bitches, like me. ...

    </rant>

    =R=


    Ronnie,

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud. I'm having a craptastic morning and applying the term fussy little bitch to you cracks me up!

    Love,
    Marmish, who is just a plain bitch today
  • Post #21 - January 31st, 2009, 12:27 pm
    Post #21 - January 31st, 2009, 12:27 pm Post #21 - January 31st, 2009, 12:27 pm
    The HP Lou's is obivously one of my main pizza joints for delivery since I live so close to it, and usually it's pretty damn good. We will have off nights once in a while, but that can happen. I don't work around HP so I never had it at lunchtime.

    One thing I'd like to share. I forget if I mentioned this on here before. I went to pick up dinner at Lou's a couple months ago and while I was waiting I asked them if they ever thought about expanding the HP location to make it a full restaurant. The manager said they actually were talking about that recently as there was a vacancy in the building that would have made it perfect to expand. However the Lou Malnati's brass said no to the idea as they just opened a new carryout store in Lake Forest and didn't want to take away business from it. A sit down Lou Malnati's in HP would surely be one of my top places to eat for deep dish close to home. Oh well. At least I can still get it anytime I want. :)
  • Post #22 - January 31st, 2009, 12:49 pm
    Post #22 - January 31st, 2009, 12:49 pm Post #22 - January 31st, 2009, 12:49 pm
    Ram4 wrote:The HP Lou's is obivously one of my main pizza joints for delivery since I live so close to it, and usually it's pretty damn good. We will have off nights once in a while, but that can happen. I don't work around HP so I never had it at lunchtime.

    One thing I'd like to share. I forget if I mentioned this on here before. I went to pick up dinner at Lou's a couple months ago and while I was waiting I asked them if they ever thought about expanding the HP location to make it a full restaurant. The manager said they actually were talking about that recently as there was a vacancy in the building that would have made it perfect to expand. However the Lou Malnati's brass said no to the idea as they just opened a new carryout store in Lake Forest and didn't want to take away business from it. A sit down Lou Malnati's in HP would surely be one of my top places to eat for deep dish close to home. Oh well. At least I can still get it anytime I want. :)


    You do know there's a sit-down in Buffalo Grove just south of Lake Cook Rd, don't you? As long as you aren't traveling west at rush hour, it's not bad to get there.
  • Post #23 - February 2nd, 2009, 6:00 pm
    Post #23 - February 2nd, 2009, 6:00 pm Post #23 - February 2nd, 2009, 6:00 pm
    I have a friend who's been a major Malnati's fan for decades - specifically the Elk Grove location.
    He moved out of state, and on a return visit we ordered A deep dish to go from the Highland Park location. What a huge disappointment it was- it was almost hard to believe it was a Malnati's pizza. Way undercooked, a goopy mess of too much tomato and cheese. He could tell right away it was wrong, and I regretted ordering it- it kind of ruined his memories of the original place. Never again. Sad. :cry:
  • Post #24 - February 3rd, 2009, 2:55 pm
    Post #24 - February 3rd, 2009, 2:55 pm Post #24 - February 3rd, 2009, 2:55 pm
    You should really contact their headquarters and tell them about your experience. They usually listen very well and when I've had issues, they have sent me a gift card to try and make things right (along with a promise of better stuff next time). 847-562-1918
  • Post #25 - February 4th, 2009, 7:43 am
    Post #25 - February 4th, 2009, 7:43 am Post #25 - February 4th, 2009, 7:43 am
    I don't know if they're open for lunch or not, because I usually only have it for dinner at the in-laws house, but I tend to prefer Piero's over Lou Mals any way. Maybe switch over to them for a while...
  • Post #26 - February 4th, 2009, 8:04 am
    Post #26 - February 4th, 2009, 8:04 am Post #26 - February 4th, 2009, 8:04 am
    Maestroken wrote:I don't know if they're open for lunch or not, because I usually only have it for dinner at the in-laws house, but I tend to prefer Piero's over Lou Mals any way. Maybe switch over to them for a while...


    HP location - Friday lunch @ 11:00 AM - other days @ 2:30
    Northbrook - M/F @ 11:00 AM - Sat/Sun @ 2:30
    http://pieropizza.com/
    Highland Park
    737 Broadway
    (Ravinia)
    847-433-7795

    Northbrook
    3125 Dundee Rd
    847-498-5700
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #27 - February 4th, 2009, 12:34 pm
    Post #27 - February 4th, 2009, 12:34 pm Post #27 - February 4th, 2009, 12:34 pm
    In defense of ordering a salad from Lou's-they do have a good salad-the Malaniti salad with a nice oil/vin dressing and gorgonzola cheese and other fancy stuff. But if the ingredients are off-yuck! We order from the Wilmette location and they have been pretty good. We just have to tell them that we want it well done with a crispy bottom crust. Sometimes they listen...and the crust does get soggy during delivery.
    What disease did cured ham actually have?
  • Post #28 - February 4th, 2009, 3:03 pm
    Post #28 - February 4th, 2009, 3:03 pm Post #28 - February 4th, 2009, 3:03 pm
    Guys, I would like to mention the Park Ridge branch does their deep dish buttercrust pies just fine. I had no problems at Park Ridge and this is after ordering from Lincolnwood for years (Still do at work). If you are closer to Des Plaines/Rosemont I endorse Lou's in Park Ridge (Carryout/Delivery Only)

    Lou's Park Ridge

    650 A Northwest Highway
    Park Ridge, IL 60068
    (847) 292-2277
  • Post #29 - February 24th, 2019, 8:12 pm
    Post #29 - February 24th, 2019, 8:12 pm Post #29 - February 24th, 2019, 8:12 pm
    Hi- I did not see a thread for Lou Malnati's specifically. I was at the Evanston location tonight with four other people. Three of us went in together on a deep dish pizza with tomatoes and mushrooms. I did not care for the bottom of the crust. You definitely needed a knife and fork to eat the pizza. The bottom of the crust was really crunchy. When I tried to cut into it, a piece of the crust flew off the plate. I've never had a bad pizza there before. The last time I had deep dish pizza it was at Giordano's in Evanston, and the crust was just fine. Tonight we had one piece of pizza left over, and two of us did not want to take it home. Finally somebody said he would take it home to give to his Mother. The other two people ordered a thin crust with sausage and they said it was good.
  • Post #30 - February 24th, 2019, 10:49 pm
    Post #30 - February 24th, 2019, 10:49 pm Post #30 - February 24th, 2019, 10:49 pm
    NFriday wrote:Hi- I did not see a thread for Lou Malnati's specifically.

    Nancy,

    We merged your post into an already existing thread with a related subject.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    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

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