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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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  • Post #31 - February 24th, 2019, 11:05 pm
    Post #31 - February 24th, 2019, 11:05 pm Post #31 - February 24th, 2019, 11:05 pm
    NFriday wrote: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.

    Actually, given what you ordered -- and based on my experience with how these ingredients are typically handled at Malnati's -- it seems miraculous that your pizza was anything but soggy. I think I would have liked it this way, unless it was burnt. Fwiw, I find that most deep dish pizzas require a knife and fork.

    =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 #32 - February 25th, 2019, 11:43 am
    Post #32 - February 25th, 2019, 11:43 am Post #32 - February 25th, 2019, 11:43 am
    Sorry you had a bad experience. Was the bottom burnt or just...rigid?

    Our go-to Malnati's delivery order is a deep dish "The Lou," with spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes on buttercrust. Despite originating from across town, I don't think we've ever had a soggy pie. (Perhaps it helps that we take their advice and order it unsliced for delivery.) I usually approach it with cutlery, but Lou's deep dish has more structural integrity than other pies I've had from Giordano's, etc.

    Oak Park Lou's, count me a fan!
  • Post #33 - February 25th, 2019, 1:29 pm
    Post #33 - February 25th, 2019, 1:29 pm Post #33 - February 25th, 2019, 1:29 pm
    NFriday wrote: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.
    Sounds like you had an unusually crunchy dough that time though I tend to like my Malnati's crust on the crispier side that does sound strange. If I get it to go I order it uncut and I will crisp it up in the oven as well. Just to be clear as it's a little bit of a local pet peeve for me (just like Costanza; I can't let it go) so I must clarify - Giordano's is stuffed pizza not deep dish with a completely different crust. Malnati's is going to be harder and more dense, Giordano's is just dough run through a sheeter. On a personal preference note Lou Malnati's is probably my favorite pizza with Giordano's and other stuffed pizzas pretty close to the bottom.
  • Post #34 - July 1st, 2019, 5:11 am
    Post #34 - July 1st, 2019, 5:11 am Post #34 - July 1st, 2019, 5:11 am
    Lou Malnati's, Lincolnwood on a rainy Sunday night delivered the best version of their thin crust I've had in decades. The stars simply aligned

    Moderate delivery time, piping hot out of the box, crisp crust, onion/sausage/mushroom tasty, a better version of itself. 5-adults made short work* of an extra-large and left me wishing I ordered two.

    LouMP1.jpg Lou Malnati's Thin Crust


    Lou Malnati's Thin Crust, count me a fan!

    *Two said they weren't hungry then changed their minds the second the pizza came. I should have known better.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #35 - July 1st, 2019, 8:06 am
    Post #35 - July 1st, 2019, 8:06 am Post #35 - July 1st, 2019, 8:06 am
    Ron--

    I've had thin crust from their Buffalo Grove location that is just great. Ordered it as is, although I might try well done next time, as I normally do with my fave thin crusts around--Kaiser's in Gurnee and of course Wells Bros. in Racine.

    Getting back to your original post, don't know if it's been mentioned but for their salads Malnati's uses their chopped marinated bruschetta tomatoes, and we found out early on that it just doesn't work. We routinely switch out chopped fresh tomatoes for the bruschetta ones and it works fine. It's a good salad.
  • Post #36 - July 1st, 2019, 10:17 am
    Post #36 - July 1st, 2019, 10:17 am Post #36 - July 1st, 2019, 10:17 am
    Mr. Wiviott, sir.
    I would dearly love to second your enthusiastic embrace of Lou's Lincolnwood. It was a regular in our rotation for a number of years. Was. I just got too tired of the increasing variability in thin crust quality. Deep dish, always good. But I grew up back East with thin crust and at heart I guess I'm a thin crust guy. So from time to time, wanna have it. Sometimes Lou's satisfied. (Increasingly) Often, it was just flat-out unacceptable. Reasons always varied but I got tired of paying for something I had trouble eating. So it is no longer in the rotation--and hasn't been for probably over a year now. For deep dish, we'll still have their stuff, but otherwise, I think Lefty's is likely our new go-to (with an occasional order from a variety of other places).
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #37 - July 1st, 2019, 11:13 am
    Post #37 - July 1st, 2019, 11:13 am Post #37 - July 1st, 2019, 11:13 am
    I haven't had Malnati's in a long time but I do enjoy their deep dish. Last time we had it we ordered the Lou's special (sausage, butter crust) from their Wilmette location, pick up. Opened up the box and the pie was weird, the layer of sausage on the bottom had shrunk from the edges, pulling the cheese and sauce along with it. Looked like a medium pizza's topping on a large crust, with 2-3 inches of bare crust around the edges.
    I should have taken it back (although I think we picked it up near closing time) or called in a complaint but we just ate it. Other than the fact the toppings only covered the middle of the pie, it tasted fine otherwise.
  • Post #38 - July 1st, 2019, 2:49 pm
    Post #38 - July 1st, 2019, 2:49 pm Post #38 - July 1st, 2019, 2:49 pm
    Geezus! Apparently, it's true that nothing ever dies on the internet. My OP is over 10 years old! I moved my office out of Highland Park in 2011, so I can safely say that my lunchtime boycott is still in effect.

    That said, I (or someone in my household) has ordered delivery at dinner time from the Lou's HP location a number of times since then (129 times to be exact, for a grand total of $4,549.31), with very few issues. So, whatever the issues there were when I started this thread, it seems to have been that lunchtime crew back in 2008/2009 that was to blame. It's been relatively smooth sailing ever since I eliminated order lunch there.

    =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 #39 - July 1st, 2019, 9:05 pm
    Post #39 - July 1st, 2019, 9:05 pm Post #39 - July 1st, 2019, 9:05 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:That said, I (or someone in my household) has ordered delivery at dinner time from the Lou's HP location a number of times since then (129 times to be exact, for a grand total of $4,549.31), with very few issues.

    Do you really track your dining expenses in such detail? I am impressed.
    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 #40 - July 1st, 2019, 10:08 pm
    Post #40 - July 1st, 2019, 10:08 pm Post #40 - July 1st, 2019, 10:08 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:That said, I (or someone in my household) has ordered delivery at dinner time from the Lou's HP location a number of times since then (129 times to be exact, for a grand total of $4,549.31), with very few issues.

    Do you really track your dining expenses in such detail? I am impressed.

    Yeah, everything. Not just dining. I've tracked every spending detail in Quicken, even cash, since 1998. I'm somewhat obsessive about it. I'm addicted to the data.

    =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 #41 - July 4th, 2019, 12:10 pm
    Post #41 - July 4th, 2019, 12:10 pm Post #41 - July 4th, 2019, 12:10 pm
    We live very close to Lou's Take-out in Wilmette, and have been continually been disappointed over the years with the inconsistency and genuine lack of quality.
    HOWEVER, I have had the good fortune of eating-in at Lincolnwood, splitting a deep dish and salad with three friends and been blown away by the goodness of the experience.
  • Post #42 - July 6th, 2019, 3:18 pm
    Post #42 - July 6th, 2019, 3:18 pm Post #42 - July 6th, 2019, 3:18 pm
    jilter wrote:We live very close to Lou's Take-out in Wilmette, and have been continually been disappointed over the years with the inconsistency and genuine lack of quality.
    HOWEVER, I have had the good fortune of eating-in at Lincolnwood, splitting a deep dish and salad with three friends and been blown away by the goodness of the experience.

    We live midway between the Wilmette and Lincolnwood locations and we will always patronize Lincolnwood for precisely the same reasons - despite the fact that Lincolnwood's carryout parking lot is an abomination to humanity...
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #43 - July 9th, 2019, 10:11 am
    Post #43 - July 9th, 2019, 10:11 am Post #43 - July 9th, 2019, 10:11 am
    That's on average once a month your household orders from Malnati's, Ronnie, with an average tab of $35. I guess you would qualify as a pretty loyal customer.

    I'm not sure what's up with the Malnati's Wilmette location. I've only ordered from there a few times, and every time seemed ok but that last time, with my shrunken toppings, that was strange. Wonder what could make a pizza do that. Was it par-cooked before? Frozen and not defrosted before putting it in the oven? Did the employee even notice the appearance before boxing and handing it to me?

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