The most overrated pizza?

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UrbanSpaceman
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2007/04/05 11:30:46 (permalink)

The most overrated pizza?

I know that people are sometimes married to their favorite pizza places like they are to their spouses, but is it fair to say that some pizzarias are known more for their hype than their food? I recently tried out Grimaldis for the first time, and while I didn't go to the original in Brooklyn (went to the Hoboken, NJ locale instead), I still think it wasn't anything special. It wasn't bad by any means - their pie was still worlds better than the typical cardboard pizza hut/dominoes/papa johns slice - but I dare say that there is better thin crust pizza to be sampled. Point of all of this being, have there been any other pizza places you all have gone to only to later claim as being overrated?
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    signman
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/05 12:23:26 (permalink)
    I'll put Tacconelli's in Philly in that category. Called to reserve the dough and felt foolish when we were the only ones in the place.
    #2
    JBarry713
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/05 12:25:43 (permalink)
    Lombardi's in NYC - good, but not great.
    #3
    Rapunzll
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/05 12:50:00 (permalink)
    Pizzeria Uno in Chicago. We had heard so much, went there, and thought, 'What's supposed to be great about this'?!
    #4
    packerwmn
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/05 13:23:32 (permalink)
    I agree on the UNO's vote. Went once - awful experience, never even got the correct pizza that we ordered!
    #5
    UrbanSpaceman
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/05 13:39:55 (permalink)
    One more thing to add: as much as I am a huge advocate of Lou Malnati's, I have had problems with how it tastes when I have it shipped to me. Ordering through the net hasn't always resulted in a bad Lou's pizza, but the last time we did it yielded a pie that was not up to the typically phenomenal Lou Malnati's level.
    #6
    JBarry713
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/05 14:00:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UrbanSpaceman

    One more thing to add: as much as I am a huge advocate of Lou Malnati's, I have had problems with how it tastes when I have it shipped to me. Ordering through the net hasn't always resulted in a bad Lou's pizza, but the last time we did it yielded a pie that was not up to the typically phenomenal Lou Malnati's level.


    I had a very average pie at Malnati's N. Wells St. location a few weeks back. Sad to say, it was the only taste of deep-dish I got when I was in Chicago. I wish I had a car to get to the original location.
    #7
    rainsux
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/05 18:35:25 (permalink)

    I never understood the Chicago rabid fascination
    with either Uno's or Gino's. When in Chicago,
    Bacino's is my choice.

    -doug
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    Fred Ferris
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/11 09:26:02 (permalink)
    Agreed on Uno's and Lou Malnati's....ugh..
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    Pigiron
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/11 10:57:53 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UrbanSpaceman

    but is it fair to say that some pizzarias are known more for their hype than their food? I recently tried out Grimaldis for the first time, and while I didn't go to the original in Brooklyn (went to the Hoboken, NJ locale instead), I still think it wasn't anything special.


    Actually, no I don't think that's a fair statement if you are referring to a franchisee instead of the original. The "hype" regarding Grimaldis refers to the pizza served under the Brooklyn Bridge, and in my opinion, absolutely lives up to the buzz, and then some. The same goes for the original Patsy's in Spanish Harlem. None of the offshoots can hold a candle to the original.

    My vote for most overrated is, without a doubt, Sally's in New Haven. The pizza is definitely good, but no where near the level that one might think after reading about it. The downright rude service brings it down to an even lower level.

    Signman: I had the exact same experience with Taconelli's. I reserved my dough a week ahead of time, rushed down there to be sure to get a seat, and sat in an empty restaurant.
    #10
    Jimeats
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/11 15:48:19 (permalink)
    A couple come to mind here in the Boston area. Although good but not all what they are cracked up to be.

    Pizza Regina Pizzareia in the North End, a good pie with fine ingreadiants and a must stop for the tourists in the area. But as old as that joint is the morgage must have been paid off by now. They can be a little pricey but I still frequent it on occasion.

    Santarpio's in East Boston, Once again a good pizza but I know of a better spot very close by, and a lot less also. Chow Jim
    #11
    danimal15
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/20 13:57:01 (permalink)
    The original Pizzeria Uno and Due once indeed did deserve the hype. Until the mid-1990s, these were places worth waiting in the long lines for. No longer so, and I agree with other posters here. I wish you all could have tasted this pizza back when it was still great, because it was heads and tails above the rest.

    As I've noted previously, the Lou Malnati's on Wells is not one of their better locations. I've had excellent pizzas at the Lou's in Lincolnwood, their original location. Sometimes the pizza there is so good it reminds me of the original Pizzeria Uno. Other times, the quality isn't quite up there.

    Bacinos? Haven't been there in ages. Maybe I'll try it again. But that's stuffed pizza, I believe, as opposed to original Chicago deep dish.
    #12
    Cinnabonbon
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/24 09:54:52 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by signman

    I'll put Tacconelli's in Philly in that category. Called to reserve the dough and felt foolish when we were the only ones in the place.


    When your saying you call to reserve the dough, does that mean you're calling in your order? Or does it mean that you are reserving dough for a pizza? Is it suppose to be that busy and the pizza is so good that they run out?

    Sorry I've heard of reserving many things just not dough...
    #13
    tsores
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/24 10:07:41 (permalink)
    I must agree on the Uno's comments. I think it is simply not worth it and recommend against it.
    #14
    ann peeples
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/25 07:35:17 (permalink)
    Was never impressed with Unos.But I am a die hard fan of super thin crust pizza, so maybe I am not the best judge...
    #15
    stanpnepa
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/25 08:02:32 (permalink)
    At my first visit to the original Uno back in 1992, we ordered a large "four cheese" pizza. Fortunately, we filled up on the salad, because the pie was not that well done and the cheese disgusting. Still, we didn't want to offend our server, so we got it boxed to go. I did gave it to a homeless person on the street, instead of money. Hopefully, he enjoyed it more than we did. I've gone back to Uno, it was better the next time...but not one of the world's great pizzas.

    Also, while I still agree that it has been and can be SUPERB, the clam pie at Pepe's in New Haven in February was a real disappointment. The clams were dry (without any juice---could they have been frozen?) and the crust was too well done. We've had it before and loved it, so I'm figuring it was just a "blip", but if it were my first visit I'd be very reluctant to go back. (Even the great ones faulter now and then?).

    Signman---I didn't see what the fuss was about at Taconnelli's either, other than the crust. We loved the grated cheese pizza, but found the other two mediocre. (Maybe it was the sauce?)



    #16
    Rt66Mike
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/25 12:50:21 (permalink)
    I could never understand why people like Uno's either. There are a couple around St. Louis, and I think they have terrible pizza. Too thick - tasteless, dried out, and the sauce to me has a funky aftertaste. I don't get it.
    #17
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/25 13:53:26 (permalink)
    Keep in mind that the Uno's Pizzerias found around the country are "Uno's" in name only. They bear no resemblance to the original location on Ohio Street in Chicago. They have franchised the name and nothing else. From what I've heard they don't all use the same recipes; making adjustments for local tastes ingredient availability. I have met fellow Chicagoans who, after proclaiming their Windy City citizenship, were warned by their waiter at an Uno's franchise, not to expect the same pizza they'd get at the flagship location.

    That being said, I'm not a particularly big fan of the original "Uno's" either. However they are still putting out a far superior product to the many franchisees and should not be judged by or compared to same.

    Buddy

    P.S. There were numerous Gino's East franchises out there as well. The same "in name only" description applies to them as well.

    B.
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    JBarry713
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/25 13:53:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by stanpnepa

    At my first visit to the original Uno back in 1992, we ordered a large "four cheese" pizza. Fortunately, we filled up on the salad, because the pie was not that well done and the cheese disgusting. Still, we didn't want to offend our server, so we got it boxed to go. I did gave it to a homeless person on the street, instead of money. Hopefully, he enjoyed it more than we did. I've gone back to Uno, it was better the next time...but not one of the world's great pizzas.

    Also, while I still agree that it has been and can be SUPERB, the clam pie at Pepe's in New Haven in February was a real disappointment. The clams were dry (without any juice---could they have been frozen?) and the crust was too well done. We've had it before and loved it, so I'm figuring it was just a "blip", but if it were my first visit I'd be very reluctant to go back. (Even the great ones faulter now and then?).

    Signman---I didn't see what the fuss was about at Taconnelli's either, other than the crust. We loved the grated cheese pizza, but found the other two mediocre. (Maybe it was the sauce?)






    When did you go to Pepe's? I haven't experienced a bad or even decent pie there at all - every visit I have enjoyed sublime pizza. As for the clams, they only get them fresh - never frozen. Once they are out of clams for the day - they are out - and no more clam pies will be made. That said,even the best pizzerias have "blips" now and then and over cook the pizza. Do yourself a favor and get back to Pepe's and order a variety of 2-3 smaller pies (try the plain tomato pie), which will cut down on the chance of experiencing a "blip" again.
    #19
    stanpnepa
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/25 14:07:14 (permalink)
    Jack, we were there around 4pm on a Tuesday in February. I was surprised too. We ordered a small clam...after eating a small tomato and mozzarella at Modern (that was disappointing too). Maybe it just wasn't our day?? Again, I've been to Pepe's about five or six times and LOVED it every other visit---whether we had clam, or sausage or pepperoni. I'm calling it a "blip", and will go back next time I'm up that way.
    #20
    UrbanSpaceman
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/26 11:06:37 (permalink)
    Couldn't agree with you more, Buddy, although one I've encountered one exception to the choose-the-original-never-the-chain mindset. I had Gino's East for the first time about 2 years ago, at the location on N. Wells st. I'm not sure if this is the original location or not, but the pizza was top-notch and certainly better than Uno's. That said, I'm sure the restaurant on E. Superior is much better if that's indeed the original Gino's East.

    Continuing this Uno's rant that's formed, I'll never say Uno's is the best pie I've ordered - but it's still not too bad. I'd much rather enjoy pizza there than at other chains ie Sbarro's, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa Johns, Mama Illardo's, etc. That probably goes without saying for any of us actually, but I can safely say that if I were in a state/country not known for their pies, an Uno's would suit me fine.
    #21
    wanderingjew
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/26 11:11:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UrbanSpaceman

    I'd much rather enjoy pizza there than at other chains ie Sbarro's,


    I actually remember when Sbarro's used to be good back in the late 70's/early 80's when I was in Junior and Senior High and Sbarro's was just a local chain in the NYC metro area.
    #22
    lucassal
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/26 11:16:13 (permalink)
    On a recent trip to Chicago, I made it a point to eat at Giordano's. The deep dish pizza they are know for was a big disappointment to me. The crust was tough and flavorless. The filling was lukewarm. I think I was not only disappointed with the quality of the product but have definitely pinpointed that I am a thin crust pizza. On another night in the Chicago area (Homewood to be precise, I thoroughly enjoyed a super 6 thin crust pizza at Aurelio's. Ask for it to be made in the old oven.
    #23
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/26 12:37:04 (permalink)
    Giordano's succumbed to corporate mediocrity years ago. If you want the best stuffed pizza (where the ingredients are actually baked between two thin layers of dough like a pie; different from "pan" or "Chicago Style" pizza) try either Nancy's or Suparossa. Nancy's has multiple locations around town, Suparossa, I believe is down to their original location on Central near Montrose.

    Buddy
    #24
    Twinwillow
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/26 12:59:33 (permalink)
    I know this won't really mean much to the vast majority out there, but in Dallas there is a pizza restaurant called, Coal Vines Pizza. It's packed every night! Every night!
    But, I think the pizza is just average.
    They opened a second location but, it failed.
    #25
    Jim2903
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/27 12:10:50 (permalink)
    Aurelio's was my thin crust of choice when I lived in the south suburbs (well, them and Vito & Nick's). Now that I live in the northwest burbs, it's Rosati's, which I think is a small notch above Aurelio's. But I can't understand the continual dissing of Giordano's, which has long been and continues to be my choice for stuffed pizza. Nancy's is good but I think it's overpriced; never had Superossa. But I was just at the Giordano's in Streamwood last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. I guess it's true that one's taste in pizza is VERY subjective ...

    Jim Dudlicek
    Hoffman Estates, IL

    quote:
    Originally posted by lucassal

    On a recent trip to Chicago, I made it a point to eat at Giordano's. The deep dish pizza they are know for was a big disappointment to me. The crust was tough and flavorless. The filling was lukewarm. I think I was not only disappointed with the quality of the product but have definitely pinpointed that I am a thin crust pizza. On another night in the Chicago area (Homewood to be precise, I thoroughly enjoyed a super 6 thin crust pizza at Aurelio's. Ask for it to be made in the old oven.
    #26
    FrankBooth
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/27 13:18:09 (permalink)
    Most Overrated Pizza:

    Una Pizza Napolitana (overpriced hipster junk... not worth the attitude or $$$- and no toppings? please...)
    Grimaldi's (brooklyn, NJ, whatever, cheese becomes white gum after 2 minutes, crust is like bread... blech)
    Totonno's (lost it's edge years ago, now just boring plain pizza with not enough cheese and not much flavor- boring)
    #27
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/27 18:56:28 (permalink)
    Two out of three of those are among my very favorites!
    #28
    firecommander3565
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/27 19:29:40 (permalink)
    Being from Chicago, for 44 years, I can tell you Lou Malnotis, Uno and Due are not frequented by regular Chicagoans. If we want a Great Deep dish, it is from EDWARDO's.
    #29
    FrankBooth
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    RE: The most overrated pizza? 2007/04/29 11:23:17 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bruce Bilmes & Sue Boyle

    Two out of three of those are among my very favorites!


    I assume you mean Una Pizza Napolitana and Totonno's - Totonno's is still good, just lost a lot of it's former glory, pies are still nice, but imho are way overrated. these days there are many great simple pies like that to be had around the city (anthony's, nicks, Patsy's uptown, demarco, etc.). great it was 20 years ago, not so much anymore- bland...

    Una Pizza Napolitana is a different story- yes the quality and provenance of his ingredients are top notch, yes he takes great care in making each pie by hand (painfully slowly at that), yes he can only fit 4 little personal pizzas in his oven (wood fired, not coal, sorry...), and as far as i'm concerned this place is WAY overpriced and a waste of money and energy. i have had a number of bad experiences there including VERY rude waiter, incredibly long waits (i sat for hours as i watched him send pie after pie for take out). he obviously is not a business man there, doesn't treat customers with respect, and in the end it comes down to the pies. and. imho, overrated they are- bland, tasteless, watery, stingy, boring. for the price of one tiny little personal pizza at UPN (over $20- please!) you can get a large pie at Difara with mdb, name brand oil, and NO ATTITUDE. in fact, at Difara, you get the exact opposite- world class pies made by a zen master of pizza- no attitude, no bs, just great pies made by hand by a master. btw, in an early conversation with the pizzaola at UPN, he told me that he though Sally's in new haven was rather mediocre. THIS SHOULD BE ENOUGH TO SEND YOU PACKING!!! blasphemy! i have eaten pizza all over the world, including in Napoli and all over Italy MANY times, and Sally's and Difara are absolutely in the top of the pops. in italy, UPN type pies are served in most any pizza restaurant, without the attitude and for less than half the price... as you can see, no love for UPN...
    go to any of the great, not underrated places in the city (Difara- the best, Patsy's uptown- great, L&B- classic) and skip the UPN tude...
    #30
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