Monday, April 30, 2012

Who Wants Pizza?

If the headline didn’t pique your interest, I’m sure the scrumptious photo did. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy pizza? Personally, I can’t think of a single person I know that doesn’t like pizza. Granted, some of us relish a delicious pie more than others, but I have never heard anyone say anything negative about this culinary delight. That would be heresy.

After all, pizza is like sex. Even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good.

Based on the premise that all pizzas are at least pretty good, there are some better than others. And everyone has an opinion on whose pizzeria makes the best pie. Ask a group of people and you will get at an abundance of assorted responses. Plus, a lot of hemming and hawing to go along with those responses.

When I posted “Best Pizzeria in Kenosha” Friday afternoon, the initial response was quite brisk and varied. I didn’t have to elaborate or set parameters, people immediately began casting votes.

For those interested in the details, the poll consists of my top ten pizzerias in Kenosha. I had to draw the line somewhere, that’s why there are only ten. Reluctantly, I had to leave off fine establishments like Tenuta’s, Rosati’s and Rocky Rococo’s.

Looking back, I should have put Rocky’s in my top ten instead of Renzo’s. The only reason Renzo’s made the list is because they make the best pizza turnovers in Kenosha. I know, technically a turnover isn’t a pizza, but they are soooo good. And, besides, it’s my poll.

Other local pizza joints that did not garner a spot on my poll were Frankie D’s, Antonio's, Toppers, Little Caesars, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Nick-N-Willy’s, Slice of NY Pizzeria, Papa John’s and Papa Murphy’s.

Some of these didn’t make it because I have never tried them and others because I had tried them. Enough said.

One pizzeria that didn’t make my list because I have not tried their pizza yet is Luisa’s Pizza. Located in Salem, Wisconsin, according to a 2011 Kenosha News poll, Luisa’s has the “Best Pizza West of the I”.

The only reason I haven’t tried their pizza yet is because of its location. Unfortunately, I don’t travel so well these days and Luisa’s is located at the corner of Hwy 50 & 317th Avenue in Salem.

I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Luisa’s and some day, some how, some way, I will try their pizza. That pledge goes out to my facebook friend Paul De Luisa, the owner/operator.

A couple other restaurants that would have made the poll had they been in Kenosha are situated right over the state line in Illinois. They are Pizza House on Sheridan Road in Zion and Quonset Hut on Grand Avenue in Waukegan.

Pizza House was a favorite haunt of mine during my halcyon days while working at American Air Filter in Zion. Whether it was something for lunch or a pie picked up on the way home, I was never disappointed. The double-decker from Pizza House was good for a minimum of two meals, even for a veteran connoisseur like me.

The Quonset Hut was a popular place to go after a Kenosha Flyers hockey game played across the border in the land of Lincoln. The pizza and Italian bombers were top-notch and it didn’t hurt that they served me beer when I was only 17. Hey, don’t blame them; I was big for my age.

While we are still in Illinois, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the iconic pizzerias there. Places like Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, Pizzeria Uno, Connie’s, Gino’s East, Aurelio’s, Home Run Inn and Edwardo’s come to mind.

So far, I haven’t had the pleasure of sampling the much-ballyhooed fare from any of these restaurants. Lou Malnati’s offers mail order pizzas that are partially baked, flash frozen, ready to be baked and eaten. I was tempted to order a pie from Lou’s, but the price quickly quelled my desire to place an order. $57.99 for two 9” deep-dish pizzas is a bit costly, even for a pizza devotee like me.

Speaking of cost, I did some research on how much a 16” cheese and sausage pizza costs from each of the ten pizzerias in the poll. The price includes delivery. This list goes from priciest to the least expensive.

Jimano’s - $20.90
Casa Capri - $18.77
Carl’s - $18.30
DeRango’s - $18.10
Infusino’s - $17.75
Valeo’s - $17.20
Pa’s - $16.50
Luigi’s - $15.50
*Renzo’s - $15.00
*Ruffolo’s - $14.19

* - Delivery Not Available

While I am making lists, here is how I personally rank the ten pizzerias in the poll:

1. Pa’s
2. Luigi’s
3. Jimano’s
4. Casa Capri
5. DeRango’s
6. Carl’s
7. Infusino’s
8. Valeo’s
9. Ruffolo’s
10. Renzo’s

Based on the latest poll results, not everyone agrees with my tastes. Like I said earlier, if you ask a group of people what their favorite pizzeria is, you will get a multitude of answers.

Here are the current poll results as I write this on Sunday night:

Carl’s – 30%
Casa Capri – 13%
Pa’s – 13%
Valeo’s – 13%
Luigi’s - 8%
DeRango’s - 4%
Infusino’s - 4%
Jimano’s - 4%
Renzo’s - 4%
Ruffolo’s - 4%

Surprised by the results? I must admit there are a few eye-openers, but there is still plenty of time to vote so things could change. If you haven’t already voted, make sure that you do. Tell your friends! Jump on the poll now! It’s located directly under the Blog Archive on the right side of this page. Let’s see which Kenosha pizzeria people think is best.

Until next time…from the booth.

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