Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Who Wants Pizza?


If the title 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.

Two years ago I posted a “Best Pizzeria in Kenosha” poll and 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 (at the time) 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.

Looking back, I should have included 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 was 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 trencherman 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.

Based on the 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 were the poll results:

Carl’s – 25%
Valeo’s – 17%
Pa’s – 16%
Casa Capri – 15%
Luigi’s - 8%
DeRango’s - 4%
Infusino’s - 4%
Jimano’s - 4%
Renzo’s - 4%
Ruffolo’s - 3%

Surprised by the results? I must admit there were a few eye-openers. 

While I am making lists, here is my personal 2014 Top Ten list of Kenosha pizzerias:

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

Maybe, if there is enough interest, we could run another poll on this blog site. Let me know!

Until next time…from the booth.

7 comments:

Reggie said...

Paul, so Carl's was #1 in the poll and did not even make the list? Have not has Sal's. Need to try it the next time I am in town.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Carl's was number 1 in the poll taken two years ago. The second list was MY Top Ten.

Mark Modory said...

Pa's is my all time Kenosha favorite.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Make sure that you vote on the poll, Mark!

Anonymous said...

Valeo's all the way!!!

Anonymous said...

I will bring you Luisa's pizza. Pepperoni with whatever toppings you want. Phenomenal! For Kenosha, I go with DeCarlo's. Thin crust for both tho. Stuffed/double layered, pizza time is great (in Trevor).

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Who is going to bring me Luisa's??? I will forever be in your debt!