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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lou Malnati's [Meeting #30]

Lou Malnati's
6649 N. Lincoln Ave.(Google Maps)

CPC invaded Lou Malnati's on 4/12/06

Lou Malnati’s pizza is a long time Chicagoland treasure. The original pizzeria in Lincolnwood is a converted house into pizza joint. The place has been remodeled numerous times over the years but you can tell the bar area, where we dined and which is as smoke filled as it gets in Chicago lately, is somebody’s old family room. Upon arrival you notice the bartender paying off a NCAA debt to a regular customer as he tops of his Sam Adams. The bar area unlike the rest of the restaurant is old and poorly lit, but filled with character that says, “We come here to escape the wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend and have some good pizza.” In the 80’s the kids at the grammar school nearby could always come to Lou Mal’s for a quick game of Mrs. Pac Man and a smoke.

The place is filled with memories and some kick-ass pizza. We ordered these great selections:

  • A thin crust pepperoni pizza
  • A Lou’s, which is a Chicago style deep dish pizza and consists of fresh spinach, mushrooms and sliced tomatoes covered with a blend of mozzarella, romano and cheddar cheese served on a butter crust.
  • Finally we ordered the new crustless sausage “crust" pizza with garlic.
First off, the service was great. We had a great server, Ralu, who was very interested in CPC and seemed very genuine in her concern for our enjoyment of the pies. She was timely with our drinks and generally made sure we had a good time. The pizzas all arrived at the same time, 36minutes (I think) after we ordered them. They were all hot and each had something great to offer.

The sausage crust pizza, designed during the Atkins craze of two ears ago is a carb counter's dream come true. Instead of bread crust there is a layer of sausage which serves as a de facto crust. The sauce on the pizza was plentiful as was the layer of mozzarella cheese. The sauce was different from all the other pizzas as there seemed to be more of it (perhaps trying to make up for lack of crust). The garlic we added was strong and noticeable upon arrival to the table, so watch out on a first date.

The Lou’s was great as well. The veggies were fresh and the sliced tomatoes added something to the sauce. As said earlier, there was less sauce on this pizza and the sauce itself had chunks of tomatoes, which is always nice. The butter crust comes with the pizza so you don’t pay extra for it, but it was not as buttery as some other places CPC has been to. The cheeses all blended together and make you think you are in cheese heaven.

The thin crust pizza was also terrific. The pepperoni on it was nice and spicy. The crust was crispy, but not burned. The cheese was nice and gooey. The sauce also tasted different than the other two pizzas. (It makes one wonder if this place has different sauces for different types of pizzas.) This sauce was hidden beneath the cheese and only came squirting out after each bite. It was a quality thin crust.

Petey gives Lou Malnati's an 8.875.

Mood lighting!

What we came for

Our lovely server (Ralu)

Oh! The carnage!!

Where it went down

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


  1. Well, what a treat this place was. So motherfucking delicious. And that ain't just the beer I had talking. I had a Honker's Ale on tap and my cousin was able to score himself a Goose 312.

    We ate in the small bar so we could watch the Bulls game and found a cozy booth that seatd up to 6 comfortably. I will note that w e had a spillage of the thin crust after most of it was eaten. We were in a really tight spot in the corner and our waitress, Ralu, got it taken off our bill. Plus, she never let our water, coke, beer glasses get empty all night.

    The thin pizza tasted spicy, which I attribute to the pepperoni. i was really impressed with their thin crust, especially considering I had such low expectations of it. It was basically a thinner pan pizza: the same crust, the same buttery flaakiness, but just thinner.

    The Lou's Special and the Crustless pizzas were both great as well. The crustless blew my mind with it's all sausage foundation. The sausage was great, not too much fennel, and the sauce was heaped the heartiest on this pie. I was able to really define the sauce best on this pizza and I found it to be tangy, mildly spicy, and very thick. The Lou's was the flagship deep dish style. It was very good, but after comparing the two meat pizzas, it lacked saltiness. I really think that if we had ordered the Deep Dish and added some sausage or pepperoni it would have been the best pizza of the night. Still, if that was the least good pizza of the night, they really delivered the goods. I'm happy to see a Chicago legend earn its keep.


  2. This is probably my favorite of the large pizza chains in Chicago, and for good reason. Good ingredients and good crust... even when the crust on one happens to be a layer of sausage.

    All three pizzas we ordered were delicious, the sausage crust was an interesting novely to try as well.

    This is going to be a short review, the whole time I was at Lou Malnati's I was entranced and captivated by Cisco's burgeoning mustache. It's magnificient.

    The mustache gets a 11, Lou's get's a solid 8.5

  3. Everything was delicious, and the three pizzas we tried really covered the full catalogue of pizza styles. The service was great, the atmosphere was cozy, and it was worth the trip to the 'burbs.

    The "crustless pizza" with the sausage was surprisingly pizza-like for all its lack of crust. I would never order that pizza if it were all I was having, but it was great to try in true pizza club pizza-sampling style.

    I never need meat to enjoy a pizza, but I agree with other reviewers that the Lou's deep dish would have been better with some pepperoni or sausage. The pizza was still great, but the crust was pretty flavorless, and for how thick it was it dulled the kick of the delicious, fresh ingredients atop the pie. Meat, salt, garlic, buttery crust - any of those would have made it outstanding.

    While each pizza was great, I enjoyed the thin crust the most. Just a thin crust pepperoni pizza, but Lou Malnati's perfected this old standard. I think the fact that they make it in a pan is what makes it so good. The crust was not too thin, but crunchy and it absorbed all the flavors of the pizza. The pepperoni itself was really tasty, the cheese was the perfect melty consistency, and the sauce was flavorful and plentiful.


  4. Three words... SAUSAGE CRUST PIZZA. This place was super. Wonderful service, good beers on tap, and most importantly interesting and unique pizzas. The pizzas were all great. The sausage crust pizza though was once of the best pizzas I've ever had. It was unique, salty and had a base of sausage which would tantalize even the strictest of vegetarians. This is someplace everyone need to go to at least once and I promise they will either return again or order for pick-up. This place gets an 8.5 out of 10.