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My Pizza Reviews List

You can simply scroll through my blog posts (below) to see the reviews, images, etc. Or, see the list below for links to each review:

TOP 4 LEADER BOARD – Running List of the Best Pizza in Northwest Indiana:
Tomato Bar………….A-
Giovanni’s………….. B+
Mod Pizza……………B+
Rico’s………………….B-

REVIEWS:

Dante’s / Danny Z’s – Munster, IN

Lou Malnati’s – Schererville, IN

Giovanni’s – Munster, IN

The Oven Grinder – Chicago (not a formal review)

Little Italy – Dyer, IN

Original John’s – Munster, IN

Eduardo’s – Munster, IN

Rico’s – Lansing, IL

Beggar’s Pizza – Lansing, IL

Mod Pizza – Highland, IN

Tomato Bar – Schererville, IN

WHAT NWI PIZZA SHOULD I TRY NEXT? Leave a comment below.

Review: Tomato Bar – Schererville, IN

Date:2/13/2021 – take out
Type / Appearance:It had been a while since I last ate at Tomato Bar. So, it was clearly time to officially review their pizza. I originally tried to order online, but the process is flawed and cumbersome, so I just called. I ordered two pizzas; one half plain (meaning cheese only for you midwesterners) and half pepperoni. The other pizza was with grilled chicken with light swirl of BBQ sauce. They said 40 minutes and I was there at the 45 minute mark and they were ready. I picked them up through the drive-through window, so that was convenient. The pizzas were boxed nicely in strong, branded boxes and the pizzas travelled well on the way home. And then, you open the box and, wait for it…… PIE SLICED! Damn – two pie-sliced pizzas. They were beautiful!
Dough:Good thickness, so nice and thin. I bit of semolina on the bottom, but not overpowering at all. The slices folded nicely. My son looked at me and said “This is great! It is almost like New York Pizza.” And I have to say, so far, this is THE closes thing I’ve tasted to NYC pizza around here. The crust was thin, but not too thin and it was crispy with a great taste and texture.
Sauce:Very good sauce. Great taste.
Cheese:Great blend and the cheese to sauce ratio was perfect. The cheese had a great taste and texture.
Oil:Not oily at all. The pepperoni half was a bit greasy, but that’s just the meat making that happen.
Smell:Simply a wonderful smell.
Other:Really polite staff on the phone and at the drive-through.
Grade:A-
Comments:This was a great pie and you can taste the quality ingredients. Honestly, I enjoyed the pie with the BBQ chicken on it more than the pepperoni, but that’s just me. Really, this was a great ordering experience and a great-tasting pizza. The other pizza places in the area should all order a pie from here and taste it. They’d all learn something.

Review: Mod Pizza – Highland, IN

Date:1/30/2021 – take out
Type / Appearance:I’ve eaten at Mod Pizza quite a few times, but I wanted to give it a fair review, with the same level of scrutiny as the other reviews. I ordered through the app and we ended getting 7 pizzas; one for each person. The app is pretty cool, allowing you to easily customize each pizza, choosing everything from the crust, the sauce, the toppings and more. On top of that, there’s a free-form section where you can add notes to the maker of the pizza. For me, 11-inch, thin crust, red sauce, grilled chicken, and red onions, cooked extra crispy, or as we say in NJ, charred. The app said the pizzas would be ready in 20 minutes and sure enough, we walked in 20 minutes later and they were there, waiting for us. Boxed nicely in a branded box, the pizzas travel well. And then, you open the box and, wait for it…… PIE SLICED! Well done Mod Pizza!.
Dough:Good thickness, so nice and thin. This is pretty close to a real Neopolitan pizza, at least what is available around here. The crust was nicely thin, crispy, and had a great texture and taste.
Sauce:Very good sauce. Not too sweet.
Cheese:Perfect cheese to sauce to crust ratio. The cheese had a nice taste and texture.
Oil:Not oily at all, which tells you it didn’t have too much sauce.
Smell:Really great smell.
Other:They have a nice selection of toppings and crust, even offering a cauliflower crust which I’ve had, and it’s quite good.
Grade:B+
Comments:Mod Pizza is a chain. As such, when I first tried it, I didn’t have high expectation. Mod Pizza though made a very good pie. What I like most is that you can order a different pie for each person, customized the way they want. Every ends up happy. At our house, six out of seven people thought the pizza was VERY good, and the one who didn’t obviously ordered toppings she wasn’t really crazy about. There is no question that I’d orderMod Pizza again.

Review: Original John’s – Munster, IN

Date:1/17/2021 – take out
Type / Appearance:First, this place is a beloved NWI establishment, now in the second generation. Read any reviews and you’ll see most people love this place, including some of my family and friends. Then, like me, you’ll have the random folks who don’t get it. I’m going to keep trying this place, because I keep thinking I’m missing something.
Nicely packaged in a good box. Pickup was easy. People were friendly. This is one of those places that cuts the pizza using what I call the “WTF” cut and they’ve always done this. See my page on “The Proper Cut” here. I’m just not sure what to do with these strips. I end up either eating them with a knife and fork or rolling them. Overall, it was a good looking pie though.
Dough:I’m not sure if Original John’s uses semolina dough, but they clearly put a bit of semolina on the bottom of the crust. This technique helps the pizza come off the peel easily when placing the pizza in the oven. My pizza was soggy. If it was cooked more, this would be a much better pizza.
Sauce:I found the sauce good tasting, but there was a bit too much of it.
Cheese:Good cheese quantity. Texture was good.
Oil:I found it too oily.
Smell:This pizza smelled good.
Other:For me, this pizza has great potential. First, I’d cook it longer. That would firm it up. Second, I’d reduce the quantity of sauce, to make it less oily and then I’d pie-cut this pizza. I’m not a fan of the semolina on the bottom, but who am I to suggest a change to the family recipe.
Grade:C-
Comments:As I’ve said, people RAVE about this place. So, I’m going to have to order again because A) that’s all some of my family members want and B) I must be missing something. BUT, I’m going to order light sauce, well-done and pie-cut. I bet it’ll be great.

Review: Eduardo’s Pizza – Munster, IN

Date:1/17/2021 – take out
Type / Appearance:On Calumet, I pass this place all the time. I know I’ve tried the pizza here before because they had my telephone number on file, but wanted to officially review it. Nicely packaged in a good box. Pickup was easy. Again, typical of the region, improperly cut into squares, i.e. “checkerboard” cut. See my page on “The Proper Cut” here. They weren’t tiny squares, so I guess this made it a bit better looking. Overall, it was a good looking pie. We had half cheese (in Jersey, we call it “plain”) and half sausage/pepper/mushroom/onion (my wife’s toppings of choice).
Dough:Puffy. Thicker. Which makes sense, since they like to say they specialize in “stuffed” pizza.
Sauce:I found the sauce salty. This may be the cheese, but I don’t think so. It was just okay. A bit too much sauce was on the pie.
Cheese:Sorry, but I found the cheese bland. And there was too much of it.
Oil:It was oily, but that may be because it was 1/2 full of all that stuff my wife likes.
Smell:Good smell.
Other:ok. Just okay overall.
Grade:C-
Comments:I wouldn’t order again. I hear if you’re a stuffed-pizza kind of person, this is the place to go, but you know how I feel about stuffed and/or deep-dish.

Review: Rico’s Pizza – Lansing, IL

Date:1/17/2021 – take out
Type / Appearance:I know this is in IL, but it’s one block in, so technically, NWI for all intents and purposes. Packaged “old school” in a bag, on a piece of round cardboard. Pickup was easy. Again, typical of the region, improperly cut into squares, i.e. “checkerboard” cut. See my page on “The Proper Cut” here. Good looking pie. You could tell it was nice and crispy. For the record, if this place asked if you wanted pie-cut, I bet a lot of people would take them up on it. It’s the right kind of pizza to do that.
Dough:Good thickness, so not too thick, and cooked properly. It was a bit “ritz” cracker-ish, but okay.
Sauce:Good. Not too sweet, with good spices.
Cheese:Good cheese to sauce to crust ratio. Wasn’t a bland mix. I liked it.
Oil:It was a touch greasy, but that may be because it was 1/2 sausage.
Smell:Great-smelling pie.
Other:Good overall pizza.
Grade:B-
Comments:Given the exterior of this place, I didn’t expect much. But I liked it. It was better than “just ok”. I’d order again for sure.

Review: Beggar’s Pizza – Lansing, IL

Date:1/17/2021 – take out
Type / Appearance:I know this is in IL, but it’s one block in, so technically, NWI for all intents and purposes. Boxed properly. Nice 4-color box, solid flaps protects the pie. Pickup was easy. Again, typical of the region, improperly cut into squares, i.e. “checkerboard” cut. See my page on “The Proper Cut” here. Okay looking overall. Not impressive, per se, but okay. Just okay.
Dough:Overall, I felt like the pizza needed to be cooked more. The bottom was crispy, but the layer(s) above that and under the cheese were raw-ish. Good thickness, that is to say, not too thick. For me, this was all the more reason the dough should’ve been cooked more.
Sauce:A bit too sweet.
Cheese:First, there was WAAAY too much cheese on this pizza. I know they say they “lay it on thick” but you simply don’t need that much cheese. Also, it was a bit bland.
Oil:Because of the “lay it on thick” aspect, there was also too much sauce, which meant the pizza was a bit oily.
Smell:Not enough of a smell. It was hot and steamy, but there weren’t any great aromas coming from this pie.
Other:For me, on pizza, “more” does not mean “better.” In other words, I believe they laid it on too thick.
Grade:C
Comments:Not for me. I wouldn’t re-order pizza from here.

Review: Dante’s (Danny Z) – Munster, IN

Date:12/20/2020 – take out
Type / Appearance:Boxed properly. Pickup was easy. Overall, boxed nicely, but when I opened the boxes, I just wasn’t impressed with the first two. See the slideshow above. This pizza looks rushed. Cooked to “crispy” which was good. Again, typical of the region, improperly cut into squares, i.e. “checkerboard” cut. See my page on “The Proper Cut” here.
Dough:Overall, I found the pizza, well, bland; including the dough. It was the right thickness, but it almost had the texture of a saltine.
Sauce:Often, sauce is too sweet, but this sauce had little taste at all.
Cheese:“Meh” but at least, in the right amount.
Oil:The sauce wasn’t overloaded (quantity) so the amount of oil present was in good proportion.
Smell:Good.
Other:We ordered three; one plain (sorry, one “cheese”), one half pepperoni / half grilled chicken, and the third with sausage, peppers, onions. The toppings made the third pie tastier than the others. The toppings were all cooked well. Overall, the only word I keep coming up with is “bland.”
Grade:C-
Comments:Not for me. I wouldn’t re-order pizza from here. But, let me say, when you first walk in the door, there’s a framed poster telling the story of the original Italian owner who took great pride in his pizza. Those roots would make me believe there’s potential here. I’d love to talk to the current owner (his son, I believe) and see if that old-world recipe and, more importantly, the ingredients, could be brought back. There’s some wonderful history here and with the right product, this place could be a big hit.

Review: Lou Malnati’s – Schererville, IN

Lou Malnati’s is a Chicago institution, so I was looking forward to tasting it. They only opened the pick-up-only location in Schererville last year, I believe. I do have to say, they appear to have a good pandemic plan. The location ONLY offers curbside pickup – you can’t go inside. You tell them what car you’re driving and they bring your order out. So for that, well done!

Date:12/07/2020 – take out
Type / Appearance:I ordered three pizzas; one large thin crust, one small thin crust, and one deep-dish for my wife (I’m not calling it pizza, because it isn’t.) All were boxed nicely in a white box with a color logo. Every pizzeria should do this. The two think crust pizzas were nice looking. The deep-dish thing was steaming, covered in a thin piece of food covering. I’m not reviewing it because I didn’t taste it (sorry, it’s just not pizza), it apparently was “just okay.”
Dough:The Lou Malnati crust is some sort of cornbread/flour mix or something. While the crispy pizza was indeed crispy, (it’s firm enough to hold), you can’t fold it to hold it better. I ordered the small thin pizza “cut” so it came in those silly little squares / checkerboard cut. I ordered the large thin pizza “uncut” – thinking I could cut it into proper triangular “slices” myself. I did indeed manage that, but the cornbread (or whatever it is) couldn’t really be folded. It cracked.
Sauce:Not bad actually. Not too sweet. Nice consistency. Quite good.
Cheese:Acceptable.
Oil:The perfect amount. It wasn’t oily at all, which means the sauce is of good quality and proportionately distributed.
Smell:Really good.
Other:I’m sorry, I just couldn’t get past the dough / crust. I don’t know what is in it.
Grade:C
Comments:I was disappointed and no, I wouldn’t get it again.

Review: Giovanni’s – Munster, IN

Date:11/25/2020 – take out
Type / Appearance:Boxed properly. Nice looking. Nice display of cheese, some onions and peppers. Properly cooked to “crispy”. Unfortunately, improperly “checkerboard” cut – it’s only visual downfall. Fortunately, the square pieces weren’t cut too small, like with many other NWI places. See my page on “The Proper Cut” here.
Dough:Great tasting! Crispy. Well-proportioned edge. Firm enough to fold, but well, you know, cut into squares?!
Sauce:Quite delicious. Not too sweet. Nice consistency.
Cheese:Good tasting, but just a little too much cheese in general.
Oil:With just a little too much cheese, comes just a little too much oil. No biggie though.
Smell:Magnificent. Truly smelled like pizza.
Other:The toppings made for a very nice looking and tasty NWI pizza. The onions and peppers were perfectly cooked and added a great taste.
Grade:B+
Comments:I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, I’d get it again, without question. I’d ask for Pie-cut though.