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Jan 8, 2009 07:25 PM

SE Michigan - The Current State of Pizza

I am picky about my pizza, but I am not one that subscribes to one school of Pizza i.e. Chicago or New York. I love Lou Malnati's pizza in Chicago, I used to have a short lived place in Dearborn (Brick Oven Bistro) that I loved that is no more...

I am now a man without a Pizza joint that makes him REALLY happy (at least within a few hundred miles).

After years of Sheild's, Buddy's, Niki's and Pizza Papalis not satisfying me...


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  1. Ah, Lou Malnati's. My second favorite choice in pizza in all of Chitown, but Choice #1 if the deal includes atmosphere and the whole meal. Their chocolate chip pizza was always a group favorite. But for just pizza alone, the original Gino's East on Superior was my choice. And believe me: it was a *very* slim margin. Lou's was the all-around choice, for sure.

    Have you not tried Loui's Pizza on Dequindre in Hazel Park? It's still my favorite pizza after all these years, including the 3.5 years I was in Chicago. It's better than Buddy's and Shield's, since Loui is the guy who gave those places their recipe. The problem of course, especially with Buddy's, is that they've really cheapened up the process over the years, and it shows. With Loui's, the quality is still there in spades. In fact, the only real complaint that I've had with Loui's over the years is that they went from *slices* of green peppers to *chopped* green peppers, which is less desirable to me.

    Still, Loui's Pizza is my all-time favorite. I've never had its equal. It is not, however, Chicago-style stuffed pizza. If that's a deal-breaker for you, then it might not satisfy. To me, though, Loui's is, and always has been the Gold Standard.

    1 Reply
    1. re: boagman

      I grew up on Lou Malnati's and still love it. I get my fix by ordering it by mail via I must try Loui's. Thanks for the tip.

    2. Two suggestions:

      Loui's in Hazel Park.
      Crust in Bloomfield Hills & Rochester.


      1. As a former Chicagoan, I can sympathize. However, I've found "Tomatoes Apizza" to be truly excellent. Thin, perfect crust and a slightly sweet tomato sauce. My favorites are the White and the Green pizza. Two locations in Farmington Hills.

        12 Replies
        1. re: petruschka

          seconded tomatoes apizza, or just "ah beets" as we pronounce it

          their quatre stagione is great (4 quadrants of the pizza with different toppings)n but i don't see it listed on their online menu. My sister generally orders it, so I might have the name wrong. Also, if you just get a red pizza with bacon, it is pretty close to heaven

          I'm DYING to try Loui's. I never have a good reason to go to hazel park though...

          1. re: charlesbois

            "I'm DYING to try Loui's. I never have a good reason to go to hazel park though..."

            Yes, you just don't know it yet. ;)

            1. re: boagman

              oh now I am definitely going to go...who needs a reason. I'll even brave this snow!

              1. re: charlesbois

                I envy you, I truly do. Actually, I envy *anyone* going to Loui's for the first time, since there's ever only one first time. I've been going there all of my life since they opened the place, and even on their worst day, it's better than the rest.

                Hazel Park, or Hazeltucky, or whatever you'd like to call it (not unfairly, mind you) is actually home to Pi's Thai Cuisine a couple of miles away from Loui's, which is *also* a standalone reason to go to Hazel Park. Both establishments are top-notch in my book. In fact, since I'm dog-sitting/house-sitting in Hazel Park this weekend, my dining destination tonight will be Pi's. Haven't yet decided what I'll have, but the Spicy Noodle may very well be the choice tonight, starting off with the chicken tom yum soup.

                Ah...good food is wonderful to write about, even when I'm not hungry at the moment! Great memories of satisfaction, dontchaknow.

                1. re: boagman

                  We recently went to Tomatoes Apizza in Farm Hills and loved it. I used to think it couldn't be a decent pizza if it was on a thin crust but I was wrong. We had garlic, bacon,green peppers and fresh mozzarella (cost is a few $ more but worth it). It was so good.

                  Boagman I love what you said about envying a first time visit. On that excellent rec I will have to try out Loui's. I'm from the west side but have always wanted to go to the Royal Oak Eastern Market - are the two close in location?

                  Tomatoes Apizza
                  29275 14 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI

                  1. re: tdmort

                    I take it that you're asking about the Royal Oak Farmer's Market? Eastern Market is the one in Detroit. Anyway: the ROFM is approximately 10 minutes from Loui's, if that. They're maybe 5 miles from each other, total. Just so you know, Loui's is definitely *not* thin crust's definitely thick crust stuff. It's still my favorite. the ROFM is on 11 Mile near Main Street (1/8 mile east of that), and Loui's is on Dequindre just north of 9 Mile.

                    1. re: boagman

                      oops...yes, I meant the Farmer's Market in Royal Oak. Thanks for the info. I really like all types of long as it's good and doesn't taste like Hungry Howie's or Dominos!! So, I'll be fine with the thick crust!

            2. re: charlesbois

              I thirded Tomatoes apizza! My hubby who is from NY and an expert on pizza also thinks Tomatoes has pizza equal in excellence to NY pizzas. And that's saying alot! Just everything about it, the crust, sauce, cheese meld together to make an excellent pizza.

            3. re: petruschka

              Agreed about Tomatoes. It earns its national admiration, hands down. A wonderful, bright place to unwind for pizza.

              But for this place to be so good, I was shocked by the powdered Parmesan cheese in the shaker bottle! The joint that got #1 on the "GQ Top-25 2009" list does not, and I was disappointed to see those here. Also: the beverages were just national brand name trash.

              1. re: petruschka

                I recently had the pleasure of trying Tomatoes Apizza. I have to agree one of my favorites so far in Michigan. This crust but not crispy except the edge. Great fresh tomato sauce that still tastes like fresh tomatoes. Garlic bread is awesome too. Real chunks of fresh garlic on it with real garlic flavor not granulated garlic powder flavor.

                One location uses a brick oven the over a coal oven. I've yet to try to coal oven location but it's on the agenda.

                1. re: Foog

                  Which one does what? I'm closer to the Halsted location, but my friends who go to the Middlebelt location love it.

                  1. re: Fibber McGee

                    Middlebelt is coal and halstead is brick.

              2. Lou Malnati's? Good, but not Giordanno's

                5 Replies
                1. re: Mid Michigan Dining

                  HA! You tell yourself whatever you have to in order to sleep at night, MMD, but Gino's East and Lou Malnati's had it *all over* Giordano's. Not even close. Mind you: I do like Giordano's, but if I'm going to Chitown, I ain't goin' for the distant third place finisher before I go to the first two, ya know? ;)

                  BTW: only one "n" in Giordano's.

                  1. re: boagman

                    Next time I hit Chi-town I will hit all three and see what I think...

                    The veggies (Mainly the flavorful tomatoes) sold me on Lou's on my previous visits...

                    1. re: boagman

                      no got those reveresed. I grew up on Giordano's pizza. Nothin better....and I'd put Malnati's ahead of Gino's East. I get Malnati's shipped to me here in Michigan only because Giordano's won't ship a meat pizza. I like all three too, but Giordano's is the best pizza in Chicago

                      1. re: boagman

                        Well I was in Chicago this weekend and finally got to Giordano's....Good on many fronts.

                        For Cheese I like Giordano's better...
                        For Sauce, Veggie Quality and Crust I am still gonna go with Lou's.

                        I was only there for one night (Pixies Concert) so Gino's East will have to wait.

                        Although I did have brunch at the Publican. OMGWTFBBQ! I had the Fried french toast with Strawberry Preserves, Foie Gras and Sausage with a side of Maple Syrup. I also had a side of their bacon (Outstanding) and the pork rinds (Addictive). My wife had a Leek and Black Truffle Omelet. This should be a must visit for any of us Chowhounds when we get to Chicago. I fully endorse and want to make the 4.5 hour drive again next Sunday just to try some more.

               the Original Poster....I have come to fully love Supino's Smokey pizza. Speck, Ricotta and Garlic. Mmmmm

                        1. re: JanPrimus

                          The Pixies are touring?

                          So, has anyone tried any of the brick-oven pizza places that have popped up around Waterford/West bloomfield the last couple years?

                    2. The original comment has been removed