Author Topic: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO  (Read 4912 times)

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Offline loowaters

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Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« on: September 28, 2010, 10:47:30 AM »
Tomorrow night (9/29/10).  Maybe we can get something out of it.

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!


Offline vcb

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2010, 11:12:59 AM »
Tomorrow night (9/29/10).  Maybe we can get something out of it.

Loo

I think they aired this already.
I seem to remember who won for some reason.
I'll try to remind myself to record it for analysis purposes, but somehow I think we might already know more than Travel Channel will ever know about these two places. ;-)

If you're not on Lou Malnati's mailing list, they just sent out a $5 coupon for dining-in on 9-29-2010
http://loumalnatis.fbmta.com/members/ViewMailing.aspx?MailingID=36507233109&StoreCode=001
(while they have a sort-of viewing party).
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 11:24:08 AM by vcb »
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Offline loowaters

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2010, 11:58:03 AM »
Ed, I haven't seen this if it has aired already.  I got the same email and thought I'd pass the info along.  I won't be able to use the coupon, sadly, but I am making a couple 9" Malnati's clones (already planned) that evening for dinner.  The DVR is set.

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline BTB

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 12:37:18 PM »
I hadn't previously seen it, but the Travel Channel website doesn't show it as a new episode, so it must be a repeat.  I'll make a point of watching it as it probably shows scenes and sites at the restaurants at which I spent many a day consuming some great pizzas in times gone by.  I'm not optimistic that the "staged contest" is a really valid one, however.  It's all staged for entertainment purposes, but it could be interesting.

Here's my experience this summer:  I had two deep dish pizzas from the original Uno's/Due's and three or four deep dish pizzas from Lou Malnati's.  Fifteen to 20 years ago, I thought the original Uno's/Due's was the best in the deep dish category.  Very flavorful, crispy, tasty and delicious.  In recent years and especially 2010, I and my friends and family believe Malnati's is hands down far superior to Uno's and Due's current deep dish version.

Somewhere in an older posting on this website is a link to an article in the Chicago news media in which many criticized Uno's of changing their recipe or something in connection with their deep dish pizzas.  Their pizzas just didn't seen as good as before.  This was since the original Uno's/Due's began some peculiar business association with the dis-reputed nationwide Boston-owned Uno's Chicago Grill chain that serves a horrible version of Chicago deep dish pizza and gives such a really bad name.  (And of course that firm serves up such a bad product that I believe they recently filed for bankruptcy protection and closed many of their restaurants for lack of business.)  Ike Sewell must be rolling over in his grave for whatever business arrangement he made before his death with this Boston business.

But I will add, that -- like in football and other life experiences -- on any given day, one pizza place can really excel and put out a fantastic and tasty product.  The deep dish pizza from Due's that I had in the summer of 2009 was great and totally different from that I had this year.  Go figure.

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Offline vcb

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 12:48:43 PM »
I hadn't previously seen it, but the Travel Channel website doesn't show it as a new episode, so it must be a repeat.  I'll make a point of watching it as it probably shows scenes and sites at the restaurants at which I spent many a day consuming some great pizzas in times gone by.  I'm not optimistic that the "staged contest" is a really valid one, however.  It's all staged for entertainment purposes, but it could be interesting.

Here's my experience this summer:  I had two deep dish pizzas from the original Uno's/Due's and three or four deep dish pizzas from Lou Malnati's.  Fifteen to 20 years ago, I thought the original Uno's/Due's was the best in the deep dish category.  Very flavorful, crispy, tasty and delicious.  In recent years and especially 2010, I and my friends and family believe Malnati's is hands down far superior to Uno's and Due's current deep dish version.

Somewhere in an older posting on this website is a link to an article in the Chicago news media in which many criticized Uno's of changing their recipe or something in connection with their deep dish pizzas.  Their pizzas just didn't seen as good as before.  This was since the original Uno's/Due's began some peculiar business association with the dis-reputed nationwide Boston-owned Uno's Chicago Grill chain that serves a horrible version of Chicago deep dish pizza and gives such a really bad name.  (And of course that firm serves up such a bad product that I believe they recently filed for bankruptcy protection and closed many of their restaurants for lack of business.)  Ike Sewell must be rolling over in his grave for whatever business arrangement he made before his death with this Boston business.

But I will add, that -- like in football and other life experiences -- on any given day, one pizza place can really excel and put out a fantastic and tasty product.  The deep dish pizza from Due's that I had in the summer of 2009 was great and totally different from that I had this year.  Go figure.

                                                                                         --BTB

FYI, Both Pizzeria Uno & Due are owned by the Boston company that owns the horrible chain restaurants.
http://virtualcheeseburger.blogspot.com/2010/05/pizza-rant-4-dish-deep-or-rant-hard.html

I've noticed that Uno, Due, and Lou's all have Great vs. Good days when it comes to quality (I've never had a really bad 'za).
There are variables that probably contribute to that, like how busy they are, how heavy the demand for pizzas is,
baking time/temp, and how much dough they have at peak readiness.

I've made dough in as little as 45 minutes and still turned out a decent deep dish, but there is definitely a difference in texture from a dough that has had more time to rise/rest.

 I think I prefer Lou's to Uno/Due because Lou's seems to use a lot more tomatoes on top than Uno/Due, but I love both.
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scott123

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2010, 02:43:49 PM »
For what it's worth, I'm 100% certain that this is a brand new episode.  I've got all the episodes on DVR and, so far, none have taken place in Chicago.

As far as the judging process goes, it's pretty much a farce.  They milk the living daylights out of it, but it's really not about who wins or loses.  What's worthwhile is a look into the two histories, and, as much as they allow, a look behind the scenes. The host has a lot of charm as well. 

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2010, 03:30:48 PM »
It IS a new episode, no doubt.


Offline buzz

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2010, 07:36:44 PM »
It will be just another marketing strategy. IMO Malnati's makes some of the worst pizza I've ever eaten (the last one I tried was a thin crust and I would rather have spent a lot less money on a frozen Tony's, which would have been far, far better), but when it comes to marketing, they're non-stop.

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2010, 08:24:47 PM »
It will be just another marketing strategy. IMO Malnati's makes some of the worst pizza I've ever eaten (the last one I tried was a thin crust and I would rather have spent a lot less money on a frozen Tony's, which would have been far, far better), but when it comes to marketing, they're non-stop.

You ordered a thin crust at a deep dish joint, where's the sense in that  :o

Malnatis attract attention by being good and having great customer service from the bottom to the top, they don't shout out for anything, they deserve bragging rights. If anything it's free publicity which they really don't need, the only people really making out of this are the Travel Channel

As for worst pizza, I've only had 1 bad pie there out of a hundred, where did you eat these 'worst pizzas' ?

Offline loowaters

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2010, 09:00:28 PM »
I guess I'll confirm what Mick indicated, this is a new episode. My DirecTV guide is showing an original air date of 9/29/2010.

I'll defend buzz a bit here. While I don't agree with him at all about Malnati's, at least he's consistent. buzz has been vocal about his dislike of Malnati's for years.  However, I can't defend Malnati's thin crust as I've never had it.

Loo
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Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2010, 09:16:58 PM »
Its all opinion at the end of the day. I'm just yanking his chain about getting thin crust, I've had one at Lous it sucked.   


Offline BTB

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2010, 09:09:30 AM »
Buzz is one of the best contributors to this website and I hold his pizzamaking skills in high regard.  He's long said, however, that he strongly dislikes Malnati's and that's fine.  I, on the other hand, rate Malnati's as one of the best ever and submit the fact of their incredible, incredible success shows that a super high number of people must think so also -- else Malnati's would be a total flop or at least just a one location operation.
 
Malnati's thin crust pizza is actually excellent.  I occasionally have one, but am generally tempted to get their great deep dish pizza instead whenever I have the opportunity. The similar thin crust at Malnati's relative's pizzeria (Pizano's) is reportedly Oprah's favorite pizza.  And it is really good.

The Food Wars program actually had an episode in Chicago last season with a "contest" between Als and Mr. Beef for the best Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich.
 
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Offline buzz

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2010, 09:29:07 AM »
BTB--

I appreciate the kudos. I think like everybody here, I'm fascinated by pizza and pizzamaking, and work hard to try to get things right and share the information with others. You are certainly an excellent contributor as well!

I know people who like Malnati's and I know people who wouldn't eat a Malnati's pizza if it were free! They're actually known for both styles--thin and deep dish. I tried the thin crust because I hoped it would be better than the deep dish, which to me tastes like greasy cardboard. Their expertise is in marketing, not pizza--lol---and they're good at it! I've tried them on several occasions and have always walked away shaking my head.

Most people I know won't go to Malnati's or Giordano's or any other chain, because the general consensus is that they've all gone considerably downhill. So they're seeking out local independent pizzerias, which I think offer far better products.

But what can you say? If you like it, you like it! Everybody's different--everybody's taste buds are different!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Personally, I don't like seafood--especially shrimp--and people stare at me like I'm crazy. But I say, if you like seafood, then eat seafood, and if you don't...!!!!!!

Offline vcb

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2010, 10:15:26 AM »
I guess I'll confirm what Mick indicated, this is a new episode. My DirecTV guide is showing an original air date of 9/29/2010.

They might have given away the farm on the Food Wars Facebook page.
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Offline loowaters

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2010, 12:43:44 AM »
Well that was informative.  Marc confirmed what some thought about fennel and that Malnati's uses NONE in their sausage.  90/10, probably just salt, pepper, and, it's been a while but from what I remember it would seem there would be garlic in his sausage but I don't know.  Garlic goes against what many believe an Italian sausage should be.  When the host, Camille Ford, said to Marc that UNO has fennel, his "NO! NO THEY DON'T!" was classic. 

UNO manager April McRaven said something I don't recall that I'd ever heard before. Ike Sewell is the man behind the dough recipe?  I may be off on my recollection of past info but I always thought that Rudy Malnati was the man behind the recipe from the get-go.  Maybe not.  It goes back a few years and I'm sure that anyone closely connected that tells the story will believe his or her version is true, whether is was Sewell or Malnati.  Without either still around to get the REAL story...who knows.

Good show, I'm glad I watched.  I still got more out of the girls video on YouTube.  :)

Loo

Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline BTB

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2010, 09:03:30 AM »
Most deep dish pizzerias that I remember don't use fennel in their sausage.  Chicago thin crust pizzas generally do, but not deep dish.  Malnati's does use garlic in their sausage, tho, and they get raves about its quality.  And I've been going to the original Pizzeria Uno's and Due's since the 1960's and don't recall fennel in their sausage either.  Like Marc Malnati said on the show, Uno's changed something along the way sometime in this regard.  And many others claim Uno's changed their dough recipe somehow at sometime also.  It's not-so-funny that Uno's didn't get a single vote.  The struggling Boston Company can't be pleased.

I noticed that Uno's preparation of the crust in the pan on the show was similar to Malnati's in that there was much work to crimp or press the sides of the dough against the edge of the pan -- making for a crispier crust.  And that's how I remember how Uno's pizzas were made for decades.  In the last few years and especially with the Uno's pizzas that I had this year, there was not a crimped pizza edge at all.  Instead there was a big, fat rim, lip or cornicione, which I find a little less desirable on a deep dish pizza.  But they did differently on the show from what I recently experienced with their deep dish pizzas.  I chalk it up to poor quality control. 

And I do remember the few times that I visited a Uno's Chicago Grill for a deep dish pizza, that their deep dish version had no crimped rim or edge either.  To me, this shows the negative influence of the Boston Company on the original Chicago Deep Dish Pizzeria, which is unfortunate.

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scott123

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2010, 09:09:47 AM »
My NY tinted glasses are probably getting the best of me, but Italian sausage without fennel isn't Italian sausage- It's just ground pork.

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2010, 09:37:53 AM »

UNO manager April McRaven said something I don't recall that I'd ever heard before. Ike Sewell is the man behind the dough recipe?  I may be off on my recollection of past info but I always thought that Rudy Malnati was the man behind the recipe from the get-go.  Maybe not.  It goes back a few years and I'm sure that anyone closely connected that tells the story will believe his or her version is true, whether is was Sewell or Malnati.  Without either still around to get the REAL story...who knows.

I'm sure there were similar recipes floating around, Mark and Rick state in one video, I think it's a video on 'Lou to go dough' that Grandma (Or great grandma) brought the recipe with her.  Are there any Italian doughs that are similar at all to Lou's/Uno's? 

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2010, 09:58:35 AM »
My NY tinted glasses are probably getting the best of me, but Italian sausage without fennel isn't Italian sausage- It's just ground pork.

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Offline vcb

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Re: Travel Channel's Food Wars: Malnati's vs. Pizzeria UNO
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2010, 10:33:03 AM »
My NY tinted glasses are probably getting the best of me, but Italian sausage without fennel isn't Italian sausage- It's just ground pork.

It's not just a NY thing.  A ton of pizza places in Chicago use fennel in their Italian sausage,
and it seems to be commonly accepted as the standard...
except for deep dish pizza apparently.

There was a semi-recent discussion about reproducing the sausage here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=7302.0

I've made may own sausage once with really good results, though I have to admit I did use ground fennel seeds in mine.
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