Author Topic: Southwest Michigan Pizza  (Read 1201 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BTB

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 972
  • Location: Tampa Bay, FL & S.W. Mich. areas
Southwest Michigan Pizza
« on: November 09, 2011, 11:39:33 AM »
Continuing from the discussion at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15725.msg159365.html#msg159365 , here are a few of my thoughts about some good pizza in southwest Michigan and Michiana.  
  
Villa Nova Pizzeria, New Buffalo, MI (http://www.villanovapizzeria.com/) is outstanding, but their evening pizzamaker is much better than their afternoon pizzamaker.  This location is an offshoot of the famous Villa Nova Pizzeria in Stickney, IL and is a really great example of old-fashioned Chicago thin crust pizza.
 
Silver Beach Pizza, St. Joseph, MI (http://silverbeachpizza.com/) is a top contender for the best pizza in southwest, MI.  Because of it's location near the parks and the lake, it can get fairly crowded from time to time, but the wait can be surprisingly quick oftentimes.  It is remarkably similar to Aurelio's pizza in Illinois.
 
Barnaby's, South Bend, IN (http://www.southbendbarnabys.com/) are excellent.  It is amazing how this once large midwest pizza chain that has split apart into small owner operated restaurants have remained so popular and still makes great unique thin crust pizzas.  There are many threads on the internet praising this great group of pizzerias. Two locations nearby in Michiana, one in South Bend and the other in Mishawaka.  
 
Pete's Patio, north of Niles, MI makes a real good pizza that is just like many thin crusts that one can get in the Chicago area.  And they also have a full menu with some other great meals, too.  A little hard to find the first time one goes there, however.
 
Stop 50 Wood Fire Pizza located in between New Buffalo and Michigan City is a very popular artisan/Neapolitan pizzeria that is in vogue these days, but is a little hard to find, too.  If you like your pizza a little crispy, you should request it so as it can often turn out a little too soggy for some's taste.
 
Village Inn, south side of Holland, MI, is also a popular place for this once large pizza chain.  My pizzas there haven't been too satisfying, but others rave about this place.
 
Fricano's (http://www.fricanospizza.com/ ) mentioned in the posting referenced above is one of the highest rated pizzerias in SW Michigan.  And indeed the flavor and taste of this "wafer-thin" pizza is indeed one of the best.  The only drawback in my book is that only the original location in Grand Haven, MI makes a nice crispy/crunchy pizza that really shows off this style of ultra thin crust in the best way possible.  The other branches of this great pizza family -- esp. the Holland, MI location -- makes a not-too-desirable "soggy" version of their great recipe.
 
Lastly, Di Maggio's pizza (located on Blue Star Hwy about 3 or 4 miles west of Coloma, MI) is about the most popular and often crowded pizzeria in the area.  Just down the road from Di Maggio's are two other restaurants that serve pizzas, but we are so often amazed when we pass them by seeing little to no cars in their parking lots, but when we get to Di Maggio's, the parking lot at Di Maggio's is over-flowing with cars and people.  It is an amazing site to see and tells you where the "good food" is at.  They make pizzas either with thin, regular (default) or thick crust.  Suggest one pass or skip on the thick crust.
 
I have not, unfortunately, ever experienced a good pizza in the popular tourist town of South Haven.  And in Saugatuck, we've often had pizza at the popular Marro's Italian Restaurant and it was good, but not worth the common multi-hour wait to get a table.

                                                                                    --BTB
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 03:46:55 PM by BTB »


Offline sueohb

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
Re: Southwest Michigan Pizza
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 12:23:37 PM »
Wow . thanks for all of the detail and info.. I will print this out so I have it in the car when we're driving around to some of these other towns.

In your other post - you mentioned Nino's .. we literally live 1 mile from Nino's. Nino's is really a decent option for something really close by  - especially if you bring it home and heat on pizza stone for a while. But we have not been there much lately, as if we're staying in, I prefer to experiment on making my own thin, pan or stuffed pizzas.  If we're going out for pizza I would love to venture to some of the places you mention (especially in the off-season - probably do not have to worry as much about waits)

I agree with you on Bimbos.. i really like it for thin crust, but my husband unfortunately did not for some reason.. Erebelli's seems to win the Kalamazoo Gazette's reader's choice awards every year. They are good and a great staff - but they have almost too many pizza choices.. so its hard to compare them to anyone else.

I have heard some really good comments about a place called Chicago Style Pizza in SE Portage - but its carry out only. We do not get into that area very often, and if we do, we want to eat out.. but one of these days I want to try it. We would bring it home and reheat on a stone  BTW the Denver based  Chicago pizza chain has just opened a restaurant on S Westnedge - we have not been there yet.

Thanks again for all of the info... this weekend I am going to try to recreate Lou's again, this time using the forum's semolina recipe (versus what i tried from ATK..) I am anxious for the results!   

Offline BTB

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 972
  • Location: Tampa Bay, FL & S.W. Mich. areas
Re: Southwest Michigan Pizza
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 09:46:55 AM »
Sue, you're right about Nino's being a decent option for one not wanting to travel too far.  I did love their old fashioned deck ovens, in which I think is the best way to make a pizza.  We'll give them another shot next year (hope all the road work around there is finished by then).  And I know exactly what you mean about Erbelli's.  While we have yet to try them, we were so confused about all their variations of pizzas ("jack of all trades and master of none" was an impression).  And when we once viewed some of their pizzas on their luncheon buffet while waiting for local auto service, we were not overly impressed, but that's often times the case with buffets.

There used to be some really great pizzas in both Watervliet and Coloma, but I'm afraid they're long gone.  And while there was a good place in Paw Paw, it, too, has gone away -- much the result of chain pizzerias destroying good Mom and Pop shops.  That Italian restaurant on the river in Paw Paw makes an interesting variety of an oval pizza, tho.  But the numerous Roma chain pizza places that exist a lot in SW Michigan (which is part of the Vineyard family out of South Haven) is the pits and there is nothing good I can say about them. 

The Keeler Keg down south of Hartford use to make a very good pizza (along with great prime rib and everything else), but they bought one of those short conveyor ovens, changed the dough recipe to match the peculiar needs of a moving conveyor oven, with the results being a very mediocre thin crust pizza.  And several other restaurants that I know of in the area did similarly and bought one of those little conveyor ovens, but the result has been almost total disinterest in the quality of their pizza products among pizza loving consumers.

But learning the pluses and minuses of all the various pizza places is kind of a fun thing.  I'm always on the hunt for a good pizza place as well as a good pizza recipe.  Most tell me that my home made pizzas are the best, tho, but I like to see what the commercial competition out there is like.  We'll have to investigate that place next year in Portage that you mentioned as well as travel back to one of our favorites, Bimbo's.

                                                                                                      --BTB

Offline southhaven

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
Re: Southwest Michigan Pizza
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 08:34:35 PM »
Hello, I live in South Haven, MI and you're right there really isn't a decent pizza place here.  My husband and I went to Di Maggios is Coloma and to me the pizza was horrible.  I grew up eating Lou Malnattis, Pizzaria Uno and the pizza our President loves Italian Fiesta.  I'll try a few places you mentioned.