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Author Topic: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)  (Read 2466 times)

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Offline renchero

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Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« on: August 01, 2017, 08:38:07 PM »
Hey y'all,

I was introduced to Quonset pizza only in my twenties (unfortunately that was kind of a long time ago) when I started working in Waukegan. I heard people swear by that place. And there are a lot, to say the least, of other places around there so that's really saying something.  I tied it a few times and really liked it.

I was thinking this post may go unanswered but thanks Garvey for convincing me to make the post. I saw a friend of mine from Facebook post that she was at Quonset today and it jogged my memory. I live in South Texas now so I don't have the opportunity to get that pizza anymore so I came to this forum. Does anyone have any ideas on how to recreate the Quonset style pizza?

Thanks!

https://yelp.com/biz/quonset-pizza-waukegan

Offline Garvey

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 09:20:06 PM »
It's hard to tell much from the pix on Yelp, but I do see they ship!  Have you thought about having some sent and then giving it a good once over?

E.g.,
What is the crust like?  Crackery and thin?  Medium and soft?  Something else?
Sauce is made with what--paste, purée, etc?  Herby?  Garlicky?  Sweet?  Thick?  Thin?
Sausage is like what--fennel, other herbs?
Overall, is it similar to any other pizzas? 

Your recommendation makes me want to go to Waukegan!   :D

Offline Qapla

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 09:20:49 PM »
I cannot really comment on Quonset Pizza - but, I used to live in Waukegan back in the late 50's. The house we lived in is still there .... looks to be about 10 minutes from QP

Anyway, back to the original topic -

Offline renchero

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 09:22:46 PM »
It's hard to tell much from the pix on Yelp, but I do see they ship!  Have you thought about having some sent and then giving it a good once over?

E.g.,
What is the crust like?  Crackery and thin?  Medium and soft?  Something else?
Sauce is made with what--paste, purée, etc?  Herby?  Garlicky?  Sweet?  Thick?  Thin?
Sausage is like what--fennel, other herbs?
Overall, is it similar to any other pizzas? 

Your recommendation makes me want to go to Waukegan!   :D
I may have to just order it. It's been so long since I had it I don't remember what it was like at all. I only remember I liked it. I believe it was a thicker thin crust, a little thicker than a tavern pizza. That's about it unfortunately. 

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 10:02:47 PM »
man!  looks good to me on some of those pics on yelp even tho they're lousy pics!  i'd take that here in boise any day of the week!!
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

-John Candy(Stripes)

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Offline renchero

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 12:09:58 AM »
After looking more at the pics, it's for sure a Chicago thin. Looks like it's a bit of a crispy crust too. Garvey, it might be a bit like your Pizza Factory clone.

I may have to bake your pizza factory and order one of these and compare and then go from there. I do have a recipe I call the regular ole thin Chicago bar pizza which I may do that to as well.

Offline Garvey

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 08:49:42 AM »
Renchero--I like the idea of getting a baseline comparison going.

Some clues from the pictures online, in addition to the Yelp page, such as their Facebook page and Tripadvisor:
- They use big knobs of sausage.  (I like that style.)
- The veggies ride on top of the cheese and are sliced (rather than diced) and put on very heavy.  Looks like a key to their style.
- Canned mushrooms.  (Ah, Chicagoland.  I love that quirk.)
- The crust looks cracker/crispy on the bottom.  TBH, it looks a lot like Roseangela's in Evergreen Park.
- The base for the sauce *might* be puree.  Hard to tell, but it doesn't seem maroon enough to be paste.  Seems brighter.  Taste will tell, though.

The place itself looks really cool. Old school and taverny.  If I were going to try to clone this, I'd probably start with one of the dough recipes that are more crackery, like the Lehmann Chicago Cracker or maybe if Pizza Garage can recommend one his own doughs for this application.  If you're lucky, he's eaten there and already knows how to nail it.  Guy's a guru.


Offline renchero

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 09:10:42 AM »
I'll start with Lehman's cracker crust first unless Pizza Garage chimes in.  Thanks again.  It might be a bit of time before I can get any results, not only because of the comparisons, but also because I just started a diet program - I've been eating too much.  haha.

Offline renchero

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 10:19:15 AM »
I'd probably start with one of the dough recipes that are more crackery, like the Lehmann Chicago Cracker or maybe if Pizza Garage can recommend one his own doughs for this application.  If you're lucky, he's eaten there and already knows how to nail it.  Guy's a guru.

I went to find the Lehman Chicago cracker on the cracker crusts section but can't find it.  I found a bunch of others but not this one.  Do you have a link or maybe point me in the right direction for this one?

Thanks!

Offline Garvey

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 10:58:35 AM »
It's in the list in the sticky of Chicago thins:
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=16422.0

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Offline renchero

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 11:10:16 AM »
oh jeez.  That's the only one I didn't look at.   :-[

Thanks again.

Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 03:40:23 PM »
That place looks Awesome!  Love the inside,  barrel ceiling and old school pizza place look.  Pizza looks nice and thin and a pro pizza - I've got that one on my list to check out now and is about 30 minutes from where I work.  Thanks for posting.  When I try them out I'll take some pics of the kitchen, ovens etc...if exposed,  and the pizza (If I can make if from the bar stool to a table)

Kenosha does have some good pizza places so since this one has been around for a while it might be really good.

Brad
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 03:42:42 PM by PizzaGarage »

Offline renchero

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 03:44:58 PM »
That place looks Awesome!  Love the inside,  barrel ceiling and old school pizza place look.  Pizza looks nice and thin and a pro pizza - I've got that one on my list to check out now and is about 30 minutes from where I work.  Thanks for posting.  When I try them out I'll take some pics of the kitchen, ovens etc...if exposed,  and the pizza (If I can make if from the bar stool to a table)

Kenosha does have some good pizza places so since this one has been around for a while it might be really good.

Brad

This one is in Waukegan. A little south of Kenosha right off 94 and 41.

It's been around for a long time and is a local favorite. If you do try it, let us know what you think about a clone!  I'm getting one shipped but that's not going to be as good as a local pie.

Cheers!

Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2017, 01:47:55 PM »
Quonset  - We decided to try Quonset last night and did the drive to Waukegan.  On the outside it looks like the old pubs built in Chicago in the 50's with the lighter brick.  Inside you get this domed ceiling and it's odd that it's in a square single story building, looks much larger on the inside.  Lighting inside is dim and very comfortable.

We arrived later in the evening and the place was very busy, there is seating in old school vinyl booths, at the bar and in an extended area.  Seating and bar is 3/4 of the place, the other side is for carry out with it's own door and where you can buy there frozen pizza.

Oven wise they bake on Blodgett 1000's and there are 6.  Kitchen is hidden from view and you can't see much of anything.  I was able to see the ovens thru some 4" slats which are odd sliding cupboard doors for sliding out pizza from the kitchen to the servers.

The pizza was not typical and wanted to thank renchero for the post, glad to have this place on my lists!

The pizza is not typical, don't expect to bite into it and get a burst of "pizza flavor" with overpowering sweet (from white sugar) and oregano like so many places do.  Its not like that at all.

The theme of this pizza is about richness, savory, earthy and home cooking, something mom might make back in the day and spent all day to make it for the family.  It a special pizza and what makes it unique is that #1 its not like others and it's the Cheese and Sauce that sets it apart and in my case ordered sausage, that too was not like other pizza places.

The crust is rolled thin (nickel), non docked, non parbaked.  Its a medium protein 12.5 with a very slight chew.  The pizza is not crispy, only the outer few inches were crispy on the ones we ordered, the insides are firm, but soft and easily fold.  After 7 minutes or so, the outside edges got soft as well except for the rim which was nice and charred, that stayed crispy.  There is no cornmeal in the dough nor used for sliding off the peal, same with semolina.  Instead, flour is used to coat the dough, maybe stacked for rush hours or made to order and the peal well floured and into the oven.  Based on the look of the crust and based on previous experiments with bread flours and flour on the peal and the charred edge, I'm guessing these are baked at 525-550 in the Blodgetts, leaning more at the upper end.

Where it gets good is the sauce, its about savory flavors, tyme and rosemary but slight.  No tangy acidic hits, no sugar sweetness, no black pepper, and I did not taste or see any dried herbs.  Its thick and put on sparingly except for the outer edge.  Its more of a classic italian cooked red sauce, but thicker.  Old school places in Chicago normally use puree, water and herbs, this maybe a puree base and water but can't tell if it's cooked or not.  Since it's so smooth  I might lean toward cooked.  Tyme I think is used and Rosemary, salt for sure, has to have some sugar to balance and a small amount of garlic. 

The cheese is absolutely excellent, the flavor of aged hard cheese hits you right away for the first slice, then you get used to it.  The taste to me was good quality aged parm, but not sprinkled on, it's mixed in at 10% or better.  I say it starts at 10% only based on my past trials using hard aged cheeses, 15% I think is perfect but slightly overpowering, this was a little more subtle.  What a WONDERFUL cheese blend, again back to savory and earthly.  Mozz + Parm might be the combination.

The sausage was not typical either.  Like the mushrooms, I don't think the sausage is fresh, its rolled into balls and that's not what fresh sausage looks like unless using a sausage application machine like Home Run inn.  It was near the same in shape, the majority look pre-balled but in other places looked hand applied.- I did not see any fennel seed, black pepper etc... its some sort of pork sausage and maybe beef, veal.  Its rather odd but excellent tasting and really goes well with the sauce.

Its a great pizza, high quality for sure and a step above the majority of the thin shops.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 02:56:07 PM by PizzaGarage »

Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2017, 01:50:15 PM »
More pics

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Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2017, 01:51:46 PM »
Few more.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 02:57:35 PM by PizzaGarage »

Offline PapaLous

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2017, 04:25:00 PM »
Very well done, Sir.

Thank you for making the trip and the post. Been a loooong time.

Offline renchero

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2017, 05:04:28 PM »
Pizza Garage. Wow. What an amazing post and such a pleasure to see you made the trip!  So that's different from what I was expecting. Thank you for the details and pics!

Offline renchero

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2017, 06:11:33 PM »
Any idea which dough formulation it might be close to?  And I'm actually making a trip up to Chicago this weekend (unplanned visit) so I may try to head over there for more research.

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Quonset (Waukegan, IL)
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2017, 08:08:25 PM »
awesome review!! thank you!!  man oh man do i want some of that pizza in my tummy NOW!!!!
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

-John Candy(Stripes)

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