In search of the perfect pizza: Hup's
I honestly cannot remember how or when I heard about Hup's Pizza, 5400 W. Hampton Ave., but the name kept popping up online and among a few friends, so I thought it was time to try it.
I called in my order, which was a challenge. I don't know if it was the phone or the guy on the other end, but everything he said was mumbled, so I had to ask him to repeat everything. Eventually, I ordered my usual sausage and pepperoni pie.
When I arrived, the building looked a little smaller than I expected from the picture I saw online. It was about the size of my garage, painted in green and red. It certainly had a historic look to it. I later learned from the staff that Hup's Pizza has been in business for 45 years, and I'm guessing they've been in the same building.
I entered the lobby and was surprised at how small it was, but I guess you don't need much space for carry-out orders. It must have been 6 feet by 6 feet. There were two of us in the lobby, and it felt crowded.
There was a menu board on the wall next to the pick-up window. The menu was hand-written and listed the pizza sizes and prices by number of toppings, along with a few other items such as garlic bread and cheese bread. The window was about 12 inches by 18 inches in the middle of the wall. There were no doors in the lobby that led to the kitchen. The employees entered through a back door.
I walked up to the window and looked to the right into the kitchen to try and make eye contact with one of the employees to let them know I was there. A young man greeted me and told me my pizza would be up in a couple of minutes. I slid my payment under the window and waited patiently. So far, this was an interesting experience.
Eventually I arrived home ready to eat my pizza. I appreciated that it was wrapped in two pizza bags to help protect my car and clothes from stains.
The first thing I noticed was that the toppings were loaded on. There was so much pepperoni, it almost completely covered the thick layer of cheese. The chunks of Italian sausage were also plentiful. Hup's clearly does not skimp on toppings.
The crust was very thin throughout. It was crispy around the outer edge and softer toward the center. Slices were cut in squares of various sizes. The sauce had a subtle spiciness to it, but the seasoning created a great flavor. (Well done, Hup's!)
Hup's pizzas are thin crust, and come in 12-inch or 14-inch sizes with prices starting at $10.99. There weren't any specialty pizzas listed, and the menu was simple. Low overhead has proven to be a good strategy for a successful business. I'm sure this also allows Hup's to focus on what they do best.
The flavorful sauce and abundance of toppings certainly make Hup's worthy of another visit someday, and maybe I'll get to meet the owner, Bobby Rogers. I'd love to learn about the history of Hup's and its recipes, as well as how many generations of family have been involved.
Unfortunately, he was not in the day of my visit, nor another day that I called and asked for him. All I was able to get was his name. With 45 years in business, there has to be a great story, or two, to share.
Observer | Nov. 15, 2012 at 6:57 p.m. (report)
A most unique pizza. If you grew up with it, you might consider the best in town.
Sice Hub's does not make thick crust pizzas i will not be eating any of their pizzas. I refuse to spend good money on paper thin crusts--Just like paying money for little to eat. I eat thick crust pizza. Great store ones available! But, would rather support local businessees that make pizzas from scratch. Pizza Man had the best thick crust pizzas. Too bad they did not re-locate after the fire. So miss Pizza Man eat in and take out!
My parents have been going to Hup's for probably close to 40 years now. Especially since my grandparents lived right around the corner. It's one of those places where it is a neighborhood speciality. And like the author stated, it only gets attention because of word of mouth, but is always mentioned. Still my favorite place for pizza, followed by a close second to Mama's (78th & Burleigh)
That nice spicy flavor you mention is a big part of why I like Hup's. It may not get the accolades of some of Milwaukee's best pizza joints, but it certainly deserves to be in the conversation.
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