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)
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Rick Rodriguez
Published Oct. 11, 2016
Rick Rodriguez has been blogging about his search for the perfect pizza for four years. Now that he's retiring from his post, he shares some favorite spots from the past few years as well as parting words for readers who've followed his adventure.
Published Sept. 7, 2016
In his 100th pizza blog, Rick ventures out to Waukesha where, upon the recommendation of a friend or two, he tries pizza, garlic cheese bread and ponza rottas from Jimmy's Grotto. What's a ponza rotta? Well, you'll have to read to find out.
Published Aug. 3, 2016
Rick Rodriguez says he doesn't think he's ever written about a pizza place as new as Fixture Pizza Pub. In this installment of his pizza blog, he gives the lowdown on the space, the food and a few other interesting facts about the owners and offerings.
Published July 15, 2016
Rick Rodriguez is often asked "who makes the best pizza?" or "who makes your favorite pizza?" The latter is a difficult question to answer, and the former is nearly impossible to answer. Still, here are some his top picks for Milwaukee pizza.
Published July 6, 2016
Sometimes Rick Rodriguez looks in unexpected places for pizza - like Shaker's Cigar Bar, for instance. But does this venue that regularly gets onto lists of the most haunted bars in America make the cut when it comes to delicious pizza?
Published June 1, 2016
Despite a sizable menu that includes hand-tossed pizzas, pizza blogger Rick Rodriguez dings Zayna's Pizza for the dense crust and a Mexican pizza on which the toppings "could use a little tweaking."
Published May 4, 2016
The folks at Carini's La Conca D'Oro have a long and storied history, with roots in Italy. They serve up authentic Neapolitan pizza, along with other Italian dishes including a variety of seafood entrees.
Published April 6, 2016
It's not often Rick Rodriguez writes about reader-selected spots. But the words "thin crust," "good pizza" and "small bar" were repeated by enough people that he felt a visit to Scotty's was warranted.
Published March 2, 2016
In addition to pizza, Albanese's offers a slew of specials, including wings, Sicilian style pork chops and Italian style fish fry on Fridays. They also happen to have gluten free pizza that's worth seeking out.
Published Feb. 3, 2016
Rick Rodriguez says the 25 minute drive to Doc's Dry Dock in Pewaukee is worth the trip, especially for their BBQ chicken pizza, which sported a crisp crust with spicy sauce and a special secret seasoning.