OK, I admit that I've led you here under (potentially) false pretenses. What I really want is for you, dear readers, to tell me about the best pizzerias in Kenosha.
After a day of battling insane crowds at the outlet mall this weekend, we had a yen for pizza, and knowing that Kenosha is nearly as Italian as Cosenza, we figured there must be some insanely good pizza joints.
We'd been to Mangia fairly recently and we'd been to Infusino's, though that was eons ago. So, we flipped an imaginary coin and selected Luigi's over Villa d'Carlo, because we really don't know who has the best pizza in K-Town.
That's why I said "potentially" up there in the first paragraph. Because, it's possible that Luigi's, 7531 39th Ave., is the apex.
In a pretty unassuming building, with a pretty modest dining room, Luigi's dishes up really good thin crust pizza, with a wide variety of toppings. The cheese is just salty enough, the sauce is sweet and tangy, and the sausage has a bit of spice.
A two-topping large (16-inch) runs $16.50. There's also a "Gutbomb," with a slew of toppings that runs $25 for a large.
The dough seemed a tad overworked and chewy, which prevents me saying the pizza was absolutely amazing, but it was otherwise top-notch.
The same could be said about the odd peanut butter and jelly pizza, at which we initially scoffed. But we decided to try it and when it came, piping hot, we found it to be sacrilicious. Our kids, perhaps surprisingly, refused to touch it. Warning: if you order it, go slowly, as the hot jelly can wreak havoc on the roof of your mouth if you dive in too quickly.
One of us is a big fan of gnocchi (well, more than one of us, but one is on a gnocchi jag lately) and opted for the gnocchi on the kids menu, which comes at a kids menu price (a steal at $3) but in an adult serving with a big plate of gnocchi, topped with a large tasty meatball and red sauce.
The problem with gnocchi is that so few places make a really, really good example – pillowly soft and light with a subtle flavor and smooth texture. Alas, these were not that (to be fair, places that charge 10 times as much also very rarely get it right).
While I can't say for sure that these were of the pre-made and packaged variety – they weren't gnocchi shaped, lacking the not-optional fork ribs and thumb indentation for holding sauce – I'm fairly certain they were. Pre-made and packaged gnocchi is almost invariably bad.
Next time, I'll try the smelt dinner with the mojo potatoes – wedges that are breaded and cooked in the chicken broaster.
In short, Luigi's pizza is quite good – PBJ pizza is interesting and delicious, if unusual – but I don't recommend the gnocchi (which, to be fair, is true about almost all restaurants in the United States, except Barbetta in New York City; Milwaukee chefs can choose to take that as a challenge if they're so inclined).
But, now it's your turn, Kenoshesi. Is Luigi's the best? If not, who has Kenosha's best pizza? School me so I can check it out next time.
And let me know, too, if any pizzeria in Kenosha, has wallpaper even half as cool as the Grand Canal wallpaper at Luigi's...
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.