Lou Malnati's Pizzeria has roughly 50 locations in Illinois at the time of this blog post. This post covers the spot on E Higgins Road in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
I arrived at peak dinner time on a Saturday evening, so I expected to wait a while. But the benefits of traveling solo strike again, as they had an open seat at the bar. Zero wait time there, and the Cubs game played on the TV in front of me.
Lou's seemingly has full bar options; someone had even ordered a margarita.
As seen on various shows (from Food Network to Travel Channel), Lou Malnati's is famous for their deep dish pizza, down to their butter crust (yes, they even trademarked the Buttercrust name).
I went with the personal-size Malnati Chicago Classic ($9.15): buttercrust, then a layer of mozzarella, a layer of lean sausage, and sauce on top. Due to its thickness, it will take a while to cook, and wait times can be up to 45 minutes. For whatever reason, perhaps a combination of busy restaurant night to some staff inexperience, my pie didn't arrive for probably an hour or so.
Still after it arrived, it was a very good pizza. As promised, buttery crust, and there's a very noticeable layer of cheese and sausage in there, ensuring you will get cheese and sausage in every bite. Good sauce, with the sweet diced tomatoes in there.
The service, unfortunately, could have been better. There were a handful of us at the bar, but we were mostly just hanging around waiting for our food. It looked like the manager had to step in a few times to help get drink orders out. At least it may have been more inexperience than anything else.
Still, if you want a good deep dish pizza, Lou Malnati's is a solid choice. 7.5/10