Monday, October 19, 2009
pizza/delivery: i strongly recommend CHICAGO PIZZA FACTORY
CHICAGO PIZZA FACTORY
No. 1, Lane 11, Jianguo S. Sec. 2
website: none but you can see Japan's website chicago-pizza.com Japanese
hours: 11AM - 8PM
Kid friendliness: delivery fairly fast for hungry people
Visit reviewed: 9/15/2009 & 9/20/2009
Is a pizza just a pizza? Maybe not, if the name is one like "Chicago Pizza Factory." With this name, I started daydreaming about stuffed pizza with spinach and mushrooms like Zachary's, with tall buttery crust that held in all the baked goodness inside.
Stuffed pizza it's not. But it's good pizza, and more importantly, good service.
I wanted to order pizza for a party over the weekend, but I wanted pizza where the crust wouldn't get hard if people didn't eat it right away. I'd never tried Chicago Pizza Factory, but they won last year for "Best Delivery" on my Hungry Readers Best of Taipei poll, so I thought I'd order a test run few days earlier.
When I called to ask for delivery, the owner said it was only possible with 2 pizzas from how far I lived from them, but they were having a special 2 pizzas for NT$800. I was okay with that and the owner happily made recommendations since I didn't have a menu (and they don't have one online, but you can try to decipher this one.) with pizza names like Boss No. 1 and Chef's Special. I ended up ordering a large Hawaii (No. 10) and large Chicago No. 8 (which is like a "Supreme combo" with extra cheese, pepperoni, sausage, ham, black olives, green pepper, mushrooms, onions).
Once the owner could tell I was speaking English, he easily switched to English and asked if I was from the States. When I responded I was, he suggested that I get my pizzas with "extra sauce because the locals like it with less sauce" and people from the US like it with more. You can also choose between thin crust, thick crust or extra thick crust. I opted for one thin and one thick.
He was right- when I got the pizza, it didn't seem like it had more sauce, it seemed just right.
The pizzas arrived promptly before I knew it in about 40 minutes, and came hot. The only slight mishap was the Combo No. 8 pizza slid and was smooshed on one side.
The difference between thin and thick crust is not huge (like the difference between Pizza Hut's thin and pan pizza).
The pizza reminds me a bit of Papa John's- it's not gourmet, but it tastes kind of like home- loaded with fresh ingredients and cheese with lots of sauce and a pliable hearty crust. But if you want to get something for your relatives, they have pizzas topped with shrimp and corn too. Chicago Pizza Factory is actually a chain in Japan and you can see on their website that they have a lot of other localized variations, complete with a tic-tac-toe grid of mayonnaise.
I liked how the crust doesn't get hard when it cooled unlike the pizzas I've had from Famous Larry's or Alleycats, which doesn't deliver. While Famous Larry's does deliver, I've had two bad experiences with their delivery which each took over an hour (the first time over an hour and half) and the second time my order was messed up without much apologies when I called to inform them when I found out. I like their pizzas by the slice when eaten hot, but their crust tends to get rock hard when cooled.
If you're looking for an even better deal, if you eat in or get your pizza to go (rather than delivery), you can get 2 pizzas for NT$500. (Which is what I ended up doing for the party since I was ordering 6 pizzas... NT$1500 vs NT$2400- it's worth it to pick it up yourself!).
But if it's a rainy typhoon kind of night, you can just stay in and wait for your pizzas. Just don't forget to ask for extra sauce.
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