Searching for a Slice: Luigi's in Midtown

Categories: On the Menu

luigis pizza.jpg
I am hunting for the perfect pie equation. Pizza pie, that is, not the 3.14159 kind of pi. I'm not looking for a single-serving artisanal masterpiece, either. I'm talking a pie here: a thin, crispy crust, cheese bubbled to a golden brown, sauce that is flavorful and applied with reason and forethought, and quality pepperoni. Okay, the pepperoni is optional for me, but required for my husband so I have to factor it into the equation.

Last Sunday, after taking in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist exhibit at the MFAH, my husband and I were hungry for more than great art. Hungry but not starving, I suggested Luigi's on Almeda, knowing they offer pizza by the slice. I ordered a slice of cheese ($1.99) while my husband--who used to own his own pizzeria--ordered two slices of pepperoni ($2.39/ea.).

I was impressed. Most pizza outside of New York has one major fault: thick crust. I want no part of a pizza that, upon picking up a hot slice, does not immediately flop over so that the point hits you in the wrist. Luigi's pizza flops right over! The slices are sufficiently thin, and the crust is crispy, but the dough is flavorful enough to qualify as more than a mere topping delivery device. The other factor that impressed me about Luigi's pizza was the ratio of ingredients. I have a major pet peeve when pizzerias pile on the sauce: too much under hot cheese results in a chin-slapping cheese burn below the lower lip, and that is no fun at all. Luigi's gets it right, though, and the sauce, added in judicious amounts, has a great tomato flavor, including that rich note that usually comes from adding just the right amount of tomato paste.

My husband did note that his two slices varied slightly in quality, which you can see in the photo. He attributed this to the fact that the two slices came from two different pies. Both were delicious, but one was just not quite as crispy as the other, and he still declared this our "new weeknight pizza joint." I have to agree. Next time, we'll apply the Upstate New York test and add on an order of Buffalo wings.

(Disclaimer: I grew up in New York. Addendum: I grew up in Upstate New York, so "real New Yorkers"--i.e., from The City--don't think I know anything about pizza, either.)



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Location Info

Luigi's Pizzeria

3700 Almeda, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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33 comments
csoakley
csoakley

Luigi's is fantastic. I would recommend instead of ordering by the slice just go ahead and buy a medium 12" pizza. A lifelong pepperoni junkie I decided to try a 12" cheese pizza. I think it's about as close to perfect as you can get in this town for the price. $6.99 for a 12" cheese pizza is the best mathematical pizza value in Houston (I know this because I made a spreadsheet. Thanks geometry!).

Jeeterbug
Jeeterbug

i also hail from upstate ny (canadian border) so i understand about ny'ers (nyc) not thinking we know anything either. i too have had a hard time finding pizza in houston that wasn't just a glorified tortilla w/tomato sauce on it. so far i've found fuzzy's to be a favorite. the best place i found closed a couple yrs ago "manhattan pizza", which is unfortunate b/c they had the best pizza AND wings. my favorite wings thus far has been at "wings-n-things". i'd love to see what other findings you come across...upstate ny'ers need to stick together! lol ;)

Gentian34
Gentian34

No doubt you're young, earnest and totally new to this city. Just go to Dolce Vita. Order the Calabrese. A glass or three of wine. And relax on the honeysuckle-scented patio. Heaven. Or baked Alaska as you'd say.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Thanks for the other suggestions guys! I'll try 'em all, trust me.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

That looks like the type of pizza I used to get at my jr. high cafeteria. I'll stick to Fuzzy's, thank you very much.

(Disclaimer: I grew up in Houston.--so I'll take Tex Mex over pizza 9-10 times over pizza regardless of how "good" it is.)

Rgwalt
Rgwalt

Brother's at Greenspoint closed (I believe). I go to the location at I-10 and Highway 6. Will have to try Luigi's though... definitely closer.

Matthew
Matthew

grimaldi's in the woodlands (or sugarland for the lowland people) is my favorite pizza anywhere. haven't partaken of the original in brooklyn, though.

pizzagirl
pizzagirl

For me there is no other pizza but New York style pizza. I found two places that are good: Brooklyn Pizza in Humble and Brothers Pizza at Greenspoint Mall. I don't go very often because neither is close to where I live. Good to know there is something close by and I can't wait to try a slice - thanks!

Maryanncozza
Maryanncozza

Having just moved from New York (read: Upstate New York), my husband and I are desperate to find good pizza in Houston. Thanks for the tips and let us know about the wings. Having a Buffalonian for a spouse means wings are a dietary staple. :)

katie
katie

I love Luigi's, especially nice that they deliver for free.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

We are definitely going in for the pie next time. I also thought the menu prices were reasonable.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I'm excited to try that place, and I surely will. A friend in Boston saw it featured on Food Network & emailed me about it when I moved here. And I LOVE calabrese, but right now I'm on the hunt for a P.I.E. Crust. Sauce. Cheese. Pepperoni. Period. Once a pizzeria delivers that to me at an acceptable level I'll move on to their specialty pizza menu. I'm looking for "pizza and wing night" pizza that my husband doesn't have to make...there's a reason he sold his pizzeria!

Can you believe I've never had baked Alaska? It's actually not on that many menus in Alaskan restaurants. And I'm a slut for creme brulee.

VMTS
VMTS

Brothers at Greenspoint has closed. Went there last Wednesday for lunch and it has an advertisement for the new movie theatre over where it used to be.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Welcome! We hail from the Finger Lakes so Buffalo wings & Rieslings are our picky food & drink. I'm anxious to see how these wings are. Also, this is one of the few places I've seen that doesn't list "sauce" as an ingredient in the calzone (which makes it a stromboli, NOT a calzone) so I'm looking forward to trying those, too.

Monsi10
Monsi10

I agree with csoakley. Definitely get the pie. I especially love their veggie pie which has a mix of black and green olives. I'm from Jersey so I know good pizza and there isn't anyone better than Luigi's in my opinion. And since he is from Jersey too, he knows his stuff!

BTW, have you tried their gelato?? So darn good! Wish I hadn't moved away from the med center....

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I heart creme brulee. Suggestions on the best in town welcome.

csoakley
csoakley

This world would be a better place if more women were sluts for creme brulee.

Uliacarrella
Uliacarrella

"Specialty pizza menu" ...huh?

Call a Calabrese 'pepperoni' if you feel more comfy. It has sauce, and a crust. Don't remember cheese, but didn't miss it. Guess you could order it that way...ie "modo mia"

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

I love New York, but your Pizzas and knishes were awful. I'd love to show you what we have in Houston. I've been to New York often enough. You'll be shocked.

Bruce R
Bruce R

Christina, do a web search and you'll find that your definition isn't really standard. Maybe it's a regional thing.

Bruce R
Bruce R

I find your distinction between calzone and stromboli a bit simplistic. The strombolis I've had bear no resemblance to a calzone (which is essentially a folded pizza and may or may not have sauce).

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I was tempted, but no I didn't try the gelato. It looks great - got a favorite flavor?

Also: YES to that pie w/ black AND green olives. You guys are going to bust my calorie allowance, for serious.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Yes! That is what I thought when I read "calabrese". Caprese salad is my favorite - what an inexcusable mistake to make. Thank goodness you foodie geniuses are here to police the comments!

Looking forward to investigating the meaning of "spicy salami" nonetheless.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Sorry, I assumed they called it a "Calabrese" in the style of a Calabrese salad (basil, tomato, basil - my favorite salad). The Calaberese pizza at DV has "spicy salami" - is that code for pepperoni? I'll try it to see if what they are calling spicy salami is actually pepperoni, don't worry. But right now I am looking for a straight, pizzeria-style pepperoni pie. I'm searching for a too-lazy-to-cook-tonight, "order some pizza and wings tonight" pie. I also tend to like places where I can get a slice for testing purposes, rather than diving right into a pie. I'm not dissing DV by any means, okay? Relax! :) I'll get there, trust.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I'll take your word on Tex-Mex, and I'll continue to taste other pizzerias in Houston, but I've never met anyone raised west or south (or north, for that matter) of NY who knew much about pie. Time will tell!

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

And why wouldn't she know about stromboli? She moved to the U.S. in the late '40s.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Bruce - My grandmother knows about calzone. It was one of her signature dishes, highly coveted at family Christmas and birthday parties. To the point where my father would hide some in the clothes dryer to smuggle them away from his brothers.

Bruce R
Bruce R

Christina, if your grand mother lived on Rome then why would she know about stromboli--something invented in the USA in the 1950s?

See the Wiki article on stromboli: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

It's a "my grandma who was born and raised in Rome" thing. Can't speak for others whose grams grew up elsewhere in Italy.

I did a web search and found Wiki listed my distinction (sauce inside vs. outside), and most other results on page 1 of Google did, too.

Search phrase: difference between calzone and stromboli

Either way, I don't like the sauce inside so I don't want to order one with sauce inside. Luigi's doesn't bake the sauce inside, it fits "my" definition - and my gram's, which is definitive for me - and tastes, so it's halfway to being a winner.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I'll have to learn to live with that.

My distinction in full: Calzones are folded, and do not have sauce in them, but on the side for dipping. Stromboli are rolled, and have sauce baked inside. I'm completely fine if you find that overly simplistic.

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