Any frozen pie retailing for north of $5 really needs to be legitimately good eating. I've had recent and pleasant experience with the in-house version of Uno's Artisan Thin Crust pizzas, so I figured I'd start my exploration of the deluxe frozen pizza market with the icebox rendition.
'Uno Chicago Grill' on Serious Eats
While we think mom-and-pop shops make the best pizza in the nation, we'd be remiss if we didn't keep abreast of what the chains are up to. Suit up, it's time for another Chain Reaction, folks.
Every April Fools Day on Slice, with maybe only one year that I missed, I join the rest of the internet in trying to get one over on the audience. I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have repeated a previous year's joke when I claimed that the best pizza in NYC was at Uno Chicago Grill — but I'm not going to go look in the Slice archives to prove myself right.
On Slice, we've always resisted the urge to do numerical rankings of pizzerias. How can you possibly post a credible Top 8 list that's anywhere near accurate? There are so many factors involved in making a great pizza — the temperature of the oven at any given moment, the humidity of the air, the age of the dough, the amount of time (down to the second) the pizzaiolo keeps the pie in the heat. You may eat pizza nirvana one night only to go back the next and find pizza mediocrity.
The magazine Health has named its healthiest top ten sit-down chain restaurants, top five fast food joints, and the best all-around indie restaurants in the nation. At No. 1 in sit-down chains? Uno Chicago Grill. Say wha? Yeah, it has a load of good-for-you options if you forgo the deep dish. Top fast foodery? Noodles & Company. Best independent? Blue Hill in New York City, run by Dan Barber....