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Monday, June 14, 2010

Edwardo's Natural Pizza [Meeting #97]

Edwardo's Natural Pizza
1212 N. Dearborn Street (Map)
Chicago, IL
(312) 337-4490‎

CPC invaded Edwardo's Natural Pizza on 6/14/10.

According to the information I've gathered from Marla Collin's Husband's review on Slice, Edward Jacobson founded Edwardo's Natural Pizza in 1978 after he split from the Broglio brothers (then the owners of Giordano's). The first Edwardo's Natural Pizza Restaurant opened on the far northern border of Chicago in Rogers Park and a year later, this time on the south side in Hyde Park, he opened his second location. Edwardo's early on sought to carve out a niche wtih a healthier version of stuffed pizza and they introduced a spinach-soufflé-stuffed pizza. They also had hydroponic basil and oregano grown in each of their pizzerias. In the early 1980's Edwardo's tried out a whole-wheat crust (available on pizza orders for an extra dollar) and were also known to make use of San Marzano tomatoes in their sauce.

By 1984, when Jacobson then entered into a relationship with Chicago real estate investors Ivan and Jeffrey Himmel, there were six locations. Soon thereafter, Edwardo's expanded to Minneapolis and Milwaukee. In the meantime, the Himmels's company took over Edwardo's entirely and expanded its food empire to include Gino's East. Edwardo's has suffered some setbacks in recent years, but today there are still nine locations, seven of which are in the Chicago area, with one on the outskirts of Milwaukee and another in Muncie, Indiana.

The Chicago Pizza Club decided to go to the Gold Coast location in Chicago due to its central location for our members. Tonight we ordered the following pizzas:

  • Fresh Spinach stuffed pizza
  • Edwardo's All Meat Combo stuffed pizza
  • BBQ Beef thin crust special pizza
There's been talk that the quality of Edwardo's has been dropping in recent years and this visit leads me to believe this is true. I'd have to say it is definitely the weakest of the major Stuffed Pizza chains in Chicago. The crust on the deep dishes were generally crisp but also pretty bland. The sauce was overly sweet and the cheese didn't really stand out at all. The meat toppings on the stuffed (sausage, pepperoni, bacon and Canadian bacon) were middling at best, and in the case of the sausage, downright embarrassing. The Spinach stuffed pizza was definitely the highlight of the evening, but that's not saying much. The BBQ Beef special (with sliced Italian beef, Monterrey Jack cheese, red onions, green peppers and BBQ sauce) was ordered on a whim and was entirely missable.

Whether our pizza tonight was a reflection on the state of Edwardo's pizza in general or on the location we chose to go to remains to be seen. But honestly, I don't think we'll be making too much of an effort to find out.

Petey Pizza gives Edwardo's a 3.77.

10 comments:

  1. There's not much to say about this place. Poor quality, service and atmosphere.

    2.0

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  2. Edwardo's ranks alongside Cleo's, Pizza Art Cafe and Chuck E. Cheese for some of the worst pizza I've had in Chicago. I missed the initial order placement but was excited to learn that the all meats pizza was one of the chosen pies. If I had known that it was going to be filled with poor quality meats, cheese and an overly sweet sauce I would have saved the enthusiasm. I expect the BBQ pizza to be bad (and it was) but was shocked that the all meat pizza sucked as bad as it did. Even after hearing the spinach pizza was the best of the bunch I couldn't bring myself to try it after the aforementioned pies. Never again Edwardo!

    2.0

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  3. Nothing too much more to add… I give them a 4.0; tolerable (barely) if there were no other options around. Fortunately we live in Chicago and there are plenty of better choices.

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  4. Edwardo's was a pretty big disappointment. If you must go to Edwardo's don't bother with the daily special or the meat. The spinach pizza was the best. The sauce was pretty sweet, but if you can take the sugar, it's not so bad. I give Edwardo's a 4.5.

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  5. This was not good pizza, but the scores of 2 are, I think, pretty ridiculous. Any time you have the chance to eat that much mozzarella on a flaky crust, you're getting something much more than tolerable.

    That said, the meat was crap, the sausage an absolute disgrace to Chicago, and the sauce was too sweet. Edwardo's used to be interchangeable with Giordano's. Those days are long gone.

    The barbecue pizza was just disgusting. I'd be curious to talk to whoever came up with the idea and/or approved the finished product to see if they actually believe it's good pizza. I'm actually a bit fascinated by someone who would think that.

    The spinach pizza was good. With an appropriately tangy sauce, it would have been very good.

    Overall, I'm giving Edwardo's a 4.5. I would not choose to go back, but I'd be fine eating a stuffed spinach pizza there again. I'd doctor the hell out of it with red pepper though.

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  6. I didn't think any of the sauces were sweet, but I've seen that mentioned before and I was alone on those occasions, as well, so perhaps my perception of sweet is a little different. I thought the spinach stuffed pie was pretty decent, and if it was all I tasted on our outing, I'd rate them as slightly above average. The All Meat Combo stuffed pizza was pretty lousy - the group of meats had a strange tannic, rubbery flavor to me (there was rubbery texture there, too, but I'm referring specifically to the taste). The BBQ beef thin crust pizza was kind of a drag...not inedible, and not outright delicious. I get pretty pumped up about pizza, and was surprised at the overall mediocrity of ours at Edwardos.

    4.8

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  7. Edwardo's was worse than your average pizza. The All Meat Combo stuffed pizza was warm when it arrived. I like that I didn't burn the roof of my mouth, but the pizza didn't taste good. The cheese was really rubbery, and the meat was simply poor quality. Its best feature was the crust, and I didn't find the sauce to be too sweet for my liking.

    The BBQ Beef was not good, but I ate it. The sauce was extremely sweet and was pretty much all I tasted. The winner of the night was the Fresh Spinach stuffed pizza. It was my last slice so I was pretty full, but I was amazed that it had some decent flavor. I could eat this again, but I probably won't because there are a lot of better options.

    Edwardo's gets a 4.

    P.S. Edwardo claims to be natural but I don't think there was much if anything natural about their sausage.

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  8. These pies really surprised me in their mediocrity. I've had Edwardo's pizza before and I do not recall it being this lousy.

    The BBQ beef pizza was flavorless and dry and the meat on the meat pizza was of chain pizzeria quality.

    The stuffed spinach pizza was OK, but lukewarm. By the time it was presented to us, the cheese had reverted back to a solid state.

    In fact, none of the pies were terribly hot, which leads me to conclude that the mediocrity of the pies were exacerbated by this particular Gold Coast location.

    Conclusion: I would not go back.

    3.5 out of 10. It could have been 4, but a .5 deduction due to poor execution by the Gold Coast staff.

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  9. This review pretty much sums up my opinion on the Milwaukee location as well.

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  10. I will admit I was very hungry and would have gladly eaten my own shoe if they would have put some cheese and sauce on it. Sadly, I did not do this and I had to eat an Edwardo's pizza. Was it as brutal as stated above? No, it was worse. I though the taste poor at best, but the stomache ache afterwords required me to have to get up and buy some club soda to settle my stomach at 1am. I give this place a 1.0 and that is b/c my stomach ache went away soon after. An ER visit or bad night sleep would have gotten this place a 0.0.

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