Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LOCAL REVIEW: Valeo's Pizza of Kenosha

Are you in the Kenosha area during New Year's and throwing a party? Have a bunch of hungry mouths to feed? Going one more day without the "lose weight" resolution weighing down upon your shoulders? Sounds like a recipe for pizza! But where to order it from? Kenoshans are rather picky about their pizza, I'll tell you what. They will NOT take some tacky, greasy, chemically deep-dish abomination from Pizza Hut or Domino's or Papa John's or Rocky Rococo's...Ugh. They need something REAL. Thankfully, there are a lot of "real" pizza options to choose from in Kenosha, and Valeo's Pizza is one of them.
For a project I had to do in my Italian class a year ago, I made it my goal to go out and interview different pizzerias in Kenosha: you know, ask about their history, their best dishes, etc. Pizza stuff. Anyway, while there were pizza places I preferred over Valeo's, the owners of those other pizzerias just weren't as apt to take my calls and set up an interview like Valeos' were. A lot of the pizzeria owners seemed to never be in, but Valeo's was there straight away. Out of the three business I got to review, Valeo's had the friendliest owners I had ever met. Even though they were terribly busy creating a huge order for a party, I was given a tour of the kitchen in back itself and even given a WHOLE ENTIRE stuffed spinach pizza to try, an award winner from Valeo's. For free. Talk about friendly! Helping out a high schooler who ain't got nothing on her but a measly pen and a pad of paper, working for nothing more than an A in her Italian class.
Valeo's also constantly listens to their customers' feedback, whether it be on their Facebook page or what-have-you. This means they are constantly up on trends and are always innovating. For instance, I love canned mushrooms, but for the longest time I thought it would be a great service to the consumer if pizzerias offered mushrooms both canned AND fresh. Guess which Kenoshan pizzeria was the first to do this? Valeo's. See, Valeo's thinks about the customer. They even offer a whole wheat crust option- one of the only I've seen in town. Valeo's also offers gluten-free pizza, and uncooked pizza, if you wish to take and bake. Yessir, when it comes to customer service, Valeo's is one of the best pizzerias out there. While many pizzerias grow more pompous as they grow in popularity, Valeo's does just the opposite. Valeo's is the thoughful pizzeria. In the forty years plus that Valeo's has been in the hands of its currents owners, the pizzeria has given over $1,000,000 to the people of Kenosha County. How nice- truly a pizzeria that cares.

But, let's face it- even the nicest pizzerias in the world can't thrive on niceness alone. You HAVE to HAVE killer pizza. Obviously. We order for the pizza- we come back for the kindness. Or the pizza. And I'm sure you're no doubt but wondering by now- How IS the pizza at Valeo's? Well, well, well... I'll tell you.
After candidly taking my order of a medium light cheese Vegetarian pizza with chicken and a large sausage-mushroom-pepperoni, the Valeo's employee over the phone told me the pizza would be over to the house in an hour, hour-fifteen. It was a Saturday... always a busy night. Despite this, the pizza DID arrive within the estimated time range, nearly right on the dot. The man who delivered the pizza was also very kindly- he complimented my good grades (I was using a special coupon I had received at school for my straight A's on the order), and didn't even mark off my coupon to render it void- he said that good grades paid and I ought to keep it up. I could use it as much as I wanted.
How. Nice. Seriously! I think I WOULD use my coupon again and again if my mum wasn't in favor of OTHER pizzerias so much. (She's stubborn, that one. I'm lucky I got to use it even once).

So, right... How is the pizza from Valeo's? Well, I can't say it beats out my Tenuta's, but what can, really? Tenuta's is my soul pizza- I think that's obvious. On a scale of One to Tenuta's, Valeo's is pretty high up there. The grilled chicken cubes on my pizza were surprisingly tender and juicy, as opposed to the dry shredded chicken you are more like to receive, and all the vegetables were flavorful and piled very high on the pie. Even with light cheese, the pizza still felt very cheesy, which I guess can be seen as a good thing and a bad thing, depending. It was good cheese though- nice and melty. The pizza had a robust, saucy sauce that I enjoyed very much, and the crust was very chewy and exceptionally thin. I guess a small complaint I have is that the crust was a bit flimsy- I mean, yeah, in Valeo's defense there was a lot of toppings on my pizza, sure, and that can weight a crust that thin down, but I've seen just as thin crusts hold up better. But that doesn't affect the taste, so oh well, minor complaint. Really, overall, Valeo's has terrific pizza- especially if you're game for fresh and natural ingredients, which the pizzeria prides itself on using.
As for price, Valeo's offers fair costs for their pizzas. Obviously, they won't be as cheap as your more commercial-y, national brands, but hey, like I said... Fresh and natural ingredients. You won't get THOSE from Pizza Hut. And even then, Valeo's has better prices for their pizzas than some OTHER "real" pizza joints from Kenosha.

All in all, Valeo's is one of my favorite pizzerias ever. Not only is the pizza great, there are so many options as to how you can order your pizza- from toppings to crusts to specialty pizzas to gluten-free to whole wheat to take-n-bake. A lot of ways to order, and the employees are always happy to take said orders. But you know, even if you don't want to talk on the phone, Valeo's has an app for ordering pizza on your smart phone- isn't that amazing? Especially since they are nothing more than a small Kenoshan pizzeria. Now THAT'S innovation. 

I think Valeo's deserves its title of Best Pizza in Kenosha. I mean, I've had better, but I can definitely see how they could've earned their title. Not only is the pizza terrific, the customer service is some of the best I've seen, and for a little take-out/delivery pizzeria ONLY, Valeo's really keeps up on things. While most pizzerias in Kenosha are hard-set in their traditional ways, rarely ever deviating from the norm, Valeo's is always trying new things and offering new options to their customers. It's really great. It makes you feel like you're making pizza together with a good friend, not ordering from some intimidating higher force. So, you know, you could order from Pizza Hut this New Years and get your pizza cheap and easy, or you could order from Valeo's Pizza: a pizzeria with fresh, natural ingredients, great customer service, innovation, and the spirit of a "real" pizzeria. 
I'd give Valeo's Pizza Kitchen a 9/10.

What do YOU think of Valeo's Pizza? Tell us your thoughts down in the comments below!

Till' then, this has been RiRi ri-porting!

Valeo's Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...