Restaurant review: Chicago Pizza Factory 芝加哥 Pizza

By Ana Elizabeth Urena  /  Contributing reporter

Sat, Feb 03, 2018 - Page 13

Located on Fuxing S Road (復興南路), Chicago Pizza Factory is hard to miss with its open windows and neon signs. Decorated with Native American figures, toy soldiers, collectible airplane models and many other seemingly random knickknacks, the atmosphere of the joint is quiet but feels friendly enough. The main attraction, of course, is the pizza.

As our party of four enters, we are greeted by the owner who emerges from the open kitchen with the single-page menu that displays 17 varieties of American-style pizza, ranging from 9 inches to 14 inches and priced between NT$320 and NT$660. The back page details five sets that include pasta and drinks. Our group stuck to the pizza and ordered a Lucky No 7 (NT$590) and a Chicago No 5 (NT$530), both 14 inch.

The owner gave us the option of adding extra sauce and, depending on the pie, choosing the crust: thin, regular or thick. We went with regular.

Curious at the lack of Chicago’s signature deep-dish pizza on the menu, we asked the owner why he uses the famous city in the name. We were surprised to learn his father started the restaurant over three decades ago, as a result of an investment from a Japanese company, and that Chicago Pizza Factory is simply its name.

Though the name might lack authenticity when it comes to serving the Windy City’s pie, the pizza — with some notable exceptions — is all American. Too often I’ve been served pizza with a crust resembling crunchy flatbread and a sauce that borders on sweet. Not here.

The Lucky No 7, one of their vegetarian options, is a colorful pizza with extra cheese, pineapple, red and green peppers, mushrooms, potatoes and corn (the latter two the notable exceptions). Though as a meat lover, I wasn’t particularly enthralled by the addition of potatoes, which bordered on the texture of mash, my vegetarian friend gave the pie high marks for the generosity of the toppings.

Much more to my carnivorous tastes, my friend and I shared the Chicago No 5, which comes with pepperoni, Italian sausage, black olives, mushrooms and onions. The pepperoni gave the whole pizza a spicy touch, while its other ingredients balanced it out. What really made this pizza special was the perfect sauce to cheese ratio. I have tried many other pizzas in Taiwan and more often than not something seems off — either they skimped on cheese or sauce, or the crust is too thin or tasteless.

The most notable downside of the restaurant is their beverage options, which are limited to sodas (NT$25 to NT$60) and packaged teas (NT$20). Overall, the crispy yet soft crust, along with some well-balanced toppings, sauce and cheese make it well worth a trip to Chicago Pizza Factory.

The restaurant does not offer delivery outside the area, but if you order a 14-inch pizza to go, they will give you another one for free.