This is a big post, folks: In the past few weeks, I went to a free-standing Home Run Inn Pizzeria AND tried their new Ultra-Thin Frozen pizza… Needless to say, it was a ton of fun
HOME RUN INN FROZEN PIZZA
I have always grown up loving Home Run Inn frozen pizza… it’s a Chicagoland thing for sure. The frozen par-baked pizza cooks up perfectly with its flaky butter crust. This was a staple in my house because of my dad’s continued obsession with the pizza. In fact, a few months ago, my dad ordered a variety pack of HRI pizzas to be shipped to his house in Florida because they originally didn’t sell it in the grocery stores.
There is a new kind of pizza out! Home Run Inn Ultra Thin Frozen pizzas… less carbs, healthier option (280-380 calories per 6 inches of pizza). After work last week, I stopped off at the Jewel to see the assortment of pizzas from Home Run Inn. Although I was tempted to get the same old regular cheese pizza, I couldn’t help but compare the calorie count to the ultra-thin.
They offer a variety of toppings: Cheese, cheese supreme, sausage, sausage & pepperoni, and margherita pizza. I picked up an ultra-thin cheese pizza (and a margherita to try another day). Nishi came over to my place and we cooked up the pizza in my oven.
The Review: Nishi liked this pizza a lot, and she said she would eat this over the other frozen pizzas. I was impressed because she’s a pretty harsh critic. We both liked the thin-ness and felt like healthier eaters. I added some Italian seasoning, and that helped bring out some great flavor.
The charred cheesey top is always great, and the butter crust never manages to disappoint. I’m also a big fan of the sauce, which is smooth and tangy. Nishi and I easily polished off one pizza, but if we were hungrier, we would have sunk into another pizza J I guess that’s the one downside of this style.
With the Ultra thin pizza, you still get that yummy buttery crust, just less thickness. Part of me missed the original crust, but when trying to keep a figure, this is definitely a worthwhile option. I will be storing these in my freezer instead of the original so I have a healthier late-night snack when a pizza craving comes along.
(Update as of last night: Nishi just sent me a photo of a personal home run inn pizza she put in the microwave, and is still raving about the pizza)
HOME RUN INN- THE RESTAURANT
In a recent conversation with my cousins, we discussed how it’s fun to go to the restaurant-style Home Run Inn locations. We looked up a location to try and ended up in Melrose Park… it was not the same as we had remembered. Home Run Inn has opened up fast-casual versions of their restaurants, and this was one of them. You can even order pizza at the drive through window (scandalous!). Although it didn’t have the same authenticity as an old-time full service restaurant, the manager was really nice and told us that the pizza in this location is the same as others.
The Review: In comparison to the frozen pizza, it was obviously fresher and cheesier! My uncle loved the pepperoni flavor and we decided that the crust had a doughy taste compared to the frozen pizza. Another difference was that the crust was not as buttery as the frozen pizza. I kind of liked that aspect, although the deep yellow butter crust is yummy.
All in all, it was a good learning experience. Not all HRI pizzerias are the same anymore. In Addison, they have a full-service restaurant, but it is still not the home-like feeling that the Home Run Inn pizzerias used to have. Regardless, if you’re looking to check out what the famous frozen pizza is modeled after, head to one of their eight locations in the Chicagoland area.