published Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Lupi’s sets the standard for fresh pizza

ANNE: Lupi’s is one amzaing pizza story. Since it opened 14 years ago on Broad Street, other pizzerias have come and gone. Not only has Lupi’s survived downtown, it also opened three more stores, one in Hixson, a second in East Brainerd and another in Cleveland, Tenn. Quite a success story.

And there’s one good reason: Good food. I’ve had plenty of pizzas I can live without, but not any from Lupi’s. The toppings are as fresh as they come. This time of year, I like nothing more than veggies on my pie. So when my slice with fresh basil, roasted garlic, red onion and avocado arrived, I could hardly contain myself. OK, I was starving. That helped, too. The pizza was excellent, and one slice, along with the garden salad topped with blue cheese crumbles, made for a perfect lunch.

HOLLY: I grew up in New York and have lived in Chicago, two cities famous for their pizza. So I didn’t actually eat a slice in this town until I’d lived here for nearly a year. The first place, which shall not be named, was a disappointment.

Then I tried Lupi’s. Sure, there’s not the fold-and-tilt-back charm of the New York slice, nor the voluminous challenge of the Chicago deep-dish, but for fresh ingredients, a crisp crust and just the right amount of cheese, Lupi’s is a great place to get a slice of pizza that serves as a meal. My tomato, spinach, artichoke and roasted pepper slice on wheat dough left me satisfied but not stuffed.

ANNE: The only thing I have to say about my pizza that could be seen as a negative is that the roasted garlic is strong. It didn’t bother me a bit, but whoever I talked to for the remainder of the day may have backed off a bit. I even took off most of the garlic buds, at least the ones I could see. Some were hidden beneath the avocado and onion.

But wow, what a meal.

The crust is made fresh and hand-tossed. The toppings are fresh. Everything’s cooked to order. Lupi’s just knows how to do it. I’m surprised this restaurant hasn’t spread beyond Chattanooga and Cleveland.

HOLLY: I’ve been on a two-plus year mission to lose weight and develop healthier lifestyle habits (a slow-going process, indeed), so I don’t eat pizza very often. When I do eat pizza in Chattanooga, however, I’m going to Lupi’s.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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kdawg said...

Lupi's, like any other pizza in Chattanooga, is a fiasco. There simply is not any decent pizza in this town. Alleia is good, not great especially for the prices, and Greenlife is serviceable. Other than that what passes for pizza in this town is simply a disgrace. Lupi's wouldn't stay open for a week in the NE. They should thank their lucky stars their in a area where people have not been exposed to authentic pizza.

September 7, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.
mrredskin said...

kdwag you're a real maroon. it's not NY or Chicago style. do we live in the NE? Hell no. I've never heard anyone complain about the quality of their slices or calzones from Lupi's. Quit being a troll.

They aren't kidding about the garlic. It's not very pleasing being around someone for the next 24 hours if they've eaten any of it. What's the deal with both reviews being on "hippy" pies, tho? get someone on here who likes a normal pep/mush/sausage slice, too.

September 7, 2010 at 11:52 a.m.
Pizzaguy said...

I can't find any good pizza in Chattanooga either kdawg. I drive to Kennesaw, GA to get a decent pie. Nobody wants to spend the money on quality ingredients here. Let take the cheese for example, good cheese like "Grande" brand mozzarella cost about $2.50 /lb from the wholesaler/distributor. They don't want to pay more than $1.20-$1.40 lb for cheese, so they get the stuff that tastes like sawdust. I ran a good NY style pizza place for 5 years in FL, so I know quality when I taste it. If I could only find a backer, we could put some of these joints out of business.

September 7, 2010 at 3:42 p.m.
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