Karla and I have been trying to hit up The Biggest Cheese since it opened. And because the history of the building is more interesting than our reason for going, I’ll tell you both. First, Karla and I wanted to go because, well, pizza! I mean, who claims to have the biggest cheese and doesn’t have it? Boring, right? So I’ll also tell you the history of the building. It used to be a strip club. Or whatever a PC person calls it. Gentleman’s club? Titty bar? Whatever. I’m not PC. Girls get naked, swing around on poles, and dudes pay them. The building, I’ve been told, is theoretically part of Delano. Although had I not read that somewhere I wouldn’t have known as much. It sits on the corner of Maple and Seneca. And boy was it interesting.
So Karla and I walk in, expecting to order and share a pizza. Probably whatever’s on special. Instead we’re asked if we want the $3.99 buffet. I look around anticipating a typical buffet, but there is none. The employee vaguely tells us that they make the pizza in the back and bring it to us. I ask, “Even when we’re almost the only ones here?” And she says yes, they’ll make whatever we want. I’m clearly confused, but I’m also burning up because I’m standing under the hottest vent in the world. This is what hell feels like. Skeptically, I order the buffet and a bottle of water. Karla does the same, except she gets a Diet Coke.
We’re off to our tables, with menus, of course. And confused.
So the employee comes out and asks us what kind of pizza we want. I again tell her I don’t understand how it works and she says they make and bring us whatever kind of pizza we want. We ask if that means we can order a bunch of different kinds. She says yes. So we pick four kinds. Well, we picked three. In my head I’m imagining them splitting a medium or large pizza four ways. And I even said, “it’ll probably be easier to split if we do four. Should we do a single topping too?” She is sort of writing, not really saying anything. She leaves. We’re still concerned about the fate of this setup. We don’t know what’s going to happen.
A guy who I assume is the owner comes in shortly after, then comes up to us and asks us what we want. We tell him we’ve already ordered. And he tells us she doesn’t remember what we ordered. OK, weird. So we tell him the four kinds of pizza we want to try. And he mocks us and says, “Are you girls really going to be able to eat all of that pizza?” And I say, “Well, um, we don’t know how MUCH pizza it is. We’ve only ordered kinds.” Sheesh. Don’t call a girl fat. It’s rude.
So he tells us each kind we order is a small pizza. And we ask if he can do half and half on a pizza. He looks at us like we’re weird, then tells us he can. And I’m like, “Well, that’s only two small pizzas. The two of us can definitely eat more than one small.” He still acts like we’re trying to screw him out of house and home. As he leaves Karla points out, “Don’t have the deal if it’s not a good deal for you.” True, sister. So true.
At this point, my Biggest Cheese experience isn’t very cheesy.
About fifteen or twenty minutes later a younger guy brings out our pizza. Well, what we THOUGHT was our pizza. Only it’s not anything what we’ve ordered. And it looks like it’s been cold and warmed up again. We take slices off the tray, and yes, it IS cold. And has been under a warmer. And tastes like Totinos. WTF. I can’t even choke down one piece of this stuff. All I can think about is how long it’s been sitting back there. And how frustrated I am that they even offer this stupid buffet if they aren’t going to bring us a variety of pizza. If it’s not lucrative, then DON’T OFFER IT! We would have happily ordered and split a medium or large pizza.
So we sit and sit and sit and sit and sit. And finally Karla thinks maybe they expect us to eat this pizza we haven’t ordered before they’ll bring us the REAL pizza. I’m starving and don’t want to fill up on this warmed up frozen pizza if our real orders are coming out. I’ve heard the bacon cheeseburger pizza is awesome. And Karla’s amped for both the taco and chicken bacon ranch. Why the hell are we staring at this disgusting pepperoni and mushy sausage? And worse, feeling like we’re expected to eat it.
Finally a half bacon cheeseburger, half chicken bacon ranch makes its way to our table! Hurrah! But where’s the taco? We still feel like we’re expected to eat this first pizza. So some creative manipulating (not by eating) later, we’ve disposed of most of the disgusting pizza. Don’t worry, no one and nothing was harmed, other than the interior smell of Karla’s purse, used as a transportation device to the trash can. I hope its made a full recovery. Her purse that is. Not the trash can.
In the meantime, a family joins us. Well, not at our table, but in the dining room. THIS is where the night takes a turn for the best. They sit down and their pizza’s brought out almost immediately (note to self: call ahead). And one of the adults gets up and heads to the juke box. Which, by the way, is in the area we believe used to house the stage and poles of the strip club. Legit.
Then…. THEN. The loudest music, EVER starts playing. Some random song plays. Karla and I are in shocked that music is playing this loud in a pizza place. It’s, um, strip club loud. Haha. So now I feel like I’m obviously eating in a former strip club. Apparently the juke box was left behind and the new owners don’t know how to adjust the master volume.
It gets more interesting when the second song (played by the adult at the table with two small children) that starts playing is “Dontcha.” Yes, THAT “Dontcha.” Pussycat Dolls style. In a former strip club. Are we being Punk’d? I find this endlessly humorous.
In the meantime our final pizza arrives. Half taco, half pepperoni. I don’t even want to look at another pepperoni after our experience with the heat lamp Totino’s. And that pizza looks (and was, I finally caved and tried it) especially greasy. The taco looks very promising. In the end I’d recommend it if you ordered it with light beans, and ordered extra taco sauce on the side. Commendable opponent.
All in all, I really liked the bacon cheeseburger pizza. And Karla liked the chicken bacon ranch. I wasn’t pleased with the service or being treated like we were trying to cheat the system because no one could communicate how the buffet worked. If we had ordered a medium or large pizza to share, we likely would have had fine service.
Note to whoever owns The Biggest Cheese: Train your staff better. There’s nothing worse than an employee who keeps saying she’s new and doesn’t know. That’s the last person you want making your food. And don’t offer a “deal” if you’re going to lose money if people order it. Or, at least, if you’re going to lose money, do so with professional decorum. Or, find a way to make the deal a deal for both you and the customer. For example, tell the table if there are two people you start out with two small pizzas, what toppings would they like? If they want more than two toppings, suggest splitting the pizza like we did. Don’t assume that the customer’s the bad guy. After all, they’re the ones keeping you in business. And for God’s sake, DO NOT serve your patrons old pizza. It’s disgusting, gives off an awful impression, and could end up making someone sick. In my days at Pizza Hut, it was even a health code violation. I don’t care how much the customers piss you off, this is bad form.
All the “constructive criticism” aside, I’d go back for the bacon cheeseburger pizza. The toppings were good, the beef on this pizza was fresh (not like the mushy sausage on the lamp-warmed pizza), and we both liked the crust. I thought the chicken bacon ranch was a little rich, but Karla really liked it.
All in all, you never know what you’re going to get in Delano. Stay tuned for my review of Bierocks, Brats and BBQ restaurant. Similar hilarious service experience. Only in Delano, I suppose. Well, that’s not fair. I got consistent, normal service at Delano Barbeque Company. I suppose the difference is smaller restaurants aren’t as consistent in training. Both of wait staff employees and business practices. So I’ll cut them a little slack. But I never like to feel like I’M being greedy or take advantage. Or fat.
It even looks a little like Totino’s, huh? Ew.Well, not that I don’t like Totino’s. But I’d never eat it warmed over a heat lamp for who knows how long.
Do you see the difference? Look at this pizza and tell me there wasn’t something weird about the first one. This one looks fresh out of the oven, and delicious. This was the winner of the “best pizza of the night” award. Half bacon cheeseburger, half chicken bacon ranch.
This is where you order (and stand under the vent). It didn’t make much difference to me, but you order cans of pop, there aren’t fountain drinks.
Pepperoni and Taco.
The taco looks delicious, right? It took forever to come out, otherwise we might have enjoyed it a little more. Just needed a little less beans. A little more taco sauce. Trust us. We’re taco pizza experts. We’ve had the best taco pizza ever at Gambino’s (ask anyone).
This is Mat’s to-go pizza. I believe they tried to give this away to someone else. He was adamant that it wasn’t what he ordered. It was somewhat entertaining. Had he given up and walked out with our pizza, though, we might have been grumpy.
And the very strip clubby front door. My favorite part of the whole building.