"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States"
When you want a good pie, you gotta go some place where they know pizza. Italians are supposed to know pizza. And the Italian mafia are "goodfellas, wiseguys." So a pizza place named WiseGuys (2408 E 53rd) better have some good pizza, or they risk getting whacked.
WiseGuys is another one of the Quad-Cities' style pizzerias that has been around for awhile. Not as long as Frank's or Harris, WiseGuys opened in 96, around the time the 53rd and Elmore corridor was being heavily developed.
As far as I can tell, Wiseguys differs from the others in their crust. It's a little thicker and doesn't have the cornmeal bottom. They do, however, tend to stick to mozzarella and other white cheeses, and they load on the toppings. Not very Italian, but very Quad Cities.
He better be whacking people with that stick
I fully expected a guy name Paulie to take my order in a rude manner and give me the dick eye while I waited. But instead, it was a gangly white teenager surrounded by pretty blonde waitresses picking up their orders. Bummer.
Also sort of a bummer, the lack of creativity in naming the pizzas. I thought maybe I could order the Bugsy Big Boss Bacon or Machine Gun Mushroom. They did have one pizza named the Big Marv which sounds like a pizzafied Big Mac, with 1000 Island dressing, beef, pickles, and cheese. However, I ordered the Inferno- a gut burning pie topped with Italian sausage, pepperoncinis, onions, jalapenos, and hot pepper jack cheese.
The restaurant is no hideout, featuring a salad bar, ample seating and a sports bar-ish atmosphere, but I took our pizza to go, with a side of garlic bread.
Unwrapped it and BAM! My medium pizza looked more like a sidekick than a boss. Richie was expecting an assault on his taste buds, but he didn't seem to find it hot enough. The pizza he uses as his reference point is the Volcano from Poor Boys and I guess this one didn't compare. I have very low tolerance for heat, so I picked my pieces apart to avoid the jalapenos, but I could feel a bit of a burn in my sinuses. Nothing I couldn't handle though.
The garlic bread wasn't nearly garlicky or flavorful enough for either of us.
I liked it. I mean, it's pizza, who wouldn't? It's not the capo di tutti capo, but it's a decent associate. Richie, being the pistol he is, is not from the old country and once again complained that QC-style pizza is overwhelmed with toppings and cheese. I would like to rat Wisguys out for their prices. It felt a little like we were being extorted... more than 30 bucks for a pizza and bread?
If anyone has any suggestions for a good New York style pizza place in the area, give me holler.