THE UNITED CENTER – CHICAGO, IL

BB74FF41-9E17-4CF6-BCE9-3895E4011494

The United Center is home of the National Baskeball Association’s (NBA’s) Chicago Bulls and the National Hockey League’s (NHL’s) Chicago Blackhawks.  I most recently visited the stadium on the night that the Chicago Bulls played the Dallas Mavericks.  The game was a great game.  I expected both teams to play poorly because both teams are tanking but both played well, with the exception of Christiano Felicio playing almost the entire game instead of Bobby Portis (who came in off the bench at the end of the game and won the game for us).

The game was amazing but I also got to see some of the biggest names in basketball, as well as some up in coming names.  Seeing Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban made my entire week.  I also saw the J J Berea, Rick Carlisle, Harrison Barnes, and the rookie sensation Dennis Smith, Jr.  Zach LaVine was playing for the Bulls and he will be a great player in the NBA.  Bobby Portis is also a rising star for the Bulls as well.

Now, for the pizza.  The pizza at the United Center adds to the greatness of the stadium.  You have two options, Woodgrain Pizza, which cooked fresh to order. They have a standard menu but you can customize the pizza to your liking.  I always add spinach to the four cheese pizza.  They even have a Philly cheesesteak pizza.  They have grated parmesean cheese and even Chicago staples such as the Chicago Dog (hot dog) and Italian Beef sandwiches.

If you do not want thin crust pizza you can also have Connie’s deep dish pizza.  Connie’s is popular around Chicago.  It is not the Chicago stuffed pizza that the city is famous for, but it is still very good.  The only issue is that it is not fresh.  It is good and can be found in your grocer’s freezer.  Many people love Connie’s but I love Woodgrain Pizza so I always choose Woodgrain.

If pizza is not your thing they have many other options.  My husband went for the cheeseburger and fries at Legacy Burger.  While I would never defect and get something other than pizza, if you must, there are other great options at the stadium.

We even got a full moon out of the deal.

4F39714C-1766-4217-963F-211014369912

Advertisements

PURCELL PAVILION – NOTRE DAME, IN

The Purcell Pavilion at the University of Notre Dame is the home of the Fighting Irish Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams.  The teams belong to the NCAA’s Atlantic Coast Conference which the Women have dominated since joining the league in 2013.  The men and the women are both playing great this year and one can only hope that they both make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament this year.

DSC03683I have previously written about the lack of pizza at the Purcell Pavilion.  Given this fact, I decided to eat one of the flatbread pizzas at Rhor’s at the Morris Inn, located between Main Circle and the bookstore.  I highly recommend eating the pizza at Rhor’s before or after games.  The flatbreads are very good and they have many options.  They will even customize them for you.  The pizza could have more sauce and the flatbread could be crispier, but for those who do not like extra thin crust pizza, the flatbreads may be perfect for you.  The pizza is still very good.

Since I was expecting no pizza at the game, I was shocked to see that they now sell pizza at the Purcell Pavilion.  I was too full to try the pizza, but I did get a good look at the pizza.  The pizza sold at the Purcell Pavilion is the masterpiece that they now sell at the Notre Dame Stadium, home of the Fighting Irish Football team.  The pizza is fantastic.  I wish I had more room to hold one down, but I did not.  I will have to eat a slice at my next visit.  The pizza is amazing.  Upon my next visit I will eat at Rhor’s AND also at the stadium.  The pizzas are both just that good.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE PIZZA AT RHOR’S AND AT THE PURCELL PAVILION.  If you come completely empty, the wood fired pizza at Recker’s is also very good.

UNITED CENTER – CHICAGO, IL

9A365E90-85EB-4D48-8140-BAC01E45386F

The United Center is the home of the National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls. I have written about this stadium many times, however this experience was a little different.  The stadium has a new atrium that recently opened.  The centerpiece of the atrium is the Michael Jordan Statue.  The statue was relocated from the outside of the stadium to accommodate fans visiting the statue in inclement weather.  While the stadium is located indoors you do not need a game ticket to enter the atrium.  The statue appears to have been refinished and is now more magnificent than ever.

 

Since this is a pizza I should talk about pizza.  Once again I chose to eat at Woodgrain Pizza.  This is the best pizza place of any stadium that I have visited.  I previously stated that this title belongs to Dante’s Inferno Pizza at Progressive Field in Cleveland  , OH.  Woodgrain Pizza has many options.  The thing that makes Woodgrain Pizza amazing is that you do not have to order from the menu because they will make you whatever you like.  I ordered the four cheese pizza but I added spinach.  You can have any of their specialty pizzas or you can make your own basic or specialty pizza.    The food is also made very quickly in a wood fired oven.

Woodgrain Pizza is located on the lower level in the same location where DiGiorno’s Pizza used to be.  While DiGiorno’s was good, the decision to go to Woodgrain Pizza was fantastic.

The United Center also has Connie’s Pizza.  The pizza is deep dish, and very good.  While the pizza is deep dish it is not stuffed, which is what many people consider the “Chicago Style” deep dish pizza.  If wood fired pizza is not your thing, then you can go wrong with a slice of Connie’s Pizza.  Connie’s can be found at many concession stands around the stadium.

 

THE UNITED CENTER – CHICAGO, IL

 

The United Center is the home of the streaking Chicago Bulls.  As of this writing they have won five straight games.  Who said we were going to only win 16 games this year?!  I got to witness them beat Kristaps Porzingis and his New York Knickerbockers.   It was also great to see Bennie the Bull again as well.  I specifically enjoyed watching the Bulls players attempt to defend a 7’3” unicorn in Kristaps Porzingis.

While I was there to attend the game, I was also able to eat some good pizza.  As I have written a few times before, the United Center has always had OUTSTANDING pizza.  They used to have the most amazing wood fired Digiorno’s pizza topped with oregano.  They then moved to more local Connie’s Pizza at the concession stands.  Connie’s sells deep dish pizza, not stuffed.  They have cheese and pepperoni.  The pizza is delicious.  They also have a wood fired thin crust pizza that is cooked to order, Woodgrain Pizza.

Woodgrain Pizza is fantastic.  The pizza is cooked to order, thus it is piping hot when you receive it.  They also have many different options and the ability to build your own pizza.  There is only one location at the stadium and it sells out quickly but if you get there before half time you are sure to get one of the best stadium pizzas money can buy.  It is just that good.  It is also asthetically pleasing.  It has its own little seating area.  They also have grated parmesean cheese and crushed red pepper.

The Woodgrain Pizza location can be found not far from the trophy case displaying the six NBA Finals Championship trophies.  They also have locations in the city.  If you are at the United Center you can’t go wrong with the pizza, but the Woodgrain Pizza is the best option.  I can’t wait to go back.

7D546244-2C88-4C35-B424-C2DE1808CD14

BMO HARRIS BRADLEY CENTER – MILWAUKEE, WI

The BMO Harris Bradley Center is the current home of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA’s) Milwaukee Bucks and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s  (NCAA’s) Marquette Golden Eagles.  I was recently in attendance to see the Milwaukee Bucks play the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Bucks and Golden Eagles will be moving to the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in 2018.  The new venue will open in 2018.

The BMO Harris Bradley Center is definitely not new, hence the need for a replacement.  The facility is a a giant piece of cinderblock with a basketball court in the middle.  However, it has a good vibe.  I love the “fear the deer” motto.  I also love seeing the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo play in his home court.  It was also nice to see the much touted rookie, Lonzo Ball.  I was able to witness him get his first triple double, and be the youngest person to do so.  It was definitely his best game of his young career.  In addition to seeing the “Greek Freak” and Lonzo Ball, it was Eric Bledsoe’s first game as a Milwaukee Bucks.  However, it was definitely the Giannis’s night.  He was much better than anyone else on the court.

DSC03791

While the game was great, the Buck’s won, the pizza was better.  The stadium sell’s Palermo’s Pizza and it is simply fantastic.  The pizza is some of the best of any stadium that I have visited.  They sell cheese and pepperoni slices.  They also have an eating area behind the concession stand that has grated parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.  There are tables with the red and white plaid table cloths for you to eat at, just like at a regular pizza joint.

 I do not know what the plans are for the pizza in the new stadium, but until the new stadium is finished, if you are at the BMO Harris Bradley Center you should definitely go for the pizza.  The sauce is a little tangy, and the cheese is not the most amazing cheese I have ever had but they go so well together that it makes the pizza fantastic.  The slices are thin but not too thin.  The pizza is not too crispy, but still not at all soggy, simply perfect crust.  I also love the ratio of pepperoni to cheese.  Palermo’s seems to have perfected the art of the pizza.  The pizza is so good.  I have to recommend this pizza to anyone who visits the arena.

DSC03537

While I do not know what the future holds for pizza at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in 2018, I do know that they should keep Palermo’s Pizza as the official pizza of the Milwaukee Bucks.  The pizza is simply outstanding and Palermo’s is a local favorite.  I would hate to come back to a college or professional basketball game in Milwaukee and not be served Palermo’s pizza.  As of the writing of this post, it is the beginning of the NCAA and NBA basketball seasons so you still have plenty of time to eat the delicious pizzas at the stadium.

DAVIS WADE STADIUM – STARKVILLE, MS

Davis Wade Stadium is the home of the Mississippi State University football team.  The stadium is known for being the home of the South Eastern Conference’s most important Bulldogs.  While there are many schools that have Bulldogs as their mascot, none are as beautiful as Mississippi State.   The campus of Mississippi State University is simply beautiful.  Located in Starkville, MS, about two and a half hours from Birmingham, AL the stadium is conveniently located within driving distance of many of the south’s major cities: Birmingham, Jackson, and New Orleans.

 

Prior to arriving I was told that after the game it was important that I visit a great pizza place off campus, Stromboli’s.  While Stromboli’s was on my list of things to do ,it was imperative that I eat the pizza at the stadium.  I was immediately warned that it was standard Papa Johns and I needed to leave room for tailgating and Stromboli’s.

 

After being determined to eat the Papa Johns I was pleasantly surprised to see that they sold Little Caesars instead.  They did not make it easy to eat the pizza because it is sold at various locations outside of the concession stands.  There are little Little Caesars stands located throughout the stadium.  The pizzas are not fresh and are all pre-packaged.  They are brought from an unknown location periodically throughout the game.  When I arrived there were no pepperoni pizzas available, only cheese.

Since I was pleased to see Little Caesar’s Pizza, I was expecting the same quality as Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.  No such luck, the pizza was far inferior to the pizza at Comerica Park.  However, it is still not terrible.  If given the opportunity, I will definitely eat the pizza again.  The pizza is standard Little Caesar’s Pizza.  The pizza is not fresh, which makes it a little sad, but it will get the job done.

DSC02844

If you like stadium pizza, I highly recommend eating the pizza at Davis Wade Stadium.  The pizza is not the best in the world but it beats Papa Johns any day of the week.

DSC02748

 

NOTRE DAME STADIUM – NOTRE DAME, IN

Notre Dame Stadium is the home of the football team of the Fighting Irish at the University of Notre Dame.  The stadium and the team are the best in the nation, no matter what the record says (but this year the team is amazing).  The stadium is newly renovated.  I will only see it two times this season but they have a new Jumbotron which is actually quite tastefully placed.  I was a little concerned but it does not detract from the traditional design of the stadium.  The Jumbotron only makes the stadium a little more modern.  Looking at the picture below, the Jumbotron cannot be seen but it directly behind the brick edifice shown, exquisitely placed.

As I have stated in previous posts the pizza at Notre Dame stadium has been hit or miss throughout the years, mostly miss.  However, these past few years the pizza has really been on point.  It is better and better each time.  They have finally perfected the sauce:cheese:crust ratio.  The amount of sauce relative to the cheese is perfect.  The crust is not too thick but not to thin.  The crust is also crunchy.  I have gotten the pizza now at the beginning of the game, the second quarter, and halftime and each time the pizza has been the same.

The stadium has pizza locations throughout but not at each concession stand.  The concession stands directly under the seats at the bottom and right behind the seats at the top do not have pizza.  You have to go to the concession stands in the walkway areas for pizza.  The pizza is also made in house, well on campus.  I do not know if it is freshly prepared in the stadium but it is freshly prepared on campus and brought to the stadium so it is never boxed frozen pizzas.

NOTRE DAME STADIUM – NOTRE DAME, IN

Notre Dame Stadium is home to the University of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish football team.  The stadium is located in the lovely city of Notre Dame, Indiana, just outside of South Bend.  It sits right by the border of Indiana and Michigan.  The stadium is one of the most magnificent stadiums ever built.  The stadium recently underwent renovations to make it even more amazing.  Seating around 80,000 loyal fans there is no bad seat in the house.

Historically, the stadium has struggled with pizza.  However, it has finally found its footing.  Over the past few years the pizza has simply gotten better and better.  The pizza is simply fantastic.  Since it is conveniently located about 80 miles from Chicago it should have great pizza and that it does.

The stadium serves individual pizza slices with both cheese and pepperoni options.  It is a hand tossed style thin pizza and it is simply the best college stadium pizza that I have been too.  The pizza is made in house and is very fresh.  If you are in town to see the Fighting Irish defeat whomever they are playing that day I highly recommend eating the wonderful pizza.

GUARANTEED RATE FIELD – CHICAGO, IL

Guaranteed Rate Field is the home of the Chicago White Sox.  For many years was named US Cellular Field.  The name was changed before the 2017 season.  Personally, I am not a fan of the new name and I will continue to call it “The Cell.”  Just like people still call the stadium Comiskey Park, I will not change the name I call it just because they did.  I don’t want to judge the stadium based on the name, but I was used to going to “The Cell” so this felt a little weird.

While the name changed and the team changed, the pizza remains the same at the stadium.  The stadium continues to sell Beggar’s Pizza.  Beggar’s is a Chicago chain primarily located on the south side.  It is the official chain of the Chicago White Sox as well as the Chicago Bears.  The Chicago Cubs official Pizza is Giordano’s. While Beggar’s is the official Pizza, it shouldn’t be.  It is not good.  It is so bad they were not selling it upon my last visit.

LRG_DSC02057

Considering the pizza is beyond terrible, I was not sad to not eat any.  I hope next season they while change the pizza yet again, preferably back to Digiorno’s or maybe to Giordanos , Connie’s, of anything else.

LRG_DSC02106

There were some good things at the game that made the day amazing.  I got to see the Mickey Mouse statue from the 2010 MLB All-Star game.  They also repainted the 42 representing Jackie Robinson’s retired number.  The blue is brighter and stands out so much more.  Did I mention the game we great and the White Sox had a decisive victory over the Kansas City Royals.

LRG_DSC02162

PNC PARK – PITTSBURGH, PA

PNC Park is the home of Major League Baseball ‘s Pittsburgh Pirates.  The city is probably most well known for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers as well as the 2017 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.  However, the Pirates also have a great history, as well as a pretty nice stadium.  The stadium is located on the North Shore of Pittsburgh along the Allegheny River (Pittsburgh is known for it three rivers: Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio).

While PNC Park is not the most magnificent structure in the MLB (it cannot hold its own against the likes of the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, or even the New York Mets), it is still a pretty cool stadium.  Any stadium located next to the water is always has an added level of beauty and magnificence.  The layout is kind of weird, and not very intuitive, but it still follows most of the basic norms of baseball stadiums.

There are two primary options for pizza at PNC Park, Slice on Broadway and Fox’s Pizza Den Pizza.  Slice on Broadway is a sit-down pizza restaurant located on the first level of PNC Park.  Fox’s Den is the pizza that can be purchased at the different concession stands around the stadium.  There is also a Primanti Brothers in the stadium.  The Primanti Brothers is also a sit-down restaurant and the restaurants outside of the stadium sell pizza, however I do not know if they sell it at the stadium.

I could not try all of the pizzas, so I settled on the one that looked the best, Slice on Broadway.  Slice on Broadway as simply fantastic.  It was very nice to sit down at the restaurant and eat hot pizza at a table without having to take it to my seat for it to further cool.  The pizza was simply fantastic.  The sauce was amazing, the cheese was delicious, and the crust was perfect.  I truly enjoyed Slice on Broadway.

While I did not eat a Fox’s Pizza Den, I did see many people purchasing the pizza, which bodes well for the company.  I also did not eat a Primanti Brothers at the stadium, but I did go the restaurant later in the day.  The stadium restaurant looks really nice, however the location I went to was filthy, thus I chose to not order any pizza.

While I did not actually eat the other pizza options at the stadium, I can still wholeheartedly recommend the pizza at Slice on Broadway.  The pizza is hot, fresh, and can be eaten at a table, who can ask for more.  Given the sheer number of people purchasing pizza from Fox’s Pizza Den, I can assume that it too is very good.  I did not hang out near Primanti Brothers, thus I cannot give you an idea of their pizza, however my experience at the restaurant away from the stadium was not a good one, it almost ruined my Pittsburgh experience.

DSC01361

With that being said, there are so many pizza options there that you cannot go wrong.  The only thing they did wrong at the stadium was choosing to not display the Mickey Mouse statue from the 2010 All-Star Game.

Advertisements

The best stadium pizza in the United States