The Dish: Sauced Pizza


Carter Horan

The Dish is a multimedia food review segment co-produced by Will Davis and Carter Horan. Each week, they will travel to a North Shore restaurant to try, discuss, and evaluate the eats on in and around Lake Forest.

Sauced Pizza is a local spot that serves quality pies to the people of Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. Basing most of their service via carry-out and delivery, it competes with other restaurants such as Donati’s, Ferentino’s, and Silo. But, it only holds one table which doesn’t quite advocate for customers to sit down and enjoy their pizza right then and there. It is located just south of downtown LF in the strip mall on Western Ave. known for housing Egg Harbor, Chief’s, and Mathnasium. The restaurant is relatively new to the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff area considering its opening was in October 2016. In its first year of service, the pizzeria has received rave reviews on their hand tossed pizzas as well as their delectable wings. The most popular pizzas that Sauced has to offer are cheese, BBQ chicken, buffalo chicken, and meat lovers. Another item on the menu that has proven to be a hit are the honey barbecue wings.

Affordability: 8/10

We didn’t have an exact final price at Sauced due to the fact that the exceptionally personable owner, Mr. Craig Grimes, gave us our food for free. Usually, a specialty pizza at Sauced would cost somewhere around $18. This $18 is cheaper than a Ferentino’s specialty thin crust pizza and costs just about the same as a thin crust specialty pizza from Donati’s. In addition, Sauced Pizza’s mild wings with ranch on the side cost the exact same price as wings from Donati’s. Overall, pricing seemed pretty solid for a good sized pizza and quality wings. Clearly, it matches up pretty well with other pizza places in the area, which gives it a step up when it comes to affordability. We left very happy that we didn’t have to pay for our own food, but even if we did have to pay it wouldn’t have made a huge dent in our pockets because of the reasonable pricing on the pizza and wings.

7.5/10 Environment:

Sauced labels and advertises itself as a carry out and delivery restaurant. Because of this, the small location in East Lake Forest only had one small table with two chairs. When we walked in, we saw the owner had put a small Christmas Tree with lights adorning it on the table in the front window as a nice finishing touch. The small area felt very homey and you could tell that everything had been planned out and placed in the perfect location. On one of the brick walls inside the restaurant lies a large Sauced logo, which accentuated  the pizzeria-type feel of the restaurant. The menu is placed right above the cash register area and uses a nice red, white and black color scheme to match the logo displayed on the wall. The whole area looked very clean and everything was spaced out nicely. This area is a little more difficult to evaluate considering Sauced Pizza’s primary goal is to be a delivery and carry out pizza joint. Even though this is true, we still enjoyed the vibes and the look of Sauced.

Food Quality: 9/10

The main thing that Sauced prided itself on when it came to food was their hand-tossed crusts and specialty pizzas. Because of this, we ordered a specialty barbecue chicken hand tossed pizza and, by recommendation from the owner, honey barbecue wings. We were excited to finally have the opportunity to try the hand-tossed crust that had been raved about in our Journalism class. It absolutely lived up to expectations. The texture was the perfect middle ground between a more crunchy thin crust (like that of Ferentino’s) and a soft, chewy crust (like Domino’s). In addition to a very satisfactory crust, we also were huge fans of the cheese to sauce ratio. A lot of times, pizza can be made or ruined depending on how much cheese and sauce are on the pizza. It is always important to have a good amount of sauce but also a relatively equal amount of cheese. The barbecue chicken pizza did just that. It had a nice, tangy barbecue sauce that perfectly complemented the soft, melted cheese and chicken on top. When it came to the honey barbecue chicken wings, we experienced an above average wing that encompassed great flavor, and tender meat. The wings were large, came out quickly, and went wonderfully with the ranch sauce we ordered on the side. In conclusion, Sauced provided us with a unique dining experience and excited our tastebuds thoroughly. The food quality was one of the most impressive things that we noted about Sauced Pizza.

10/10 Service:

The service we received at Sauced Pizza was by far the best experience we have had throughout our careers as food reviewers. The owner, Craig Grimes, greeted us with energy, more than happy to take our orders and ask us numerous questions about Journalism class and Lake Forest High School. He was delighted to have us conduct a review for his restaurant and made us feel like friends instead of customers. We arrived on a Friday at 3:00pm the day after Thanksgiving, when most Lake Forest families were still sleeping or rushing out to Vernon Hills to buy new things they didn’t need. The restaurant was not busy and we received our food fairly quickly in 8-10 minutes. Mr. Grimes was nice enough to provide our food free of charge and gift us a number of $5 gift cards for other students in our Journalism class. We held good conversation with Mr. Grimes as we ate, discussing Sauced and their plans to open other locations in the future. He even brought out their special, uber-hot “Reaper Pepper” for us to taste. Our overall experience at Sauced Pizza was flawless as far as service goes and we plan to return soon. .

Spears: 3.5/4