Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ugi's


To call Ugi's a no-frills restaurant is really insulting to restaurants without frills.

It's a big pizza chain with rock-bottom prices, and it is sort of an institution.

Most restaurants have a menu. Ugi's? No. Ugi's has a price list.


They always have the price of a large mozzarella pizza posted in the window on a nearly unadorned page.

For a while the large mozzarella was 6.90 and then not too long ago I noticed it was up to 8 — even 9.20 at some locations.

The government should stop fabricating inflation data and just go with the Ugi's index. People might actually swallow it.

You can see from the price list above that "sodas are sold only with a straw." I think that means that you can't get a glass for your soda, but it also makes it sound like they're going to foist a straw on you whether you want it or not. (Actually, that's probably the case. Heaven forbid you drink straight from the bottle.)

Want a box for your carry-out pizza? 50 centavos, please.

The crowd is usually a mix of blue-collar types, teenagers and families, depending on the time of day and location. Yesterday I walked by one and saw a guy passed out at a table.

For as cheap as it is, Ugi's doesn't look dirty. The kitchens are open — so you can watch as the guy sneezes on your pizza. The interiors are bright, mostly white tile and plastic. I wouldn't be surprised if they just hosed down the whole place a few times a week and let it drip-dry.

Ultimately, the pizzas are the least interesting thing about Ugi's. At 8 pesos — even at 9.20 — you pretty much get what you pay for.

10 comments:

Robert said...

My one & only experience with Ugi's was in 2000 when I thought it was what processed tomato sauce on cardboard must taste like.

Dan said...

I can't remember when I had it, but I know I only had it once.

As a postscript regarding the climbing price of the Ugi's pizza: When I was out today and I took the shot at the top of this post, a guy got off the bus behind me, saw me taking the photo and said, "¡Ocho mangos por una pizza Ugi's!"

Anyway, it really is pretty vile. You'd do just as well to buy the cardboard box for dinner and save 7.50.

Robert said...

Or maybe pay 25 centavos to a cartonero to save even more :)

Matt said...

"Processed tomato sauce on cardboard" is, I'm afraid, my opinion on pretty much all pizza in Argentina, with the exception of Filo where you can get a proper Italian pizza. Argentine pizza is for filling a hole when you're feeling a bit peeky at 3am after a heavy night drinking warm Quilmes. Bock. And even then, it's not that great.

There's a tiny, grotty little take-away and vaguely sit down place on the corner of Dorrego and Gral Lemos (actually it's not Lemos but it's the other side of the street when the name changes) that does pretty presentable pizzas though. And they also do the best chicken sandwich in the city.*

*This information was correct as of February 1st 2007, the night before we moved to Chile. What a romantic farewell that was.

Dan said...

Matt - I do know what you're talking about, even if I don't quite agree across the board.

I think one of the problems is that there's so MUCH pizza here and, it's true, a lot of it is crummy.

Filo is good — and very different from most of the pizza here, yeah. I've always liked 1893, too. It's close to a Filo-style pizza.

I'll check out the place on Dorrego and report back. (On the edge of your seat, I know).

Ramza said...

"The government should stop fabricating inflation data and just go with the Ugi's index. People might actually swallow it"

Jajajaja mato el comentario, larga vida a Ugis, siempre te salva cuando estas pobre en once o en el centro.

Edward said...

I am disgusted to read the comments on this blog, particularly the one which read that Ugis 'tastes like processed tomato sauce on cardboard.'
I, and my 5 man wolfpack, thought that Ugis was, in a word, exquisite.
The simple, crusty dough. the blob of mozzarella smothered along the base after extraction from the oven. And finally, the conviction in which Ugi would slice that Pizza and sling it onto those red plates. Grotty store? Maybe. Fresh muzza? Every time.

Finally, the fact that Ugi's only makes two types of Pizza's means that theres no descsion to make. How many times do you walk into Mcdonalds and teeter over te chicken/beef decision? And then kick yourself when the nuggets take like 5 minutes to cook. Ugi knows that if your hungry, be it for a quarter slice or whole damn fugazetta, sometimes you just dont want to make those decisions.

If there was an Ugi's in Kings Cross in Sydney, the lines would be out the door. Guaranteed.

Shame on you Robert and Dan.

e said...

i love ugi's, i live in buenos aires and, as a matter of fact, if tomato sauce over cardboard is all you can get here if you want a pizza (except for filo, where i've never been to), it's better to spend 9 or 10 pesos instead of TWENTY-FIVE or something like that on a "regular" pizza place.

they also offer medialunas, just so you know. never tried them. but might. love ugi's. go ugi's go!

Mark said...

I first went to Ugi's in Revere Beach, Mass. Later he opened a shop on Huntington Ave in Boston and I often ate meatball subs for lunch when I was in college. I later moves to Bs As and lo and behold, Ugi was there. I spoke to his wife who had come in to pick up the daily receipts and made an appointment to see Ugi (Hugo) and we spent an hour talking about old time. He's a great guy.

Mark said...

My first visit to Ugi's in Revere was in 1963,