Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great Lakes, Pequods, the never ending quest for best pizza

Pizza. What is there to say that hasn't already been said? I love love love pizza. I don't care if its Chicago style - pan or thin, Neapolitan, NY Style - it doesn't matter. All that matters is that its good. And good pizza is not easy to find. In New York or in Chicago. Or anywhere for that matter. Here are some of the more memorable experiences from my time in Chicago.

Spacca Napoli
I ventured to this Ravenswood pizzeria with a friend a few months ago after reading a lot about it in various places. We shared two pies (the daily special - cannot remember what was on it, and the Diavola - Buffalo Mozzarella, Salami, Red Pepper Flakes, Basil) that were among the best I have ever had. Im not sure if it was because I hadn't had a great crust in months at that point - and this crust was seriously mind blowing - but it was SO good. Definitely the best I had in Chicago - significantly better than Great Lakes, which has been called the best in the country.

Great Lakes:
 So after all the fuss over this place I put it on my 'cant-leave-town-without-going-here' list. Everything Ive read said it was incredible but it took forever to get a seat, even longer to get your food, and the staff are stand-offish and generally not nice. This couldn't be further from the truth. We arrived a half an hour after the doors opened and put our names in. About 45 minutes later they called us and we came back to the restaurant and were promptly seated. The dining room is just as small as everyone says. Theres a community picnic table - capable of seating maybe 8 people? And 2 or 3 other 2 top tables. That it. In a room the size of my bedroom. It was charming though, in an Ikea kind of way. The staff were all very gracious to us and not at all like I had read. We ordered one of each of the pizzas available that day - and added Mortadella to the Pizza #1 ( tomato sauce, farmers cheese, dante cheese, fresh herbs, and grey sea salt) as this was the specific pie named the best in the country. It was very good - my favorite of the three - but still nowhere near the pizza we had at Spacca Napoli (my dining companion agreed). Ive been told they are currently selling some Mortadella at SCCC - so I may try to recreate this pizza at home. 

I cannot remember what was on this pie but it was good. Second favorite of the evening.

 The third, and my least favorite, spring onion...asparagus?, cumin...I felt everything was a bit overwhelmed by the cumin which made the whole pie taste kind of muddy. Oh well. My two friends both loved this one so...maybe Im the weirdo. 

 So after searching high and low and listening carefully to the recommendations of Chicago natives I ventured to Pequods a few months back. It was so good it wound up being my last meal in Chicago. Not much to say here...just look at these ridiculous pictures.  

1 comment:

  1. Love Great Lake. I recently uploaded some photos on their Facebook group. See link.!/groups/110472678781/