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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

D'Agostino's Pizza and Pub [Meeting #27]

D'Agostino's Pizza and Pub
1351 W. Addison St. (Google Maps)
Chicago, IL
(773) 477-1821

CPC invaded D'Agostino's Pizza and Pub on 3/23/06

I don't know the history of D'Agostino's, but I like to let my imagination test its legs in cases like this. I imagine some dude, Mr. D'Agostino, opens his restaurant in 1968 (this is actually true) and watches as throngs of Cubs fans walk by on their way home after yet another loss and wonders why they don't come into his restaurant. So he labours in the kitchen, trying to improve his recipe, and dies. At this point, his wife and sons continue his life's work and they finally realize that the fans haven't stopped in because they're too full of Old Style to want to eat anything. In this rather unrewarding process, the pizza has gotten pretty good and now that the original hard scrabble Cubs fans have been displaced by the young, the upwardly mobile, the urban professionals who pride themselves on good taste, business finally flourishes.

Ok, it's a lame story, but my job stifles creativity and the story does underscore how I feel about the food and the Cubs, both of which are important. To me.

I don't remember the sizes, but who really cares? We ordered:

  • Sundried Tomato Pizza, a special with goat cheese, basil, and sundried tomatoes
  • Thin Crust, Pepperoni, Mushroom
  • Pan Pizza, Sausage, Onion
  • Stuffed, Spinach
So after negotiating the false entrance, we were given a large table by the very same false entrance that fooled most of us as we tried to enter the restaurant. It provided considerable amusement throughout the night to observe people pulling and tugging on a door that won't open only to finally read the sign posted directing you to another door for entrance. Our waitress was atrocious. It took her forever to come to our table and when we told her we weren't quite ready, it was a kiss of death. She decided that we since we were unable to order 2 minutes after sitting down, we surely must need half an hour or more. So after finally tracking her down, we placed our order and 35 minutes later our pizzas started emerging.

Let's begin with the sundried tomato pizza. The goat cheese was mild and I almost forgot the basil was on the pizza, but the sundried tomatoes were excellent. The pepperoni pizza featured D'Agostino's sweet sauce, and I mean that in a positive way. The have ample amounts of sauce under the cheese without making the crust soggy. The mushrooms imparted a stronger flavor than one would expect and I enjoyed it. The pan and stuffed pizzas were both good stabs at Chicago classics. The crust held up well under the weight of the ingredients. Another affordable night out; pizza was about $10 per person.

A few more things of note regarding D'Agostino's:
  • I've ordered takeout from their River North location many times. It's pretty good, but not as good as Dine-In
  • Wednesday diners get a large pizza with one topping for half price
  • They had Goose Island Honker's Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap
  • I once saw my friend's band play in their basement, also known as the Monkey Room. Don't expect touring bands to play here, it's likely all local, but they have beer down there and it's a fun space
  • The Chicago Bar Project reviews the bar side of the restaurant here
Petey gives D'Agostino's a score of 6.8


Delicious stuffed crust


Their Pan Pizza


The two thin crust pizzas


The lay of the land


Where it went down

7 comments:

  1. Pros: Plenty of sweet sauce that was similar to my favorite pizza spot Aurelio's. The goat cheese was a nice touch as well on the thin pizza. But I think the money pizzas are the stuffed and pan. word.

    Cons: Lincoln park. 1 bathroom. An incompetent waitress. But no complaints about the pizza.

    I'd recommend that you try this place.

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  2. This was a great pizza club meeting. We had a variety of pizzas which were all great in their own way. First, lets review the sundried tomato with basil and goat cheese. I thought the goat cheese was great. It did taste a little like feta cheese which for me is a plus. I was not there when we ordered so I didn’t know there was basil on the pizza, so that’s a strike against it. The sundried tomato was no too dried out and was full of flavor.
    Next my favorite of the pizzas was the stuffed spinach which featured ample cheese and sauce. The sauce was a bit on the sweet side, but the cheese was salty enough to counter this effect. The spinach tasted pretty good and if it wasn’t fresh, then I was fooled. The pepperoni and mushroom was pretty good. The thin crust on this pizza was crispy, but not cracker crispy. Finally, the sausage and onion (which was a close second in my opinion.) The sausage could have been a little spicier but he onions were in abundance and tasted as if they were sautéed prior to being added to the pizza. All pizzas were great choices. I give D’Agostinos a 7.5 out of 10.

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  3. I really like the thin crust pizza here, which really goes well with all the flavor in the sauce. The only downside is that when you have a stuffed or pan pizza the sauce becomes way too overpowering.

    I was glad we went before baseball season, when inevitably the neighborhood is full of drunken boors, as it is, the atomosphere is nothing great anyways.

    So overall, I give the pizza here a 6... the thin crust is great, the ingredients are fresh and really good, but the pan and stuffed pizzas need a few kinks ironed out. Which probably isn't going to happen since they've been in business for years and years.

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  4. Allow me to comment on the pepperoni and mushrom pizza. usually when i get mushrooms on a pizza, i expect to taste the mushrooms only when i bite into a mushroom directly. I was happi;y surprised when I bit into this pizza and tasted mushroom everywhere. It's as if they juiced the mushrooms and threw the juice all ver the cheese before they cooked it.

    The sauce is really sweet, which I like a lot. I do agree that it was a bit too strong on the pan and especially the stufed, but there are worse crimes. I was really happy with the quality overall.

    7.5

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  5. to be fair, this pizza club for me was tainted by our waitress, who for some reason made me irrationally pissed off from the get go.

    so, i'll be brief. the thin crust mushroom and pepperoni was the best pizza by far. although the crust was a bit dry, probably because it was made 20 minutes before our deep dish pizzas were ready and then just sat out in the kitchen collecting dust. as stated in other posts, the sauce was good in the small volumes present on the thin crust. however, in any other style of pizza, its weakness as a sauce became evident as too sweet and really one dimensional. the other toppings were very good, and fresh too. the deep dish artichoke sausage was especially noteable.

    well, i'll say that if dominos is 4, this place is a 6.

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  6. For whatever reason the thin crust at this place didn't do much for me. The crust was pretty average and I wasn't overwhelmed with the flavor of the ingredients. Maybe I was having an off night after spending 2 hours at the towing yard but I just don't have too much to say about the thin.

    The pan pizza really allows you to taste the sweet sauce. Pixie stix sweet. It's not my favorite but it was definitely memorable. Good for a change of pace. Pan crust was good but not outstanding.

    The stuffed spinich was pretty unique. It was almost like spinich ravioli sitting on top of their pan pizza. Again, I didn't care for it but it was memorable.

    Even though my review is not particularyly positive I still would recommend trying this place. I'm actually going to try it again myself. Their half-price wednesday nights are pretty hard to argue against. Overall, D'Ags has a uniiquely sweet sauce and an interesting stuffed. It's just different enough to be someone's favorite, just not mine.

    6.5

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  7. I have ordered from the River North D'Agostino's several times and always had the thin crust, so I enjoyed the chance to try out the pan and stuffed. They make a pretty crispy but substantial thin crust. I like the sweet sauce, but it could actually be great if it had more flavor, particularly an infusion of basil. The mushroom and pepperoni pizza was flavorful and well-balanced. I couldn't really discern much of a difference between the styles of the pan and the stuffed pizzas, but they were both good. I did not find the sweet sauce overpowering on these pies, though I again lamented the shortage of delicious Italian herbs. I thought the spinach pizza was quite tasty, as spinach is an ideal ingredient for a stuffed pizza.

    7.0

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