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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Big Cheese [Meeting #36]

Big Cheese (Closed)
2554 W. Diversey Ave. (Google Maps)
(773) 227-1122

CPC invaded Big Cheese on 11/08/06.

Big Cheese is a family-run business that originated in Rhode Island in 1965. Returning to their Chicago roots, the family recently opened up a restaurant in Logan Square. The restaurant occupies a large space that formerly contained a night club. Those dining in the restaurant typically order from the counter, but it was pretty quiet when we were there on a Wednesday night and the friendly servers came to our table of ten. The delivery and take-out folks were bustling in and out.

Big Cheese focuses on crisp and crunchy thin crust pizza. Everything is made fresh daily from fresh ingredients. They offer white and wheat crusts, and their pies are 6", 10", and 14".

We only delighted in the pizza offerings, but Big Cheese also serves up various appetizers, pasta dishes, calzones, sandwiches, and salads - not to mention salad dressing that has earned awards from the Boston Globe. Petey may have to go back and try that some time when he's off the clock.

Big Cheese is BYOB as of this writing.

CPC ordered the following pizzas:

  • Tomato Pie w/ Wheat Crust
    • No cheese! What were we thinking?! Probably that the pie only cost $5.
  • Three Cheese Specialty Pizza
    • A blend of mozzarella, cheddar & feta topped w/ sliced tomato & garlic. This was a great blend of flavors and a crowd favorite.
  • Chicken Artichoke Specialty Pizza
    • Strips of chicken tenders, marinated artichoke hearts, black olives & sliced tomato, w/ mozzarella & parmesan. This was probably the least popular of the pizzas at our table. The chicken did not have much flavor and the ingredients did not really come together convincingly.
  • Pizza Gardiniera Gourmet Pizza
    • Fried breaded eggplant, marinated artichoke hearts, sweet roasted peppers, w/ mozzarella & feta. The fried eggplant was nice and crispy.
  • Mediterranean Gourmet Pizza
    • Greek style pizza w/ chopped tomato, spinach, feta, cheddar, and special sauce.
  • Wheat Crust Pizza w/ Genoa Salami & Italian Pepperoni
  • Regular Crust Pizza w/ Sliced Meatballs & Sweet Roasted Peppers
And as a bonus, we got a free and delicious dessert! The owner brought us four plates of a delicious chocolate calzone, a new menu item. It was filled with hazelnut and walnuts, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

As you can see, we ordered a number of pizzas and they all came out burn-your-tongue hot as they were ready. The first pizzas were brought to our table about 20 minutes after we placed our order, and the rest of the pizzas came out over the course of the following 20 minutes. The cost came out to $12 /person and we had a bit leftover to send home with the club photographer.

Petey gives Big Cheese 8/10.


The interior


Where's the cheese?


The "Med"


OMG... Meatball Pizza!


The chicken artichoke pizza


Here comes the pie...


The owner with desert!!


Chocolate Calzones!


Where it went down


Big Cheese on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

  1. The meatball pizza alone earned this place an 8... and though it doesn't really reflect on the pizza the Chocolate Calzone was the most amazing thing ever, it gets a 10

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  2. i'm going to go with an 8.75 for this pizza. i was really happy with the majority of them because the crust was so powerful. the much maligned chicken pizza was a downer, but i think that if they made the chicken chunks smaller, then it would absorb more of the flavor.

    big props to the pepperoni salami pizza and the meatball peppers. the desert was delicious too, although i can't factor it into my ratings.

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  3. pizza was excellent. the chicken could have been saved if they had flavored it in some way before putting it on the pizza.

    we should go back again soon since i fear it will be out of business before long.

    an 8.5

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  4. I thought the crust at this joint was unique and quite good. Crispy on all slices without being burnt. Similar in someways to a cornbread crust without the crumble.

    The specials were too vegi-centric for my tastes but I did enjoy the three cheese pizza. The chicken pizza was too chickeny and may suggest why many places smother it in BBQ sauce.
    Creating your own meatball pizza is my recommendation and was a highlight in our order.

    The dessert pizza was a hit and features a nutella filling with powdered sugar topping. Highly recommended.

    7.5

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  5. This place was good but not great. The service was fantastic an the owner brought us out a Chocolate Calzone for dessert that was incredible. But if we are rating this place on strictly the pizza (which we all should be doing) then I can give it no better than a 7/10, and this is generous. The chicken pizza was awful. I have yet to have this pizza anywhere and enjoy it, and this place is no exception. I will from now on campaign against chicken on my pizza as vigorously as I did against the Bush/Cheney ticket in the past two elections. The rest of the pizzas were quite good. I liked that you could pick a wheat vs. a white crust, which in either case was always crispy. The pizzas with meat on them were very good and should be ordered as mainstains should anyone go here. another plus to this place is the always popular BYOB policy.

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  6. I really enjoyed Big Cheese pizza. The crust was so crunchy and crisp and held up on all the pizzas, no matter how many ingredients we piled on. The three-cheese pizza was just delicious. The only pizza I didn't like that much was the chicken/artichoke pizza, and only because the toppings didn't come together that well. It still wasn't bad. I didn't like the gardiniera pizza as much as I thought I would, but the fried eggplant tasted great. The pizza basics of crust / sauce / cheese were great on all the pizzas, and pepperoni and sliced meatballs have never done me wrong. 8.25

    ReplyDelete