This is the blog and public record of the Chicago Pizza Club. We eat a lot of pizza and share our thoughts on it as well as post any relevant pizza news we come across.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Louisa's Gourmet Pizza and Pasta [Meeting #46]

Louisa's Gourmet Pizza
14025 Cicero Avenue (GoogleMaps)
Crestwood, IL 60445
(708) 371-0950

CPC invaded Louisa's on 10/20/07.

Nothing like fighting Dan Ryan traffic on a Saturday night. As our Suburban Excursion began, we crawled along the expressway feeling like the tires of our cars were stuck in the congealed cheese that topped the pizza at some of our less auspicious prior outings. Our stomachs began to rumble with the hope that the folks at Metromix were right about this pizza recommendation. Thankfully, Louisa's did not disappoint.

Louisa's is located on a busy road dotted with chain stores and gas stations. The restaurant is divided into two rooms, one of which contains a bar. The decor is typical of an Italian family restaurant in the suburbs--low lighting and somewhat dated decor. It was busy when we arrived, but the service was efficient and friendly. Some of our fellow diners were also surprisingly chummy, in particular the dippy old guy who stopped at our table on his way out and suggested we play "Honest Farmer" when it came time to divvy up the check. He leaned over the table with his hands on our shoulders and suggested we play a game of chance that would result in one person picking up the entire tab. We thanked him for his suggestion, but Petey and friends pull their own weight.

Louisa's offers Chicago-style deep dish pizza with an array of fresh ingredients, including some very enjoyable house-made sausage. The pizza itself consists of a buttery cornmeal crust, full-flavored stewed tomato sauce, and a moderate amount of cheese. We found that it was best to eat the pizza right away, as one of the pies got a bit soggy in the middle almost immediately.

We ordered the following pies:

  • spinach and mushroom
  • sausage and onion
  • pepperoni, garlic, and mushroom
Our pizzas came to the table about 35 minutes after we placed the order, which is pretty efficient for three deep dish pizzas on a busy Saturday night. All of the ingredients were fresh and tasty, but the sausage was amazing.

Thankfully, the traffic dissipated over the course of our dinner and post-pizza drinks at the nearby Flossmoor Station Brewery, so we were back in the familiar, concrete confines of Chicago in good time.

Petey gives Louisa's a 7.55/10.

Man, just looking at this makes me want to go back there...

Another delicious pie...

Pizza Clubbers digging in...

What has 3 thumbs and loves pizza?

Where it went down...

Louisa's Pizza & Pasta on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pete's Pizza [Meeting #45]

Pete's Pizza
3737 N. Western Ave. (Google Maps)
(773) 463-8809

CPC invaded Pete's Pizza on Tuesday 8/21/07.

Pete's has been a feature on the northwest side for a reported 50 years. They are best known for thin crust square cut pizza although they offer a stuffed crust as well. This is the CPC's first review of the spot that features Petey Pizza's shortened moniker and most attending members had yet to try it. Apparently, management has changed in the past few years and may explain some less than favorable recent reviews on the message boards. However, the CPC went to Pete's with open minds and empty stomachs.

Pete's is recently remodeled and has ample seating. Parking wasn't a problem as there is an adjacent lot. The dining room wasn't crowded on a Tuesday night and we had no wait for a group of five. Service was reasonable and the wait for the pizza was roughly what the menu promised at about 45 min for the stuffed. Pete's also offered a full drink menu of liquor, mixed drinks, bottled/tap/pitcher beer and wine.

Pizza sizes on the menu are from a 10" small to an 18" family size and pricing is average.

The specials on the menu for thin crust are a motley crew of:
1) Party: sausage, green pepper and onion
2) Taco: lettuce, tomato, ground beef, cheddar, taco sauce
3) BBQ Chicken
The stuffed is also offered with Party and Spinach/Ricotta toppings.

Our group of five went with the specials.
- Thin crust: Party, Taco
- Stuffed: spinach/ricotta

Overall, the thin crust pizza was average. The sauce, crust and cheese are fairly similar to what you'll find at many other thin crust joints around Chicago. No complaints at the table but no real excitement. Toppings were plentiful enough to avoid grumblings but not exceptional enough to elicit much praise. The taco pizza, which my wife craves in an effort to recreate her Happy Joe's experience, was tasty but somewhat uninspired. Her search for the best taco pizza in Chicago won't end here but I wouldn't advise against ordering it if your pizza lizard brain wanders south of the border from time to time. The spinach/ricotta stuffed pizza was again average. The main knock on the stuffed crust that was it was dry. If your Giordano's box typically has 8 uneaten "breadsticks" at the end of the night I'd recommend sticking with the thin crust at Pete's.

If you're in the neighborhood consider giving it a try but I wouldn't recommend any pilgrimages. Pizza is decent, parking is easy and the remodeled dining room is nice. Order what you like as the specials aren't that special. The service for our dine in experience on a Tuesday was ok but there's enough negative reviews floating around to raise some flags.



Mood lighting...

What a spread!

The classic pizza...

Taco Pizza

Where it went down...

Pete's Pizza on Urbanspoon