5913 W. Roosevelt Rd (GoogleMaps)
CPC invaded Albano's on 3/4/08.
This Cicero establishment on Roosevelt Road is well known for its giant pizza puffs!
CPC arrived at Albano's Pizzeria at 8PM on a Tuesday night. Parking was easy as there is a lot adjacent to the restaurant off of Roosevelt Road. Albano's is set up more like a carry out establishment but has a dining room that is simple and clean with 6-8 red booths and 3-4 round tables. Orders can be placed at the window though the friendly staff provided us service at the tables and brought out soda, cups, ice, and plates. Pizza was served as it came out of the oven. Clientèle includes Chicago's Finest so plan your next heist at home before you come in to eat.
The menu is extensive but pizza is featured prominently on the first page. Also drawing attention on the menu is the claim "Chicagoland's Largest Homemade Pizza Puff". Nobody at our table was prepared to dispute this designation. Be aware that no alcohol is served at Albano's and it's not a BYOB.
Pizza sizes range from 10" - 18". Types include Regular, Pan, Stuffed, and Pizza Puff. There is also the option for thin or thick crust on request though thick crust will cost you an extra $1 to $1.50. There is an Albano's Special which is a bargain price for a pizza with 4 or 8( ! ) toppings. Topping choices are numerous and include shrimp, meatball, broccoli, bacon and tomato in addition to the standards you expect.
We had 7 members in attendance and ordered:
1) 16" Regular crust: bacon, sausage, onion, and tomato
2) 16" Pan crust: meatball, mushroom
3) Pizza puff: pepperoni
4) Pizza puff: sausage
5) Pizza puff: spinach and olives
Two 2 liter bottles of pop included with the order. (There is a coupon on the menu but they were included without us asking.)
Total price - $65 without tax.
The regular crust came in about 20 min and the three puffs followed 10 min later. The pan pizza took approximately 40 min.
The crust on the square-cut 16" bacon, sausage, onion, and tomato pizza was crisp and tasty throughout. No soggy middle pieces on this pie. Toppings were plentiful except for the tomatoes. Bacon was tasty with good sizes pieces and sausage had a nice amount of spice. The sauce was flavorful without being particularly sweet. Sauce fiends may be disappointed as it doesn't ooze out the sides of the square slices but there's enough to get a good taste. Onions were thin cut.
The pan crust was thick and crisp but on the dry side. The meatball topping was very tasty and well-liked though several CPC members commented the flavor was "steaky". Mushrooms were likely canned but well portioned. Overall, this was a popular choice for the group.
Now for the famous puffs! Basically it's an 8 inch pizza folded in half with a golden brown outer crust. They've been described as football-sized and this a pretty good literal estimate. We had underestimated the size and had plenty to box up and take home. If anyone out there was planning to knock one out solo they can do me a favor and to say hi to Kobayashi on the circuit. The fried browned crust is crispy and rich. Plenty of cheese and toppings pour out once the cutting begins. The only significant neg was the pepperoni slices that seemed a bit bland. The sausage and spinach/olive combinations were preferred at our table.
In summary, Albano's was a hit! The pizza puffs were huge and tasty. The table consensus was that a meatball puff would be a killer combination. Crust on the regular pizza was nice and crisp and toppings were generally tasty and plentiful. Minor complaints were the amount of sauce and the blandness of the pepperoni.
A delicious Pizza Puff... from the inside...
The Meatball Pan Pizza... mm... steaky...
The Bacon Pizza goes fast... as it should...
The CPC and the CPD...
Where it went down...
Fred enjoys Pizza Club leftovers...
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Sunday, March 02, 2008