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Pizza in or around Oak Park

Interesting approach. I said I like deep dish and pan pizza which I find to be a good part of "Chicago Style" - I'd say I have accepted it. I just don't really like one particular type. I fail to see how that is so horrible of me.

I lived in Chicago for 9 years and I have tried PLENTY of square, cracker pizza. I don't like it, it just isn't my style. That is not going to change. I don't expect you to start liking "gooey drippy floppy triangle cut slices" either. It is just a matter of taste.

I am sorry but I did not move to Oak Park for the pizza. I like pizza as much as the next person, but I have more important reasons for choosing a place for my family to live...I am simply looking for ideas, if they exist.

If not, I am okay with that. I will eat something else.

Mar 17, 2010
extra_everything in Chicago Area

Pizza in or around Oak Park

Thanks for the moral support! I am sad to hear that you feel so resigned.

I have frustrated myself to no end trying to find a decent pizza. I read reviews and people say things like "the thin crust is great, sooo crispy!" Pizza is not supposed to be "crispy"! I cannot wrap my mind around this. I have zero interest in having tomato sauce and cheese on top of a Carr's Table Water Cracker, which is basically what it tastes like. No thanks!

I liked Geppetto's less than you did.

Maybe I just need to let the dream go...

Mar 17, 2010
extra_everything in Chicago Area

Pizza in or around Oak Park

Hi, I am wondering if anyone has a recommendation for good pizza (delivery or pickup) in the Oak Park area (and I know there are a ton of places in Elmwood Park, probably some great, but I have no idea where to begin).

We moved there in the fall and we have tried a few but have not been blown away yet at all.

Pizza is so subject to personal preferences, it is hard to go by reviews!

Here are some of my feelings on pizza in case it helps trigger any ideas:

I am from New Jersey originally, so I do prefer NY style if it is good but that is so rarely the case... I like Santullo's in Wicker Park okay. Venice Cafe, when it used to be on the NW corner of Wacker/Jackson was good for a slice (haven't been since it has been inside "Willis" - may still be). But I can't fully get excited about any NY style here, really. I just LOVE the chewy, bubbly crust of a pizza made from dough that has really been allowed to rise properly and has been stretched and tossed.

I also like Neapolitan pizza, also has the beloved bubbles - but there are not a ton of places that are great at this, even in the city. We used to live in West Town, so we got spoiled being near Coal Fire.

I am not a deep-dish/stuffed hater, but I am a Giordano's hater - I just think the crust is awful. I like Gino's, Uno's, Malnati's deep dish once in a while, nothing wrong with that.

I like a good regular ol' pan pizza though and I am totally fine with that being what we find in OP. I LOVE Art of Pizza for this. I cannot say enough - I think it is delicious. I also like My Pie. My husband likes Salerno's (on Grand), which I think is just okay. We both agree that the Oak Park Salerno's is crap.

One other thing I could really do without is cracker-style thin crust pizza. Even if it is not super thin, there is something about certain "thin" crusts that I just cannot stand. I can't think of a particular place, but usually this holds true:

If it is a round pizza cut into squares, I probably won't like it much.

So after that long pizza monologue, anyone want to point me toward some pizza in or around Oak Park?

TIA!

Mar 17, 2010
extra_everything in Chicago Area

Butcher with veal shanks for Osso Buco?

Thanks for all of the replies. I actually called Caputo's on the advice of a coworker and the guy I spoke to in the meat dept was quite a character. Anyway, after some back-and-forth, he agreed to have the 6 meaty, 2" thick slices of shank ready for me Friday evening, as they get a delivery in the morning.

I am excited to go there - I have never been, and it will probably be a one-stop shop for most of the things I need for the Osso Buco. For years I never had a car, so places like that were off my radar. I now have access to a car, so it's a whole new world...

I will remember Big Apple Market though, I've been by, wondered, but never went in. I'll have to check it out soon.

Nov 01, 2007
extra_everything in Chicago Area

Butcher with veal shanks for Osso Buco?

There were veal shanks in Whole Foods? I have purchased veal there before, but never shanks. Whole Foods is expensive, but I am not above going there if they have something I need. I will call Fox & Obel, but I didn't guess they'd have shanks either.

Thanks!

Oct 31, 2007
extra_everything in Chicago Area

If I only had one shot, which pizza place should I go to.

Out of those 4, I'd pick Uno's - it is very good, and the original is a Chicago standard. I never understood Giordano's, the dough is overwhelmingly underwhelming. I do like Gino's, but the scene and line kills it. It is special and unique enough to try though, so if the night you are here is not Friday or Saturday, it is worth it.

BUT, my absolute favorite it Art of Pizza on Ashland. It is amazing. It is ambrosia. It is the tastiest pan pizza I have ever had. The ambience is nonexistent. I am from NJ, and thus hard to convince.

Some of my friends swear by My Pie on Clark. I think it is hit or miss.

My opinion of Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder is that it is NOT PIZZA. It is sauce (meat or not) in a bowl with bread baked over the bowl like a pot pie. I think it is weird and not the way to experience those ingredients in this city.

Oct 30, 2007
extra_everything in Chicago Area

Butcher with veal shanks for Osso Buco?

This is my first chow post - so thanks in advance for your help to a newbie. I fear I may be around too much, as everything here is a more interesting topic to me than my work...

My current problem:

I have gotten myself into this situation again. Last time, I ended up at a wholesale butcher with a small retail store, meat swinging past my head since the retail store is essentially nonexistent, getting the manager to call a friend at another warehouse to find me some veal shanks. This place did not even sell retail, but they made an exception for me. I won't lie, it had to do with the fact that I am female, but at that point, I put my feminism aside as I had promised my friends osso buco. It wasn't that good, it was frozen, and not nearly thick enough, but I was desperate for follow-through

I have been making it for a while, but it started when I lived in Wisconsin, and I had a handy group of suppliers. I moved (back) to Chicago and find that it is either hard to find, hard to find unfrozen, hard to find not already cut too thin, or so expensive I can't handle the ridiculousness.

My backup is Paulina Market - for other things I usually like the quality, but I categorically cringe at the prices, and I fear it will be frozen and disappointing for the $20 a pound (!!!).

Anyone know of a place where it might not be frozen, I might be able to get it cut to my chosen thickness, and it isn't so expensive?

I have tried to do some research here and elsewhere, but have yet to find something concrete. Any chance it might me at Minelli Bros, Caputo's, or some other place you like?

I am not afraid of the suburbs, nor of being surrounded by raw meat.

Oct 30, 2007
extra_everything in Chicago Area