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Freddy's Pizza, Cicero

Freddy's Pizza, Cicero
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  • Freddy's Pizza, Cicero

    Post #1 - September 9th, 2007, 6:13 pm
    Post #1 - September 9th, 2007, 6:13 pm Post #1 - September 9th, 2007, 6:13 pm
    GNR Freddy's does not yet possess a dedicated thread on the Eating Out board, but there are wonderful details and pictures here:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3723

    The nomination crosslinks posts in best pizza, best thing you've eaten, best italian beef, best Italian shopping, etc. Less often discussed is their remarkable array of house-cured meats. I submit their homemade hot capicola as my favorite in the city, with quality comparable to other delis' prosciutto.

    Please note that Freddy's is CLOSED until September 15 (they're on vacation). If the moderators can find a better place for this notice, please feel free to delete / combine.

    1600 S 61st Ave
    Cicero, IL 60804
    (708) 863-9289
  • Post #2 - February 10th, 2008, 11:02 am
    Post #2 - February 10th, 2008, 11:02 am Post #2 - February 10th, 2008, 11:02 am
    It is too bad that the best posts about Freddy's are hidden away in the GNR threads. So I'll take this occasion to put more detail in this thread.

    It was a busy place at 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. I couldn't see any pepperoni bread, but I asked and someone rummaged around and found one last loaf buried deep in the stack. In an astonishing gesture of mother-love I actually gave it to Ed instead of keeping it for myself and telling him they were all out. But I consoled myself by pointing to this on top of the case and asking to have it heated up.
    Image
    Individual-size macaroni frittata, cooked in a muffin tin.

    I took it around to eat on the enclosed heated patio. Image

    If I wasn't already seriously behind schedule, and even then if the line had been a little shorter, I would have gone back and picked up a couple more for the grandkids' supper. Not that they were only kids' food, by any means. I don't know if you can tell by the photo, but they were so light that I suspect the cook beat the egg whites separately. But the size and the very notion of a hand-held macaroni and cheese made me think that Freddy's patio might be the ultimate LTH kids' birthday location. After all, gelato is never out of season.
    Image
    (This is nutella--my new--as of yesterday--favorite).

    Freddy's is cooking on all burners. A great way to warm up a frigid Chicago winter.
  • Post #3 - February 10th, 2008, 11:30 am
    Post #3 - February 10th, 2008, 11:30 am Post #3 - February 10th, 2008, 11:30 am
    Freddy's is one of my favorite italian/pizza/gelato places in the area. Lucky for me my wife teaches in the area, so I get to eat it occasionally.

    Great stuff!!
  • Post #4 - April 21st, 2008, 7:05 am
    Post #4 - April 21st, 2008, 7:05 am Post #4 - April 21st, 2008, 7:05 am
    I indulged in my first visit to Freddy's this Saturday. A lot has been written about the pizza, but except for a sandwich, everything I picked up was from the grocery portion of the store. The idea was to make an Italian-style sandwich on Sunday in the vein of Liz in Norwood Park's "Ravinia Sandwich."

    In the meantime, I ordered Freddy's meatball sandwich for lunch, which was quite good, although the marinara sauce was too sweet for my taste. **This sandwich is not for everybody!** The bread is softer and, yes, the sauce and heat from the meatballs sogs up the bread. Some people won't like this. As has been discussed before on other threads some time ago (I'll try to find the links), some Italian-style subs (especially East Coast-style) use the softer bread. So if you grew up with these, as I did, the decimation of the sandwich bread by heat and sauce is not a bad thing. But be forewarned.

    To make my sandwich, I was looking for softer bread. I live near D'Amato's and eat their crusty bread a lot -- but crusty bread was not what a wanted for a stuffed Italian-style sub. Freddy's bread was perfect. I also picked up:

    1/4 lb. Housemade hot soppressata -- delicious; visible smattering of fat and hot pepper turned it a spicy red color.

    1/2 lb. Housemade prosciutto -- pricing is great and tastier and more tender than I expected. It doesn't have the gaminess like the best prosciuttos but this is a good product nevertheless.

    1/4 lb. *Sharp* provolone -- truly sharp provolone is hard to find, I find.

    1/2 lb. Housemade fresh mozzarella -- really tangy and tender. Nice quality.

    Two loaves of pepperoni bread. (I froze one -- we'll see how it holds up.)

    I also bought 1/4 lb. Genoa salami and 1/4 lb. pepperoni for my sub, as well as housemade roasted peppers (not worth it for the price). All of this plus a combo sausage/beef sub cost me $41.00. Very reasonable.

    In short, I went overboard. But I loved Freddy's -- the poor woman who I made slice all those meats was really sweet, calling me by name, suggesting I eat my sandwich while she bagged my groceries.

    I *do* think that Freddy's is worth an excursion now and then, and I say that living so close to Bari, a place I love and cherish. It doesn't give Bari a run for the money on its subs, but the deli is much more varied, and with housemade products. On the other hand, Bari has a superior butcher shop.

    My camera is charging, so maybe I'll be able to get a picture of my Italian sub later. But in the meantime, here's how I made it:

    Freddy's Italian-style sub:

    1 loaf "squared-off" soft Italian bread (Let sit for one day.)

    The next day, cut bread in half-lengthwise. Hollow out the middle, but not too much.

    Drizzle with good olive oil. Line bottom with very thinly sliced red onion.

    Layer on the bottom in this order: provolone (forms a moisture barrier), soppressata, prosciutto, thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, Genoa salami and pepperoni. Roughly chop a few artichokes, roasted peppers and a few Kalamata olives. Mix together to make a salad and put on the top of the hollowed out bun. Lightly drizzle the "salad" with balsamic vinegar. Put sandwich together, wrap tightly in parchment, and then aluminum foil and let sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

    It hit the spot later that night after doing a few errands throughout the day.

    Freddy's Pizza
    1600 S. 61st St. (Corner of 16th; 2 blocks west of Austin Blvd.)
    Cicero, IL
    (708) 863.9289

    Bari Foods
    1120 W. Grand
    Chicago, IL
    (312) 666.0730

    D'Amato's Bakery
    1124 W. Grand
    Chicago, IL
    (312) 733.5456

    *Edited to correct typos.
    Last edited by aschie30 on April 21st, 2008, 3:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #5 - April 21st, 2008, 11:20 am
    Post #5 - April 21st, 2008, 11:20 am Post #5 - April 21st, 2008, 11:20 am
    Two loaves of pepporoni bread.


    Nice weekend to be excited about this. It really puts the ham in chametz.
  • Post #6 - May 26th, 2008, 1:10 am
    Post #6 - May 26th, 2008, 1:10 am Post #6 - May 26th, 2008, 1:10 am
    I was at Freddy's on Thursday; I felt bad having disparaged their gelato at an LTH event last week*, which I find somewhat corporate (amid a store than is all about artisanal and hand-crafted), especially compared to the fresh Italian ice. Along with my standard-order fried artichokes, rapini, homemade hot capicola, and square-pan mushroom pizza, I brought home half-pints of hazelnut and dolce di latte gelato. The hazelnut was mild and too ice-creamy, but the dolce di latte had tremendous flavor and silky texture, giving me some hope that it will stack up to the expectations of many gelato-versed LTHers.

    An especially wondrous exchange occurred as I was checking out, right near closing time; the proprietress, whose name I believe is Rose and who is always kind, warm, and generous, smiled and waved when a clean-cut man in his 40s walked in. He started to mouth some words to her, air coming out in a sub-vocal rasp, and she started to have an extended conversation with him, whispering herself while making some amazingly expressive hand signals which I interpreted to be primarily measures and prices, but which also seemed to convey greetings and perhaps news or questions about the neighborhood or family. He responded in kind. No specific words seemed to be spelled out as in ASL (in which I have some proficiency), but I wonder if it was some adaptation of lingua di segni or, perhaps, an organic form of marketplace or auction sign language, some of which I know my old Calabrese uncles could use in flea markets on the West and South sides to conduct business while having normal conversations with us at the same time. In any event, they made themselves understood to each other with rapid familiarity and economy (and seemed to have fun doing it), and after this fascinating voiceless frozen moment, she started to talk again to me to finish checking me out. I wonder if anyone else knows the story here, or has seen this at Freddy's or elsewhere. In any case, it was cool to witness, and adds to the list of talents and open arms represented at this wonderful store.

    *in advance of the delightfully-planned Giro next weekend
  • Post #7 - May 26th, 2008, 6:57 am
    Post #7 - May 26th, 2008, 6:57 am Post #7 - May 26th, 2008, 6:57 am
    Ann Fisher wrote:Image
    Individual-size macaroni frittata, cooked in a muffin tin.

    These look fantastic!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - January 30th, 2009, 7:13 pm
    Post #8 - January 30th, 2009, 7:13 pm Post #8 - January 30th, 2009, 7:13 pm
    Something new in the air at Freddy's tonight - charred dough particles and woodsmoke, from their new wood-burning oven, which makes Neapolitan-style thin-crust.

    The product is an unusual hybrid of Neapolitan and Sicilian styles - it has the heavier, saucy, stew-rich flavors of the latter, on the ethereal caramelized crust of the former. Their margherita has the house homemade marinara instead of tomato slices (perhaps just for the winter), and nice pockets of melted fresh mozzarella, with shredded basil.

    Really tasty. Moreover, a remarkably nice balance of char and chew for a setup they've started recently.
  • Post #9 - February 2nd, 2009, 1:36 pm
    Post #9 - February 2nd, 2009, 1:36 pm Post #9 - February 2nd, 2009, 1:36 pm
    Do you know how new this is? I could have sworn a few months ago Freddy's added a thin(er) pizza margherita into rotation. Maybe that was a test/step toward this? Regardless, exciting news!
  • Post #10 - February 2nd, 2009, 1:44 pm
    Post #10 - February 2nd, 2009, 1:44 pm Post #10 - February 2nd, 2009, 1:44 pm
    Ann was talking it up to the line as if it were brand new, and I hadn't noticed the sign before, but it may have been around before the holidays. They've always had a thin chewy crust (which I've seen in margherita variety with actual sliced tomatoes) in addition to their Sicilian square pan, but this was full-on Coalfire / Spacca Napoli charred ultra-thin Neapolitan, just dressed in a more Sicilian fashion.
    Last edited by Santander on February 2nd, 2009, 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #11 - February 2nd, 2009, 3:58 pm
    Post #11 - February 2nd, 2009, 3:58 pm Post #11 - February 2nd, 2009, 3:58 pm
    Santander wrote: the proprietress, whose name I believe is Rose


    Hmm, in my mind her name is Ann. Anyone?
    Never mind. I just called. Yes, her name is Ann. A great name, if I do say so myself.
  • Post #12 - February 2nd, 2009, 5:17 pm
    Post #12 - February 2nd, 2009, 5:17 pm Post #12 - February 2nd, 2009, 5:17 pm
    Thanks for the correction (edited above). I fortunately don't greet her by first name, where she does better than me!
  • Post #13 - February 2nd, 2009, 5:46 pm
    Post #13 - February 2nd, 2009, 5:46 pm Post #13 - February 2nd, 2009, 5:46 pm
    Ann Fisher wrote:
    Santander wrote: the proprietress, whose name I believe is Rose


    Hmm, in my mind her name is Ann. Anyone?
    Never mind. I just called. Yes, her name is Ann. A great name, if I do say so myself.


    Ann is awesome! She has extended some courtesies that were above and beyond the call of duty and for that she has my eternal admiration.

    There aren't many places or owners like that anymore.

    I have some plans to stop by sometime during the week for lunch with a friend. I am eager to try the new pizza!
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #14 - February 4th, 2009, 3:04 pm
    Post #14 - February 4th, 2009, 3:04 pm Post #14 - February 4th, 2009, 3:04 pm
    A couple of weeks ago I had some business early in the morning in the Loop, so I had an early lunch at the Cuban place on Congress (the name escapes me, cafecubano or some such) and then headed out the Ike toward N'ville.

    Somehow my car swerved off the exit at Austin (I swear, officer, it was like it was possessed or something, it just drove itself) and I ended up at Freddy's. It had been too long.

    It did not take long to remember why I love Freddy's and a large lunch and a few leftovers later I was very happy.

    What I love at Freddy's:

    Crispy, dark, almost burnt, bread crusts. I am a crust guy, and for my money, Freddy's bread is as good as it gets.

    Arancini is not something you find everywhere, and I always get some at Freddy's. This time it was meat, but the cheese is very good, too.

    One of the salads. Cannellini(?) beans with oil, some olives and tomatoes this time, but there is usually a nice selection, and I always get one salad.

    Add to that a little penne with sausage, some rapini and a dry sausage and I had more than enough.

    Nice people, great atmosphere, excellent food.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #15 - February 4th, 2009, 4:09 pm
    Post #15 - February 4th, 2009, 4:09 pm Post #15 - February 4th, 2009, 4:09 pm
    dicksond wrote:so I had an early lunch at the Cuban place on Congress (the name escapes me, cafecubano or some such) and then headed out the Ike toward N'ville.

    D,

    I take it my phone recommendation of Cafecito didn't impress if you can't even remember the name. ;)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - February 4th, 2009, 5:31 pm
    Post #16 - February 4th, 2009, 5:31 pm Post #16 - February 4th, 2009, 5:31 pm
    Stopped by at Freddy's today and confused the hell out of them asking about the new woodburning oven! Nope, same ol' brick-bottomed oven, but Ann did assure the pizza margherita is just as good as any product from a woodburning oven. And maybe it is!

    :wink:
  • Post #17 - February 4th, 2009, 7:06 pm
    Post #17 - February 4th, 2009, 7:06 pm Post #17 - February 4th, 2009, 7:06 pm
    Did you see the sign and get to try the pizza (hoping I'm not dreaming the whole thing, at this point?)
  • Post #18 - February 4th, 2009, 9:25 pm
    Post #18 - February 4th, 2009, 9:25 pm Post #18 - February 4th, 2009, 9:25 pm
    I didn't notice any sign, since we called our order in advance and were just kind of in and out. But my wife did talk to Ann on the phone after confusing whomever first answered, and Ann assured my wife there was no woodburning oven. Then when I picked up the pizza I asked again, and the guy also told me there was no woodburning oven but, per Ann's instruction, gave me a complimentary piece of the margherita to try, which was a) huge b) great and c) the same that I'd seen served there for months (which the guy pointed out to me). Go figure. :)

    I also asked how's business, by the way, and they said OK. I hope it stays that way, because I love Freddy's.
  • Post #19 - February 4th, 2009, 10:34 pm
    Post #19 - February 4th, 2009, 10:34 pm Post #19 - February 4th, 2009, 10:34 pm
    Thanks for the intel. I was officially on chicken crack that visit. Ann was actually shouting the virtues of the oven in the crowded place (I heard "wood," she must have said "brick," expecting most people in the line might not know their usual process for making that wonderful bread and square-pan pizza), and handing out free samples of the margherita. I'd never seen it before, and there is definitely a sign in the front window which says "now serving Neapolitan Thin-Crust Pizza" (I went past later tonight) which is new to me, and I'm there quite a lot. It hadn't been covered on the board, and is quite tasty, not like anything at Freddy's isn't. Glad you found it huge and great as well - I'll try to order a whole one in advance next time to check the available toppings (assuming they're the same as the standard) and check out the char.
  • Post #20 - February 22nd, 2009, 4:59 pm
    Post #20 - February 22nd, 2009, 4:59 pm Post #20 - February 22nd, 2009, 4:59 pm
    Sometimes I think I lived in an alternate universe when I lived in Oak Park. How could I not have ever been to Freddy's until yesterday? I entered Freddy's very hungry and with the partially numb mouth from a dentist's appointment. Surprisingly, I did not order everything I saw. How I had any restraint is beyond me. To appease my immediate hunger, I had a sausage-ricotta calzone. For dinner (and to appease Mr. X), I brought home rigatoni with sausage and peas, chicken with fried eggplant, tomato and cheese, and a romaine salad with olives, tomato, roasted red peppers and cheese. (I might be missing an ingredient.) Everything was fantastic. The salad was wonderfully fresh and tasty even without dressing. The pasta held up well to being reheated with plenty of peas and sausage. The sausage was mild yet flavorful. The chicken and eggplant was delightful -- it also held up to reheating in the oven. The calzone hit the spot -- it was not too bready with ample sauce, ricotta and sausage. I will be returning again to try more of their offerings.
    -Mary
  • Post #21 - March 9th, 2009, 11:03 pm
    Post #21 - March 9th, 2009, 11:03 pm Post #21 - March 9th, 2009, 11:03 pm
    Stopped by today to try the Margherita pizza and while waiting for the pizza to be warmed I jokingly asked Ann about the 'New Wood Burning Oven'.

    She remembers the conversation from the past and she said that she mentioned...

    The pizza is cooked in the style as a wood burning oven but theirs is a lot better. The oven is brick.

    The pizza was very good! First time. The crust was a bit dry and had a nice amount of browning and the sauce mild and the fresh cheese nice and soft without stringiness.

    Image

    Lighter than most other pizzas but sometimes that is a good thing.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #22 - March 12th, 2009, 2:13 pm
    Post #22 - March 12th, 2009, 2:13 pm Post #22 - March 12th, 2009, 2:13 pm
    Ann(e) had the prosciutto on the slicer when my order came up last week, and talked me into some of that in addition to my standard homemade hot capicola (gabrigool) order. Since their capicola has the quality, transluscence, and nutty flavor of many other places top prosciutto, I usually don't go that route, but this batch of prosciutto was worth every extra penny. Their cured meats don't get enough play, and I highly, highly recommend them.
  • Post #23 - March 12th, 2009, 6:39 pm
    Post #23 - March 12th, 2009, 6:39 pm Post #23 - March 12th, 2009, 6:39 pm
    She's successfully talked us into the house prosciutto on several occasions, and I've never once regretted it.
  • Post #24 - March 15th, 2009, 9:51 am
    Post #24 - March 15th, 2009, 9:51 am Post #24 - March 15th, 2009, 9:51 am
    LTH,

    Deserving inclusion in the Great One-Two Punches thread The Depot American Diner followed by Freddy's pairs two LTHForum GNRs that happen to be within blocks of one another.

    Santander's enthusiastic recommendation of Freddy's house made prosciutto, in particular at the price point, is well founded, though the taste I was given was almost as large as my purchase. Freddy's was very generous with taste-this, taste-that Saturday.

    Image

    I'm a fan of Freddy's bread, though I go for simple both salami and kalamata olive appealed.

    Image

    An abundance of freshly prepared foods, enticing aromas making me wish I reversed the One-Two Punch order.

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - March 28th, 2009, 4:38 pm
    Post #25 - March 28th, 2009, 4:38 pm Post #25 - March 28th, 2009, 4:38 pm
    No photos, but I was in Freddy's today picking up a dozen macaroni cupcakes for a party tomorrow. It was as packed as I've ever seen it (I gather that their "Check Please" episode is re-running this weekend). I looked at something bony and luscious on the top shelf and Ann explained that it was osso bucco made with a lamb shank. I had one.*

    I practically wept with how good it was. The lamb was rich and tender but not overlay fatty and perfectly cooked. I eat a lot of lamb shanks. It's my default order in any Greek restaurant and I cook them at home fairly often as well. This was by far the best I've had. The sauce was so good I ended up pretty much sticking my face into the container and just licking it up. (The state of my coat would prove that I do not exaggerate.) Ann said they're making it every Saturday now. It would make a wonderful centerpiece of a lavish company meal or a comforting meal for one person stuck home alone on a Saturday night. I also had the butter pecan gelato. Ann tells me the pecans come from Tennessee, so it was practically local food. Not to mention delicious.

    What a great place.


    * Ethical dilemma. Ann didn't charge me for the the osso bucco and also threw in a loaf of olive bread. She knows I'm one of her enthusiastic internet fans. Should I be resisting? Or can I just disclose? I was picking up a pretty substantial order, but it still seemed pretty much over the top to be giving me the whole lamb shank.
  • Post #26 - March 28th, 2009, 6:20 pm
    Post #26 - March 28th, 2009, 6:20 pm Post #26 - March 28th, 2009, 6:20 pm
    Ann Fisher wrote:
    * Ethical dilemma. Ann didn't charge me for the the osso bucco and also threw in a loaf of olive bread. She knows I'm one of her enthusiastic internet fans. Should I be resisting? Or can I just disclose? I was picking up a pretty substantial order, but it still seemed pretty much over the top to be giving me the whole lamb shank.


    Just keep giving them your business (as you always do!) They're very generous and I always end up with something extra as well. Think of it as a lagniappe.
  • Post #27 - August 23rd, 2009, 7:05 am
    Post #27 - August 23rd, 2009, 7:05 am Post #27 - August 23rd, 2009, 7:05 am
    From today's Tribune -Cicero's master chef keeps Freddy's cooking
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #28 - August 25th, 2009, 1:27 pm
    Post #28 - August 25th, 2009, 1:27 pm Post #28 - August 25th, 2009, 1:27 pm
    Way to go Tribune! Give them a nice write up just as they close for vacation. Who can say "bad timing?"
  • Post #29 - August 25th, 2009, 2:08 pm
    Post #29 - August 25th, 2009, 2:08 pm Post #29 - August 25th, 2009, 2:08 pm
    Same thing happened a couple of years ago. Check Please re-ran their episode the night before they closed for vacation. Timing is everything!
  • Post #30 - September 6th, 2009, 11:39 am
    Post #30 - September 6th, 2009, 11:39 am Post #30 - September 6th, 2009, 11:39 am
    Freddy's is on vacation until September 18, and I did indeed find out the hard way. Ended up at Turano for rolls for the sausage (B+) and Gelato Uno for the gelato (D). The stracciatella tasted like aspartame and the bacio like cigarette smoke.

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