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Candlelite, the crackliest cracker crust in town

Candlelite, the crackliest cracker crust in town
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  • Candlelite, the crackliest cracker crust in town

    Post #1 - October 8th, 2004, 10:15 am
    Post #1 - October 8th, 2004, 10:15 am Post #1 - October 8th, 2004, 10:15 am
    On Tuesday I was driving down Western trying to think of somewhere to eat with the kids when a sign sang out to me with the kind of siren song that lured brave Odysseus and his stalwart crew:

    TUESDAYS
    2 FOR 1 PIZZA


    That the sign was the retro one at the recently reopened Candlelite, and not Domino's, of course made all the difference. I pulled over, and went inside.

    Alas, the special was only for dine-in and though the bar is handsome enough, the crowd looked a little, shall we say, Bukowskian for a place to dine in with my kids. But we were there, so I ordered one pizza anyway.

    15 minutes later I was driving home with a pizza whose crust was so thin and crackly that it genuinely invites comparison with a Saltine. Is that too cracker-like? If we take Vito & Nick's as the gold standard for Chicago thin pizza (and I can't think of a better one), then this was over the edge which they skirt. But it was less greasy than Pat's, less bready than Piece's, certainly a satisfying pizza if it's a night when less is more appeals to you as a pizza philosophy. The only bad thing is that because the crust is so delicate, the three of us scarfed most of a large with no trouble, leaving few leftovers. For that reason, I suggest dining in on Tuesdays, when they have a 2 for 1 deal.

    Candlelite Chicago (link is to Metromix review which has some good background on the place)
    7452 N. Western Ave.
    773-465-0087
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  • Post #2 - October 8th, 2004, 11:49 am
    Post #2 - October 8th, 2004, 11:49 am Post #2 - October 8th, 2004, 11:49 am
    I happen to love this kind of crust, but i cannot find a recipe to replicate this at home. Can anyone help me?

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #3 - October 8th, 2004, 12:23 pm
    Post #3 - October 8th, 2004, 12:23 pm Post #3 - October 8th, 2004, 12:23 pm
    Thanks Mike,

    I've been driving by Candlelite a lot over the past few months and I've been telling myself, "I've got to make a point to go there soon." Candlelite was a staple for my familiy growing up, maily due to their crust (and the fact that you could rent a movie with your pizza). It's good to hear that the recipe has not strayed too far from their roots.

    Best,
    EC
  • Post #4 - October 9th, 2004, 1:47 pm
    Post #4 - October 9th, 2004, 1:47 pm Post #4 - October 9th, 2004, 1:47 pm
    Had a large sausage and a large spinach last night. I have to say, wasn't entirely smitten. The crust easily invites comparison to matzoh.
  • Post #5 - October 25th, 2004, 8:49 pm
    Post #5 - October 25th, 2004, 8:49 pm Post #5 - October 25th, 2004, 8:49 pm
    I made it to Candlelite tonight. The pizza was quite good with the cracker/matzoh crust that everyone has mentioned. My only criticism is that they seem to use just a little too much cheese, but that would not stop me from going back again and again. We got a pizza with carmelized onions, sausage and pepperoni (each meat on only 1/2 of the pie). The carmelized onions, were as sweet as sugar and added a real nice dimension to the pizza. They were so sweet, that I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't add some sugar to make the onions brown quicker/more. All in all, I really enjoyed the meal. For thin crust, if I can't get to Vito & Nicks, I'll gladly split my thin crust pizza eating between Marie's and Candlelite.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - October 26th, 2004, 8:16 am
    Post #6 - October 26th, 2004, 8:16 am Post #6 - October 26th, 2004, 8:16 am
    I finally made it to Candlelite. I am a long time fan of the old Candlelite, and I am happy to say that their pizza is as good as it has ever been.

    In a recent post VI said that he is "no crisp fetishist". Well, I am. I go crazy for thin, crispy, and square cut. We had a medium sausage, mushroom and onion, a ceasar salad, and two pints of Guinness. A perfect amount of food for two of us.

    As many have already said, the pizza is cracker thin and crispy. The toppings were fresh, I thought the amount of cheese was perfect.

    Also, the place is nicely remodled and very clean.

    Best,
    EC
  • Post #7 - January 30th, 2005, 7:35 pm
    Post #7 - January 30th, 2005, 7:35 pm Post #7 - January 30th, 2005, 7:35 pm
    I was at the Candlelite last night to hear my yoga teacher, Rich, perform at a tsunami benefit. I love a crispy pizza crust, so I loved Candlelite's pizza. We ordered the wild mushroom and sausage and also had an order of the garlic fries. I was scrapping up the leftover garlic when we got to the bottom and I enjoyed the garlic fragrance emanating from my hands on the steering wheel when I drove home. I had a beer, Highlander, which I guess is brewed by a West Rogers Park resident. It left a refreshing taste in my mouth. The waitress was wonderful. The place was very clean without being antiseptic and the ladies bathroom, WOW, I was very impressed, and I don't mean the built-in t.v.. Overall, a great experience!
  • Post #8 - January 31st, 2005, 11:02 am
    Post #8 - January 31st, 2005, 11:02 am Post #8 - January 31st, 2005, 11:02 am
    I don't know if this board has a recognized policy regarding thread drift, so forgive me if I'm in violation.

    I don't know what the CRISPIEST crust in the North Side area is, but I know it's not Candlelite. La Rosa's, on the NW corner of Golf and Crawford in Evanston, is crispier, and in my opinion, tastier. Cheaper too.

    Alex
  • Post #9 - May 22nd, 2005, 2:37 am
    Post #9 - May 22nd, 2005, 2:37 am Post #9 - May 22nd, 2005, 2:37 am
    I got some delivery tonight and I remembered reading this post so I figured I would try them for the first time. I'm a sucker for beef deep dish so that's what we decided on and I have to say its really good pizza. The one thing that bothers me is when places forget or don't cut your pizza and they did that exact thing. Of course, that doesn’t affect the taste, it's just more of a nuisance and shows lack of being thorough. Oh well it was fantastic anyway and I'll order from there again... maybe even try the thin crust next time.

    thx for the tip,

    ~G
  • Post #10 - May 22nd, 2005, 11:43 am
    Post #10 - May 22nd, 2005, 11:43 am Post #10 - May 22nd, 2005, 11:43 am
    I don't know if I would call the crowd bukowskian...a few fridays ago, when I was there, there were a ton of families.
  • Post #11 - May 22nd, 2005, 6:09 pm
    Post #11 - May 22nd, 2005, 6:09 pm Post #11 - May 22nd, 2005, 6:09 pm
    gtron wrote:The one thing that bothers me is when places forget or don't cut your pizza and they did that exact thing. Of course, that doesn’t affect the taste, it's just more of a nuisance and shows lack of being thorough.

    It's a common policy at Chicago pizzerias not to cut deep-dish or stuffed pizzas meant for take-out or delivery. The uncut pizzas hold up better in transit. If you want pizza to be cut, request it when ordering.
  • Post #12 - May 22nd, 2005, 7:59 pm
    Post #12 - May 22nd, 2005, 7:59 pm Post #12 - May 22nd, 2005, 7:59 pm
    gtron wrote:I got some delivery tonight and I remembered reading this post so I figured I would try them for the first time. I'm a sucker for beef deep dish so that's what we decided on and I have to say its really good pizza. The one thing that bothers me is when places forget or don't cut your pizza and they did that exact thing. Of course, that doesn’t affect the taste, it's just more of a nuisance and shows lack of being thorough.


    I had no idea that Candlelite served deep-dish.

    Also, LAZ is absolutely right. Not cutting a deep-dish pizza is not indicative of a lack of being thorough, it's a matter of quality control. A cut deep dish pizza, when delivered, turns into a soggy mass.

    Best,
    Michael / EC
  • Post #13 - May 22nd, 2005, 8:18 pm
    Post #13 - May 22nd, 2005, 8:18 pm Post #13 - May 22nd, 2005, 8:18 pm
    eatchicago wrote:I had no idea that Candlelite served deep-dish.

    They don't. :wink:

    Candlelite
    773-465-0087
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - May 22nd, 2005, 9:17 pm
    Post #14 - May 22nd, 2005, 9:17 pm Post #14 - May 22nd, 2005, 9:17 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:I had no idea that Candlelite served deep-dish.

    They don't. :wink:


    That's what I thought.

    So, gtron, where was your pie from?
  • Post #15 - May 24th, 2005, 8:22 pm
    Post #15 - May 24th, 2005, 8:22 pm Post #15 - May 24th, 2005, 8:22 pm
    LAZ wrote:
    gtron wrote:The one thing that bothers me is when places forget or don't cut your pizza and they did that exact thing. Of course, that doesn’t affect the taste, it's just more of a nuisance and shows lack of being thorough.

    It's a common policy at Chicago pizzerias not to cut deep-dish or stuffed pizzas meant for take-out or delivery. The uncut pizzas hold up better in transit. If you want pizza to be cut, request it when ordering.


    Thanks, that explains a lot. :D I don't mind cutting it myself if the quality is better.

    eatchicago wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:I had no idea that Candlelite served deep-dish.

    They don't. :wink:


    That's what I thought.

    So, gtron, where was your pie from?


    This is really odd because now I have no clue and I'm looking everywhere for the menu that came with it. It was good and I will definitely order from there again if I find the menu. :?
  • Post #16 - May 24th, 2005, 8:36 pm
    Post #16 - May 24th, 2005, 8:36 pm Post #16 - May 24th, 2005, 8:36 pm
    gtron wrote:This is really odd because now I have no clue and I'm looking everywhere for the menu that came with it. It was good and I will definitely order from there again if I find the menu. :?


    Wait for your phone bill to come and check what number you dialed :)
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #17 - May 25th, 2005, 9:05 pm
    Post #17 - May 25th, 2005, 9:05 pm Post #17 - May 25th, 2005, 9:05 pm
    gleam wrote:
    gtron wrote:This is really odd because now I have no clue and I'm looking everywhere for the menu that came with it. It was good and I will definitely order from there again if I find the menu. :?


    Wait for your phone bill to come and check what number you dialed :)


    Golden!
  • Post #18 - September 5th, 2005, 1:20 pm
    Post #18 - September 5th, 2005, 1:20 pm Post #18 - September 5th, 2005, 1:20 pm
    Inspired by reading about Candlelite here on LTH, husband & I went to check out the pizza a couple of weeks ago. We've already been back twice since then! We love this pizza - especially the combination of carmelized onions with Kalamata olives. The sweetness of the onions complements the tang of the olives. Using those two items as a "base," we've done variations with spinach, sausage and wild mushrooms.
    On all three visits our service has been prompt and friendly. I'm also impressed with their wine list - not many pizza joints/neighborhood bars have a Malbec and/or a nice Shiraz available. They are also open late, which is a plus for me as I often don't get out of work til 9 or 10 pm.
    I probably would not have discovered Candlelite w/o LTH - thanks! :D
  • Post #19 - January 10th, 2006, 11:54 pm
    Post #19 - January 10th, 2006, 11:54 pm Post #19 - January 10th, 2006, 11:54 pm
    Mike G wrote:TUESDAYS
    2 FOR 1 PIZZA

    LTH,

    Four of us went 2 for the price of one at the Candlelite tonight and man were they hitting it out of the park. Garlic fries were excellent, garlicky, nice and crisp with noticeable red wine vinegar. Pizzas, which I asked for well done, were crisp throughout and our two friends, who were initially aghast at the idea of jalapeno on pizza, helped finish that pie first.

    Candlelite, onion, garlic, sausage and (fresh) jalapeno.
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - January 13th, 2006, 2:31 pm
    Post #20 - January 13th, 2006, 2:31 pm Post #20 - January 13th, 2006, 2:31 pm
    I was there a month ago, and in addition to the garlic fries and pizza which were great as described, they had this awesome dessert. Basically baked cookie dough in a cast iron skillet with chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. It was the epitome of the fresh batch of cookies from the oven in sundae form.
  • Post #21 - January 15th, 2006, 2:46 pm
    Post #21 - January 15th, 2006, 2:46 pm Post #21 - January 15th, 2006, 2:46 pm
    This was my week for the crisp-crust one-two punch. While making a south side smoked Polish Sausage run last Tuesday, I detoured down to Vito and Nicks for the first time. Sausage and onion, extra crispy, my standard pizza order. WOW. Great crust, assertive sausage and a wonderful onion flavor. Easily one of the very best I've ever had. Then, last night, while doing errands on the north side of the city, I tried out Candlelight, again, for the first time. And again, another WOW. This is really, really thin and crispy heaven. Two thoughts on my return visit to Candlelight: One, get the carmelized onions. The raw, diced onions are not in the oven long enough to cook. Two. do not use that metal frame used to keep the pizza off the table. This makes the pizza cool so fast that by the third slice, the thin pie is cold. Minor quibbles about a terrific product. So thanks LTHers for the tips on Vito and Nicks and Candlelight. Both places are a long way from my west side home, but well worth the time spent getting there.
  • Post #22 - January 15th, 2006, 3:10 pm
    Post #22 - January 15th, 2006, 3:10 pm Post #22 - January 15th, 2006, 3:10 pm
    Glad you liked it! We were there just last night. Even though the place was jammed, the level of service was top-notch, as always - we never wanted for so much as a glass of water, nor was an empty plate left on the table for more than a minute. And on top of that, the Broncos won! ** Good times.



    **We opted for pizza, but during NFL playoff games, the 'Lite is offering their excellent burgers for a measly three bucks. Twenty-five cent wings, too. Ya can't go wrong.
  • Post #23 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:25 pm
    Post #23 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:25 pm Post #23 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:25 pm
    Went this past Tuesday for the 2 for 1 at the Candlelite tonight. After reading these posts, I was psyched !!!

    Garlic fries were good, garlicky, with lots of red wine vinegar present, so much so that the fries had lost any crispiness, I'm wondering if they sat before our server brought them over to us.

    Pizzas were a sausage/mushroom and pepperoni/sauteed veggies.
    The pizzas showed up, nice and crisp looking but with in a few minutes the sausage/mushroom was mushy. I did like the crust but felt something was missing, slightly too bland. Way too much cheese, WAY TOO MUCH.

    Looking forward to trying out some of the other thin crusts mentioned like Vito & Nick's.

    Heading to my fave thin crust Zaffiro's in Milwaukee this Sunday for some stellar thin crust.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #24 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:29 pm
    Post #24 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:29 pm Post #24 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:29 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote: Way too much cheese, WAY TOO MUCH.

    Looking forward to trying out some of the other thin crusts mentioned like Vito & Nick's.



    Sweet Willie,

    I think I have mentioned earlier in the thread, but in case I didn't, I always order my pizza with light cheese and well done/crispy. That seems to be an essential part of a Candelite pizza order IMHO. Also, don't forget to try Marie's and Romano's Panless as part of your thin crust quest.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #25 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:37 pm
    Post #25 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:37 pm Post #25 - February 2nd, 2006, 8:37 pm
    stevez wrote:
    Sweet Willie wrote: Way too much cheese, WAY TOO MUCH.

    Looking forward to trying out some of the other thin crusts mentioned like Vito & Nick's.



    Sweet Willie,

    I think I have mentioned earlier in the thread, but in case I didn't, I always order my pizza with light cheese and well done/crispy. That seems to be an essential part of a Candelite pizza order IMHO. Also, don't forget to try Marie's and Romano's Panless as part of your thin crust quest.

    you probably did mention it earlier, I for some reason am not reading anything anywhere well lately. :oops:
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #26 - March 26th, 2006, 1:38 pm
    Post #26 - March 26th, 2006, 1:38 pm Post #26 - March 26th, 2006, 1:38 pm
    My wife and I tried out Candlelight just recently, and I must say I wasn't all that impressed. The place itself is great, especially if there is a game you want to watch..... you really can't miss it with all of the TV's around. The service - cordial, yet slow - but we were in no rush so that was okay. We ordered the garlic fries and a large pizza - half cheese and half pepperoni and spinach. The garlic fries came cold - but still tasted okay.... just okay. The pizza itself was also just okay. The cheese seemed too goopy on the thin crust. It very well may be my preference - I love the pizza at Marie's, Art Of Pizza, and Pequod's. Candlelight just didn't do it for me - I'd go back.... but just to have a beer and watch the game.
  • Post #27 - March 26th, 2006, 1:43 pm
    Post #27 - March 26th, 2006, 1:43 pm Post #27 - March 26th, 2006, 1:43 pm
    rmtraut wrote: The cheese seemed too goopy on the thin crust.


    Remember the mantra "Light cheese, well done and crispy, please." when ordering pizza at Candlelight. It's the secret to turning an average to pretty good pizza into something special.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #28 - June 7th, 2006, 7:52 am
    Post #28 - June 7th, 2006, 7:52 am Post #28 - June 7th, 2006, 7:52 am
    stevez wrote:Remember the mantra "Light cheese, well done and crispy, please." when ordering pizza at Candlelight. It's the secret to turning an average to pretty good pizza into something special.

    Steve,

    Yes, absolutely! There was a slight miscommunication on our pizza order at Candlelite last evening. One pizza came 'light cheese, well done, crisp' the other regular/stock/as they usually make them. Both were good, the light cheese/crisp/well done noticeably better, or at least more to my taste.

    Candlelite has a new menu, lots of additional items, we had a Candlelite Garbage Salad, which was surprisingly good with a healthy portion of small shrimp, bacon, egg and assorted cheese and veggie. The garlic fries, which I asked for crisp, were a bit limp, still good, but not as tasty as they might have been.

    Place was packed last night, it was two for the price of one Tuesday, though service was good and there was a pleasant happy vibe to the place.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #29 - June 7th, 2006, 8:16 am
    Post #29 - June 7th, 2006, 8:16 am Post #29 - June 7th, 2006, 8:16 am
    G Wiv wrote:Candlelite has a new menu, lots of additional items, we had a Candlelite Garbage Salad, which was surprisingly good
    That is surprising. The last salad I had at the Candlelite was literally "garbage". We were served two dinner salads that were both completely wilted. When we sent them back, they brought out two more that were almost as bad. Since then, I have shied away from ordering anything green at the candlelite. I love a cool fresh salad with my pizza. It is a good combo. I am glad they seem to be paying more attention to the greens. Interestingly, the last time I was there, we ate at the bar, and the bartender actually suggested ordering the pizza extra crispy with light cheese. LTH must be making an impression on them.
  • Post #30 - June 7th, 2006, 1:26 pm
    Post #30 - June 7th, 2006, 1:26 pm Post #30 - June 7th, 2006, 1:26 pm
    Flip wrote:I happen to love this kind of crust, but i cannot find a recipe to replicate this at home. Can anyone help me?

    Flip


    I love this kind of pizza too. Although not from scratch, I replicate this crust by coating both sides of a large tortilla with olive oil (or just spraying both sides with Pam) and baking it at high heat for a few minutes while I prepare my other ingredients. When it starts to brown up I take it out and add other ingredients. In fact, I just made one last night!

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