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Lefty's Pizza Kitchen Wilmette (burnt cheese crust)

Lefty's Pizza Kitchen Wilmette (burnt cheese crust)
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  • Lefty's Pizza Kitchen Wilmette (burnt cheese crust)

    Post #1 - March 1st, 2019, 6:04 pm
    Post #1 - March 1st, 2019, 6:04 pm Post #1 - March 1st, 2019, 6:04 pm
    Given the frustrations being aired about Burt's in Morton Grove, and whether it should be held to the standard of the original, it seems time to give its fairly local competitor Lefty's Pizza Kitchen its own thread.

    Lefty's is conveniently located in the middle of downtown Wilmette at the NW corner of Central and 12th, just a couple hundred feet from the Metra platform. Their pan pizza has a burnt-cheese rimmed crust like Burt's and Pequod's, but is considerably thinner than Pequod's. Based on what Ram4 was told recently, Burt's recipe may even be at Lefty's because of mutual ownership (now, or at some point).

    I haven't had occasion to try their thin crust yet, but the photos on Google make their thin look just as good as, if not better than, the local competition (not talking about Napolita, which is very good, but a style of its own not suitable for comparison). Be aware, this is a pizza parlor, not an Italian restaurant with pizza. They offer a few fried appetizers (wings, curds, pickles, onion rings) and salads, but that's it.

    I hope those that have a chance to try it do, and post their opinions and experiences here. If you think thicker pizza deserves a heavy amount of cheese, consider adding extra cheese as a topping.

    Lefty's Pizza Kitchen (opened July, 2018)
    1156 Central Ave (entrance on 12th St across from Chase Bank lot)
    (847)920-5401
    M-Th 11a-9p
    F-Sa 11a-10p
    Su 4.3p-8p
    Menu: http://www.leftyspizzakitchen.com/menuPDF/leftysmenu.pdf
  • Post #2 - March 2nd, 2019, 10:05 am
    Post #2 - March 2nd, 2019, 10:05 am Post #2 - March 2nd, 2019, 10:05 am
    We've ordered thin crust from Lefty's several times. The thin crust is several notches higher in quality than the long time places in the area, (La Rosa, Giggios, etc.). I think they may be using the same dough for the pan and the thin crust. Very tasty, though the most recent pizza we had would have benefited from some more time in the oven. We will try ordering crispy next time.

    Several months ago we had a nearly two hour wait for a pizza here-and it was a pickup not a delivery. It seems they didn't anticipate how popular they would become. We stayed away for a while because of that. We did order a pizza for delivery Friday night from Lefty's and received it within the hour. They may have sucessfully ramped up to meet demand.

    Haven't tried the pan pizza yet.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #3 - March 2nd, 2019, 12:57 pm
    Post #3 - March 2nd, 2019, 12:57 pm Post #3 - March 2nd, 2019, 12:57 pm
    We’ve had both the thin crust and pan pizza and thought each was great for its type. Only ordered the pepperoni topping and it was generously topped and very tasty. My friend, who often leaves most of the crust to save on calories, ate every last crumb.
    It’s close to home so I have only ordered and picked up. Last time I ordered during the polar vortex, I left after paying to run an errand and when I returned to pickup I was dreading navigating the piles of snow and ice again. Before I could get out of my car, the young man who took my order was knocking on the passenger window with my pizza in hand. I opened the window to thank him but before I could say anything he handed me the box and said, “I was looking out for you”. So nice.
  • Post #4 - April 26th, 2019, 7:57 am
    Post #4 - April 26th, 2019, 7:57 am Post #4 - April 26th, 2019, 7:57 am
    We've ordered for delivery a couple of more times in recent weeks and have had good experiences. It seems like they have overcome the difficulties caused by their initial burst of popularity. Still have not tried anything but the thin crust as we are really enjoying that.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #5 - April 26th, 2019, 8:09 am
    Post #5 - April 26th, 2019, 8:09 am Post #5 - April 26th, 2019, 8:09 am
    From the Burt's thread...
    Ram4 wrote:
    bweiny wrote:Reminder for those unsatisfied with the current iteration of Burt's, Lefty's Pizza Kitchen in downtown Wilmette does a damn fine burnt cheese rimmed crust.
    I was just informed that one of the partners who bought Burt's is the owner of Lefty's after they parted ways so Burt's recipe could be at both places now.
    Same pizza recipe

    (burnt cheese crust)
    I prefer caramelized rather than carbonized which burnt implies. :)
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #6 - April 26th, 2019, 1:11 pm
    Post #6 - April 26th, 2019, 1:11 pm Post #6 - April 26th, 2019, 1:11 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:From the Burt's thread...
    Ram4 wrote:
    bweiny wrote:Reminder for those unsatisfied with the current iteration of Burt's, Lefty's Pizza Kitchen in downtown Wilmette does a damn fine burnt cheese rimmed crust.
    I was just informed that one of the partners who bought Burt's is the owner of Lefty's after they parted ways so Burt's recipe could be at both places now.
    Same pizza recipe
    I tried to convey such in the original post
    Based on what Ram4 was told recently, Burt's recipe may even be at Lefty's because of mutual ownership (now, or at some point).
  • Post #7 - May 11th, 2019, 9:01 am
    Post #7 - May 11th, 2019, 9:01 am Post #7 - May 11th, 2019, 9:01 am
    Lefty's is our Go-To pizza after a lifetime of searching for pizza I love in our hood.
    Their thin is perfection, their pan is heavenly. My only wish is they stay around forever. This is debatable UNLESS they train their very young staff to have better manners on the phone and in person. Snotty, coarse, ungrateful, -plain rude. They will destroy this business unless the owners pay attention. I am not asking for rear-kissing, just plain courtesy.
  • Post #8 - May 13th, 2019, 11:04 am
    Post #8 - May 13th, 2019, 11:04 am Post #8 - May 13th, 2019, 11:04 am
    jilter wrote:Lefty's is our Go-To pizza after a lifetime of searching for pizza I love in our hood.
    Their thin is perfection, their pan is heavenly. My only wish is they stay around forever. This is debatable UNLESS they train their very young staff to have better manners on the phone and in person. Snotty, coarse, ungrateful, -plain rude. They will destroy this business unless the owners pay attention. I am not asking for rear-kissing, just plain courtesy.
    If you love the pizza that much that you WISH they stay around forever then you have to call or speak to the owner/manager ASAP about this issue or it could very well be their undoing. This place is in Wilmette on basically a side street (not a highly visible location on Green Bay Rd so people passing through will never see it), and downtown Wilmette is not normally a place people go out of their way for food so help them out. By the way I finally got to try the deep dish and it was great. My Mom couldn't stop saying how much she loved it. The thin is perfection you say? I might have to try that too.
  • Post #9 - May 13th, 2019, 12:05 pm
    Post #9 - May 13th, 2019, 12:05 pm Post #9 - May 13th, 2019, 12:05 pm
    Dear Ram and Jilter, I am the owner and read your post. I appreciate any and all feedback especially when it comes to customer service. I addressed your concerns immediately with my staff. Not only do we aim to provide you with the highest quality pizza, but also the most inviting staff imaginable! Feel free to introduce yourself next time you come in and we can talk further if you like.
  • Post #10 - May 13th, 2019, 2:04 pm
    Post #10 - May 13th, 2019, 2:04 pm Post #10 - May 13th, 2019, 2:04 pm
    Leftys wrote:Dear Ram and Jilter, I am the owner and read your post. I appreciate any and all feedback especially when it comes to customer service. I addressed your concerns immediately with my staff. Not only do we aim to provide you with the highest quality pizza, but also the most inviting staff imaginable! Feel free to introduce yourself next time you come in and we can talk further if you like.
    Hi, thank you and I definitely will.
  • Post #11 - May 13th, 2019, 8:10 pm
    Post #11 - May 13th, 2019, 8:10 pm Post #11 - May 13th, 2019, 8:10 pm
    Lefty's, how nice of you to post. I never dreamed my comments would reach you.
    I have been debating approaching the owners, but it is a sensitive issue. I am glad you read and acknowledged my comments. You got the point, and I continue to be grateful for your presence in Wilmette. The best pizza ever!
  • Post #12 - May 13th, 2019, 9:36 pm
    Post #12 - May 13th, 2019, 9:36 pm Post #12 - May 13th, 2019, 9:36 pm
    Thank you, those compliments mean the world to us! Next time you’re in, ask for John and we can have a conversation.
  • Post #13 - May 14th, 2019, 10:24 am
    Post #13 - May 14th, 2019, 10:24 am Post #13 - May 14th, 2019, 10:24 am
    jilter wrote:Lefty's, how nice of you to post. I never dreamed my comments would reach you.
    I have been debating approaching the owners, but it is a sensitive issue. I am glad you read and acknowledged my comments. You got the point, and I continue to be grateful for your presence in Wilmette. The best pizza ever!
    See? I told you to say something! :wink: An owner that truly cares about their business will always want to hear everything you have to say- good or bad. It is not a sensitive subject to them if no one is ordering pizzas anymore because of their rude staff. I always say something. And if the pizza is excellent, I will also tell them.
  • Post #14 - May 14th, 2019, 3:31 pm
    Post #14 - May 14th, 2019, 3:31 pm Post #14 - May 14th, 2019, 3:31 pm
    This is great news. We live in Evanston and I'd just about given up on finding good pizza. I think we've tried just about everyone in the vicinity; our go-to has been Malnati's but over the years we have found them to be surprisingly variable in quality, something that's a great disappointment.
    The fact that Lefty's delivers is a huge plus as well. Looking forward to trying a few pies out in the very near future!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #15 - May 23rd, 2019, 10:41 am
    Post #15 - May 23rd, 2019, 10:41 am Post #15 - May 23rd, 2019, 10:41 am
    My husband has had their slices for lunch for the past two days. He loved the pizza (sausage and pepperoni slices) and thought the staff was friendly. Slices served during lunch until three or until they run out.
    What disease did cured ham actually have?
  • Post #16 - May 23rd, 2019, 10:58 am
    Post #16 - May 23rd, 2019, 10:58 am Post #16 - May 23rd, 2019, 10:58 am
    I think the title is a little misleading...

    The cheese at the edge of the crust is not really burnt but rather caramelized.

    Burnt would indicate turned to carbon which is rather bitter where caramelization is a salty, savory flavor.

    Just my 2 cents. :)
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #17 - May 23rd, 2019, 1:26 pm
    Post #17 - May 23rd, 2019, 1:26 pm Post #17 - May 23rd, 2019, 1:26 pm
    Elfin wrote:My husband has had their slices for lunch for the past two days. He loved the pizza (sausage and pepperoni slices) and thought the staff was friendly. Slices served during lunch until three or until they run out.
    Are the slices thin, deep dish or both?
  • Post #18 - May 24th, 2019, 2:35 pm
    Post #18 - May 24th, 2019, 2:35 pm Post #18 - May 24th, 2019, 2:35 pm
    Thin slices only Ram.
  • Post #19 - May 26th, 2019, 8:08 am
    Post #19 - May 26th, 2019, 8:08 am Post #19 - May 26th, 2019, 8:08 am
    Went back after a purposeful absence. Notable difference in attitude by young individual answering phone and ringing us up. The pizza was truly excellent. I can not express enough how gratified I am for Lefty's owner raising a hand here on the Forum and taking ownership (sorry) of the issue. LTH is a gift. And Lefty's is a gift as I lived here my whole life and been continually seeking the right pizza. May Lefty's and LTH forever stay viable and adored.
    Jill
  • Post #20 - May 27th, 2019, 5:09 pm
    Post #20 - May 27th, 2019, 5:09 pm Post #20 - May 27th, 2019, 5:09 pm
    Note that the LTH Evanston Lunch Group™ will be having lunch at Lefty's on June 19. All are welcome. Click here for details.
  • Post #21 - May 28th, 2019, 10:14 am
    Post #21 - May 28th, 2019, 10:14 am Post #21 - May 28th, 2019, 10:14 am
    Good to hear things were addressed Jill. Glad you mentioned it. I am likely to be still out of town on the 19th. Thanks for the heads up on the slices John. My nephew is back in town from California with his friends and I am sending them your way this week.
  • Post #22 - June 8th, 2019, 10:56 am
    Post #22 - June 8th, 2019, 10:56 am Post #22 - June 8th, 2019, 10:56 am
    Just enjoyed our maiden voyage last night.

    Pros: pleasant, helpful kid answered the phone and took the (delivery) order. No issues with service. Ordered a 14" pan with pepperoni and mushroom (my standard "test" order for new places). Overall, I liked it, though it wasn't world-changing. The sauce is not too sweet--which seems increasingly common. The order was delivered within 5-10 minutes of the promised time. Nicely caramelized crust, not too bready. Price in line with expectations and competition.

    Cons: Underdone. The cheese wasn't melted completely and the pepperoni seemed to have been put on at the very end--there was no evidence that it had been cooked at all by the oven. While the sauce was not too sweet (a plus), it also lacked much flavor/character of its own, other than tomato. That made the occasional mushroom-only bite a bit disappointing. There was also a lot more pepperoni in evidence than mushrooms, which--although generous and appreciated--seems counter-intuitive, at least to me. The pepperoni itself was good (but no better than that) and I really missed that it wasn't really cooked at all.

    All in all, my suspicion is that this will be our new go-to place because the competition is either not very good or not very consistent (I'm looking at you, Lou...). Looking forward to trying some other combinations and also checking out the thin crust.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #23 - June 8th, 2019, 11:39 am
    Post #23 - June 8th, 2019, 11:39 am Post #23 - June 8th, 2019, 11:39 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote:Just enjoyed our maiden voyage last night.
    I had (carried out) Lefty's last night too. For whatever reason, I just can't get myself to try their thin-crust. Part of it has to do with Canadian bacon being my favorite meat for thin-crust, and their not offering it as a topping (at least per the menu).

    Got my usual extra cheese + sausage (as I found out via that Dolinsky press, it's from Joseph's Meats on W. Addison, and is better than sausage offered by the competition), then add sweet peppers I roasted and sauteed mushrooms & onions at home. Good as usual, and ready on time (only 30 min.), but I requested it uncut and it was cut. Not a big deal if just the once.

    For north Evanston/Wilmette area my pizza depth chart/decision guide is:
    Neapolitan: Napolita
    Thick/Pan: Lefty's
    Pre-10pm Thin: Piero's
    Post-10pm All: La Rosa Thin
    I ate a lifetime's worth of Malnati's by age 25 growing up 2 blocks from the Lincolnwood location. Pizano's on Waukegan doesn't do much for me either.
  • Post #24 - June 9th, 2019, 7:48 am
    Post #24 - June 9th, 2019, 7:48 am Post #24 - June 9th, 2019, 7:48 am
    I have never thought of adding my own toppings to an ordered pizza- nice!
    I want to point out that peppers on pizza from Lefty's is unlike anything I have ever had
    at a pizza joint: Mixed color bell peppers, and they taste outstanding on the pizza. This has replaced spinach as my go-to topping on pizza and another reason we stopped ordering from anywhere else. Just too tasty at Lefty's

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