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John's Pizza in Calumet City

John's Pizza in Calumet City
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  • John's Pizza in Calumet City

    Post #1 - July 9th, 2005, 7:57 am
    Post #1 - July 9th, 2005, 7:57 am Post #1 - July 9th, 2005, 7:57 am
    When John's was mentioned several months ago in a different post, I made a mental note to check out this restaurant, and then lost the note. Seems to be happening more frequently these days. :shock:

    Last night, as my husband and older daughter tried to come up with someplace for dinner, my husband suddenly said, "Let's check out John's in Cal City." I'm so glad he did.

    We were immediately seated in John's dining room, although there is also a rather smokey bar area and an additional smoking area in the dining room. The decor reminded me of some of the old Italian places that used to be so abundant in the Chicago Heights area -- lots of red and black upholstery and dark wood, and dimly lit. The restaurant has been around since 1943 and is still family owned. Our waitress proudly told us at the end of the meal that everything is prepared fresh, no frozen anything. I believed her.

    John's has a very extensive menu, with several specials offered. We almost opted for the family dinner special, which consisted of soup or salad, pizza, mostaccioli and fried chicken, for a very reasonable per person price. As we continued to explore the menu, it was clear that we would have to try that dinner combination another night.

    For an appetizer, we ordered fried calamari. Our household has an unspoken rule that if the restaurant has fried calamari on the menu and we have never eaten at that particular restaurant before, we MUST order the fried calamari. We were not disappointed. The huge appetizer portion was lightly battered and dusted with parsley and seasonings, accompanied by a plate of lemon wedges and some terrific, fresh seafood sauce.

    My husband and I both wanted the eggplant parmagiana, but it occurred to me that one of the reasons I wanted to go there was for the pizza, so he ordered the eggplant and I ordered a pizza. My daughter ordered the gnocci, one of her favorites. The dinners were accompanied by a choice of soup or salad and a basket of either plain hot bread or garlic bread. Daughter and I had chicken rice soup and my husband had a salad with bleu cheese dressing. I had a bite of his salad. The dressing was nice and chunky with flavorful pieces of cheese, and came with a lazy susan containing chopped egg, croutons and chopped red onion.

    The soup was good, not amazing, but full of rice and vegetables with a good chicken broth. The garlic bread was fine -- crusty on the outside and soft and garlicky on the inside.

    Then the food began to arrive at the table. First, the gnocci, served in a huge bowl with fresh marinara sauce. These were possibly the lightest gnocci I have ever eaten. They were obviously homemade. I kept sneaking my fork into the bowl for more. The eggplant parmagiana came next, swimming in its own sauce. The portions were far more generous than we expected, so my husband told me to dig in while I was waiting for the pizza to arrive. This dish was also excellent, very flavorful. Finally, my pizza, made with sausage and mushrooms, arrived. As has been noted on this board before, the sausage is crumbled, and not my favorite way to eat sausage on a pizza. But it really works on this particular crust. Toppings were very generous and the pizza had a really great flavor, although the pieces are cut horizontally and only once down the center, making it difficult to pick up and eat (my usual mode of ingesting pizza). It was much easier to attack using a knife and fork.

    We ate and ate until we could eat no longer, and probably brought half the food home with us for another meal. The tab for all this food was extremely reasonable, and we will certainly be going back to John's soon. Also, if you make it out there on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, you can have John's delicious and reasonably priced pizza at half the price, eat-in only.

    Suzy

    John's Restaurant
    121 State Street
    Calumet City
    708.862.8200
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #2 - July 9th, 2005, 8:23 am
    Post #2 - July 9th, 2005, 8:23 am Post #2 - July 9th, 2005, 8:23 am
    Sounds great. I hear there's some nice ice cream nearby :D
  • Post #3 - July 9th, 2005, 8:26 am
    Post #3 - July 9th, 2005, 8:26 am Post #3 - July 9th, 2005, 8:26 am
    Hi,

    Here is a link to the other John's Pizza with a beautiful picture illustrating the unique cut.

    We actually thought the cutting method was very clever, fair minded and balanced by receiving both a crust and an interior slice simultaneously. I find it annoying when other pizza diners hog interior or edge pieces. This cutting method resolves this issue very nicely.

    Glad you enjoyed John's as much as we did.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - July 9th, 2005, 9:38 am
    Post #4 - July 9th, 2005, 9:38 am Post #4 - July 9th, 2005, 9:38 am
    There IS some nice ice cream nearby. I think I'll call to see if the peach ice cream is in yet. . . :wink:

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #5 - December 7th, 2005, 4:43 pm
    Post #5 - December 7th, 2005, 4:43 pm Post #5 - December 7th, 2005, 4:43 pm
    I read on another internet food chat site (which shall remain unnamed) that John's in Cal City was closing. I called to see if I could confirm the information -- and sadly, it is true. They will be closing on December 31st.

    I'm really glad that we had the opportunity to meet other members of LTH and their children for a fun meal there. Yet another south suburban restaurant down the tubes. . . :cry:

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #6 - December 12th, 2005, 6:36 pm
    Post #6 - December 12th, 2005, 6:36 pm Post #6 - December 12th, 2005, 6:36 pm
    It was our family's choice for pizza. There was none better. I know they opened a takeout location in Ridge Rd in Munster recently, I hope it carries on the tradition, even if take out only.
    For me this is a great loss. John's was my first diningstop every trip home.
    What a shame! My garage band played a John's family function back in the 1960's at their Cal City home (our bass played lived across the alley from them). I still remember that and all the food. Thanks for years of great eating. I only wish I could be there on New Years Eve to toast a great restaurant and pizza!
  • Post #7 - December 12th, 2005, 7:01 pm
    Post #7 - December 12th, 2005, 7:01 pm Post #7 - December 12th, 2005, 7:01 pm
    I think I will drive over before they close. Keep an eye open on the events board. Maybe on 12/28 or 29
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #8 - December 12th, 2005, 10:45 pm
    Post #8 - December 12th, 2005, 10:45 pm Post #8 - December 12th, 2005, 10:45 pm
    I might have been seeing things, but a month or so ago I remember driving by a brand-new John's Pizzeria sit-down restaurant on Sheffield Ave in Dyer, IN. Maybe all they did was join the increasing number of restaurants that have moved to the Indiana side of the border...

    Mark
  • Post #9 - August 4th, 2006, 10:33 pm
    Post #9 - August 4th, 2006, 10:33 pm Post #9 - August 4th, 2006, 10:33 pm
    Hi,

    Last weekend when ReneG and I went to NW Indiana in search of food beyond the border, we had a few goals. One was to learn the pedigree of the John's Pizzerias in NW Indiana, specifically if they had any relationship to the shuttered Calumet City, IL location.

    We walked into John's Pizzeria in Dyer, Indiana where the reception area opens to the pizza station in the kitchen. A young pizza cook came forward to take our order. Explaining we were not there to eat because we just came from the Pierogi fest, though we stopped by for a menu for the future.

    Almost like an encrypted code, we asked the most leading of questions: "How do you cut your pizza?" A puzzled look fell on the young man's face as he exclaimed, "We cut it like everyone else." Not satisfied, I revealed my cards, simply laid them on the table, "Do make a center cut, then several lateral cuts? A method where every slice has crust and center?" "Yes, it is an odd cut but it is what we do." "Does this pizzeria have any relationship to John's Pizzeria in Calumet City?" "Yes!"

    Erik M's photo of John's sausage, onion and garlic pizza:
    Image

    John's Pizzeria in Calumet City was the original location. The owner of John's opened a location in Griffith, Indiana and granted someone the right to open a John's Pizzeria in Dyer, Indiana following his business plan. When the founder closed his Calumet City location, then the Dyer, Indiana owner purchased the Griffith, Indiana location.

    I only went to John's Pizzeria in Calumet City, IL only once. It would be interesting if someone who has a longer experience visited the Indiana John's to advise how close to the original they are.

    John's Pizzeria
    1209 Sheffield
    Dyer, Indiana
    219/322-0225

    John's Pizzeria
    132 S. Broad
    Griffith, Indiana
    219/322-0225

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - August 4th, 2006, 10:47 pm
    Post #10 - August 4th, 2006, 10:47 pm Post #10 - August 4th, 2006, 10:47 pm
    FYI -- the owners of John's pizzeria in Calumet City opened a new place on Ridge Road in Munster, a couple doors down from the original Schoop's Hamburgers...
  • Post #11 - August 4th, 2006, 10:49 pm
    Post #11 - August 4th, 2006, 10:49 pm Post #11 - August 4th, 2006, 10:49 pm
    Hi,

    Is it also named John's Pizzeria?

    What do you think of Schoops? Is there a specialty beyond the hand formed hamburger we should check out?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - August 5th, 2006, 7:00 pm
    Post #12 - August 5th, 2006, 7:00 pm Post #12 - August 5th, 2006, 7:00 pm
    Yes, the place on Ridge Road in Munster is called John's Pizzeria. It is not a full restaurant like the one in Calumet City, it is only carry-out and delivery.

    I haven't had a Schoop's hamburger from that location in more than 20 years, so I don't think I can help you there!

    Mark
  • Post #13 - August 5th, 2006, 11:44 pm
    Post #13 - August 5th, 2006, 11:44 pm Post #13 - August 5th, 2006, 11:44 pm
    Hi,

    I haven't had a Schoops burger anywhere yet! ARe they fairly consistent from place to place in your experience? If not, then where is your favored location?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #14 - August 6th, 2006, 9:02 am
    Post #14 - August 6th, 2006, 9:02 am Post #14 - August 6th, 2006, 9:02 am
    Cathy2 wrote:What do you think of Schoops? Is there a specialty beyond the hand formed hamburger we should check out?

    Regards,


    My wife is a big Schoop's fan. We haven't been in about a year, but the place is consistant. The big deal there is the burgers. The buns ara a bit on the insipid, white bread side (even worse than most places). I always order my Mickey burger on a toasted bun. It actually arrives that way about 50% of the time and when it does, it's not a bad burger. When it doesn't, the bun tends to disintegrate before finishing the burger. Fries are of the medium gauge foodservice style, but are prepared well. They also have curley fries. Their shakes aren't too bad, either. Skip everyting else.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #15 - August 6th, 2006, 7:36 pm
    Post #15 - August 6th, 2006, 7:36 pm Post #15 - August 6th, 2006, 7:36 pm
    Is anything ever as good as it used to be?John's was my growing up
    pizza.Such a treat since it was not pizza every Friday like it is now.I tried the Munster location and it was good.I think they may be using a pizza blend cheese since it was much more yellow thanit used to be.I used to watch them make it in Cal City and they grabbed a whitish cheese out of a bin.Maybe not many use all mozzarela any more.It was always the fennel laced precooked crumbly sausage that i enjoyed the best.sort of spread on like a sausage maidrite hamburger.
    Speaking of maidrite i used to always enjoy going to maidrites in Hammond.It was my parents high school hangout.
    As far a Schoops goes I never liked the thin seared crusy type of Schoop/Steak and Shake/Culver's hamburger.Im sure they are done well just not my style.
    This is just great though talking about John's.Its too bad they closed .
  • Post #16 - October 10th, 2006, 4:14 am
    Post #16 - October 10th, 2006, 4:14 am Post #16 - October 10th, 2006, 4:14 am
    I'm very saddened and shocked to read about John's Pizza closing down in Calumet City.
    :shock:
    My parents grew up in the Hammond area, and my dad's favorite pizza is John's. We moved to Arizona in 1985 and every time we went back to Chicagoland we would eat at John's. (My dad and I were actually at John's Calumet City during the final NBA game of 1993 when the Bulls beat our Suns :x )

    I'm going to have to break the news to him, I'd just like to know if any of you guys have definitive news about other John's locations still in business, like the one in Highland, IN?

    Thanks, and sorry again for our loss. :cry:

    JohnsLover
  • Post #17 - October 10th, 2006, 12:31 pm
    Post #17 - October 10th, 2006, 12:31 pm Post #17 - October 10th, 2006, 12:31 pm
    I have tried the one on Ridge Road in Munster.It was good...is it ever the same?John's was a treat as a kid rather than now its I don't feel like cooking let's order a pizza.The heatening thing was when I brought thekids to John's before they closed they really liked it and ask for me to bring home some take out when I am down that way.
  • Post #18 - October 14th, 2006, 11:06 pm
    Post #18 - October 14th, 2006, 11:06 pm Post #18 - October 14th, 2006, 11:06 pm
    There is a family squabble in the John's Pizzeria restaurants of NW Indiana, with the Mothership Calumet City, IL location having closed within the last year. One of the unique features of John’s Pizzeria is how they cut their pizzas: one cut up the middle, then several lateral strips allow each slice to have both crust and center.

    Image

    There are at least two groups and evidence suggests a third group of John’s Pizzerias all claiming lineage to the shuttered Calumet City location, I will explain:

    Earlier this summer, ReneG and I visited an Indiana John’s Pizzeria where we were advised:

    John's Pizzeria in Calumet City was the original location. The owner of John's opened a location in Griffith, Indiana and granted someone the right to open a John's Pizzeria in Dyer, Indiana following his business plan. When the founder closed his Calumet City location, then the Dyer, Indiana owner purchased the Griffith, Indiana location.


    To reconfirm the Dyer and Griffith locations relationship, there is a online coupon touting the Dyer and Griffith locations as, “Still the original! Still the best!”

    Their menu and coupon suggest no other locations, thus this is group I:

    John's Pizzeria
    1209 Sheffield
    Dyer, Indiana
    219/322-0225

    John's Pizzeria
    132 S. Broad
    Griffith, Indiana
    219/322-0225

    ***

    reported above there was a John’s Pizzeria in Munster. I phoned them this evening inquiring how they cut their pizza, which they affirmed was in the John’s style. I asked the person if this was related to the Calumet City John’s, which he affirmed. He then made an aside about family parting ways years ago, there are other John’s of the same name but not all use the original recipe. I asked if this location used the original recipe, which he claimed they did as well as another location in St. John:

    Based on this phone conversation and his claim to only one other store, then this is group II:

    John's Pizzeria
    247 Ridge Rd, Munster, IN
    (219) 836-8536

    John's Pizzeria
    8241 Wicker Ave
    St John, IN 46373
    (219) 558-8440

    ***

    I asked the same gentleman above about locations in Crown Point or Cedar Lake, were they related to their operation? He said they were not.

    Geographically close with the same name of John’s Pizzeria, who also claim heritage to the Calumet City location, are two other locations not claimed by Group I or II, I present to you Group III:

    John's Pizzeria
    101 S Court St, Crown Point, IN
    (219) 662-8944

    John's Pizzeria
    13115 Lake Shore Dr, Cedar Lake, IN
    (219) 374-6550 (This phone is answered by the Crown Point, IN location)

    ***

    I have only been to John's Pizzeria in Calumet City, IL exactly once almost two years ago. If nothing else, the style of cut made quite an impression on me. There are those who have had a deeper experience in John's Pizzeria with a strong familiarity how it should taste and be assembled. This could almost be the NW Indiana's variant of Pequod's and Burt's with stronger or looser ties to the originally intended product.

    If anyone suggests I just made a mountain out of a mole hill, well I guess I am guilty!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - February 22nd, 2007, 7:44 pm
    Post #19 - February 22nd, 2007, 7:44 pm Post #19 - February 22nd, 2007, 7:44 pm
    THE REASON THESE PLACES CLOSE IS NO ONE GOES TO THEM . WHEN JOHNS WAS OPEN PEOPLE WOULD SAY TO ME ' THATS IN A BAD NEIGHBORHOOD ' . YOUR NOT LIVING THERE, YOUR DINING THERE PEOPLE . SPEAKING OF GOING OUT OF BUISNESS WOULD YOU PEOPLE GO TO PHIL SCHMIDT & SON IN HAMMOND BEFORE THEY CLOSE TOO . IF THEY CAN MAKE IT TO 2010 THEY WILL HAVE BEEN AROUND 100 YEARS !
  • Post #20 - February 25th, 2007, 11:50 am
    Post #20 - February 25th, 2007, 11:50 am Post #20 - February 25th, 2007, 11:50 am
    Mark H wrote:From a detail standpoint, other than their slicing style, what made John's pizza distinctive was their use of crumbly, spicy sausage that they cooked each day. So I propose that the reference pizza be a simple sausage-and-cheese, since that will jog the old-timers' memories as well as making comparisons a bit easier.

    ...

    A much better comparison pizza would be Barton's in Hammond or Highland. I believe it's owned by yet another member of the Bacino clan that owned John's, and it has the same style of crumbly sausage.


    trudie wrote:... the one thing is I think they are all carry out so finding a place to eat may be tough unless some of those in the group have a house nearby.

    My understanding is the Munster group is the direct descendant of the Calumet City John's. There were a few articles in the Times of Northwest Indiana www.thetimesonline.com in the archives, alluding to that. Supposedly the Schereville and the Griffith were like for franchisees. What the real story is we will have to find out.

    John's was a full service restaurant and the kids didn't want to deal with the restaurant aspect and just wanted to sell pizza. The Munster location sells John's original recipe, sauces and a few other things. John's was known for its unique slicing style, its precooked sausage heavy on the fennel and overall quality. I used to stand there and watch them at the carry out window make it from scratch. The pizza cheese was white and pre cut into small pieces so the pizza was never gooey in the full sheets of "mootsarell" style in some pizzarias. The crust was crispy but the slices were pliant.

    There was a way to eat the elongated rectangles: with your right hand you held the wide ends of the crust between the thumb and middle finger. With the left hand you supported the other end of the long floppy slice as the slice laid on a C formed by the thumb and forefinger. You ate this way until the slice was short enough to be held with just the hand on the crust. This being Calumet City knives and forks were seldom used.

    Cal City at the time was a heavily Catholic but not really Italian town. The John's cheese pizza was a friday night staple for many. John's was never a cheap pizza. The last large I bought there a few months ago was about 23 dollars for their largest half cheese half sausage. Well worth it but obviously priced well beyond Pizza Hut, Dominoes etc. At the Munster John's there is a yellow color to the pizza cheese as they maybe using a "pizza blend". The sausage though with the fennel flavor I love seemed a
    bit more greasy so there maybe some polish sausage thrown in the blend as some pizzarias do.

    Thanks for letting me reminisce. I will be happy to be on any "throw down" for Johns.


    There are as Barton's as there are John's, any recommendations which one to wind down from a Johns-athon?

    Barton's Pizzeria
    7201 Calumet Ave
    Hammond, IN 46324
    (219) 932-1300

    Barton's Pizza
    904 E Hoffman
    Hammond, IN
    (219) 932-3333

    Barton's Pizzeria
    3925 45th St,
    Highland, IN
    (219) 924-6200

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #21 - February 25th, 2007, 2:51 pm
    Post #21 - February 25th, 2007, 2:51 pm Post #21 - February 25th, 2007, 2:51 pm
    I believe the Barton's on Hoffman was the original, but the Barton's I remember from my youth was the one on Calumet Ave. Both are carry-out places.
  • Post #22 - February 26th, 2007, 3:27 pm
    Post #22 - February 26th, 2007, 3:27 pm Post #22 - February 26th, 2007, 3:27 pm
    John's pizza in Cal City was the BEST pizza ever. I miss it very much and go to the Munster location to get my fix. Very close to the original, I think they are trying to work out the kinks. The pizza was good and the crumbly sausage was really close to the original, love the fennel. The peporoni is spicy and has a lot of flavor.
    The crust needs work, (the kink) once it was rubbery and another it was really thick and tough, it's usually pretty thin.
    The smell and taste bring back great Saturday nights with my family in Hammond.
  • Post #23 - July 29th, 2007, 11:26 am
    Post #23 - July 29th, 2007, 11:26 am Post #23 - July 29th, 2007, 11:26 am
    The John's Pizza story continues:

    At the Pierogi fest we came across a John's Pizza booth. They were offering brochetta and selling jars of John's Marinara Sauce. I bought one, then bent the guy's ear with my questions on their John's pedigree. He is opening soon a John's Restaurant "Pizza, Pasta & More" in Whiting in the very near future. He said he was a franchisee of the John's Restaurant in Calumet City. When I asked about the other John's in the region, he said the one true John's is the take out in Munster owned and operated by the founding family. The new, soon to open Johns will be at:

    John's Restaurant
    2356 Schrage
    Whiting, IN
    Tel: 219/659-1046

    We did briefly visit the John's in Munster, though our timing was lousy. They were finishing up their last orders of the day. We did meet Phil, whose Grandfather Phil founded John's and is son of John whose name graces the restaurant. The other John's are related to Griffith location once owned by Uncle Mike, whose father is (Grandfather) Phil. According to Phil, the other John's sprung up once Uncle Mike sold the Griffith location. It appears this new owner (or could it be Uncle Mike himself!?), then began to franchise John's. Phil at the Munster location did acknowledge the Whiting location as his first franchise. There are interesting parallels to this story to the Lincoln's Submarines.

    Everybody claims heritage to the Calumet City location. For those in NWI who may visit the other John's locations, please inquire if they are related to the John's in Griffith or Munster. Another potential telltale sign is whether they offer John's marinara sauce. Both at the John's booth at their Pierogi fest and the Munster location offered sauce.

    We did inquire with (Grandson) Phil why they closed their Calumet City location. They claim most of their customer based moved on and so did they.

    We did have a sidebar discussion on pizza slicing, since their slice up the middle and lateral slices thereafter are signature. Phil said this unique cutting style was his Grandfather Phil's idea with no known backstory. They will cut their pizzas in wedges or 'party style' in small squares upon request. They have no name for their unique cutting style.

    Grandfather Phil, Sons Mike and John and Grandson Phil would likely be shocked how much thought has been given to their enterprise.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #24 - November 20th, 2007, 9:56 pm
    Post #24 - November 20th, 2007, 9:56 pm Post #24 - November 20th, 2007, 9:56 pm
    It was reported that Johns Pizza finally opened today in Whiting.

    John's Restaurant
    2356 Schrage
    Whiting, IN
    Tel: 219/659-1046
  • Post #25 - November 21st, 2007, 1:21 pm
    Post #25 - November 21st, 2007, 1:21 pm Post #25 - November 21st, 2007, 1:21 pm
    Artie, do you know if this is carryout only or a sit-down place??

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #26 - November 21st, 2007, 2:12 pm
    Post #26 - November 21st, 2007, 2:12 pm Post #26 - November 21st, 2007, 2:12 pm
    Hi,

    I met the owner last summer at the pierogi fest. He gave every indication this was a sit-down restaurant. I will be quite surprised if this is a take-out joint.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #27 - November 25th, 2007, 1:47 am
    Post #27 - November 25th, 2007, 1:47 am Post #27 - November 25th, 2007, 1:47 am
    Hi,

    John's Pizza Restaurant opened on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Rene G and I had their sausage pizza with red peppers and garlic. I liked this pizza more than the one time I had John's Pizza at the Calumet City location.

    We then trotted over to the John's Pizza on Ridge Road, whom the new John's is a franchisee. We ordered the very same pizza, though it did not spark our tastebuds as much as the new location. There was a lot less garlic, seemingly more peppers and the sausage was not distributed quite the same. The new location's sausage had a stronger fennel profile than the same from Ridge Road.

    The New John's Pizza was destination dining by our experience. The John's on Ridge excited us a whole lot less. While a competent neighborhood pizza. Certainly not one to drive out of your way to eat.

    However it will be interesting to see how the New John's Restaurant evolves. Presently they are in their third day of business. The guy we met is probably in the kitchen, making the pizzas while training his crew. Will his pizza have the same level of excellence when he is confident his crew is trained and he allows himself to back off? If he is smart, then he will keep himself and his crew at this level.

    It is clear the two John's pizzas are of the same pedigree. In many ways it reminds me of Burt's and Pequod's, where you can also see the familial similarities with Burts remaining on target and Pequod's comparitively fuzzier.

    What I do not recommend at the new John's is their $2.95 side salad. A small bowl with iceberg lettuce, three grape tomatoes and for an upcharge of 50 cents their garlic dressing. Just too much money for such a skimpy salad, though I did enjoy the garlic dressing. If it were complimentary or substantially cheaper, then I could ignore it. Just too much money for too little.

    Presently the new John's is getting heavy traffic. We were advised by the waiter our pizza would take longer. Three days in to a new business, we just strapped on our patience and waited just a bit longer.

    (NEW) The Original John's Restaurant & Pizzeria
    2356 Schrage Av (at Indianapolis Blvd & 124th St)
    Whiting IN
    219-659-1046
    Sun-Thu 10:30-11, Fri-Sat 10:30-12


    John's Pizzeria (take-out only)
    247 Ridge Rd, Munster, IN
    (219) 836-8536

    Regards,
    Last edited by Cathy2 on November 25th, 2007, 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #28 - November 25th, 2007, 4:34 am
    Post #28 - November 25th, 2007, 4:34 am Post #28 - November 25th, 2007, 4:34 am
    If you liked the original John's Pizza in Calumet City, I think you'll be happy with the new John's that opened only a few days ago in Whiting.

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    A cool old triangular bar at the corner of Indianapolis and Schrage has been converted into a cozy dining room. It's directly across from the BP refinery so you can watch belching smokestacks and flaming gas vents while dining. Classic Whiting.

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    In addition to pizza, the menu includes about 20 appetizers, 5 sandwiches, 5 entrees and a few desserts. The menu notes the zeppole "is the dessert that Lake Michigan sailors swam ashore to get." We started with some forgettable salads, though the garlic dressing was pretty good.

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    The pizza looks the same as I recall from the old place, with its loosemeat sausage and distinctive cut. This one is also topped with roasted red peppers and garlic (a mere $2 surcharge on an extra large), a terrific choice.

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    The crust is much as I remember, a little floppy in the center, crisper at the edges, with a few nice blisters and bubbles. It's not Spacca Napoli and doesn't try to be. They're just continuing to make pizza as John's has since 1943.

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    We compared this version with the other "Original John's" on Ridge Rd in Munster and found the new one to be clearly superior. I hope they're able to maintain their standards. John's has returned to my short list of favorite pizzas in and around Chicago.

    The Original John's Restaurant & Pizzeria
    2356 Schrage Av (at Indianapolis Blvd & 124th St)
    Whiting IN
    219-659-1046
    Sun-Thu 10:30-11, Fri-Sat 10:30-12
  • Post #29 - December 3rd, 2007, 5:48 pm
    Post #29 - December 3rd, 2007, 5:48 pm Post #29 - December 3rd, 2007, 5:48 pm
    WENT LAST WEEK. PIZZA IS THE SAME AS CAL. CITY. DISSAPOINTED. $17.00 SHRIMP DINNER AND THATS ALL YOU GET SHRIMP. NO SOUP SALAD POSTA BREAD , NOTHING. NO RAVIOLI OR VEAL DISHES. I WONT GO BACK.
  • Post #30 - December 3rd, 2007, 6:21 pm
    Post #30 - December 3rd, 2007, 6:21 pm Post #30 - December 3rd, 2007, 6:21 pm
    Hi,

    If the pizza is on target, then why not just stick to that? When we were there last week, every table was ordering pizzas. I will certainly not order their salad again, but the pizza was where the action was.

    (dbrick59 - THE CAPITAL LETTERS are really hard to read.)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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