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Burt's 2.0

Burt's 2.0
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  • Post #31 - February 25th, 2024, 5:32 pm
    Post #31 - February 25th, 2024, 5:32 pm Post #31 - February 25th, 2024, 5:32 pm
    Thank you very very much, Buddy! Once again wishing for an upvote feature here.

    I hope I didn't go too far astray by bringing up the Gale biography. It was the one that I found that covered the longest timeframe. I certainly admit that all the criticisms above are well deserved. Still, I was charmed by the photo of the young beatnik-chic Katzes.

    One more question if you will: many internet accounts of Burt's lead one to believe that only Burt and Sharon were involved in operating the restaurant. Getting the impression here that isn't the whole story?
  • Post #32 - February 25th, 2024, 10:10 pm
    Post #32 - February 25th, 2024, 10:10 pm Post #32 - February 25th, 2024, 10:10 pm
    tjr wrote:...One more question if you will: many internet accounts of Burt's lead one to believe that only Burt and Sharon were involved in operating the restaurant. Getting the impression here that isn't the whole story?


    You're correct. Back in the Pequods days, 1971-86, we had a full staff on the weekends. I started out as a dishwasher in 1973 until a position opened up in the kitchen where I made salads, garlic bread, spaghetti, hamburgers and Italian Beef sandwiches. After that, I moved onto the floor as a busboy, then took over the head waiter position a couple years later. I was with Burt, managing the floor, until he sold the joint in 1986.

    Sharon rarely came in back then. Their kids were much younger, and she was needed at home. She only came in if there was a sick call.

    I was at Starbacks (soon to be Burt's Place) from day one in 1989. It was a much smaller operation, and needed time to get its footing, so it was just me and Burt on the weekends, with Sharon handling the weekdays. Even after we achieved world fame, and were constantly busy, there were never more than three people manning the store. Burt made the pizzas while Sharon or I (sometimes both of us) handled the floor. There was also another woman, Carol, who came in when I wasn't available.

    The myth about Burt & Sharon running the place on their own was started in an article in Time Out Magazine. The author claimed they were a true Mom & Pop store, except for "a guy who sometimes helps out on the weekends." I was kinda irked, but after awhile we adopted the "Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" philosophy, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

    BTW, there's an interesting story behind the original name, Starbacks. Burt wanted to carry through with the Moby Dick theme by using the name of the Pequod's first mate, Starbuck. When his lawyer went to register the name, way back in 1989, it turned out some upstart company in Seattle, no one had ever heard of, had already appropriated the name. The quick thinking lawyer told the clerk to just change the "u" to an "a" and nobody'll know the difference.

    Years later, Starbucks celebrated their 25th anniversary with a series of informational paper cups, each printed with a quick factoid about the now well established coffee empire. One of them claimed the founders had originally considered calling the place "Pequods", but nixed the idea, because it was too esoteric.

    Burt eventually decided to change the name to Burt's Place because everyone he talked to told him that's how they referred to the store.

    Buddy
  • Post #33 - February 26th, 2024, 1:48 pm
    Post #33 - February 26th, 2024, 1:48 pm Post #33 - February 26th, 2024, 1:48 pm
    Thanks Buddy. We go back to our high school days when you were at Pequod in the early '70s, serving pizza with the same level of sass as Burt, but since you were cherubic and Burt a Rasputin lookalike, you didn't scare us none! He, on the other hand, did with his Manson-esque countenance!

    Inevitably, besides the actual ingredients and their order of introduction within the recipe, it comes down to the guy doing the job, a word that Burt used to hate, 'artisan'. I remember at one point--just before the publicity hit--Burt had to switch out an oven and he said it was a whole different ballgame and how much work it took to tweak little parts of the recipe in his mind to now match the specs of the new oven. He got it done--he just knew how to do it.

    So if this ever takes place, the mano a mano, Burt's vs Pequod, I think we will really have to focus on what these pan pizzas are accomplishing in a vacuum of their own, not in comparison to and in the shadow of BK. Why? Because the traders weren't going to get there anyway.
  • Post #34 - February 26th, 2024, 3:23 pm
    Post #34 - February 26th, 2024, 3:23 pm Post #34 - February 26th, 2024, 3:23 pm
    jnm123 wrote:So if this ever takes place, the mano a mano, Burt's vs Pequod, I think we will really have to focus on what these pan pizzas are accomplishing in a vacuum of their own, not in comparison to and in the shadow of BK. Why? Because the traders weren't going to get there anyway.

    In the battle of Burt's 2.0 v.s Pequod's, the winner in a landslide is Millie's, which serves a vastly superior product and is run by a passionate hands-on owner who developed his own recipe (obviously heavily influenced by Burt).
  • Post #35 - February 26th, 2024, 3:36 pm
    Post #35 - February 26th, 2024, 3:36 pm Post #35 - February 26th, 2024, 3:36 pm
    jnm123 wrote:So if this ever takes place, the mano a mano, Burt's vs Pequod, I think we will really have to focus on what these pan pizzas are accomplishing in a vacuum of their own, not in comparison to and in the shadow of BK. Why? Because the traders weren't going to get there anyway.

    Comparing them against what they are today is the goal.

    Thankfully we all knew Burt later, but once upon a time Josephine and I did pit the two pizzas against each other one fine evening. I'd really like to see what has evolved.

    Cathy2
    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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  • Post #36 - February 26th, 2024, 3:46 pm
    Post #36 - February 26th, 2024, 3:46 pm Post #36 - February 26th, 2024, 3:46 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As for "Dr." Gale, in layman's terms, he's a quack. Everything he writes is dubious and error-ridden.


    and, as I believe we've discussed on this site, when he does get something right it's because he's plagiarized it.
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #37 - February 26th, 2024, 5:56 pm
    Post #37 - February 26th, 2024, 5:56 pm Post #37 - February 26th, 2024, 5:56 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:In the battle of Burt's 2.0 v.s Pequod's, the winner in a landslide is Millie's, which serves a vastly superior product and is run by a passionate hands-on owner who developed his own recipe (obviously heavily influenced by Burt).


    I haven't yet been to Millie's, or Chicago's other neo-pan pizza joint, George's, so I can't comment on whether they're better, worse, or equal to Burt's. Both are on my "to-do list", and I hope to visit them soon. I have been to Uncle Jerry's in Cary, IL, also heavily influenced by Burt, and really liked it a lot.

    Buddy
  • Post #38 - February 26th, 2024, 6:08 pm
    Post #38 - February 26th, 2024, 6:08 pm Post #38 - February 26th, 2024, 6:08 pm
    jnm123 wrote:...Inevitably, besides the actual ingredients and their order of introduction within the recipe, it comes down to the guy doing the job, a word that Burt used to hate, 'artisan'.


    Jay, I think it's even more specific (and a little weirder/creepier) than that. I remember reading, or hearing about how the bacteria, unique to a specific pizza maker's hands could affect the flavor and texture of the finished pie. It would burn up in the oven and be completely harmless to the diner, but a pizza slinger blessed with the right bacteria could potentially turn out a better end product.

    Apparently, Burt had the right microscopic critters crawling on his hands. No jokes about the beard please; they've all already been made.

    Buddy
  • Post #39 - February 26th, 2024, 6:12 pm
    Post #39 - February 26th, 2024, 6:12 pm Post #39 - February 26th, 2024, 6:12 pm
    JimTheBeerGuy wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As for "Dr." Gale, in layman's terms, he's a quack. Everything he writes is dubious and error-ridden.

    and, as I believe we've discussed on this site, when he does get something right it's because he's plagiarized it.


    Based on the changes in writing style from one section to another, there are big chunks of that article that appear to have been copied and pasted from other sources. That's probably the best explanation for the spelling inconsistencies of Burt's name.

    Buddy
  • Post #40 - February 26th, 2024, 6:24 pm
    Post #40 - February 26th, 2024, 6:24 pm Post #40 - February 26th, 2024, 6:24 pm
    Pequods is a joke. $40 for a loaf of bread with some pepperoni on top. I ordered double pepperoni and got less than what they used to put on a regular pizza. MG location. Just bad.
  • Post #41 - February 27th, 2024, 11:37 am
    Post #41 - February 27th, 2024, 11:37 am Post #41 - February 27th, 2024, 11:37 am
    oly2323 wrote:Pequods is a joke. $40 for a loaf of bread with some pepperoni on top. I ordered double pepperoni and got less than what they used to put on a regular pizza. MG location. Just bad.
    I don't dislike Pequod's, but any "bread" criticism is an opportunity to remind readers of the light dough option, which is what saves Pequod's for me and probably many others. I honestly don't know why people would prefer their default to light dough. It's still a thick crust.
  • Post #42 - February 28th, 2024, 8:40 am
    Post #42 - February 28th, 2024, 8:40 am Post #42 - February 28th, 2024, 8:40 am
    I never complain about too much crust because the crust at Burt's actually tastes like the yeasty goodness that it is, but my kids like the half crust option. You don't get as much of the caramelization as the regular crust, but it makes them happy.

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