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Barnaby's in Northbrook - distinctive, thin-crust pizza

Barnaby's in Northbrook - distinctive, thin-crust pizza
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  • Barnaby's in Northbrook - distinctive, thin-crust pizza

    Post #1 - February 21st, 2008, 4:37 pm
    Post #1 - February 21st, 2008, 4:37 pm Post #1 - February 21st, 2008, 4:37 pm
    I've been hitting Barnaby's in Northbrook for well over 30 years. I know there are other Barnaby's in Chicagoland but from what I can gather, they are each independantly owned and the food is not identical across the locations. Growing up in Glencoe, we used to frequent the Northbrook location and later, during my teenage summers working at Ravinia, it was the one nearby place that was almost always open when we got off work. As such, we went there with great frequency. Now, I tend to eat there (or carry out) once or twice a month.

    What I really love about Barnaby's is their corn-meal assisted, thin-crust pizza. It's made from a relatively short dough and has a light crunchiness to it that really satisfies. Their toppings, while not artisanal in any way, are very tasty. Their sausage is excellent and I really love their pepperoni, too. In addition to their fine pizza, they offer sandwiches, noodles, salads and a full bar, too. I generally stick to the pizza but their burgers -- some made with Black Angus beef -- can be very tasty.

    By far, my favorite pizza combo at Barnaby's is pepperoni and onion but at a recent lunch with a few fellow LTH'ers, I tried a couple other combinations that were very nice too . . .

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    Barnaby's - The Family Inn, Northbrook location


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    Pepperoni and Onion . . . as I mentioned up top, this is my 'go-to' combo at Barnaby's. I'm not sure what they do to the onions -- beyond slicing them very thin -- but this is one of the few places where I really love onion on my pizza. They just work.


    Image
    Slice of pepperoni and onion


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    Sausage and Garlic with Jalapenos on half . . . I don't normally order garlic on my pizzas here but it was fresh garlic and it was tasty. The jalapenos were canned but that wasn't a bad thing, as they provided a very nice vinegar note.


    Image
    Slice of sausage and garlic


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    Bacon and Mushroom . . . aka the "Cookie Morowitz" combo. Of the 3 pizzas we ordered, more of this one was eaten than any of the others.


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    Slice of bacon and mushroom


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    Alternate view . . . love that heavy cornmeal dusting and the crispy, hand-formed edge crust.


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    Half-pound black angus cheeseburger . . . nicely cooked, although slightly past where we ordered it. This is a generally reliable alternative to pizza at Barnaby's.


    Image
    Chicken Caesar Salad . . . another alternative to pizza, ordered by someone in our party who was trying to be "good." Nothing wrong with it but not quite as satisfying as the pizza or the burger :wink:


    This is some of my favorite thin-crust pizza in all of Chicagoland but I'll admit that I have very little objectivity about it. It's what I grew up with, it's what I crave and it's one of my personal benchmarks. I think, though, that whether you like this pizza or not, you'd have to admit that it is quite unique and distinctive, which is refreshing in and of itself. This pizza hasn't changed much in the decades that I've been eating it. While I cannot exactly recommend making a dedicated trip for it, this location is just a few blocks off the Edens expressway (Dundee Rd, west), so if you're in the area, I really think you should check it out.

    =R=

    Barnaby's Family Inn
    960 Skokie Blvd
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847 498-3900
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - February 21st, 2008, 5:08 pm
    Post #2 - February 21st, 2008, 5:08 pm Post #2 - February 21st, 2008, 5:08 pm
    Interesting choice of places, given the Trib's recent focus on restaurant memories.

    Barnaby's is one of the first places I can rember going to as a kid, but it was the Barnaby's in Niles. My memory of the pizza is one of good, pretty similiar to what's pictured above, but my over-riding memory of Barnaby's, one that really sticks in my head, is of the wait. I am sure it did not really take that long, but to this 7 year old, it used to seem excrutiuating going from the line, to ordering, to waiting for your pizza.

    When we moved to Northbrook we went like once to that Barnaby's, but as I can remember, never again. It just dropped off our radar. Maybe the pizza came to quick on that visit.

    I'm anxious to give it another try. It's been about 30 years!
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #3 - February 21st, 2008, 5:10 pm
    Post #3 - February 21st, 2008, 5:10 pm Post #3 - February 21st, 2008, 5:10 pm
    I too grew up in the area and have fond memories of eating pizza there with my family. A few months ago, I took my family there having not been there in over 20 years.... same pizza that I remembered from my youth. If I lived closer, I'd go more often. Nice report!
    Last edited by mhill95149 on February 22nd, 2008, 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #4 - February 21st, 2008, 5:28 pm
    Post #4 - February 21st, 2008, 5:28 pm Post #4 - February 21st, 2008, 5:28 pm
    I'm in the 30 year club at the Northbrook Barnaby's as well. The pizza is just as great today as it was back then.
    I do miss the civility of the blinking light at your table to announce your pizza or sandwich was ready instead of the blaring loudspeaker.
    A few improvements though, are the Filberts root beer and black cherry on tap, as well as the half baked pizza option which cooks up at home just like it's served on site.
    Great pictures ronnie!!
  • Post #5 - February 21st, 2008, 5:39 pm
    Post #5 - February 21st, 2008, 5:39 pm Post #5 - February 21st, 2008, 5:39 pm
    Boy -- I'd almost forgotten about Barnaby's. I grew up in Wilmette, but this was near the old (and now vanished) Edens Theaters, so back when I was a teen, the combo was common -- theater and Barnaby's. I remembered it being good, but I had less experience of pizza at that point in my life, so doubted it would live up to my memories. Glad to know it's still good.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #6 - February 21st, 2008, 6:34 pm
    Post #6 - February 21st, 2008, 6:34 pm Post #6 - February 21st, 2008, 6:34 pm
    We frequent the location on Touhy Ave by Ohare. It looks like the Northbrook store makes it the same way. My 3 year old son loves going there, so young and already a convert!
  • Post #7 - February 21st, 2008, 8:16 pm
    Post #7 - February 21st, 2008, 8:16 pm Post #7 - February 21st, 2008, 8:16 pm
    When I was a kid my dad had an office in the building next to Barnabys. He never had to ask us twice if we wanted to go to work with him on Saturday morning because we always knew what we were having for lunch.

    The pizza is as good now as it was 25 years ago and I have taken a lot of pleasure in seeing my little guy enjoy his first taste of Barnabys. It is the thin crust pie by which I compare all others.

    I am suprised nobody has mentioned one of my all time favorite things about Barnabys. The massive bowl of cheesy pimento spread and ritz crackers on the counter there for the tasting while you order your pie. It is delicious and still tastes as good today as it did in 1979.
  • Post #8 - February 21st, 2008, 9:39 pm
    Post #8 - February 21st, 2008, 9:39 pm Post #8 - February 21st, 2008, 9:39 pm
    Craig B wrote:We frequent the location on Touhy Ave by Ohare. It looks like the Northbrook store makes it the same way. My 3 year old son loves going there, so young and already a convert!

    I grew up in Northbrook and frequently ate at the Northbrook Barnaby's. Their pizza has never disappointed me -- always excellent, crispy, crackly thin crust.

    I was thrilled when I first found out that there was a Barnaby's near my office (the one on Touhy), but nervous at the same time because of the unevenness I had experienced at other Barnaby's over the years. But I will say that the Barnaby's on Touhy is every bit as good as the one in Northbrook, and I visit it often.
  • Post #9 - February 21st, 2008, 10:26 pm
    Post #9 - February 21st, 2008, 10:26 pm Post #9 - February 21st, 2008, 10:26 pm
    Add me to the 30 year club. We went when I was a kid with the family. It was a favorite hang-out after dress rehearsals and plays in high school, too. That and Poppin' Fresh.

    I take my kids there now. It's some of the best thin crust pizza around. And they are very child friendly. I'm a sausage and onion lover, but the pepperoni is very respectable.

    And the cheezy spread is great. One of the best perks around in my opinion. It's an easy nosh while your pizza is cooking.

    A good tip -- you can call ahead to order your eat-in pizza. That way, it's hot and fresh when you get there with little wait.
  • Post #10 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:12 am
    Post #10 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:12 am Post #10 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:12 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:This is some of my favorite thin-crust pizza in all of Chicagoland but I'll admit that I have very little objectivity about it. It's what I grew up with, it's what I crave and it's one of my personal benchmarks.

    Ron,

    I liked Barnaby's crisp crust, quality ingredients, in particular the sausage and agree it is a unique style. If I lived or worked in the area it would be a regular in my take out rotation.

    Barnaby's
    Image

    Burger was surprisingly good and if Charlie Beinlich's wasn't a stones throw away I bet they would get more attention for the burgers.

    Barnaby's Burger
    Image

    Thanks for the Barnaby's introduction.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Charlie Beinlich's Food & Tap
    290 Skokie Boulevard
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-714-9375
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:22 am
    Post #11 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:22 am Post #11 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:22 am
    I am also in the 30 year club. I remember going with my brothers, parents and grandparents. I now work a few doors down from Barnaby's and go for lunch.

    I also take my wife and kids on a frequent basis. My wife is not a big fan, but as others have said, nostalgia plays a big role in my enjoyment of the pizza.

    I am also addicted to the fries and fried shrimp. Not particularly good, but exactly what you would expect from a pizza joint. A couple pies, an order or two of fried shrimp and a pitcher of pink lemonade makes my family happy.

    Hmmm, I wonder what the wife has planned for dinner tonight...
  • Post #12 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:25 am
    Post #12 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:25 am Post #12 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:25 am
    I have yet to try a Barnaby's pie, and work in the area. I do want to try one, and will in due time. Is this a true "crunchy" cracker thin crust? The pics are making me think it looks more like a home run inn type "pastry-ish" crust. Maybe it's because of the edges of the crust being pinched.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #13 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:30 am
    Post #13 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:30 am Post #13 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:30 am
    seebee wrote:The pics are making me think it looks more like a home run inn type "pastry-ish" crust. Maybe it's because of the edges of the crust being pinched.

    More pastry-ish, not simply appearance either. Pastry was my first thought, actually I said cake-like, my aging brain confusing the two items, but quickly corrected myself.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:45 am
    Post #14 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:45 am Post #14 - February 22nd, 2008, 10:45 am
    Hi,

    There is definitely a crunchiness to the pizza crust, which seems to come from the cornmeal's presence.

    I am rather a late comer to this style. My first introduction was in the 80's when I helped a friend move. I wasn't dazzled, though I was really more tired and needing fuel. Only in the last 2 years did I finally appreciate Barnaby's after some mentions here and an opportunity to try it at a friend's home.

    Regards,
    Last edited by Cathy2 on February 22nd, 2008, 11:20 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
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  • Post #15 - February 22nd, 2008, 11:16 am
    Post #15 - February 22nd, 2008, 11:16 am Post #15 - February 22nd, 2008, 11:16 am
    Oh ya !! Count me in as a big fan of Barnaby's Pizza,we started going there in 1968-the year they opened in Schaumburg. Was back home in September 2007 and stopped on the way back from shopping at Woodfield. Absolutely hasn't changed,superb corn meal flavored thin-crust. I know the Schaumburg location also had the lights at the tables and the window where you could watch the pizzas being made. All these years and I still have yet to try anything else on the menu and that burger looks REALLY GOOD.


    Barnaby's Family Inn
    134 W. Golf Road
    Schaumburg,IL 60195
    (847) 882-3220
    barnabysschaumburg.com
    Go Cubs Go !
  • Post #16 - February 22nd, 2008, 1:55 pm
    Post #16 - February 22nd, 2008, 1:55 pm Post #16 - February 22nd, 2008, 1:55 pm
    Ronnie, et al -- Thanks for explaining why the Barnaby's pizza crust has always been a ffavorite of ours. It's a definite plus.

    Try this one: pepperoni, double-onion, green olives & jalapenos.

    It's a week's worth of sodium and it's worth it.
  • Post #17 - February 22nd, 2008, 6:12 pm
    Post #17 - February 22nd, 2008, 6:12 pm Post #17 - February 22nd, 2008, 6:12 pm
    Lots of non-pork eaters in this house :roll: but we LOOOOOVE Barnaby's in NB with ground beef and extra sauce. Damn, I want some NOW!!
  • Post #18 - February 22nd, 2008, 6:33 pm
    Post #18 - February 22nd, 2008, 6:33 pm Post #18 - February 22nd, 2008, 6:33 pm
    I ate many times for many years at the now closed Barnabys on Touhy west of California. Growing up, when my parents took us, it would usually be pizza. But getting older and going on my own I tended to gravitate to the sandwiches. Then, while working in Skokie, I started going to the Caldwell location at lunch and fell in love with the pizza again.

    Recently I did try the one in Des Plaines and it just didn't seem the same. I think I need to try it again since it was early on a Sunday and I took it to go rather than eat there.
  • Post #19 - February 22nd, 2008, 11:32 pm
    Post #19 - February 22nd, 2008, 11:32 pm Post #19 - February 22nd, 2008, 11:32 pm
    midas wrote:Recently I did try the one in Des Plaines and it just didn't seem the same. I think I need to try it again since it was early on a Sunday and I took it to go rather than eat there.


    I was last at the Northbrook location about two years age and felt the pizza's were pretty much the same. Ronnie's photos certainly seem to depict a very similar product down to the same serving platter. Of course Des Plaines lacks that North Shore sophistication of real plates (paper only) and natural light (no windows). :lol:

    Also interesting here is a customer base including plenty of Latino and East Asian families who I don't often see in other pizza joints. Not sure if it's the appeal of the pizza or the economics of self service and decent priced pitchers of soft drinks or beer.
  • Post #20 - February 23rd, 2008, 4:28 pm
    Post #20 - February 23rd, 2008, 4:28 pm Post #20 - February 23rd, 2008, 4:28 pm
    My husband and I both have wonderful memories of the Des Plaines Barnaby's...he worked at the Shell station next door during high school and needless to say ate at Barnaby's OFTEN! And my memories are of loads of kids walking down Wolf road after the football games at Maine West to get pizza and hang out. Now, living in Crystal Lake, we make a point of going to Barnaby's anytime we need to go to the airport and always take a couple of par-baked pizzas home! ...the burgers are excellent too, not to mention we LOVE the prices!!!

    I would LOVE to know how they make that crust...... :lol:
    Raised in good old Des Plaines...Go Warriors!
  • Post #21 - February 23rd, 2008, 5:37 pm
    Post #21 - February 23rd, 2008, 5:37 pm Post #21 - February 23rd, 2008, 5:37 pm
    Been frequenting Barnaby's in Northbrook since I was a little kid.

    Does anyone else remember the create your own ice cream sundae bar they used to have on Friday (?) nights?
  • Post #22 - February 23rd, 2008, 7:20 pm
    Post #22 - February 23rd, 2008, 7:20 pm Post #22 - February 23rd, 2008, 7:20 pm
    I don't know if anyone else remembers, but there was a Barnaby's like (I don't want to call it a knockoff) down on Taylor and Morgan called Papa Charlies. I always wondered if there was any relationship between them since they seemed so similar. Timeframe would have to be late 70's early 80's since I would often go there on the way to Sox games at the old Comiskey.
  • Post #23 - February 14th, 2010, 7:17 pm
    Post #23 - February 14th, 2010, 7:17 pm Post #23 - February 14th, 2010, 7:17 pm
    Happy Valentine's Day

    Image
  • Post #24 - February 14th, 2010, 7:30 pm
    Post #24 - February 14th, 2010, 7:30 pm Post #24 - February 14th, 2010, 7:30 pm
    iblock9 wrote:Happy Valentine's Day

    Image


    Ah...V-day at Barnaby's...that's a blast from the past :lol: Love those heart shaped pizzas (actually love Barnaby's in any shape!!)
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #25 - February 15th, 2010, 6:19 pm
    Post #25 - February 15th, 2010, 6:19 pm Post #25 - February 15th, 2010, 6:19 pm
    midas wrote:I don't know if anyone else remembers, but there was a Barnaby's like (I don't want to call it a knockoff) down on Taylor and Morgan called Papa Charlies


    I sure do!
    As a UIC student in the late 70's, my friends and I would frequent Papa Charlie's for pitchers of beer and pizza. You're right, their pizza was similar to Barnaby's. It was a great college hang out- I was sorry to see it transformed into an upscale/valet parking/fine dining Italian restaurant (Tuscany).
    Last edited by sandman on February 17th, 2010, 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #26 - February 15th, 2010, 7:16 pm
    Post #26 - February 15th, 2010, 7:16 pm Post #26 - February 15th, 2010, 7:16 pm
    The former Papa Charlie's morphed into the original Tuscany, the best of the chain to my way of thinking.
  • Post #27 - February 15th, 2010, 9:38 pm
    Post #27 - February 15th, 2010, 9:38 pm Post #27 - February 15th, 2010, 9:38 pm
    Oh no, I forgot all about the heart shaped pizza this year! :lol:

    I am also a Barnaby's of Northbrook fan. All of my family and friends swear by it, and they have been a staple for us since the 70's. In fact, we had to live at the Sheraton (now Renaissance) across the street in the summer of 1979 while our house was being finished in Highland Park. I was too young to take advantage of that situation, and I shudder to think how many times I might have walked across the street for pizza back then! :)

    I hadn't been going there much in the last year even though it's close to home, but now that I'll be working 5-7 minutes away from Barnaby's, it's going to one of my weekly choices for lunch. This will allow me to try some other things on the menu I've seen others try, but I usually can't resist the pizza once I walk in the vestibule and that pizza smell hits you smack in the face. Truly one of the great restaurant aromas in my life is walking into that Barnaby's. I did try the Angus Burger (only on the specials board at the front) and it's great. The Pub Burger is pretty good, but this is even better.

    One of my friends who loves their pizza actually worked as a bartender there for a while and now that he's in Los Angeles, I always make sure I torture him by mentioning I'm headed to Barnaby's and isn't it a shame he couldn't be there too. :twisted:
  • Post #28 - February 14th, 2011, 3:43 pm
    Post #28 - February 14th, 2011, 3:43 pm Post #28 - February 14th, 2011, 3:43 pm
    Heart shaped pizzas are back at Barnaby's this year (and every year).
  • Post #29 - February 14th, 2011, 7:16 pm
    Post #29 - February 14th, 2011, 7:16 pm Post #29 - February 14th, 2011, 7:16 pm
    This year I didn't forget about the heart shaped pizza at Barnaby's. Only problem was I just called to order and they said the wait for carryout was well over an hour. Normally I don't mind waiting, but the other people eating with me can't wait, so I'll have to "settle" for my favorite deep dish pizza tonight - heart shaped Malnati's. :)

    Besides, I had Barnaby's last week! :wink:
  • Post #30 - February 14th, 2011, 7:44 pm
    Post #30 - February 14th, 2011, 7:44 pm Post #30 - February 14th, 2011, 7:44 pm
    Ram4 wrote:Besides, I had Barnaby's last week! :wink:

    Me too . . . twice. :oops:

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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