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Burt’s Place, Morton Grove, after Burt Katz

Burt’s Place, Morton Grove, after Burt Katz
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  • Post #91 - December 30th, 2018, 11:25 am
    Post #91 - December 30th, 2018, 11:25 am Post #91 - December 30th, 2018, 11:25 am
    HI,

    Last November, the Small Household Exchange met at Burt's. My contribution to the exchange was Detroit style pizza via SeriousEats.

    Sometime later, those who received my pizza thought it was better than what was served. My effort came closer to the spirit of what we expected at Burt's in the past.

    This post is from the first visit to Burt's by Josephine and I.

    Image
    Crust edge: Burt's at left, Pequod's at right.

    Those new owners were really put in a difficult position with Burt's death while they were in training.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    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 #92 - December 30th, 2018, 12:11 pm
    Post #92 - December 30th, 2018, 12:11 pm Post #92 - December 30th, 2018, 12:11 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Those new owners were really put in a difficult position with Burt's death while they were in training.

    They put themselves in that spot. They purchased the place eyes wide open. No one put them there. Sometimes knowledge, experience and wisdom cannot be passed on, even if one pays for them. Such is life . . . and death.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #93 - December 30th, 2018, 12:21 pm
    Post #93 - December 30th, 2018, 12:21 pm Post #93 - December 30th, 2018, 12:21 pm
    Those also chose to keep the name and the notoriety that would bring. The downside is that they also will always be compared to the old place with the old place getting better as our memories get older. They knew this comparison would take place.
  • Post #94 - December 30th, 2018, 12:36 pm
    Post #94 - December 30th, 2018, 12:36 pm Post #94 - December 30th, 2018, 12:36 pm
    lougord99 wrote:Those also chose to keep the name and the notoriety that would bring. The downside is that they also will always be compared to the old place with the old place getting better as our memories get older. They knew this comparison would take place.

    That's exactly right, Lou. It's a similar conversation to one that took place on this thread:

    Mirabella (in the former Mirabell space)

    There, though, it was going the other direction, as many felt that association with the previous name/ownership would do the new owners more harm than good.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #95 - December 30th, 2018, 1:10 pm
    Post #95 - December 30th, 2018, 1:10 pm Post #95 - December 30th, 2018, 1:10 pm
    Also,

    [*] Burt’s Place used to be the only game in town for carmelized pan - not deep dish - pizza (other than Pequod’s, whose pizza isn’t quite as good). Now, there are pizza parlors that are offering a similar product that is as good as or much better than the re-born Burt’s Place, e.g. Labriola and the Detroit-style purveyors such as Paulie Gee’s and Union Squared.

    [*] The new owners of Burt’s Place were futures floor traders who were displaced by electronic trading, and they had absolutely no experience with the hospitality industry in general and pizza-crafting in particular, unlike the joints mentioned above.
  • Post #96 - December 30th, 2018, 2:08 pm
    Post #96 - December 30th, 2018, 2:08 pm Post #96 - December 30th, 2018, 2:08 pm
    ld111134 wrote:Also,

    [*] Burt’s Place used to be the only game in town for carmelized pan - not deep dish - pizza (other than Pequod’s, whose pizza isn’t quite as good). Now, there are pizza parlors that are offering a similar product that is as good as or much better than the re-born Burt’s Place, e.g. Labriola and the Detroit-style purveyors such as Paulie Gee’s and Union Squared.


    Or just make it yourself:
    Subject: homemade pizza gallery

    Cathy2 wrote:
    Anko wrote:First attempt at Kenji's new Detroit-style pizza recipe:
    http://www.seriouseats.com/2017/02/how-to-make-detroit-style-pizza.html


    This stood out when I read through the article:
    Detroit pizza is unusual in two ways when it comes to cheese. The first is the use of Brick cheese, a high-fat aged cheese from Wisconsin with a uniquely tangy, salty, buttery flavor that's hard to replace with alternatives. The second is the edges. If you've ever been to Pequod's or Burt's Place in Chicago, or, better yet, had a pizza from Windy City Pie in Seattle (incidentally, the best Chicago-style pan pizza I've ever had anywhere, including in Chicago), then you're familiar with the concept of a crispy, blackened cheese crust—the shelf of crisp, lacy cheese that surrounds the edge of the pizza. This is where the real magic of Detroit-style pizza lies, and, as I found out, getting it is not exactly straightforward.
    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 #97 - December 30th, 2018, 6:27 pm
    Post #97 - December 30th, 2018, 6:27 pm Post #97 - December 30th, 2018, 6:27 pm
    ld111134 wrote:[*] Burt’s Place used to be the only game in town for carmelized pan - not deep dish - pizza (other than Pequod’s, whose pizza isn’t quite as good). Now, there are pizza parlors that are offering a similar product that is as good as or much better than the re-born Burt’s Place, e.g. Labriola and the Detroit-style purveyors such as Paulie Gee’s and Union Squared.

    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.
    Somewhat horizontal angle
    Image
    Dressed w/ my own sauteed veggies (peppers are roasted, then mixed into the buttery onion/mushroom/spinach)
    Image
  • Post #98 - December 30th, 2018, 11:25 pm
    Post #98 - December 30th, 2018, 11:25 pm Post #98 - December 30th, 2018, 11:25 pm
    Guess the caramelized pizza...

    863227A2-10E1-4455-A6F2-48F8E4877468.jpeg
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #99 - December 31st, 2018, 12:06 am
    Post #99 - December 31st, 2018, 12:06 am Post #99 - December 31st, 2018, 12:06 am
    Visited Burt's last week for the first time since the new ownership and we were delighted with the service, the atmosphere, and yes, the pizza. Only went a few times while Burt was still around and, of course, loved it then, but we really enjoyed ourselves this time, too, and ordered plenty of pizza so we could have leftovers. Was it as spot on as before? Hard to say, but we really did love everything about our meal, including, walking in off the street, getting a table right away, and being able to order there and then without having to jump through the old hoops, which admittedly, added to the allure of the old incarnation, but also more often than not kept us from going. Glad to still have it around and appreciate all the upgrades the owners have made (expanded bar, the outdoor patio, etc.), while keeping the spirit of the place alive.
  • Post #100 - December 31st, 2018, 10:21 pm
    Post #100 - December 31st, 2018, 10:21 pm Post #100 - December 31st, 2018, 10:21 pm
    So I need to write two disclaimers before this post. Disclaimer #1, I never ate at the old Burt's Place, so I can't compare what I tried to the Burt's of legend. Disclaimer #2, I was hung over on sour mash whiskey when I tried new Burt's for the first time. Not the kind of hung over that makes you really hungry for greasy food; rather, the kind that makes your stomach hang up a "no entry - Superfund site" sign. So I am scoring the pizza on a bit of a handicap to compensate for my condition. I also need to point out the service, reservation system and overall restaurant experience was great; it was just the pizza that didn't live up to my expectations.

    All the toppings and sauce were high quality but pan pizza lives and dies by the crust and I just didn't care for the crust at Burt's. I found it dense and bready, kind of like a thick shortbread cracker, rather than crisp and well-risen like I prefer in a pan pizza. For reference my gold standard for crust is the pan pizza crust at D'Amato's on Grand, or even, dare I say it Jet's Pizza on a good day. Overall not a bad pizza but not one I would go out of my way for.
  • Post #101 - January 1st, 2019, 5:58 pm
    Post #101 - January 1st, 2019, 5:58 pm Post #101 - January 1st, 2019, 5:58 pm
    Even during the heyday of Burt’s, I never found his pizza to be much more than glorified foccacia. Before anyone labels me as a hater, I’m old enough (although very young at the time) to remember the glorious product that he produced when he was still associated with Gullivers - that stuff was transcendent...
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #102 - January 1st, 2019, 6:26 pm
    Post #102 - January 1st, 2019, 6:26 pm Post #102 - January 1st, 2019, 6:26 pm
    The Inferno in Evanston (another BK pizzeria from 1963-1965) was always my go to place for pizza when I was in high school. I was a fan of Gulliver's during my college days and became a customer of Pequods when it opened, the year I moved to Niles. I only ate at Burt's once, 11 years ago. Last year, I ate at Pequods in Morton Grove and it brought my taste buds right back into the 70's.

    CSD
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #103 - January 1st, 2019, 11:50 pm
    Post #103 - January 1st, 2019, 11:50 pm Post #103 - January 1st, 2019, 11:50 pm
    I'm not sure what you're all talking about. I was there pretty recently with family and it was great. I also like the outdoor seating area, fully covered with heat. Makes getting in with a larger group much easier. Also look at the pics above of 7 and 9 years ago. Crust looks identical to now. I feel like people have bad memories and are dogpiling.
  • Post #104 - January 2nd, 2019, 12:22 am
    Post #104 - January 2nd, 2019, 12:22 am Post #104 - January 2nd, 2019, 12:22 am
    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:It's been a long time ...

    Happy New Year all,
    Buddy

    Hi Buddy!

    Happy New Year to you too! :)
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #105 - January 2nd, 2019, 1:17 am
    Post #105 - January 2nd, 2019, 1:17 am Post #105 - January 2nd, 2019, 1:17 am
    Chitown B wrote:I'm not sure what you're all talking about... look at the pics above of 7 and 9 years ago. Crust looks identical to now. I feel like people have bad memories and are dogpiling.

    20110525-153292-Chicago-Burts-Place-Pan-Pizza-Side.jpg

    A15751AC-01B6-4775-9FD4-3657F547440C.jpeg

    I think it helps to look at the pictures right next to each other. To me, the difference is stark. The crumb from years ago reveals a tenderness that the nearly air-bubble-free bottom bottom picture lacks. The crust in the bottom picture looks like a dense overworked piece of dough that would take some serious work to chew.
  • Post #106 - January 2nd, 2019, 11:53 am
    Post #106 - January 2nd, 2019, 11:53 am Post #106 - January 2nd, 2019, 11:53 am
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:
    Chitown B wrote:I'm not sure what you're all talking about... look at the pics above of 7 and 9 years ago. Crust looks identical to now. I feel like people have bad memories and are dogpiling.

    I think it helps to look at the pictures right next to each other. To me, the difference is stark. The crumb from years ago reveals a tenderness that the nearly air-bubble-free bottom bottom picture lacks. The crust in the bottom picture looks like a dense overworked piece of dough that would take some serious work to chew.

    Or, it was not risen properly. It lacks the complex structure shown in the earlier picture. To me, also, the pictures show a stark difference that would definitely affect flavor and texture.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #107 - January 2nd, 2019, 12:07 pm
    Post #107 - January 2nd, 2019, 12:07 pm Post #107 - January 2nd, 2019, 12:07 pm
    I feel like I need to chime in! Our family goes to Burt's Place at least once a month. We've gotten to know Jerry and most of the staff fairly well. Luckily I was asked to taste test pizzas before the opening, and made some suggestions at that time- mostly seasoning suggestions. We also went to Burt's regularly when Burt was alive-and we even went to Infernos back when we were in college (the dark ages, I know).
    My family loves everything about Burt's. The new layout, the outside patio, the TV's outside, the new selection of beers and wines, and of course the pizza. We have concocted our own signature pizza that we order every time we go and have taken our friends to enjoy the pizza with us. We always order spinach, mushroom and caramelized onions with a little extra sauce. The combination is delicious. I disagree about the crust-the crust is yeasty and fragrant. Just the right rise and just the right crunch on the bottom.
    We feel like family when we go, the staff is attentive and helpful. We love that Jerry and his staff have made changes to the physical building and the pizza as well, and we've never been disappointed. And no, I'm not being paid to say any of this :D
  • Post #108 - January 2nd, 2019, 5:24 pm
    Post #108 - January 2nd, 2019, 5:24 pm Post #108 - January 2nd, 2019, 5:24 pm
    Regardless of your good experiences, there is no doubt that the pizza I had and photographed on Saturday was a misfire. Based on GAF's comments he experienced the same type of misfire the day before.

    At best, Burt's currently has a consistency issue. The proof is in the picture and confirmed by the eating.
  • Post #109 - January 2nd, 2019, 8:11 pm
    Post #109 - January 2nd, 2019, 8:11 pm Post #109 - January 2nd, 2019, 8:11 pm
    scottsol wrote:Regardless of your good experiences, there is no doubt that the pizza I had and photographed on Saturday was a misfire. Based on GAF's comments he experienced the same type of misfire the day before.

    At best, Burt's currently has a consistency issue. The proof is in the picture and confirmed by the eating.


    I think that this is inevitable given that the proprietors are not hospitality industry professionals. They spend countless hours learning from the great man himself then honing their technique on their own. However, they might not have anticipated how difficult it would be to put out a consistent product for customers on a regular basis. This inconsistency would be most noticeable to us who patronized the old Burt’s.
  • Post #110 - January 4th, 2019, 8:46 am
    Post #110 - January 4th, 2019, 8:46 am Post #110 - January 4th, 2019, 8:46 am
    I've only been back to Burt's once since the new owners took over. It's about a 45 mile drive for me now. I always found that anything larger than a medium, I think it was 14", got too bready for my taste.

    I believe there was a pretty long tangent in one of the old Burt's threads.
  • Post #111 - January 4th, 2019, 8:47 am
    Post #111 - January 4th, 2019, 8:47 am Post #111 - January 4th, 2019, 8:47 am
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:
    Chitown B wrote:I'm not sure what you're all talking about... look at the pics above of 7 and 9 years ago. Crust looks identical to now. I feel like people have bad memories and are dogpiling.

    20110525-153292-Chicago-Burts-Place-Pan-Pizza-Side.jpg

    A15751AC-01B6-4775-9FD4-3657F547440C.jpeg

    I think it helps to look at the pictures right next to each other. To me, the difference is stark. The crumb from years ago reveals a tenderness that the nearly air-bubble-free bottom bottom picture lacks. The crust in the bottom picture looks like a dense overworked piece of dough that would take some serious work to chew.


    I don't know the photographers or where/when these were taken. Things can look different depending on a lot of factors, especially whether it was taken at the restaurant or at home, before or after reheat, etc. My experience did not jive with the latter pic, so maybe it was an outlier if that's the case.

    Diane wrote:I feel like I need to chime in! Our family goes to Burt's Place at least once a month. We've gotten to know Jerry and most of the staff fairly well. Luckily I was asked to taste test pizzas before the opening, and made some suggestions at that time- mostly seasoning suggestions. We also went to Burt's regularly when Burt was alive-and we even went to Infernos back when we were in college (the dark ages, I know).
    My family loves everything about Burt's. The new layout, the outside patio, the TV's outside, the new selection of beers and wines, and of course the pizza. We have concocted our own signature pizza that we order every time we go and have taken our friends to enjoy the pizza with us. We always order spinach, mushroom and caramelized onions with a little extra sauce. The combination is delicious. I disagree about the crust-the crust is yeasty and fragrant. Just the right rise and just the right crunch on the bottom.
    We feel like family when we go, the staff is attentive and helpful. We love that Jerry and his staff have made changes to the physical building and the pizza as well, and we've never been disappointed. And no, I'm not being paid to say any of this :D


    Seconded
  • Post #112 - January 24th, 2019, 1:36 pm
    Post #112 - January 24th, 2019, 1:36 pm Post #112 - January 24th, 2019, 1:36 pm
    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.
  • Post #113 - February 22nd, 2019, 9:36 am
    Post #113 - February 22nd, 2019, 9:36 am Post #113 - February 22nd, 2019, 9:36 am
    Following up, I was just at Burt's last week. While it was still good, I do agree it was pretty thick on the crust this time, with what seemed like much less cheese/toppings. While I like the crust, I do wish it was a bit more balanced.
    Last edited by Chitown B on February 26th, 2019, 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #114 - February 22nd, 2019, 12:44 pm
    Post #114 - February 22nd, 2019, 12:44 pm Post #114 - February 22nd, 2019, 12:44 pm
    Chitown B wrote:Following up, I was just at Burt's last week. While it was still good, I do agree it was pretty thick on the crust this time, with what seemed like must less cheese/toppings. While I like the crust, I do wish it was a bit more balanced.
    But you told them so they can fix the problem, right?
  • Post #115 - February 22nd, 2019, 1:15 pm
    Post #115 - February 22nd, 2019, 1:15 pm Post #115 - February 22nd, 2019, 1:15 pm
    Ram4 wrote: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.

    Just to be clear, they parted ways from their partnership at Burt's and he always owned Lefty's and brought the recipe over?
    Ram4 wrote:
    Chitown B wrote:Following up, I was just at Burt's last week. While it was still good, I do agree it was pretty thick on the crust this time, with what seemed like must less cheese/toppings. While I like the crust, I do wish it was a bit more balanced.
    But you told them so they can fix the problem, right?

    I would imagine they follow this thread.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #116 - February 22nd, 2019, 1:51 pm
    Post #116 - February 22nd, 2019, 1:51 pm Post #116 - February 22nd, 2019, 1:51 pm
    If they did, you would think they would have replied to the recent bad crust discussion.
  • Post #117 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:03 pm
    Post #117 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:03 pm Post #117 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:03 pm
    scottsol wrote:If they did, you would think they would have replied to the recent bad crust discussion.

    No way. If I were them, I'd steer clear of it. It's a snakepit. On that note, I firmly believe any feedback should be given directly to the establishment. One cannot expect them to check outside sources with any regularity, even if they'd be wise to do so. Going direct removes any doubt that the feedback was received.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #118 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:06 pm
    Post #118 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:06 pm Post #118 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:06 pm
    LTH and Burt's has a long relationship. I wouldn't say they would reply.

    I could see them ignoring other sources...
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #119 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:46 pm
    Post #119 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:46 pm Post #119 - February 22nd, 2019, 2:46 pm
    Burt's relationship with LTH as an online entity was strictly through me. He was famously (and somewhat proudly) internet ignorant, and never saw the site. The only time he ever actually saw any posts was when I'd print them out for him.

    The new owner, Jerry, is tech savvy and connected to the net, although I can't swear he spends much time here. Ronnie is right, any comments should be directed to him. He's highly committed to maintaining Burt's recipes and methods and very receptive to constructive criticism that helps him stay on track.

    Buddy
  • Post #120 - February 26th, 2019, 11:17 am
    Post #120 - February 26th, 2019, 11:17 am Post #120 - February 26th, 2019, 11:17 am
    Ram4 wrote:
    Chitown B wrote:Following up, I was just at Burt's last week. While it was still good, I do agree it was pretty thick on the crust this time, with what seemed like must less cheese/toppings. While I like the crust, I do wish it was a bit more balanced.
    But you told them so they can fix the problem, right?


    I didn't. I was with old friends and I wasn't so put off by it that it warranted a comment. If I go back and it's the same, I will probably mention it.

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