LTH Home

Paulie Gee's

Paulie Gee's
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Paulie Gee's

    Post #1 - July 10th, 2016, 7:07 am
    Post #1 - July 10th, 2016, 7:07 am Post #1 - July 10th, 2016, 7:07 am
    Went here last night not knowing it was their first night open. Probably my favorite pizza in Chicago. The pizza is similar to Spacca Napoli but stays a little crisper in the middle. I personally like this better than traditional Naples pizza so ymmv. Had the hellboy and the in the ricotta da vegan. Both were great. Service was rough but it was the first night.

    2451 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    (773) 227-9898
  • Post #2 - July 19th, 2016, 12:32 pm
    Post #2 - July 19th, 2016, 12:32 pm Post #2 - July 19th, 2016, 12:32 pm
    This is overwrought so sorry in advance.

    I went to Paulie Gee's last night. I knew this place was a Williamsburg import and for that reason assumed (hoped) they would served New York style pizza like Di Fara. I was wrong. They serve Neapolitan style pizza. The pizza is good - we ate a Hellboy and a Greenpointer. Service and kitchen are a trainwreck right now, but it's a new restaurant so I absolutely don't hold that against them. But when I walked in I thought I was getting something new and interesting. Come to find out I've been eating a better version of this pizza at Spacca Napoli for a decade now.

    My real nit is the presentation of Paulie Gee's to Chicago diners (particularly in Eater articles) with an implicit message that we are damn lucky to have this place. Eater describes the restaurant as "iconic" (the first one opened in 2010 BTW). From a certain lens though it's nothing more than New York hipster food and somebody thought that meant we should export it to Logan Square. Fine. Whatever. I'm sure they'll sell a lot of pies. But like I said, we already have Spacca Napoli, which has been around a lot longer and does it better.

    There's a commodification here that bugs me way more than other imports (e.g., Gus', Nando's), probably because we're talking about Chicago, New York, and pizza. (Like I said, overwrought.)
  • Post #3 - July 20th, 2016, 3:58 pm
    Post #3 - July 20th, 2016, 3:58 pm Post #3 - July 20th, 2016, 3:58 pm
    It's down the street and it's pizza, so I had to try. As noted, very discombobulated service (we were brought the wrong pizza 3 times). I was inspecting the ovens and the owner asked me what I thought. I told him I had built my own oven a few years back and these looked top of the line. He came by and sat with us for a while to discuss pizza styles, sogginess, crust, etc, and as I suspected from the pizza we eventually got, they're not aiming for true Neapolitan style (even though their ovens are emblazoned NAPOLI). They want good wood-fired pizza with a crust that can support a wide range of toppings of various weights.

    Spacca Napoli is much closer to true Neapolitan, particularly before when their centers were even soggier. But what set Paulie Gee's apart, was the crust. It had a very high moisture content and good yeast development. The cheese however seemed low moisture and covered the entire pizza (unlike Spacca's high moisture splotches of cheese). In a crude way, I say the pizza turned out to be a cross between Coalfire and Spacca, but I thought it was very good if you're just out for good pizza and not a specific style (though neapolitan would still be the closest comparison). It'll be my go to over Reno, whose crust I find too brittle, when I'm out in the neighborhood.

    On the marketing front, I can't speak to ews's point about being lucky to have them. I do recall walking in and thinking I was on Division St, if that makes any sense.
  • Post #4 - July 21st, 2016, 6:49 am
    Post #4 - July 21st, 2016, 6:49 am Post #4 - July 21st, 2016, 6:49 am
    I went on Friday and sat at the bar where you can order the full menu. We had the Hellboy and the Ricotta Be Kidding Me, and two pizzas was just on the edge of being too much for two people. Both were excellent, though the ricotta pie was the clear winner. I normally find ricotta to be an underwhelming cheese that contributes more to texture than anything, but the fresh ricotta that they dollop on top post-baking tastes so damn good.

    I'll echo whocanitbenow's point and say that the crust is very good. It had a nice gluten structure without being overly chewy and the flavor was nice.

    Overall a nice addition to that ever expanding stretch of Milwaukee, though I worry that Reno may take a serious hit with another wood-fired pizza place right up the street.
  • Post #5 - July 24th, 2016, 7:25 am
    Post #5 - July 24th, 2016, 7:25 am Post #5 - July 24th, 2016, 7:25 am
    Hey folks! Long time no post... (as in 2011 for my last post) but after seeing the reviews for Paulie Gee's Logan Square, I wanted to chime in. (Because I'm the owner!)

    First off, thank you all for coming to try us out! It's my first restaurant, and it definitely hasn't come to this point without some bumps and bruises... and some continued bumps and bruises even now. It's all part of the fun so far though!

    We definitely had some rough service the first weekend we were open (far higher ticket times than we had planned for, server mistakes in table numbers, etc) however we've ironed out a lot of those issues as we entered our second week of service (ticket times last night were under 15 minutes at all times, and averaged 6 minutes). I'm a firm believer that we're in a work in progress, as I think we'll always be (there's always room to improve another aspect!)

    @gnarchief - I'd say that there's plenty of room for Reno and us to serve the public! And our pies are different enough that I think we'll draw different crowds. I'm a firm believer in colleagues, not competition! Pizza is such a ubiquitous food, we're just honored to be another option in the neighborhood!

    @Whocanitbenow - You hit it on the head. While the ovens do say Napoli, we're not trying to be Neapolitan... we just want to make good wood fired pizza for the neighborhood! I don't remember if Jonathan (Spacca Napoli) makes his own cheese or just focuses on using as high moisture as possible, but it's amazing stuff either way! We're definitely using a fresh mozzarella for our pies (vacuum sealed), with a more of a lean towards the American palate (heavier cheese coverage) for a good amount of our pies. As for the atmosphere, I wanted a relaxed place where people can enjoy each other's company, no TV's, and hopefully good food and drink. I definitely designed some of the style to echo what it felt like to be in the original Paulie Gee's in Brooklyn, but opened up the space a bit more so we weren't packed shoulder to shoulder as much. Does it really feel like Division St?

    @ByEWS - I completely agree with you on the Eater articles. They've always shown a lot of love towards Paulie Gee's, which he has appreciated, but the tone of the articles at times has definitely been a bit... snobbish. If you ever get a chance to talk to Paulie (New Jersey native) or me (born and raised Chicago/burbs), we're of the same philosophy... this isn't "brooklyn" or "new york" style pizza. It's just wood fired pizza that we're trying to make enjoyable. And you're right, Spacca Napoli is definitely the finest Neapolitan style we have in the city (and possibly the States). After my wife and I had saved enough to do a short trip to Naples, we came to truly appreciate just how perfectly replicated Spacca Napoli is to Neapolitan pizza. Jonathan's dedication to his craft is nothing short of amazing, and has been instrumental in helping me down this path of opening my own restaurant.

    @dagrassroots - Thank you for coming out on our first night, and being understanding enough to mention it! Hopefully you didn't come in on Thursday when we had to shut down service 15 minutes in due to flooding issues? :? I guess no one ever said the restaurant business was easy... :lol:

    Again, I appreciate the honest feedback folks, and thank you again for coming in! It was a pleasure connecting with those of you that I was able to! (I try to make it a point to meet every guest that comes through personally, but we've been short staffed more nights than I'd like to say, and I've had to jump behind the line to make pizza, run food, or any other role that just needed to be filled...)
  • Post #6 - July 24th, 2016, 10:29 am
    Post #6 - July 24th, 2016, 10:29 am Post #6 - July 24th, 2016, 10:29 am
    ninjak80 wrote: As for the atmosphere, I wanted a relaxed place where people can enjoy each other's company, no TV's, and hopefully good food and drink. I definitely designed some of the style to echo what it felt like to be in the original Paulie Gee's in Brooklyn, but opened up the space a bit more so we weren't packed shoulder to shoulder as much. Does it really feel like Division St?


    Perhaps that's a bit of an overstatement on my part (no insult to division st, wink wink nudge nudge). The place has a rangey feel, which is something I'm getting more and more used to experiencing in Logan. I mean, I'm the sensitive soul that had worries about Lula doubling its space and now I can't even remember what I was worried about. The gf and I tend to like eating at the bar, which may make our experience more specific. I like the atmosphere generally and the low lighting works well. The crust truly is remarkable and expect to be a regular.
  • Post #7 - July 24th, 2016, 11:04 am
    Post #7 - July 24th, 2016, 11:04 am Post #7 - July 24th, 2016, 11:04 am
    @Ninjak80
    From one restaurant owner to another - great post reply... I love woodfired pies & will be in soon for a visit
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
    http://pitbarbq.com
    http://thebudlong.com
    http://denveraf.com
  • Post #8 - February 9th, 2021, 2:31 pm
    Post #8 - February 9th, 2021, 2:31 pm Post #8 - February 9th, 2021, 2:31 pm
    Paulie Gee’s opens second location Tuesday in Wicker Park

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html

    1566 N. Damen Ave.
    773-661-6793
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #9 - February 9th, 2021, 3:28 pm
    Post #9 - February 9th, 2021, 3:28 pm Post #9 - February 9th, 2021, 3:28 pm
    Since no one has updated this thread in nearly five years...

    This place continues to be among the best, if not the best, pizzeria(s) in town--IF you order right. The regular menu Detroit-style pizza (i.e., "Logan Squares") offerings are utterly tops, particularly one with pepperoni, ricotta, hot honey, etc. that hits every node: crunchy, spicy, sweet, creamy, and on and on. Their Neapolitans (i.e., "woodfires") are best in class, too, though we've had a few that have been overbaked.

    I've had less luck with the specialty Detroit pies, however. Most recently, a one-time pizza for the Super Bowl this year that featured Kansas City brisket, pickled onions, and BBQ sauce was a total styles clash: the brisket was surprisingly great and true to form, which is precisely why it doesn't belong on an oily bakery-style pizza. We had the same problem with a Sichuan eggplant pizza earlier in the year: great idea, great individual flavors, meh pizza.

    Speaking of "meh," the New York-style they're selling at the front of the Logan Square store and at the new WP store is just fine. It's notable only for depriving you from what they do best.
  • Post #10 - February 9th, 2021, 9:31 pm
    Post #10 - February 9th, 2021, 9:31 pm Post #10 - February 9th, 2021, 9:31 pm
    chezbrad wrote:Since no one has updated this thread in nearly five years...

    This place continues to be among the best, if not the best, pizzeria(s) in town--IF you order right. The regular menu Detroit-style pizza (i.e., "Logan Squares") offerings are utterly tops, particularly one with pepperoni, ricotta, hot honey, etc. that hits every node: crunchy, spicy, sweet, creamy, and on and on. Their Neapolitans (i.e., "woodfires") are best in class, too, though we've had a few that have been overbaked.

    I've had less luck with the specialty Detroit pies, however. Most recently, a one-time pizza for the Super Bowl this year that featured Kansas City brisket, pickled onions, and BBQ sauce was a total styles clash: the brisket was surprisingly great and true to form, which is precisely why it doesn't belong on an oily bakery-style pizza. We had the same problem with a Sichuan eggplant pizza earlier in the year: great idea, great individual flavors, meh pizza.

    Speaking of "meh," the New York-style they're selling at the front of the Logan Square store and at the new WP store is just fine. It's notable only for depriving you from what they do best.


    Dang, I totally disagree about the NY style pizza. The pepperoni slice right out of the oven is arguably the best bite of pizza in Chicago. It's simple, perfection

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more