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Lefty's Pizza Kitchen Wilmette+HP (burnt cheese crust)

Lefty's Pizza Kitchen Wilmette+HP (burnt cheese crust)
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  • Post #91 - February 1st, 2021, 12:02 pm
    Post #91 - February 1st, 2021, 12:02 pm Post #91 - February 1st, 2021, 12:02 pm
    I was given a little info by the manager (and owner John). This location has new electric ovens that they are getting used to so they might have a little tweaking to do for the first few weeks not to mention new unseasoned pans that need to be cooked in. But this is all good news and it only means everything will get even better. I ordered a thin pizza on opening day that was great with a nice char on the bottom. They cook their thin in a pan and then finish it on the oven deck. They can also do this if requested for the deep dish. My brother ordered a deep dish sausage last night and said it was as great as Wilmette. I think HP will embrace them especially because they are the first true Chicago style pizza place in downtown HP that has dine-in that we've ever had here which is hard to believe.

    Moderators - can we edit the post title to just the name of the restaurant?
  • Post #92 - February 1st, 2021, 12:10 pm
    Post #92 - February 1st, 2021, 12:10 pm Post #92 - February 1st, 2021, 12:10 pm
    Ram4 wrote:Moderators - can we edit the post title to just the name of the restaurant?

    Since the OP is active here, we'll leave it to him to make this decision and come up with something. We can always start a separate thread, if need be.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #93 - February 1st, 2021, 3:29 pm
    Post #93 - February 1st, 2021, 3:29 pm Post #93 - February 1st, 2021, 3:29 pm
    Changing it to "Wilmette+HP" or removing the location is fine with me. I don't care.

    If I'm actually capable of making the change myself, that would be news to me.
  • Post #94 - February 1st, 2021, 3:36 pm
    Post #94 - February 1st, 2021, 3:36 pm Post #94 - February 1st, 2021, 3:36 pm
    bweiny wrote:Changing it to "Wilmette+HP" or removing the location is fine with me. I don't care.

    If I'm actually capable of making the change myself, that would be news to me.

    Once you click edit in your OP, you should have the ability to edit the subject line, as well. If not, let me know.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #95 - February 2nd, 2021, 2:32 pm
    Post #95 - February 2nd, 2021, 2:32 pm Post #95 - February 2nd, 2021, 2:32 pm
    Beyond excited to give Lefty's a try the next time we order out. Was thinking about it last weekend but wanted to give them a little time to iron everything out. Just happy to have another option in town for variety and another downtown space occupied.
  • Post #96 - March 1st, 2021, 12:47 pm
    Post #96 - March 1st, 2021, 12:47 pm Post #96 - March 1st, 2021, 12:47 pm
    Finally got to try the HP location and we couldn't have been happier with our experience. After taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather Saturday afternoon with a few beers at Ravinia Brewery, we placed on order online, walked home, got the car, picked up (hot and ready on time, not a given, I have found with our good friend Lou down the street), and dined al garage-o at a neighbor's house. All eight of us really enjoyed the pizzas (thick cheese, thick sausage and onion, thick veggie with onion, green pepper, black olive and mushroom). For many it was their first time with this style of caramelized crust and all were won over. All three had great crusts, fresh ingredients, good balance between elements (not too much sauce, not too bready). I'd say this location is up and running on all cylinders and I am already looking forward to our next order.
  • Post #97 - March 1st, 2021, 2:42 pm
    Post #97 - March 1st, 2021, 2:42 pm Post #97 - March 1st, 2021, 2:42 pm
    Sounds like we had similar ideas. I picked up a deep sausage and extra cheese and a deep (meant to order thin) pepperoni to eat at Beermiscuous. Overall I thought they were very good. Excellent caramelization of the edges, though the bottom could have been crisper. I little heavy on the sauce, particularly on the sausage, and I thought that the sausage itself was a bit bland. I may try to order it with less dough next time if that is an option. Is there caramelization with the thin or just regular edge?

    Will
  • Post #98 - March 3rd, 2021, 3:25 pm
    Post #98 - March 3rd, 2021, 3:25 pm Post #98 - March 3rd, 2021, 3:25 pm
    WillG wrote:Sounds like we had similar ideas. I picked up a deep sausage and extra cheese and a deep (meant to order thin) pepperoni to eat at Beermiscuous. Overall I thought they were very good. Excellent caramelization of the edges, though the bottom could have been crisper. I little heavy on the sauce, particularly on the sausage, and I thought that the sausage itself was a bit bland. I may try to order it with less dough next time if that is an option. Is there caramelization with the thin or just regular edge?

    Will

    The thin has cheese to the edge and it gets a little caramelized but not much. I personally prefer their deep dish and I love plenty of sauce on any pizza so your sausage pizza sounded like I would have enjoyed it.

    TIP (mentioned upthread): If you prefer a crispier bottom, order it uncut. If you really want it crispy then you can ask Lefty's to "deck" your deep dish which is what they do for the thin pizza. They take the pizza out of the pan to crisp on the oven deck (and get a little char flavor on the undercarriage). I have not done this for a deep dish yet but I will try it.
  • Post #99 - November 16th, 2021, 9:33 pm
    Post #99 - November 16th, 2021, 9:33 pm Post #99 - November 16th, 2021, 9:33 pm
    My brother was in town and was looking to order deep dish, he suggested Lefty's in Wilmette. I had tried the thin crust a couple years ago and thought meh, but was up for trying the thick crust.

    Mrs Willie & I really enjoyed the deep dish pizza. We thought the sausage had good flavor, mushrooms were fresh, not canned. Sauce was abundant which I love, others would have preferred less sauce. We liked the caramelized crust of the deep dish. It was delivered so I 'm sure the bottom crust suffered a bit as a result.

    Have a couple slices leftover, looking forward to lunch tomorrow.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #100 - November 17th, 2021, 10:24 am
    Post #100 - November 17th, 2021, 10:24 am Post #100 - November 17th, 2021, 10:24 am
    Serving fresh, not canned, mushrooms is not a particularly high bar for me when seeking out good pizza. Canned mushrooms are like the "liquid smoke" of the vegetable world right?
  • Post #101 - November 17th, 2021, 12:29 pm
    Post #101 - November 17th, 2021, 12:29 pm Post #101 - November 17th, 2021, 12:29 pm
    champs2005 wrote:Serving fresh, not canned, mushrooms is not a particularly high bar for me when seeking out good pizza. Canned mushrooms are like the "liquid smoke" of the vegetable world right?

    Never canned but fresh, only when they're par-cooked or sliced very thin. Way more often than not, raw mushrooms on pizza exude a lot of moisture and typically ruin it.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #102 - November 17th, 2021, 12:42 pm
    Post #102 - November 17th, 2021, 12:42 pm Post #102 - November 17th, 2021, 12:42 pm
    Ah good tip! Or perhaps roast them first?

    Man, I especially hate those canned straw mushrooms that Cozy Noodle and other places dump in everything.
  • Post #103 - November 30th, 2021, 10:34 pm
    Post #103 - November 30th, 2021, 10:34 pm Post #103 - November 30th, 2021, 10:34 pm
    It has been years since I posted anything but wanted to post this response from the owner to an HP resident when she asked via a Facebook DM why no one was wearing masks. Their facebook page has since been deleted.

    I like the deep dish a lot but will now be driving to Pequod's in MG rather than 1m to this place and give this tool my $$.

    I could care less that a "Karen" who doesn't
    know the difference between a mandate
    and a law won't come back to my
    restaurant! Don't come back!!! I beg you to
    never ever step foot near Lefty's!!!! In fact
    never ever leave your house because you're
    afraid of the flu! Have a great night you
    fascist! In fact we will never serve you
    again!!!' NEVER!!!! Wrote the name down
    and you will not eat there ever!!!! You know
    you loved the pizza and now you can't have
    it! Enjoy!!!!

    Now it's remedied! The communist fascist
    who needs to control everyone and
    everything can't have the best pizza
    anymore! And please tell all your friends, as
    I'm sure they love when the know it all
    comes around! Trust me when I tell you
    nobody likes you, and you have no friends!!!
  • Post #104 - December 1st, 2021, 1:29 am
    Post #104 - December 1st, 2021, 1:29 am Post #104 - December 1st, 2021, 1:29 am
    I thought according to the governor's mask mandate that all employees of a restaurant had to wear masks too?
  • Post #105 - December 1st, 2021, 6:25 am
    Post #105 - December 1st, 2021, 6:25 am Post #105 - December 1st, 2021, 6:25 am
    tem wrote:It has been years since I posted anything but wanted to post this response from the owner to an HP resident when she asked via a Facebook DM why no one was wearing masks. Their facebook page has since been deleted.

    I like the deep dish a lot but will now be driving to Pequod's in MG rather than 1m to this place and give this tool my $$.

    I could care less that a "Karen" who doesn't
    know the difference between a mandate
    and a law won't come back to my
    restaurant!


    By the owners tone and lack of tactfulness when replying to a paying customer makes my assumption the guy is a Trump/ republican voter. No idea why when someone runs a business doesn't understand customer service or respecting people. When your in the hospitality industry including food and drink you should learn to separate your personal/political believes with running a customer facing business.

    You can see the real screen grab of the owners reply on yelp review from HP location.
    Last edited by polster on December 1st, 2021, 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #106 - December 1st, 2021, 6:32 am
    Post #106 - December 1st, 2021, 6:32 am Post #106 - December 1st, 2021, 6:32 am
    NFriday wrote:I thought according to the governor's mask mandate that all employees of a restaurant had to wear masks too?
    The assumption is that the original comment was about employees not having masks on. Normally you like to see both comments because the initial one could very easily have been hostile, given the response, but the response is so extreme trying to contextualize is a lost cause. Often the more you don't know, the better.
  • Post #107 - December 1st, 2021, 6:48 am
    Post #107 - December 1st, 2021, 6:48 am Post #107 - December 1st, 2021, 6:48 am
    This is very sad if accurately reported. Given our distinct preference for their pizza and the fact that at least one owner has posted here multiple times, I would like to wait at least a little while and see if this latest issue prompts a response or explanation. I can't quite imagine what it would be, but I am a bear of very little imagination. Failing that, I expect we can find other amenable places to spend our dollars.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #108 - December 1st, 2021, 9:40 am
    Post #108 - December 1st, 2021, 9:40 am Post #108 - December 1st, 2021, 9:40 am
    NFriday wrote:I thought according to the governor's mask mandate that all employees of a restaurant had to wear masks too?


    Yes, it does. I would have posted the original screen grab but the image posting here seems to be broken for the last year+ (!?).

    I have not seen the original message as well but I think the chances are very, very slim that it even remotely approached the ridiculousness of there response. He has another crazy response on Yelp and the fact that he deleted their Facebook page completely is telling.
  • Post #109 - December 1st, 2021, 10:20 am
    Post #109 - December 1st, 2021, 10:20 am Post #109 - December 1st, 2021, 10:20 am
    FWIW, this is the complete Yelp exchange:

    "Janis L.
    Chicago, IL
    10/9/2021
    Went today to get some pizza. The man running oven had his mask below his nose. I said to him you are breathing all over the food, please put your mask up. He looked straight at me put his mask up, then put it down under his nose. I said, "I am out of here" at which point I heard a loud thud but I didn't turn around...just walked out. Lefty's owner should check on his employees. Really zero stars since I n er ordered the pizza.


    John M.
    Business Owner
    10/10/2021
    In fact we have 0 signs that say wear a mask. Look up the difference between a mandate and a law. Oh and get help"

    This would appear to corroborate the Facebook exchange. Plus, I have to confess that reading all of the 100 Yelp reviews, there is a clear, steady, and consistent reporting of customer service issues. All involving inappropiate, over-the-top anger issues. Obviously, I can't speak to particular incidents, but the consistency of the problem--spanning years (at least 10/18 through 12/21)--and the tone of the quoted exchange above, the quoted Facebook exchange, and quite a number of the Yelp comments force me to conclude, sadly, that it's time for us to move on. What a pity.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #110 - December 1st, 2021, 1:07 pm
    Post #110 - December 1st, 2021, 1:07 pm Post #110 - December 1st, 2021, 1:07 pm
    To bad.

    People with anger issues should not be in any kind of public facing business. I'm sure this guys wishes he were not.
  • Post #111 - December 1st, 2021, 1:25 pm
    Post #111 - December 1st, 2021, 1:25 pm Post #111 - December 1st, 2021, 1:25 pm
    From Polster: By the owners tone and lack of tactfulness when replying to a paying customer makes my assumption the guy is a Trump/ republican voter.

    Why politics involved? I am from Waukesha and I wish to hell Republicans take more offices, maybe that scum would have been where he belonged. This is a chow forum and a good one. Can we not inject BS politics. The truth is both sides have good and bad. I am a little stung right now by what happened in my town at a parade I have been to over 30 times. C'mon man, keep to the topics.
  • Post #112 - December 1st, 2021, 1:38 pm
    Post #112 - December 1st, 2021, 1:38 pm Post #112 - December 1st, 2021, 1:38 pm
    Puckjam wrote:From Polster: By the owners tone and lack of tactfulness when replying to a paying customer makes my assumption the guy is a Trump/ republican voter.

    Why politics involved? I am from Waukesha and I wish to hell Republicans take more offices, maybe that scum would have been where he belonged. This is a chow forum and a good one. Can we not inject BS politics. The truth is both sides have good and bad. I am a little stung right now by what happened in my town at a parade I have been to over 30 times. C'mon man, keep to the topics.

    Well said. Idiocy lives on both sides of the aisle. Let's keep it civil and productive.

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #113 - December 1st, 2021, 1:45 pm
    Post #113 - December 1st, 2021, 1:45 pm Post #113 - December 1st, 2021, 1:45 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:This would appear to corroborate the Facebook exchange. Plus, I have to confess that reading all of the 100 Yelp reviews, there is a clear, steady, and consistent reporting of customer service issues. All involving inappropiate, over-the-top anger issues. Obviously, I can't speak to particular incidents, but the consistency of the problem--spanning years (at least 10/18 through 12/21)--and the tone of the quoted exchange above, the quoted Facebook exchange, and quite a number of the Yelp comments force me to conclude, sadly, that it's time for us to move on. What a pity.
    Just curious if your comment regarding a review of feedback is a combination of both Highland Park and Wilmette, or if there was any noticeable difference between the two. I've never been to the Highland Park location, so I have no idea about their setup there.
  • Post #114 - December 1st, 2021, 2:08 pm
    Post #114 - December 1st, 2021, 2:08 pm Post #114 - December 1st, 2021, 2:08 pm
    bweiny wrote:Just curious if your comment regarding a review of feedback is a combination of both Highland Park and Wilmette, or if there was any noticeable difference between the two. I've never been to the Highland Park location, so I have no idea about their setup there.


    The Yelp listing I read was for the Wilmette street address, which has 100 reviews. There is, in fact, a completely separate listing for the Highland Park outpost as well, with 39 reviews, a number of which are very, very recent. Upon consulting the HP page, a pink shaded banner with an exclamation point is splashed across the top, reading "This business is being monitored by Yelp's Support team for content related to media reports."

    Underneath it, a large pop-up with the heading, "Unusual Activity Alert," appeared:

    "This business recently received increased public attention, which often means people come to this page to post their views on the news. While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to this incident, we’ve temporarily disabled the posting of content to this page as we work to investigate the content you see here reflects actual consumer experiences rather than the recent events. Please note that we apply this same policy regardless of the business and regardless of the topic at issue. Read more on Yelp Support.

    If you’re here to leave a review based on a first-hand experience with the business, please check back at a later date."

    Reading the posts for that store only, it becomes clear that "stuff" is going on. My review of posts--and comment about a consistent thread of unhappiness--referred solely to the Wilmette store.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #115 - December 1st, 2021, 3:45 pm
    Post #115 - December 1st, 2021, 3:45 pm Post #115 - December 1st, 2021, 3:45 pm
    The initial convo:

    Why are your Highland
    Park employees not
    wearing masks? There is
    still a mandate in IL. The
    manager (maskless) was
    discussing conspiracy
    theories with a maskless
    patron. Both were talking
    about not being vaccinated
    or believing in masks.
    Please remedy this
    situation.


    First off do you know the
    difference between a
    mandate and a law?
    l'Il guess you don't!
    Secondly there was no
    manager on duty tonight,
    so anyone who told you
    they were a manager was
    lying to you.
    Third I have 1, count 1
    employee that does not
    wear a mask due to a
    medical exemption that I
    will not share with you,
    because it's against the
    law.
    Is that enough of a
    "remedy" for you?
    Have a great night and
    hope you enjoyed the
    pizza!


    The gentleman that said he
    was a manager was
    Christian. There was also a
    young lady making pizzas
    without a mask.
    I can go back and take
    photos if you like.
    I am sure you will call and
    let them know. Thanks for
    heing such a helpful and
  • Post #116 - December 1st, 2021, 4:47 pm
    Post #116 - December 1st, 2021, 4:47 pm Post #116 - December 1st, 2021, 4:47 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:Reading the posts for that store only, it becomes clear that "stuff" is going on. My review of posts--and comment about a consistent thread of unhappiness--referred solely to the Wilmette store.
    Thanks to you and tem for the additional information. It's unfortunate to hear about such hostility when I really do enjoy their product and have avoided negative experiences personally.
  • Post #117 - December 1st, 2021, 6:41 pm
    Post #117 - December 1st, 2021, 6:41 pm Post #117 - December 1st, 2021, 6:41 pm
    I just visited the Yelp page for both the Wilmette and HP restaurants. There are lots of angry reviews at both locations, but the HP page states that their staff wear masks, and masks are required in the restaurant.
  • Post #118 - December 1st, 2021, 7:12 pm
    Post #118 - December 1st, 2021, 7:12 pm Post #118 - December 1st, 2021, 7:12 pm
    I read his comments to a couple of very liberal pro-vaccine, pro-science friends (one is super progressive in his views) and BOTH agreed with the owner of Lefty's on this mask thing and how he responded overall. This lady wanted to be the mask police and he wasn't having any of it.

    I personally find the whole mask thing kind of pointless in a restaurant because everyone takes theirs off when they eat. Every single employee could be vaccinated and wear a mask but every single customer could be infected and they would be allowed to eat without a mask. And that's what makes this lady wrong. Even if the staff were all masked up and vaccinated the customers sitting near her with no masks on could be sick!

    I feel the owner's reaction was a bit over the top (I prefer a better approach), however it is his business and if she was like my sister who is hell bent on pushing her views on everyone in her path (or else!) then I can sort of understand how some people might have reacted that way.
  • Post #119 - December 1st, 2021, 8:01 pm
    Post #119 - December 1st, 2021, 8:01 pm Post #119 - December 1st, 2021, 8:01 pm
    Personally I would just never visit the restaurant again. If I brought up the matter with the owner, it is kind of doubtful that he would have apologized over the matter, and said it would never happen again. In most states there is not a mask mandate, and so if I were in Florida which clearly does not have a mask mandate, I would not even consider approaching the owner about this matter.

    Today I was in the downtown Evanston Whole Foods store, and there was an elderly woman there with her caregiver, and the woman did not have the mask covering her nose. Even if I approached the woman about it, I doubt it would have done any good.
  • Post #120 - December 1st, 2021, 10:17 pm
    Post #120 - December 1st, 2021, 10:17 pm Post #120 - December 1st, 2021, 10:17 pm
    ...What?

    Politics aside, if you think Lefty's response was a reasonable one you're out of your goddamn mind.

    Don't come back!!! I beg you to
    never ever step foot near Lefty's!!!! In fact
    never ever leave your house because you're
    afraid of the flu! Have a great night you
    fascist! In fact we will never serve you
    again!!!' NEVER!!!! Wrote the name down
    and you will not eat there ever!!!! You know
    you loved the pizza and now you can't have
    it! Enjoy!!!!


    Ram4, I thought your original post that you deleted was a lot better than your follow up. Let's stop trying to make this a political argument and focus on the fact an owner went off the rails.

    There's a lot of great pizza in the city and surrounding suburbs.

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