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Lefty's Pizza Kitchen Wilmette (burnt cheese crust)

Lefty's Pizza Kitchen Wilmette (burnt cheese crust)
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  • Post #31 - February 20th, 2020, 8:09 pm
    Post #31 - February 20th, 2020, 8:09 pm Post #31 - February 20th, 2020, 8:09 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:Nonsense. On the north shore, we have plenty of locations of Lou Malnati's, including the original, and for those who prefer stuffed, we have more for Giordano's.
    I don't know if repping the franchises is the best case the area can make, even though I fully admit to being a fan of Giordano's thin crust (Chicago/Davis Evanston location). Napolita, just a 100 feet or so from Lefty's, and Grateful Bites in Winnetka are both very solid independent joints. Lou Malnati's is just too played out for many of us, I believe.
  • Post #32 - February 20th, 2020, 9:05 pm
    Post #32 - February 20th, 2020, 9:05 pm Post #32 - February 20th, 2020, 9:05 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:Nonsense. On the north shore, we have plenty of locations of Lou Malnati's, including the original

    Don't forget the flatbread at Olive Garden, a treat with endless soup and salad. 'When You're Here, You're Family'
  • Post #33 - February 20th, 2020, 10:43 pm
    Post #33 - February 20th, 2020, 10:43 pm Post #33 - February 20th, 2020, 10:43 pm
    Don't shed a tear for us on the North Shore. Beyond Lou's (which, c'mon, it scratches an itch and if you order it enough you can customize it to be a solid, solid pie) and Burt's 2.0, off the top of my head we've got a huge variety from Barnaby's and Bill's (both in the cult article and incredible in their own ways), Pierro's (big fan of their sauce and was the special event pizza of my youth, so maybe I am Proustian there), Alex's Washington Garden (people swear by it), an outpost of Slyce (does a good coal-fired pizza), and many more. And hopefully Lefty's will join the HP roster soon.
  • Post #34 - February 21st, 2020, 10:16 am
    Post #34 - February 21st, 2020, 10:16 am Post #34 - February 21st, 2020, 10:16 am
    Oh gosh, I disagree wholeheartedly that the North Shore is awash in good pizza. Lou's quality and consistency have gone downhill, Alex's is nothing special, Slyce is below nothing special; the North Shore food scene is atrocious, especially with regards to pizza, Chinese, and most European cuisines. Bonta in Lincolnshire might be the only place in Lake County worth eating at.
  • Post #35 - February 21st, 2020, 12:23 pm
    Post #35 - February 21st, 2020, 12:23 pm Post #35 - February 21st, 2020, 12:23 pm
    Wow, I couldn't disagree more. I've tried plenty of others, including Lefty's (which I thought was mediocre and not special in any way). I think Lou's and Giordano's are both excellent and consistently the best around.

    As for not having Chinese, the presence of Peppercorns Kitchen, China Chef, and Great Beijing makes the north shore as good as any Chicagoland area outside of Chinatown. And European - gosh, I can't even count how many different cuisines fall under that umbrella, but it's so many that an attempt at generalization is downright silly.

    Of course, these attacks are just more proof that the "holier than thou" posters here will insult anyone else's opinions, no matter what. It's an opinion, yours may be different, that doesn't make it wrong or deserving of derision.
  • Post #36 - February 21st, 2020, 12:27 pm
    Post #36 - February 21st, 2020, 12:27 pm Post #36 - February 21st, 2020, 12:27 pm
    Not ‘on topic’ with the current conversation but everytime I see this thread popup I have to disagree with the word ‘burnt’.

    It’s not burnt but rather caramelized.

    <rant over> :)
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #37 - February 21st, 2020, 1:17 pm
    Post #37 - February 21st, 2020, 1:17 pm Post #37 - February 21st, 2020, 1:17 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Not ‘on topic’ with the current conversation but everytime I see this thread popup I have to disagree with the word ‘burnt’.

    It’s not burnt but rather caramelized.
    I'd be more sympathetic to your argument if cheese contained the natural sugars for caramelization, but to my knowledge it does not. To describe it as such would be for marketing purposes only.
  • Post #38 - February 21st, 2020, 4:56 pm
    Post #38 - February 21st, 2020, 4:56 pm Post #38 - February 21st, 2020, 4:56 pm
    None of the three Chinese places you named were remotely close to the North Shore or Lake County. If chain-made pizza floats your boat, enjoy Giordanos and Lous. There is not a noteworthy Italian, Spanish, or Eastern European restaurant in all of Lake County.I live here on the North Shore, and it’s a vast wasteland once you get past Wilmette. I’m sorry that offends you.
  • Post #39 - February 21st, 2020, 6:44 pm
    Post #39 - February 21st, 2020, 6:44 pm Post #39 - February 21st, 2020, 6:44 pm
    MikeL wrote:None of the three Chinese places you named were remotely close to the North Shore or Lake County. If chain-made pizza floats your boat, enjoy Giordanos and Lous. There is not a noteworthy Italian, Spanish, or Eastern European restaurant in all of Lake County.I live here on the North Shore, and it’s a vast wasteland once you get past Wilmette. I’m sorry that offends you.

    With no regard to any of the specific establishments in question (maybe I'll circle back later), I wholeheartedly agree that if it doesn't touch the lake, it ain't on the shore. Period (unless you're a realtor, lol).

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    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 #40 - February 21st, 2020, 9:30 pm
    Post #40 - February 21st, 2020, 9:30 pm Post #40 - February 21st, 2020, 9:30 pm
    Chicago's North Shore is generally considered to include towns in both Cook County and Lake County that are near but not necessarily bordering the lake, as noted in Evanston resident Geoffrey Baer's PBS program of the same title:

    PBS program information for Chicago's North Shore wrote:The documentary covers communities from Evanston north to the Wisconsin border, including Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Deerfield, Northbrook, Glenview, Skokie and more.

    You can watch the entire program at the link above. It's quite enjoyable.

    Furthermore, Chicago's North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau says this about its communities:
    Chicago's North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau wrote:Nothing compares to the unsurpassed beauty and distinctive charm of Chicago's North Shore. Bordering Chicago, along the glorious shores of Lake Michigan, the inviting communities of Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, Prospect Heights, Skokie, Wheeling, and Winnetka are just minutes north of Chicago's city center and truly offer something for everyone!

    Seems like people here will use the most abstruse arguments to attack other people's posts...
  • Post #41 - February 21st, 2020, 9:52 pm
    Post #41 - February 21st, 2020, 9:52 pm Post #41 - February 21st, 2020, 9:52 pm
    Towns and villages try to attach themselves to the term because it makes them look better. Practically speaking, if none of the town's boundaries stretch east of I-94, or 41 past Dundee, it's a stretch of the term. It's got to mean something, and when you've got people listing places like Prospect Heights and Des Plaines (I've seen it included before), they're just grasping at the term. Doesn't have to touch the lake, but really has to touch a town that does touch the lake. Two towns removed is not "shore".
  • Post #42 - February 21st, 2020, 10:56 pm
    Post #42 - February 21st, 2020, 10:56 pm Post #42 - February 21st, 2020, 10:56 pm
    I'm a Lefty's fan and I say that as a life long South Suburban pizza eater (Aurelieos, Safrantellos, etc) and this is solely based on their thin crust, but what completely undercuts the reality of your comment is that there is no good Chinese food on the North Shore - because there clearly is. In addition to Peppercorns, mentioned above, within walking distance there is Shang Noodle and Chinese for house made noodles, 527 Cafe for Taiwanese and LSC and Joy Yee. There are others as well that may not be worth mentioning. If you have not tried Shang in the last year or so, you are missing out. Try their black bean noodles, Lamb hot pot and shaved ice. Follow the NU students and faculty to excellent Chinese food. (Not Chinese, but also excellent is Torino Ramen in Wilmette.)
    Last edited by bw77 on February 21st, 2020, 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #43 - February 21st, 2020, 10:58 pm
    Post #43 - February 21st, 2020, 10:58 pm Post #43 - February 21st, 2020, 10:58 pm
    Hi,

    Fifty years ago, when we moved to Highland Park. North Shore was defined as only the communities along the lake.

    I have heard it is the realtors who stretch the boundaries, then it became accepted. For instance, Lincoln Park goes much further west than what I recall its boundaries to be.

    Home is home!

    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 #44 - February 21st, 2020, 11:49 pm
    Post #44 - February 21st, 2020, 11:49 pm Post #44 - February 21st, 2020, 11:49 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:Furthermore, Chicago's North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau says this about its communities:
    Chicago's North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau wrote:Nothing compares to the unsurpassed beauty and distinctive charm of Chicago's North Shore. Bordering Chicago, along the glorious shores of Lake Michigan, the inviting communities of Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, Prospect Heights, Skokie, Wheeling, and Winnetka are just minutes north of Chicago's city center and truly offer something for everyone!

    Ken, just because someone -- or a marketing entity -- said it (or wrote it), doesn't make it true. If you can't pull a boat up to it or jump into Lake Michigan from within its boundaries, the town's not on the shore. To contend that Wheeling and Prospect Heights are part of the North Shore is entirely ridiculous, and I think that even you must know that.

    As for your opinions about pizza on the North Shore, they certainly don't line up with mine. Lou Malnati's and Giordano's are fine but to cite them as examples of anything beyond 'solid' or 'good for the area' seems like a stretch to me (and other than Evanston, does Giordano's even have any suburban locations that actually touch the water?). I'm of the opinion that if it's something that can be had on the North Shore and elsewhere, it's not that meaningful to this tangential discussion. Lou Malnatis' first location is in Lincolnwood. Yes, it's north and no, it's not part of the city but . . . it's not on the North Shore.

    I love Barnaby's in Northbrook, and I think Pizano's in Glenview is capable of turning out a decent pie. Pequod's in Morton Grove produces a fine deep-dish variant, too but none of these are on the shore and all 3 have other locations.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    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 #45 - February 22nd, 2020, 2:34 am
    Post #45 - February 22nd, 2020, 2:34 am Post #45 - February 22nd, 2020, 2:34 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Ken, just because someone -- or a marketing entity -- said it (or wrote it), doesn't make it true.

    Ron, the Chicago's North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau said it was true. They have brochures with pictures, collar up polo shirt advertisements w/good looking people wearing boat shoes. Boat shoe don't lie. Truth
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #46 - February 22nd, 2020, 8:14 am
    Post #46 - February 22nd, 2020, 8:14 am Post #46 - February 22nd, 2020, 8:14 am
    Sigh...another LTH thread taken over by irrelevant argument.
  • Post #47 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:41 pm
    Post #47 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:41 pm Post #47 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:41 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Ken, just because someone -- or a marketing entity -- said it (or wrote it), doesn't make it true.

    Well, when it comes to geographic and cultural questions about Chicagoland, I'll take the opinion of Geoffrey Baer and his staff at WTTW, who have produced over twenty documentaries about Chicagoland and its geography and history, over that of any ten LTHers (including me).

    Again:
    nsxtasy wrote:Chicago's North Shore is generally considered to include towns in both Cook County and Lake County that are near but not necessarily bordering the lake, as noted in Evanston resident Geoffrey Baer's PBS program of the same title:

    PBS program information for Chicago's North Shore wrote:The documentary covers communities from Evanston north to the Wisconsin border, including Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Deerfield, Northbrook, Glenview, Skokie and more.

    You can watch the entire program at the link above. It's quite enjoyable.
  • Post #48 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:54 pm
    Post #48 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:54 pm Post #48 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:54 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Ken, just because someone -- or a marketing entity -- said it (or wrote it), doesn't make it true.

    Well, when it comes to geographic and cultural questions about Chicagoland, I'll take the opinion of Geoffrey Baer and his staff at WTTW, who have produced over twenty documentaries about Chicagoland and its geography and history, over that of any ten LTHers (including me).

    Again:
    nsxtasy wrote:Chicago's North Shore is generally considered to include towns in both Cook County and Lake County that are near but not necessarily bordering the lake, as noted in Evanston resident Geoffrey Baer's PBS program of the same title:

    PBS program information for Chicago's North Shore wrote:The documentary covers communities from Evanston north to the Wisconsin border, including Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Deerfield, Northbrook, Glenview, Skokie and more.

    You can watch the entire program at the link above. It's quite enjoyable.

    I enjoy Geoffrey Baer and the program is great entertainment but I'll still choose reality on this one.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    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 #49 - February 23rd, 2020, 8:25 pm
    Post #49 - February 23rd, 2020, 8:25 pm Post #49 - February 23rd, 2020, 8:25 pm
    I've lived in Highland Park since 1979 (aside from a few years in Champaign, Deerfield, and Buffalo Grove) in a true "North Shore" town complete with boat launch on the lake. On the pizza front, we take what we can get. Yes, Malnati's is great. It's still the gold standard of deep dish for me and happens to be in town albeit a carryout outpost. Having Lefty's give us another great pizza. There's always been Il Forno (originally started on Devon in the city and tastes like a city joint), Judy's (decent once in a blue moon), Buffo's (it gets old quick), Washington Gardens (never understood the love - it's no good), Piero's (never cared for them much but they have fans). I don't even consider stuffed pizza as an option because I don't care for it (thank goodness there's no Giordano's around here). I had Barnaby's tonight and it was great as always, but it's Northbrook (which is still close enough). I'm not going to keep listing places further out because this thread needs to get back on track.

    Lefty's is not Burt's 2.0 as far as I'm concerned. It still has it's own thing going and it's great. I am very interested to try their thin as well. Life changing pizza? For some people it could be. Someone in the city, maybe not. But outside of Pequod's Chicago location, I never had anything quite like Lefty's in the city so that says something. In the end, I hope they open in HP - it would be welcome. I'll drive pretty far for pizza so I am always in striking distance for anything. I had Vito and Nick's two weeks ago.
  • Post #50 - February 24th, 2020, 12:50 pm
    Post #50 - February 24th, 2020, 12:50 pm Post #50 - February 24th, 2020, 12:50 pm
    Ram4 wrote:Lefty's is not Burt's 2.0 as far as I'm concerned. It still has it's own thing going and it's great. I am very interested to try their thin as well.

    I would call it Burt’s 2.1 (with the new owners at Burt’s being 2.0). :)

    From what I understood when one of the new owners at Burt’s left and moved to Lefty’s he brought along their approximation of Burt’s old recipe for his pizza. The assembly, the caramelized edge.

    Comparing them side to side is it different enough to warrant “... it’s own thing going”? Pictures appear to be very similar?
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #51 - February 24th, 2020, 12:54 pm
    Post #51 - February 24th, 2020, 12:54 pm Post #51 - February 24th, 2020, 12:54 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Ram4 wrote:Lefty's is not Burt's 2.0 as far as I'm concerned. It still has it's own thing going and it's great. I am very interested to try their thin as well.

    I would call it Burt’s 2.1 (with the new owners at Burt’s being 2.0). :)

    From what I understood when one of the new owners at Burt’s left and moved to Lefty’s he brought along their approximation of Burt’s old recipe for his pizza. The assembly, the caramelized edge.

    Comparing them side to side is it different enough to warrant “... it’s own thing going”? Pictures appear to be very similar?
    What I felt was that the taste of the overall pizza was not quite like Burt's, and I think Pequod is closer to Burt's than this but it's been a while since I've had Burt's (and I have not had 2.0 yet). I guess I need to hit both and compare directly. Not the worst adventure one could have. :)
  • Post #52 - August 21st, 2020, 10:57 am
    Post #52 - August 21st, 2020, 10:57 am Post #52 - August 21st, 2020, 10:57 am
    Data point: had a pizza last weekend from Lefty's, which has (had?) become our go-to place. Not good. The crust was barely baked enough, too much sauce, cheese just barely melted. The caramelized crust they're justly famous for wasn't remotely in the same universe. Just not a good experience. I was prepared to write it off to a bad night but thought I'd drop a note to the restaurant letting them know. I was careful to just set out the facts as we saw them, not whine, and not ask for anything. Just offered our opinion. Not even an acknowledgment of our note. Very disappointing. We will try again but if the next one is like the last one, we're on the hunt again.
    Last edited by Gypsy Boy on August 21st, 2020, 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #53 - August 21st, 2020, 12:06 pm
    Post #53 - August 21st, 2020, 12:06 pm Post #53 - August 21st, 2020, 12:06 pm
    Thanks for the heads-up. It's been almost 2 months since my last order here. Whether good or bad, I'll post an update if it keeps or breaks this trend.
    Last edited by bweiny on August 21st, 2020, 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #54 - August 21st, 2020, 2:58 pm
    Post #54 - August 21st, 2020, 2:58 pm Post #54 - August 21st, 2020, 2:58 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:Data point: had a pizza last weekend from Lefty's, which has (had?) become our go-to place. Not good. The crust was barely baked enough, too much sauce, cheese just barely melted. The caramelized crust they're justly famous for wasn't remotely in the same universe. Just not a good experience. I was prepared to write it off to a bad night but thought I'd drop a note to the restaurant letting them know. I was careful to just set out the facts as we saw them, not whine, and not ask for anything. Just offered our opinion. Not even an acknowledgment of our note. Very disappointing. We will try again but if the next one is like the last one, we're on the hunt again.

    You should let the owner John know. They could have had a new employee for all you know. Every pizza I've had there was consistently great.
  • Post #55 - August 21st, 2020, 3:14 pm
    Post #55 - August 21st, 2020, 3:14 pm Post #55 - August 21st, 2020, 3:14 pm
    Ram4 wrote:You should let the owner John know. They could have had a new employee for all you know.
    He said he left the restaurant a note (unknown whether via email or what) describing the problems with his experience. That's more than enough in my book. If a place fumbles the cooking, then also the handling of a note, the customer doesn't have to keep wasting their time trying to get the point across. Either the product improves, or you move on.
  • Post #56 - August 21st, 2020, 3:20 pm
    Post #56 - August 21st, 2020, 3:20 pm Post #56 - August 21st, 2020, 3:20 pm
    bweiny wrote:
    Ram4 wrote:You should let the owner John know. They could have had a new employee for all you know.
    He said he left the restaurant a note (unknown whether via email or what) describing the problems with his experience. That's more than enough in my book. If a place fumbles the cooking, then also the handling of a note, the customer doesn't have to keep wasting their time trying to get the point across. Either the product improves, or you move on.

    Indeed. Marriages have ended less ceremoniously. :lol:

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    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 #57 - August 21st, 2020, 4:09 pm
    Post #57 - August 21st, 2020, 4:09 pm Post #57 - August 21st, 2020, 4:09 pm
    They had a dip in quality not long after they opened which they turned around nicely. Optimistic they will be able to do so this time as well.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #58 - August 22nd, 2020, 6:32 am
    Post #58 - August 22nd, 2020, 6:32 am Post #58 - August 22nd, 2020, 6:32 am
    This week, six of us had Lefty’s deliver three mixed pizzas: one thin with vegetables; one thin with meat; one thick with meats and extra crispy. Also ordered two salads.

    Four of us were newbies to Lefty’s and they thought it was “great”, both at the time of eating it and in their thank-you notes. The two hosts were glad to take all the leftovers and have been eating them since.

    All facets of this experience were on point: two calls received good help in ordering; delivery was on-time, friendly and as requested (bring it to the backyard); pizza and salads met/exceeded expectations; slept well.

    No slip-ups or disappointments in our recent venture into Lefty’s domain.
  • Post #59 - August 22nd, 2020, 7:47 am
    Post #59 - August 22nd, 2020, 7:47 am Post #59 - August 22nd, 2020, 7:47 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote: I was careful to just set out the facts as we saw them

    How did you offer your critique of Lefty's. Email, postal, phone etc.
    How many times have you availed yourselves of Lefty's pizza. In other words, is this one of ten, one of fifty?
    Just curious, please don't kill me a I'm not a cat.

    Also, and some in the thread may want to choke me out anyway, its my strong impression having been on multiple sides of the coin, that folks are quick to ascribe negative from small stutter anomalies. YMMV (Not directed at GB, this is a general observation. GB seems a fair minded fellow)
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #60 - August 22nd, 2020, 2:22 pm
    Post #60 - August 22nd, 2020, 2:22 pm Post #60 - August 22nd, 2020, 2:22 pm
    Since the "Contact Us" link on their website leads to a page that says "Send Us A Comment, Tell us what you think," I used the form on their webpage.

    I would estimate that this is one of perhaps a dozen or so. We have had both thin crust and pan and liked both versions (particularly the crust, which is partly why this barely baked version seemed to add insult to injury). I would guess that this is the first time we've had a complaint of any kind. Might it be a one-off? Absolutely. But a total lack of response to an e-mail--particularly when the restaurant goes to the trouble of creating a form specifically asking me to tell them what I think--does not incline me favorably. It's been a full week now and I think I'm "deserving" of some sort of response. They're certainly entitled to say I'm nuts, but even that beats being ignored entirely.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)

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