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Milly's Pizza in the Pan
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  • Milly's Pizza in the Pan

    Post #1 - October 17th, 2021, 9:27 pm
    Post #1 - October 17th, 2021, 9:27 pm Post #1 - October 17th, 2021, 9:27 pm
    Image
    Image
    Milly's Pizza in the Pan is a pandemic success story. Per this Block Club Chicago story, it's from a former restaurant server who was laid off when his restaurant closed early in the pandemic. The pizza is modeled after Pequod's and Burt's. It blows Pequod's out of the water. Is it better than Burt's? It's been so long since Burt's was Burt's, it doesn't really matter. Might be, might not be, but Milly's is absolutely worth checking out.

    It's operated out of a ghost kitchen in a non-trendy part of Logan Square. You can pick it up and sit at one of the two picnic tables in the parking lot. Weather permitting, I'd say that's the way to go since pizza is better fresh out of the oven. But this stuff does travel really well so don't let the coming cold weather get in the way between you and Millie's.

    Milly's Pizza in the Pan
    millyspizzachi.com
    1801 N Spaulding Ave (Ghost Kitchen @ Envision Unlimited Westtown Center)
    (224) 656-4732
  • Post #2 - October 18th, 2021, 12:49 pm
    Post #2 - October 18th, 2021, 12:49 pm Post #2 - October 18th, 2021, 12:49 pm
    Milly's is crave worthy pizza, I find ordering on tock a little strange, I always seem to have to order 1 10 inch pie and one 14 to get it to allow me to check out.

    Love me some leftovers, thankfully.
  • Post #3 - January 10th, 2022, 8:53 am
    Post #3 - January 10th, 2022, 8:53 am Post #3 - January 10th, 2022, 8:53 am
    According to Block Club Chicago, Milly's will be moving to Argyle/Sheridan in Uptown:
    Now, Milly’s Pizza In A Pan is opening a sit-down and takeout restaurant in Uptown. Milly’s will open Feb. 15 at 1005 W. Argyle St., Maleski said.


    https://blockclubchicago.org/2022/01/10 ... le-street/

    Milly's Pizza in the Pan
    1005 W Argyle St
    Chicago IL 60640
    https://www.millyspizzachi.com/
  • Post #4 - January 11th, 2022, 3:44 pm
    Post #4 - January 11th, 2022, 3:44 pm Post #4 - January 11th, 2022, 3:44 pm
    Nice. Looking forward to trying it now that it is much closer to home
  • Post #5 - January 12th, 2022, 10:20 am
    Post #5 - January 12th, 2022, 10:20 am Post #5 - January 12th, 2022, 10:20 am
    right around the corner, exciting news and fills a needed local niche
  • Post #6 - July 21st, 2022, 8:58 am
    Post #6 - July 21st, 2022, 8:58 am Post #6 - July 21st, 2022, 8:58 am
    Didn't want to cook last night and Milly's had been on the list to try. Fortunately, there as an open slot and I placed an order. This was a damn fine pizza. Excellent sausage and sausage along with the other quality ingredients. This reminded me of Burt's with the amount of ingredients; i.e., they weren't overwhelming. So happy to have leftovers.

    Image
    -Mary
  • Post #7 - July 21st, 2022, 12:53 pm
    Post #7 - July 21st, 2022, 12:53 pm Post #7 - July 21st, 2022, 12:53 pm
    One additional data point: this is excellent pizza served cold. I had a leftover slice for lunch and was quite pleased.

    If anyone is looking to dine-in, there is outdoor seating in front on Argyle (shared with Don Pablo's Kitchen and Bakeshop, another worthwhile stop) along with several booths and some window counter seating.
    -Mary
  • Post #8 - July 21st, 2022, 1:54 pm
    Post #8 - July 21st, 2022, 1:54 pm Post #8 - July 21st, 2022, 1:54 pm
    The GP wrote:One additional data point: this is excellent pizza served cold.

    Aren't they all?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #9 - July 21st, 2022, 2:01 pm
    Post #9 - July 21st, 2022, 2:01 pm Post #9 - July 21st, 2022, 2:01 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    The GP wrote:One additional data point: this is excellent pizza served cold.

    Aren't they all?

    Some are just good cold. This exceeded good by a lot. :wink:
    -Mary
  • Post #10 - October 8th, 2022, 7:45 am
    Post #10 - October 8th, 2022, 7:45 am Post #10 - October 8th, 2022, 7:45 am
    this place blew away my expectations, blessed that it's so close
  • Post #11 - October 20th, 2022, 9:47 am
    Post #11 - October 20th, 2022, 9:47 am Post #11 - October 20th, 2022, 9:47 am
    Had our first Milly's last night and came away pretty impressed. The ingredients do seem top notch, the sausage was terrific, and the cheesy, well-done crust was something to behold. Not a fan favorite with the kids because they are partial to thin crust, but the adults in our house definitely enjoyed it. I ordered two 14" and we have over a pizza left over. Good lesson in ordering management. Especially since I felt a little chafed at the $76 (a mere $15-$20 in 1995 dollars!) for two takeout pizza tab. But, given the amount of food it's well worth it. Could feed a family of 10 with this amount of pizza. And yes, it traveled well and didn't seem to lose much (I've never eaten it right out of the oven) in our 15-20 minute drive back south. In somewhat related news, anyone else vote that stretch of Argyle as most likely to appear in the never to be made Chicago-based Bladerunner sequel? Whatever the city did with the street redesign there is totally goofy and I gather out of a future that I don't understand, and there is a general dark, movie-like feel. Not enough neon perhaps, but certainly a lot of noodle shops. Though the dystopian future will be decent enough if there are this many good eating options within a few block radius.
  • Post #12 - October 24th, 2022, 10:23 am
    Post #12 - October 24th, 2022, 10:23 am Post #12 - October 24th, 2022, 10:23 am
    Did they change their ordering?

    I felt like I could always only get a "large and a small" at one time
  • Post #13 - October 24th, 2022, 10:30 am
    Post #13 - October 24th, 2022, 10:30 am Post #13 - October 24th, 2022, 10:30 am
    Bspar wrote:Did they change their ordering?

    I felt like I could always only get a "large and a small" at one time

    I don't think it's changed, unless they clarified what small and large means. There's a 10" option and a 14" option.
    -Mary
  • Post #14 - February 26th, 2023, 8:27 pm
    Post #14 - February 26th, 2023, 8:27 pm Post #14 - February 26th, 2023, 8:27 pm
    Image
    Still fantastic. Also worth noting that there are four 4-person tables and a counter in the front window with 4 stools. No reservations, but if there's room when you pick up, you're welcome to sit. Seems that most people are ordering carry-out or delivery so I'd guess the odds are strong you can eat in if you want to. You can also just walk in and order if they haven't sold out for the night ahead of time. They sell non-alcoholic drinks and they're BYOB.
  • Post #15 - May 16th, 2024, 7:09 am
    Post #15 - May 16th, 2024, 7:09 am Post #15 - May 16th, 2024, 7:09 am
    Recently opened:

    Milly's Pizza In The Pan - Berwyn
    6737 Roosevelt Rd.
    Berwyn, IL 60402
    (224) 656-4732
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #16 - May 31st, 2024, 12:15 am
    Post #16 - May 31st, 2024, 12:15 am Post #16 - May 31st, 2024, 12:15 am
    Just had dinner last night at Milly's and wasn't going to comment, because if you can't say something nice...

    I guess it was the photos in MarlaCollins'Husband's opening post that moved me to write. They look great, and were part of the reason we wanted to go. But what we were served was so far removed from those beautiful pies, I can't sit here and say nothing. The topping on MCH's pizzas are plentiful and beautifully arranged. Toppings on our three pies--$102 worth, BTW--were sparse and haphazard at best. Very disappointing.

    Fact of the matter is, the pizzas weren't bad in and of themselves. And if the owner/founder hadn't made comments about being a fan of, and being inspired by, Burt Katz, I might have come away with a different opinion. But if you're going to invoke Burt's name in your mission statement (and post a photo of Burt's Place on the wall, prominently, right inside the entrance), I would expect something more closely resembling a Burt's creation: generous toppings, including thick sliced peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms.

    None of these were present on the pies we were served. Sausage, which Burt applied in large patties, was pebbly and skimpy. Likewise, the bell peppers were cut into paper thin rings from mini peppers as opposed to the robust strips Burt cut from the full sized versions. Rather than thick slices of full sized tomatoes that practically covered the pizza, we had a smattering of sliced in half cherry tomatoes. Mushrooms were barely present, onions nearly invisible.

    On a positive note, the crust was pretty darned good.

    Milly's is free to make whatever kind of pizza they like; they're not obligated to live up to my expectations. Maybe this is a "next generation" interpretation of a Burt's Pizza. All I can say is, if a pizza came out of Burt's oven looking like the ones we were served, it never would have left the kitchen.

    FWIW, I take no pleasure in posting something this negative. I've been wanting to hit the three "new kids on the block"; Uncle Jerry's, George's, and Milly's, who claim to have taken inspiration from Burt. I've already been to Uncle Jerry's and loved it. I'm still looking forward to visiting George's in the near future. I had the same high hopes for Milly's, but sadly, painfully, they didn't make the grade as far as I'm concerned.

    Buddy
  • Post #17 - June 3rd, 2024, 11:45 am
    Post #17 - June 3rd, 2024, 11:45 am Post #17 - June 3rd, 2024, 11:45 am
    Any pics? Wonder if it is "style" or poor execution.
  • Post #18 - June 3rd, 2024, 12:11 pm
    Post #18 - June 3rd, 2024, 12:11 pm Post #18 - June 3rd, 2024, 12:11 pm
    Sorry, no pics. Based on other, more appealing, photos posted earlier in this thread, I'd say it was a matter of poor execution.

    Buddy
  • Post #19 - June 3rd, 2024, 1:46 pm
    Post #19 - June 3rd, 2024, 1:46 pm Post #19 - June 3rd, 2024, 1:46 pm
    How would Burt Katz have felt about these "inspired by" places, including the photo on the wall? Would he have been pleased or dismissive?
  • Post #20 - June 3rd, 2024, 5:08 pm
    Post #20 - June 3rd, 2024, 5:08 pm Post #20 - June 3rd, 2024, 5:08 pm
    I think Burt would have been just fine with people taking inspiration from his pizzas, as long as they honed closely to his execution. He was all about "balance", and generous portions, and that was what was missing in our pies from Milly's.

    Burt wouldn't have had a problem with potential competition either. Ferris Avenue, where the store is located, has seen vast changes since he opened in 1989. Morton Grove reportedly bought up many of the residential properties on the west side of the street with plans to replace them with commercial buildings. Burt always said he'd welcome more businesses in the area, including another pizza joint. He maintained competition was good for everyone; kind of a "rising tides raise all boats" philosophy.

    Buddy
  • Post #21 - June 4th, 2024, 1:48 pm
    Post #21 - June 4th, 2024, 1:48 pm Post #21 - June 4th, 2024, 1:48 pm
    Speaking of competition, in Dumbo (Brooklyn) Patsy Grimaldi opened Juliana's next door to his original restaurant Grimaldi's where you can get both versions of his coal fired oven pizza in a similar way that Burt's and Pequod's are close by one another. If that weren't enough, the famous Sicilian square joint L&B Spumoni Gardens from Bensonhurst is now across the street and Ignacio's are also around the block.

    My brother's experience with Milly's was similar to yours Buddy. I have not had it yet.
  • Post #22 - June 4th, 2024, 2:26 pm
    Post #22 - June 4th, 2024, 2:26 pm Post #22 - June 4th, 2024, 2:26 pm
    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:Sorry, no pics. Based on other, more appealing, photos posted earlier in this thread, I'd say it was a matter of poor execution.
    If you come back to this thread, can you please confirm if it was at the more established Uptown location? Since you were the first post after the update of a Berwyn location, that possibility is nagging at me.
  • Post #23 - June 4th, 2024, 3:25 pm
    Post #23 - June 4th, 2024, 3:25 pm Post #23 - June 4th, 2024, 3:25 pm
    Yes, it was the Uptown location on Argyle. Sorry for any confusion; I didn't see the post immediately preceding mine, discussing the new Berwyn store.

    Also, after taking a second look at the opening post by MarlaCollin'sHusband, I realized the pies pictured came from a ghost kitchen, before Milly's had a brick and mortar location. I'm not a big fan of speculation, but I'll guess Milly's owner/founder was a more constant presence in those early formative days, probably making most, if not all the pizzas himself.

    He was not present when we visited the Argyle location. Our pies were made by "assemblers" with no skin in the game. Obviously, this is not an uncommon situation. Anyone who thinks their Lou Malnati's pie was made by a member of the Malnati family is in for a big disappointment.

    However, if you're not gonna be a hands on owner, or even be in the kitchen supervising, you need to make sure you're employees share your vision of what your food should look like. I think the folks working at Milly's Argyle store have strayed from the owner's concept.

    Buddy
  • Post #24 - June 5th, 2024, 12:19 pm
    Post #24 - June 5th, 2024, 12:19 pm Post #24 - June 5th, 2024, 12:19 pm
    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:Also, after taking a second look at the opening post by MarlaCollin'sHusband, I realized the pies pictured came from a ghost kitchen, before Milly's had a brick and mortar location. I'm not a big fan of speculation, but I'll guess Milly's owner/founder was a more constant presence in those early formative days, probably making most, if not all the pizzas himself.

    He was not present when we visited the Argyle location. Our pies were made by "assemblers" with no skin in the game. Obviously, this is not an uncommon situation. Anyone who thinks their Lou Malnati's pie was made by a member of the Malnati family is in for a big disappointment.

    However, if you're not gonna be a hands on owner, or even be in the kitchen supervising, you need to make sure you're employees share your vision of what your food should look like. I think the folks working at Milly's Argyle store have strayed from the owner's concept.

    Buddy
    You are correct, he was the main pizza maker in the ghost kitchen. I followed his journey online as he was getting started and he even reached out to many of us on Facebook to friend him to gain some word of mouth. It's a similar story - you want the owner to make your pizza or at least make sure the people the owner hires does it the same way. Some owners like Burt or George (George's Deep Dish) or the owners at Luigi's in Brooklyn still did/do everything themselves. Others get the fame or acclaim and want to step back and watch it grow. That's understandable but at least pay very close attention to what is coming out of your kitchen. It wouldn't hurt to have a few secret shoppers helping you out. Otherwise Milly's will crash and burn like others before it that tried to expand too soon.
  • Post #25 - June 5th, 2024, 12:57 pm
    Post #25 - June 5th, 2024, 12:57 pm Post #25 - June 5th, 2024, 12:57 pm
    It's true about Burt & competition, and Buddy knows this. Hope I'm not talking out of school here (and I don't care if it's off-topic) but when Burt initially split off from Pequod/Morton Grove and went to the old blacksmith shop on Ferris, agreement was he could not serve his signature pizza, or any pizza for that matter, for a certain period of time--could have been 18 months, could've been 3 years. I don't remember exactly. Anything else--hamburgers, salads, fries--fine and he with Buddy & Sharon's help, did a great job. Loved a burger/fries with his Leinenkugel Red.

    But Burt was all about honoring an agreement, and I don't remember him--before he could serve pizza or even after the hiatus was up and he could do it again--ever making any disparaging remarks about his former partner, or any other competition for that matter.

    I think that Burt knew he was the creator of that style, the onliest one that could make it just right.
    Last edited by jnm123 on June 6th, 2024, 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #26 - June 5th, 2024, 2:39 pm
    Post #26 - June 5th, 2024, 2:39 pm Post #26 - June 5th, 2024, 2:39 pm
    Ram4 wrote:...at least pay very close attention to what is coming out of your kitchen. It wouldn't hurt to have a few secret shoppers helping you out. Otherwise Milly's will crash and burn like others before it that tried to expand too soon.


    It'd be a shame if that happened. I truly went in with high hopes for a new generation top notch Pizza-In-The-Pan makers. Again, the pie wasn't bad, and as I said, the crust was exemplary. Unfortunately, the rest of the pizza didn't live up to expectations, set by the owner himself, by invoking Burt's name.

    Easy problem to fix. Look at the literally thousands of photos online of Burt's pizzas, and also the early ghost kitchen versions of your own pies. Then sit your kitchen staff down and make clear what a good, well balanced pizza is supposed to look like. If it don't look like the pictures, it ain't right.

    Buddy
  • Post #27 - June 7th, 2024, 6:33 am
    Post #27 - June 7th, 2024, 6:33 am Post #27 - June 7th, 2024, 6:33 am
    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:Look at the literally thousands of photos online of Burt's pizzas, and also the early ghost kitchen versions of your own pies. Then sit your kitchen staff down and make clear what a good, well balanced pizza is supposed to look like. If it don't look like the pictures, it ain't right.
    And hang those pics in the kitchen - literally the founder's vision. Because, in this Insta world, your customers surely will have seen them.

    On the other hand, does the "grow or die" imperative ultimately lead to a group of restaurants that customers can't love? The true favorites of users here seem to be, with few exceptions, one offs with hands on owners, Burt's as the epitome. What if Burt's had spread to locations in Navy Pier, Portland, and Miami?
  • Post #28 - June 7th, 2024, 11:26 am
    Post #28 - June 7th, 2024, 11:26 am Post #28 - June 7th, 2024, 11:26 am
    tjr wrote:What if Burt's had spread to locations in Navy Pier, Portland, and Miami?


    He wouldn't have. Period.

    He vehemently rejected the idea of expansion from the beginning, citing the very same problems we're talking about here. He turned down multiple investors over the years who wanted take his business to a "higher level". He insisted that once an owner is offsite, without eyes on the operation, that's the end of the business.

    As a humorous aside to this conversation, one of my favorite memories was from the night we participated in the Saveur launch party at the Merchandise Mart, heralding the release of their all Chicago issue. A bunch of the restaurants featured in the magazine were invited to serve up amuse bouche sized portions of their signature items to the people who paid a hefty price for the privilege of sampling them.

    Burt never made it inside the room where we were serving, because he was introduced to Rich Melman moments before the doors were opened. As I joined the rest of the Katz family in dishing out mini slices, there in the corner of my eye I could see Burt and Melman thoroughly enjoying each other's company; happily reminiscing about growing up in Humboldt Park, where Burt undoubtedly ate many times at Melman's Dad's restaurant, Ricky's.

    I remember thinking, "There they are, the man who refuses to own more than one restaurant at a time, and the man who can never own enough of them."

    Buddy
  • Post #29 - June 7th, 2024, 11:49 am
    Post #29 - June 7th, 2024, 11:49 am Post #29 - June 7th, 2024, 11:49 am
    Hi,

    My niece reported hearing about Burt's in a business class. She was incredulous he did not think about expansion or franchising. Mind you, Burt was alive and I already knew his thoughts.

    I commented we are lucky he gets up every day to make us pizza. Just may decide one day to close shop without any rhyme or reason.

    I remember learning when Burt died, it was almost unbelievable.

    Everyone want's to be Burt's legacy, though he had incredible amount of experience into what he did and how he choose his ingredients. Burt was a super guy to know.

    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,
  • Post #30 - June 7th, 2024, 12:18 pm
    Post #30 - June 7th, 2024, 12:18 pm Post #30 - June 7th, 2024, 12:18 pm
    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:
    tjr wrote:What if Burt's had spread to locations in Navy Pier, Portland, and Miami?


    He wouldn't have. Period.

    He vehemently rejected the idea of expansion from the beginning, citing the very same problems we're talking about here. He turned down multiple investors over the years who wanted take his business to a "higher level". He insisted that once an owner is offsite, without eyes on the operation, that's the end of the business.

    As a humorous aside to this conversation, one of my favorite memories was from the night we participated in the Saveur launch party at the Merchandise Mart, heralding the release of their all Chicago issue. A bunch of the restaurants featured in the magazine were invited to serve up amuse bouche sized portions of their signature items to the people who paid a hefty price for the privilege of sampling them.

    Burt never made it inside the room where we were serving, because he was introduced to Rich Melman moments before the doors were opened. As I joined the rest of the Katz family in dishing out mini slices, there in the corner of my eye I could see Burt and Melman thoroughly enjoying each other's company; happily reminiscing about growing up in Humboldt Park, where Burt undoubtedly ate many times at Melman's Dad's restaurant, Ricky's.

    I remember thinking, "There they are, the man who refuses to own more than one restaurant at a time, and the man who can never own enough of them."

    Buddy

    Exactly. Especially the last 8-10 years or so, Burt was approached on a regular basis to expand, franchise, sell his expertise, etc. I imagine he was firm but cordial in his refusals, but it was kinda fun to wind him up, saying, 'hey man, you can drive from store to store in your Mark IV' checking up on how your employees are carrying on your legacy!'

    I know I shouldn't have been doing that to a man with a heart condition, but that's when Burt would get fire in his eyes and become truly passionate about 'no way in hell', keeping his 'eyes on the ball' in ownership, running the place correctly, right down to the feng shui of the construction of the pizzas themselves. It was truly wonderful to see that fury out of the old man!

    I miss that guy...

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