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What happened to Pequod's Pizza... [+ Burt's Place]

What happened to Pequod's Pizza... [+ Burt's Place]
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  • Post #91 - May 8th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    Post #91 - May 8th, 2006, 7:08 pm Post #91 - May 8th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    d4v3 wrote:FYI Burt's Place is closed Monday and Tuesday.



    Aw Common!!!! I specifically block off some time that particular night and they are closed??? Well, I guess it's Romano's tomorrow and then Burt's on Friday. Cripes...
  • Post #92 - May 9th, 2006, 6:52 am
    Post #92 - May 9th, 2006, 6:52 am Post #92 - May 9th, 2006, 6:52 am
    Your "transplant" status is so noted and you are forgiven. Bringer Inn is still around, but best visited on those days when a "boilermaker" is required more than food.....
  • Post #93 - May 15th, 2006, 3:08 pm
    Post #93 - May 15th, 2006, 3:08 pm Post #93 - May 15th, 2006, 3:08 pm
    Our foursome enjoyed its visit to Burt's Place the other night. I won't get into a whose-pizza-is-better thing between Burt's and Pequod--they're similar for obvious reasons, and while there are small differences, they don't resolve clearly in favor of one or the other--but there are two factors that will have us returning to Burt's. (Which is not to say we won't also be returning to Pequod. We will.) They are:

    1) Burt and his wife. Great folks. After many visits to Pequod over the last twenty years, I have no idea who owns the place.

    2) Burt's has a thickly tree-shaded side patio that looks like it will be fantastic on a summer night. I can't wait.

    We're glad we went to Burt's, and I think if you check it out, it will at the very least make it into your rotation.
  • Post #94 - May 15th, 2006, 9:16 pm
    Post #94 - May 15th, 2006, 9:16 pm Post #94 - May 15th, 2006, 9:16 pm
    riddle, you are correct, the beer garden alongside the main building is a pleasant way to spend an evening. In years past we have even had live music out there several times a summer. Pulled in one heck of a crowd too!

    Don't be afraid to ask about the garden. If you come in on a night when the outdoor lights are not on, and you want to sit out there, let us know; Burt will turn on the lights for you.

    Once again, thank you to one and all who have taken the time to give Burt's a try. Don't forget to call in ahead of time with an order whenever possible. We want to give everyone the best service we can. In a place as small as Burt's, with only one pizza oven, knowing as much as possible up front makes good service all the more attainable. That hard to find number is (847) 965-7997.

    Thanks again,

    Buddy
  • Post #95 - May 21st, 2006, 3:46 am
    Post #95 - May 21st, 2006, 3:46 am Post #95 - May 21st, 2006, 3:46 am
    LTH,

    Went to Burt's again last evening and, taking a page from Michael M's, aka EatChicago, book we BYOJ (bring your own jalapeno). Burt's has pickled jalapeno available, though once you taste fresh you won't go back.

    Burt's Pizza with sausage/garlic/onion/fresh jajapeno
    Image
    Image

    Pizza was terrific, especially the darkened, crisp, crunchy edges.
    Image

    Burt and his wife Sharon treated us like long time regulars, even though it was only my second, and the rest of the tables first, visit. Burt's is now firmly in my pizza rotation.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #96 - May 21st, 2006, 5:23 am
    Post #96 - May 21st, 2006, 5:23 am Post #96 - May 21st, 2006, 5:23 am
    Gary,

    Burt and his wife are very accomodating hosts. It looks like he not only allowed you to bring your own jalapenos, but he cooked them into the pizza as well. Very nice! The Chow Poodle and I have been to Burts a number of times now and I have to agree that Burts is a great place on all fronts.

    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #97 - May 21st, 2006, 8:17 am
    Post #97 - May 21st, 2006, 8:17 am Post #97 - May 21st, 2006, 8:17 am
    Question, Gary: Your pictures show a more pleasingly "done" pizza than the one we had last weekend. (Our pizza excelled in other ways, which is why I couldn't come down firmly on one side or the other in a Burt's/Pequod shootout.) So, was this because you specified "well-done" when you ordered? Or is that just the way it came out, and the slight doughiness of ours was a bit of an anomaly? (We were the last customers of the evening, and perhaps Burt was in a bit of a hurry, or else Burt and Sharon were concerned not to keep us waiting too long, or else, like I say, it was just an anomaly and "well-done" is Burt's default position.) Anyway, it would be good to learn if specifying "well-done" is a good idea to do at Burt's, or is normally unnecessary.
  • Post #98 - May 21st, 2006, 9:37 am
    Post #98 - May 21st, 2006, 9:37 am Post #98 - May 21st, 2006, 9:37 am
    riddlemay wrote: We were the last customers of the evening, and perhaps Burt was in a bit of a hurry, or else Burt and Sharon were concerned not to keep us waiting too long, or else, like I say, it was just an anomaly and "well-done" is Burt's default position
    I strongly suspect that this is true. I don't know if Gary asked for his pizza like that, but I have found Burt's pizza to be consistently crunchy with crispy edges, and not doughy at all. If you look back in this thread at other pictures taken at Burt's place, you will see that the pizza shown is much like G Wiv's photos. Maybe they had already shut down the oven for the evening, and had to fire it up again or something. The one time I had a slightly less done pizza, was when I arrived just after the restaurant opened for the day. I figured the oven may not have been completely heated yet. I think that Mr. Roadhouse's admonition to always call ahead is probably a good idea, especially if you are planning to be there very early or very late(All I have to do now is time how long it takes to drive from my house to Burt's Place).

    BTW, getting to Burt's by public transportation seems pretty fast and easy. You can take the Red line or Purple Line (evanston express) to Howard then change to the Skokie Swift (Yellow Line), then catch a Dempster Ave. bus (#250) at the Skokie Terminal for a 7 minute ride to Ferris Ave. If you travel when the Purple line is running, you can get from Fullerton Ave to Burt's in about about 45 minutes. You can also take the Metra / Milwaukee District North from Union station, Grand & Western or Pulaski & Fulllerton to the Morton Grove station, which is only about a block from Burt's. The train trip from Union Station takes 29 minutes (it costs 3.05). From Pulaski and Fullerton it only takes 12 minutes.
  • Post #99 - May 21st, 2006, 5:16 pm
    Post #99 - May 21st, 2006, 5:16 pm Post #99 - May 21st, 2006, 5:16 pm
    stevez wrote:It looks like he not only allowed you to bring your own jalapenos, but he cooked them into the pizza as well. Very nice!

    Steve,

    Burt graciously cooked the jalapenos I brought along into the pizza. He said he has a pick up customer that brings in special cans of artichoke hearts to be added to his pizzas.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #100 - May 21st, 2006, 5:24 pm
    Post #100 - May 21st, 2006, 5:24 pm Post #100 - May 21st, 2006, 5:24 pm
    riddlemay wrote:Question, Gary: Your pictures show a more pleasingly "done" pizza than the one we had last weekend. (Our pizza excelled in other ways, which is why I couldn't come down firmly on one side or the other in a Burt's/Pequod shootout.) So, was this because you specified "well-done" when you ordered? Or is that just the way it came out, and the slight doughiness of ours was a bit of an anomaly?

    Riddlemay,

    I'm guessing anomaly as we did not preorder or ask for our pizza well done. There were 7 of us, including 2 kids, we ordered 3 pizzas of various types and, crust wise, they were all much the same. In other words, delicious.

    We were there at 8pm and between warm bread, salads and chatting, both amongst ourselves and the very nice proprietors, it did not seem much of a wait for our pizzas.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #101 - May 21st, 2006, 10:56 pm
    Post #101 - May 21st, 2006, 10:56 pm Post #101 - May 21st, 2006, 10:56 pm
    The appeal of this place just grows and grows. Tonight I was there with another transplanted New Yorker, who, being an extrovert, engaged Burt in a conversation that proved wide-ranging and insured my regular return on quiet nights for pizza with a side of nostalgia. Fortunately for us, we were the only Sunday evening customers, so we had Burt and Sharon all to ourselves. Burt began by answering my friend's Hamm radio questions, and climbed up on one of the booths to demonstrate a 1937 radio for us.

    Turns out Burt grew up in Wicker Park, where there was a restaurant called Brown and Koppel at the SW corner of Division and Damen. Has anyone on the board heard of this place? Supposedly, it dates from around 1910 and was around at least until about 1960. Burt described Brown and Koppel as much like Manny's, except for the fact that there was a passage under a stairway just past the cigars and the cash register that led into the adjacent VFW Hall, where marathon poker games were held. Brown and Koppel provided food and drink for these sporting gentlemen for a cut of the winnings. According to Burt, Nelson Algren ate lunch there regularly, and The Man with the Golden Arm may have been inspired by the goings-on next door. (Burt even says he saw Algren with Simone de Beauvoir, but didn't know who she was at the time).
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #102 - May 22nd, 2006, 1:08 am
    Post #102 - May 22nd, 2006, 1:08 am Post #102 - May 22nd, 2006, 1:08 am
    All of this positive discussion is very exciting. Glad you're all enjoying yourselves. Now I'm going to let you all in on another little secret: Burt and Sharon drove across Asia and Southern Europe in the early '60s!

    They picked up a tramp steamer on the west coast and sailed to Japan where they bought a Toyota pick up truck. They then drove across the sub-continent including India, Afghanistan(!), Iran(!!), and Iraq(!!!). From there they crossed over into Europe, driving through Greece, and Italy; all the way to Portugal where they caught another tramp steamer and sailed back to the States with their slighty used pick up truck.

    I tell you this because Burt has the most amazing stories you will ever hear! Now in order for him to have time to tell the stories, he has to be working far enough ahead so he's not tied up back in the kitchen. Therefore (sorry to keep whipping this dead horse, but it really helps a guy in his late sixties, working alone in that kitchen to keep up with the demand), call ahead whenever possible at (847) 965-7997. Also, coming in on a slower night like a Wednesday or Thursday, when they're usually not as preoccupied with actual work, would be a good thing. More time to talk and tell stories. He's got some good real life ghost stories from his hitchiking days too!

    Enjoy,

    Buddy
  • Post #103 - May 22nd, 2006, 7:25 am
    Post #103 - May 22nd, 2006, 7:25 am Post #103 - May 22nd, 2006, 7:25 am
    Reading the replies, I'm favoring (as the reason for the slight doughiness of our crust) the "they'd shut the oven down for the evening, and had to fire it back up" explanation proffered by d4v3. Calling ahead might have prevented that.

    That said, neither Burt nor Sharon gave us the slightest vibe that our late arrival was a "problem" for them. That was nice. And they both chatted with us at length after we were done.
  • Post #104 - May 22nd, 2006, 10:29 pm
    Post #104 - May 22nd, 2006, 10:29 pm Post #104 - May 22nd, 2006, 10:29 pm
    Josephine wrote:Turns out Burt grew up in Wicker Park, where there was a restaurant called Brown and Koppel at the SW corner of Division and Damen. Has anyone on the board heard of this place? Supposedly, it dates from around 1910 and was around at least until about 1960. Burt described Brown and Koppel as much like Manny's, except for the fact that there was a passage under a stairway just past the cigars and the cash register that led into the adjacent VFW Hall, where marathon poker games were held.

    Brown and Koppel was at 2003 W Division. I think it might have been around into the '70s but am not certain. In any case I never had the pleasure of visiting. The place in the area I absolutely loved was Braverman’s, on Chicago just west of Ashland, also much like Manny’s but better food and atmosphere I thought. It was sort of a mix of Manny’s and Jake’s in Milwaukee but with great corned beef cured in house. Until Sam Braverman sold the place and moved to Las Vegas I rarely went to Manny’s. Sam still lives on, in a way: the potato pancakes at Petterino’s are named after him.

    If you Google Brown and Koppel you’ll see that Saul Bellow mentions the place in a 1978 New Yorker story. But he describes the poker games as going on at Brown and Koppel, not the VFW hall. Wonder what Burt would say about that?
  • Post #105 - May 22nd, 2006, 10:43 pm
    Post #105 - May 22nd, 2006, 10:43 pm Post #105 - May 22nd, 2006, 10:43 pm
    Rene G wrote:If you Google Brown and Koppel you’ll see that Saul Bellow mentions the place in a 1978 New Yorker story. But he describes the poker games as going on at Brown and Koppel, not the VFW hall. Wonder what Burt would say about that?

    I wonder, too. It's worth a follow-up with Burt. One way or another, his accounts are full of the kind of detail that enhance credibility. He is the kind of guy who has the city tatooed on his brain.

    Postscript: ReneG, Tell me why google gives you info it will not give me! I googled and got bupkes/bobkes!
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #106 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:05 pm
    Post #106 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:05 pm Post #106 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:05 pm
    Josephine wrote:I wonder, too. It's worth a follow-up with Burt. One way or another, his accounts are full of the kind of detail that enhance credibility. He is the kind of guy who has the city tatooed on his brain.

    Yeah, even though I haven’t yet met him, my money’s on Burt, not Bellow. I really need to make a visit to Morton Grove soon.

    Josephine wrote:Postscript: ReneG, Tell me why google gives you info it will not give me! I googled and got bupkes/bobkes!

    Did you put "brown and koppel" in quotes? That does a phrase search.
  • Post #107 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:20 pm
    Post #107 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:20 pm Post #107 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:20 pm
    Riddlemay wrote:1) Burt and his wife. Great folks. After many visits to Pequod over the last twenty years, I have no idea who owns the place


    I'm sorry about your pizza likely coming from a cooler oven, which may have been reheated just for you.

    The quality of the pizzas between Burt and Pequod is in many ways answered in your quote above. At Pequods, there is a busy kitchen churning out pizzas by cooks who know the jist of what to do, but may not necessarily have a depth of understanding to finesse the pizza. Whereas at Burt's, you have the master cook who knows each ingredient, why it was selected and how to judiciously assemble the pizza to make it sing harmoniously.

    In many respects it is rare to have an opportunity to try the product of a master cook. They usually train the cooks, then move on to train others.

    Regards,
    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 #108 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:49 pm
    Post #108 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:49 pm Post #108 - May 22nd, 2006, 11:49 pm
    ReneG wrote:Did you put "brown and koppel" in quotes? That does a phrase search.

    Actually, I did that, but maybe I didn't look down the list far enough. Anyway, thanks for the tip. In a funny way, it strikes me that Burt is the sort of guy who has his own internal google going, like some other people here on the board. . .

    Sharon (Mrs. Burt) is pretty deep in the Chicago neighborhood lore as well, having grown up in Logan Square. She remembers only thin crust as her formative pizza experience, but she says that came later in the scheme of things, with a hot-dog cart being the Friday night treat for most of the teenagers in her cohort.

    I forgot to mention that The Bringer Inn has Pilsner Urquell on Tap, though those who, like GWiv, seek a lie-swapping extravanganza would do better to hit the place on a Friday or a Saturday, rather than a Sunday, when my buddy and I were about the only patrons.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #109 - May 23rd, 2006, 5:02 am
    Post #109 - May 23rd, 2006, 5:02 am Post #109 - May 23rd, 2006, 5:02 am
    Josephine wrote:I forgot to mention that The Bringer Inn has Pilsner Urquell on Tap, though those who, like GWiv, seek a lie-swapping extravanganza would do better to hit the place on a Friday or a Saturday, rather than a Sunday, when my buddy and I were about the only patrons.

    Josephine,

    I've only been to the Bringer Inn once, that was on a Sunday afternoon a few years ago and, on that Sunday at least, there was plenty of lie-swapping and big fish being caught. It is a cool bar and well worth a visit. You pegged my bar preference to a T. :)

    Also, just down the street is China Chef which, in addition to being Chow Poodle Approved (Steve Z's wife's seal of approval) and a favorite of the Petit Pois' family, is an interesting menu mix of old school Cantonese/American and straight up Filipino.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    China Chef
    5920 Lincoln Ave
    Morton Grove, IL
    847-967-6050
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #110 - May 23rd, 2006, 1:08 pm
    Post #110 - May 23rd, 2006, 1:08 pm Post #110 - May 23rd, 2006, 1:08 pm
    I'll definitely need to visit Burt's when I get out that way.

    Until then....

    The last Pequod's delivery person I talked to said the restaurant in Chicago would be open in a few weeks. That was a few weeks ago. Has anyone been by there to see if Pequod's is open again for "fine dining" over there yet?
    --
    Ed Heller - Virtual Cheeseburger
    http://virtualcheeseblogger.com
    http://realdeepdish.com

    "LEELA: Is that a cooking show? BENDER: No, of course not! It was ... uh ... porno! Yeah, that's it!"
  • Post #111 - May 23rd, 2006, 1:37 pm
    Post #111 - May 23rd, 2006, 1:37 pm Post #111 - May 23rd, 2006, 1:37 pm
    I drove by last night, and the place was open and looked full.
  • Post #112 - May 23rd, 2006, 2:16 pm
    Post #112 - May 23rd, 2006, 2:16 pm Post #112 - May 23rd, 2006, 2:16 pm
    Simon wrote:I drove by last night, and the place was open and looked full.


    There is also a sign in the window touting 1970's pricing as a Grand Re-opening special.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #113 - May 23rd, 2006, 3:42 pm
    Post #113 - May 23rd, 2006, 3:42 pm Post #113 - May 23rd, 2006, 3:42 pm
    G Wiv wrote: You pegged my bar preference to a T. :)

    Gary, I can't tell you how smug I feel about that. Is that twisted, or is is just an occupational hazard? Hard to say.

    I was glad to hear about China Chef. Another place that is relatively new to this location is Richwell, which has bbq pork and poultry to take out. It was pretty good when I had it.

    Richwell Market
    6120 Dempster
    Morton Grove, IL
    847-929-2228
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #114 - May 23rd, 2006, 8:41 pm
    Post #114 - May 23rd, 2006, 8:41 pm Post #114 - May 23rd, 2006, 8:41 pm
    How long/comlicated is the drive to Burt's from the city - not familar with the burbs/outskirts.

    Thanks.
  • Post #115 - May 23rd, 2006, 8:58 pm
    Post #115 - May 23rd, 2006, 8:58 pm Post #115 - May 23rd, 2006, 8:58 pm
    For all of you Pequod's junkies the Clybourn location has reopened. The officialGrand Reopening will be this weekend, but I had pizza tonight and man was it good! The new digs are nice- exposed brick and softer music (sort of classic update, but the menu hasn't changed). No TVs as of today, but they are coming I was assured. :D
  • Post #116 - May 23rd, 2006, 9:11 pm
    Post #116 - May 23rd, 2006, 9:11 pm Post #116 - May 23rd, 2006, 9:11 pm
    Snark wrote:How long/complicated is the drive to Burt's from the city - not familar with the burbs/outskirts.

    Excited to hear about Pequod's Clybourn reopening.

    To answer your question, Snark, the least complicated (though not fastest) way to get to Burt's from the city would be to get on Lincoln and keep going till you get to Ferris Ave. in Morton Grove, turn right and you're there.

    The fastest way (and not all that complicated) would be to take the Edens to the Dempster West exit, proceed several blocks to Ferris, turn left, and go a couple of blocks south.
  • Post #117 - May 23rd, 2006, 9:15 pm
    Post #117 - May 23rd, 2006, 9:15 pm Post #117 - May 23rd, 2006, 9:15 pm
    Thanks RIddle...

    I wonder if Pequods will be taking reservations this weekend and if it will be packed? I'd assume so...
  • Post #118 - May 26th, 2006, 6:04 pm
    Post #118 - May 26th, 2006, 6:04 pm Post #118 - May 26th, 2006, 6:04 pm
    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:
    Greasy Spoons, I'm glad you enjoyed the pizza. I am a little sorry if we weren't quite as attentive as we like to be...


    BuddyRoadhouse,

    The wife and I more than enjoyed the pies, they were fantastic. And the experience was just as amazing. It was great watching you and Burt interact with friends and family. It's that kind of attitude, in addition to amazing food, that makes a place like Burt's all the more great...

    Now the wife and I have been to all, that I believe, of the "Starback" pizza legacies: Pequod's (1 & 2), Gulliver’s and Burt's (just wish I were around for the Inferno). When we left Burt's that night the wife asked me, "Well, which do you like better?" And to be honest I couldn't give her an answer. It just didn't seem right to do so. Though each place has a different owner and the pies are relatively different, it doesn't take a foodie to realize they are of the same origin. And I think that in of itself is a great testament to Burt.

    If I were to give any advice on the matter I would encourage someone to try all of them. They all have there own "character" in some way and its fun to experience them all. And now it's just as easy to do so, the Pequod's on Clybourn is up and running again. We were there just last night and again, a new location...same great pie...

    Ironically, it's interesting to me that all the "Starback" locations have a literary reference. Because the first thing I thought of when I saw Burt... was Walt Whitman. :D

    Keep up the great work BuddyRoadhouse; we hope to visit you guys again real soon.

    ~ GS
    Greasy Spoon
  • Post #119 - May 31st, 2006, 2:40 pm
    Post #119 - May 31st, 2006, 2:40 pm Post #119 - May 31st, 2006, 2:40 pm
    Word around the Bringer Inn has it that Pequod's Morton Grove will be moving to a new spot at Milwaukee Avenue and Dempster. Reportedly, the owner of Pequod's also owns a hockey equipment business and will consolidate his operations in one location. I was not able to independently verify this bit of news, but my impression was that this was general knowledge among the regular crowd at the Bringer Inn.

    I also learned that the Bringer Inn dates from 1904. There is a picture of the original facade under the large muskie displayed on the wall. (The fish is vintage 1975.)
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #120 - May 31st, 2006, 2:50 pm
    Post #120 - May 31st, 2006, 2:50 pm Post #120 - May 31st, 2006, 2:50 pm
    Josephine wrote:Word around the Bringer Inn has it that Pequod's Morton Grove will be moving to a new spot at Milwaukee Avenue and Dempster. Reportedly, the owner of Pequod's also owns a hockey equipment business and will consolidate his operations in one location. I was not able to independently verify this bit of news, but my impression was that this was general knowledge among the regular crowd at the Bringer Inn.


    The connexion to the hockey business is indeed true. As was the case with Pequod's, the owner bought the venerable Gunzo's pro-shop (now with several locations around the area) from the founder, who was an NHL goalie in his day and later got into the equipment side of things. Back when the Blackhawks were in the NHL...

    Anyway, it sounds like the rumour you heard may very well be true.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.

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