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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 #31 - March 4th, 2006, 10:51 am
    Post #31 - March 4th, 2006, 10:51 am Post #31 - March 4th, 2006, 10:51 am
    Greasy Spoon wrote: The truth is I'll keep buying soggy-cold pies for as long as it takes to support these guys.


    You can order a pie half-baked, and then finish it up in your oven. This is what Pequod's suggested when I was buying multiple pies in advance for a party. It worked pretty well. Not as good as having it done in their ovens, but not soggy and cold either. It still had that wonderful carmelized crust. They will give you instructions.
  • Post #32 - March 6th, 2006, 7:03 pm
    Post #32 - March 6th, 2006, 7:03 pm Post #32 - March 6th, 2006, 7:03 pm
    I had pequod's recently and while it was decent (hard to make bad pizza) I wasn't exactly blown away by it. We ordered a pie with sausage and what they served us was a little disturbing for even the biggest meat eaters at our table. There was a layer of sausage almost like a thick pancake inside the pizza. The crust was black just like the pictures here and I didn't find it to be anything but somewhat burnt tasting.

    Also, the volume on the TV's in that place is unreal.
  • Post #33 - March 6th, 2006, 8:14 pm
    Post #33 - March 6th, 2006, 8:14 pm Post #33 - March 6th, 2006, 8:14 pm
    gronez wrote:I had pequod's recently and while it was decent (hard to make bad pizza) I wasn't exactly blown away by it.


    Hmmm... that's interesting. I'm quite fond of Pequod's. Well gronez, I'm very curious to hear your opinion. What is your favorite WindyCity pie?

    gronez wrote:layer of sausage almost like a thick pancake inside the pizza


    The pie you're describing sounds alot like Lou Malnati's. What location did you eat at? Pequod's has nice "Superbowl Ring" sized sausages. But never a "pancake" layer. Pequod's sausage sits atop the pie...
    GS
    Greasy Spoon
  • Post #34 - March 9th, 2006, 3:27 pm
    Post #34 - March 9th, 2006, 3:27 pm Post #34 - March 9th, 2006, 3:27 pm
    Mike G wrote:But then everyone has different tastes. For instance, this morning my kids dipped their home-cured bacon in black currant water buffalo yogurt.


    Mike, I think your kids are bucking for a trip to Alinea...
  • Post #35 - March 24th, 2006, 5:18 pm
    Post #35 - March 24th, 2006, 5:18 pm Post #35 - March 24th, 2006, 5:18 pm
    Ed's Deep Dish Rant:

    In the last few months, I've been schooling my Iowa roommate on deep dish chicago pizza and we have been ordering deep dish pizza from all the highly regarded deep dish pizza joints in chicago.

    Naturally, we had pizzas from Lou Malnati's (butter crust) (which I would say is nearly identical to Pizzeria Uno/Due), Gino's East (cornmeal crust), and Pequod's.

    We decided to dig a little deeper to see if any other places that might be slightly off the radar happened to have good deep dish.

    So we ordered from a place called "The Art of Pizza" as the Chicago Tribune rated their deep dish pretty high in one of their articles I found online.

    Though this pizza was not bad, it was not in league with the pizzas mentioned above.

    Problem one: The cheese was ON TOP!
    Any good Chicago style pizza should have sauce and toppings on top!
    (minor sprinkling of parmesan on top is acceptible)

    Problem two: tomato sauce was kinda weak.
    Tomato sauce doesn't need to be anything more complicated than crushed tomatoes, salt, and maybe a little sugar if the tomatoes aren't very sweet. If you can't do tomato sauce right, you ruin the 'za! I'd also add some hot pepper flakes and garlic, but that would be optional.

    Problem three: Crust was somewhere between new york style and pizza hut hand tossed.
    Chicago style deep dish pizza crust (with the exception of Pequod's) typically does not have a lot of rise to it. It's more of a pie crust/biscuit texture.

    With all that said, my favorite deep dish is Pequod's, though I would not consider it a traditional chicago deep dish, due to the crust style. Let's call it modern chicago deep dish!
    The caramelized cheese on the outside and fantastic sauce put them at the top of my list. The sausage and pepperoni are the best I've had on a pizza.

    For me, Pizzeria Uno/Due / Lou Malnati's comes in a close second.
    Iowa boy ranked Gino's 2nd, because he liked the "cornmeal" crust.

    p.s. one should encounter these pizzas IN the restaurants. Though they are great delivered, they are FANTASTIC served on site.
    Last edited by edheller on November 21st, 2015, 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
    --
    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 #36 - March 24th, 2006, 6:33 pm
    Post #36 - March 24th, 2006, 6:33 pm Post #36 - March 24th, 2006, 6:33 pm
    I have had many discussions with my pizza-loving (not necessarily foodie) friends about who serves the best pizza in Chicago. I found that there is no agreement across the board because people like different things about pizza, or rather, prioritize the different elements of pizza differently.

    I, for example, am a sauce-crust-cheese type (in that order). I had Pequod's pizza after a foodie friend GUSHED about it, and was disappointed. She is a cheese-crust-sauce pizza lover. For me, Pequod's cheese pizza had too much cheese, the sauce was just okay and I don't remember what the crust was like. Unless you are of the same pizza type, you probably won't agree with another person as to which pizza is best in the city. This isn't even including the thin crust vs deep-dish variation!

    So I admit it, I'm a food geek. But if I'm going to be a food geek somewhere, I figure this is the place!

    asami :-)
  • Post #37 - March 27th, 2006, 1:04 pm
    Post #37 - March 27th, 2006, 1:04 pm Post #37 - March 27th, 2006, 1:04 pm
    The great thing about Chicago is the huge number of places you can get pizza.

    Anyone should be able to find a kind of pizza they like somewhere in Chicago.

    Along with the Classic Chicago Deep Dish (and Pequod's, which I call Modern Chicago Deep Dish), there are a ton of places that serve great thin crust pizza and also new york style "folding" pizza. I've even seen some of the bakeries and delis that serve a "baking sheet" style pan pizza. And of course there's the "stuffed" pizza, which I don't personally care for. It just seems excessive.
    --
    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 #38 - March 27th, 2006, 4:17 pm
    Post #38 - March 27th, 2006, 4:17 pm Post #38 - March 27th, 2006, 4:17 pm
    JeffB wrote:I've always wondered, although the pizza bears little resemblance to something from New Haven, is the whaling and Moby Dick theme intended to convey a Connecticut connection?
    Hello all. I'm an occasional lurker here at LTH who finally decided to sign up and be heard. I've been a frequent poster at Roadfood.com and found that site to be very helpful in my travels. However, as a native Chicagoan, I thought it might be nice to discuss local spots with those who are closer to the source. So here I am. I have a very dry sense of humor which is occasionally mistaken for hostility. I promise I'm not hostile. Just a smart-a**. Not sure, can you say a** on this site?

    Anyway, the thing that prompted me to sign up here was this particular thread, in which I am an expert. You see, I have worked for Burt Katz, the original owner of Pequod's(and Gulliver's, and The Inferno in Evanston in the early '60s for that matter), for over 30 years.

    JeffB, you are correct in your assumption about the whaling connection, "Pequod" is the name of the ship in "Moby Dick". There is, however, no connection to Connecticut or any other whaling area intended. Burt just loves classic literature (hence the name of his other past glories, Gulliver's and The Inferno, as in Dante's), "Moby Dick" in particular. He always said, "I just like the name. If I'd opened a shoe store, I would have named it 'Pequod's'."

    That said, I can assure you that the current owner(Burt sold the place in 1986; he was burnt out), has no appreciation for the significance of the name or the level of quality which Burt instituted and cultivated. Unless the current proprietor has changed radically, he has the sexual maturity and intellect of an eighth grader, hence the lady's underwear stretched across the whale's head in his current logo. This also explains the underwear tacked up to the walls and beams in the Morton Grove location(I've never been to the Clyborn spot, so I don't know WHAT they've got hanging on the walls there. One can only imagine).

    I could go on and leave myself open to a defamation suit, but I think it best to focus on the positive aspects of Burt's Place in Morton Grove, Mr. Katz's current location. Located at 8541 N. Ferris in Morton Grove, two blocks west of the original Pequod's, Burt has maintained his original concept of outstanding pan pizza in a warm inviting atmosphere of natural wood panelling, antique radios, and conversation friendly jazz, blues, and classical music.

    Burt's Place is open Wednesday through Friday for lunch, and Wednesday through Sunday for dinner. The phone is unlisted so here it is for all interested parties; (847) 965-7997. Anyone who remembers Pequod's pre '86 will want to check this out.

    Buddy

    P.S. Burt has no part in this posting or the opinions expressed herein. I worked as Burt's headwaiter on the weekends back in Pequod's heyday. I continue to work there on most Saturday nights. If you would like to discuss the opinions expressed here, you can do so on this forum or come in for a pizza on a Saturday evening, we'd love to see you.

    B.
  • Post #39 - March 27th, 2006, 8:05 pm
    Post #39 - March 27th, 2006, 8:05 pm Post #39 - March 27th, 2006, 8:05 pm
    I have seen Burt's place on Ferris, and wondered if it was somehow related to Pequod's. I mean, what's the chance of two pizza joints on two different residential side streets that close together in MG? Then I thought maybe it was just some enterprising neighbor who saw all the people driving in circles searching for Pequod's, and decided to cash in with a pizza joint of his own. I tried to stop there a couple of times but it was always closed when I was in the neighborhood.

    I somewhat agree with you about the new owner's sense of humor. Still, I think it is just kind of quirky and weird, but largely harmless. It is sort of embarrassing to bring my 80 year-old mother and my seven year old niece there. Luckily, all the sexual references go right past them (god forbid either one should walk into the men's room by mistake). Anyhow, sick humor aside, I still love the pizza. I remember the change in ownership, but never noticed a negative change in the quality of the food. But truthfully, I think I was only there once or twice before it was sold. I know the prices went up.

    Now that I know the original owner is just around the corner (and the hours), I will definitely give it a try. Does Burt use basically the same recipe as Pequod's? It is that carmelized crust that we all enjoy so much.
  • Post #40 - March 27th, 2006, 10:31 pm
    Post #40 - March 27th, 2006, 10:31 pm Post #40 - March 27th, 2006, 10:31 pm
    Everything at Burt's Place is as it was at Pequod's pre '86, the year Burt sold the place. He's been in the new location since '89.

    Rather than me commenting on the quality consistency at Pequod's, you should come in to Burt's, decide for yourself, and post your thoughts. Without the input of an outside party, anything further I could say about this would be considered biased.

    I will say this; the atmosphere and attitude is far more family friendly(Just low key, not in a Moral Majority kind of way) with nothing that would embarass your 80 year old mother, your seven year old niece or anyone in between.

    Come in for dinner. If you agree with my assessment, you can let the world know here on LTH. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. I'm a big boy and I can take it.

    Buddy
  • Post #41 - April 7th, 2006, 12:17 am
    Post #41 - April 7th, 2006, 12:17 am Post #41 - April 7th, 2006, 12:17 am
    A fine idea, BuddyRoadhouse. As it happened, Cathy2 and I were casting about for a dinner plan yesterday. I had just returned from a pizza shut out in New Haven and Providence (a tale too sad to tell), and she took pity on me. So we headed out to Morton Grove with your suggestion in mind. A head-to-head comparison of the two is recounted below, with photos by Cathy2.

    Ever professional, Cathy2 resisted my attempt to sidetrack her into a pop at the corner bar, The Bringer Inn. But which pizza to try first? The primo parking spot in front of Burt's made that an easy decision. And then, suddenly, we were in Wisconsin, or another Place That Time Forgot. And I mean that in a good way. It seems that Burt is a collector of Hamm Radios and other stuff that you don't see around much anymore. It tickled my nostalgia bone in a big way.

    Image

    We received a warm welcome from a woman who appeared to be Mrs. Burt, while Burt himself (we conjectured) was seated across the room.
    Our large pan pizza with half sausage and half pepperoni appeared before long. (True, the place was empty, except for us, but it still seemed pretty quick.)

    Image

    My initial impression was of a well-balanced work, in which the key elements of crust, cheese, sauce, meat topping harmonized quite well. The crust was lighter and less greasy than Malnati's, but, I'm guessing, in the same general style. (Cathy2 said she had little experience of Malnati's, so she didn't want to offer an opinion.) The charred edge extended around the circumference of the pie, but, as will become clear in views provided below, did not cover the entire depth of the crust. This seemed to provide the right amount of char, rather than dominating the pie. The tomato sauce seemed tangy and fresh-tasting, and was applied such that it mingled nicely with the cheese, rather than making a separate puddle of sauce on top of the pie, which I personally find quite irritating. Cathy2 observed that the sausage was sliced in disks, and had a healthy amont of garlic. The pepperoni was very thinly sliced and carefully distributed so that each bite contained a bit of meat.

    Mrs. Burt seemed to be the kind of person who finds it easy to be gracious, and I left feeling I'd be happy to return. (As an aside, Cathy2 was as pleased to find A&W Root Beer as I was to have a Leinenkugel's.)

    Around the corner at Pequod's we encountered a somewhat similar room that seemed to be attempting some of the same atmospheric cues as Burts. But it was strange because there were blaring TV's showing poker games and lots of neon beer signs amid the Hamm radios and ship photos. Rather than the cozy booths and wooden chairs, there were metal banquet chairs at formica tables. But no, BuddyRoadhouse, there was no sign of ladies' undergarments used as decorations. The only remnants of a prurient sense of humor were in some candid photos of past patrons gone wild on the wall in the entryway. Cathy2 also (discreetly) checked the men's room and the only decoration there was a fern. Oddly, both WC's have louvered doors that open adjacent to tables in the crowded room, giving one the impression that one's privacy is potentially in some jeopardy. Fortunately, the room was nearly empty, but unlike at Burt's we waited some time for our pizza. The service was adequate, but lacking the warmth we had experienced earlier in the evening.

    Image

    This time, my initial impression was of a much heavier, denser pizza. The crust was crisp on the bottom, but doughy without being chewy nearer the cheese layer, as if unevenly cooked. And yet the edge was deeply charred. The cheese was set in a heavier layer, and the sauce quite thickly applied over that. The pepperoni, Cathy2 observed, was shingled on like fish scales. One might speculate that this is in deference to Pequod's sea-going theme, and this hypothesis would be further supported by the strong saltiness of the tomato sauce and the pepperoni. While Pequod's pepperoni did have a hotter bite than Burt's, it was also overly salty, making the pepperoni slices unpleasant for me as a longtime foe of over-salting. At this point, Cathy also observed that the judicious use of oregano at Burts was a strong point lacking in Pequod's interpretation.

    Cathy and I then adjourned to my house, where we conducted a side-by-side evaluation of the slices.

    Image

    Packaging: Pequod's (right) uses foil, Burt's (left) does not



    Image
    Crust edge: Burt's at left, Pequod's at right.


    Image
    Sausage: Burt's at left, Pequod's at right


    Image
    Pepperoni: (Pequod's pepperoni (at right) are arranged like fish scales)

    A second round of tasting yielded data consistent with our earlier impressions. Burt's was the winner on every count. (Texture of crust, level of carmelization/char, balance of ingredients, amount of cheese, sauce, assembly, seasoning, and toppings) Pequod's seems a brute of a pizza, heavy and salty. Burt's on the other hand, is a charmer with a lighter touch and a sense of how to pull it all together. I'll let you decide for yourselves about the decor. But I'll be going back to Burt's for my pizza with jazz, not poker. Many thanks to Cathy for her company, her focus, and her photos. Thanks also to all who posted, Pequod's fans, too!
    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 #42 - April 7th, 2006, 8:02 am
    Post #42 - April 7th, 2006, 8:02 am Post #42 - April 7th, 2006, 8:02 am
    Josephine wrote:Burt's was the winner on every count. (Texture of crust, level of carmelization/char, balance of ingredients, amount of cheese, sauce, assembly, seasoning, and toppings)

    Last weekend, I also took BuddyRoadhouse up on the Pequod's versus Burt's challenge. I invited the friend who first brought me to Pequod's many years ago and his son, pizzaboy (the kid lives on the stuff), who has been eating at Pequod's since he was a baby. Half way through the first slice of Burt's amazing pizza, both pizzaboy and his dad asked why we had never known about this place before. By the end of the slice, we agreed we would never go back to Pequod's. We all agreed that Burt's won hands down, for many of the same reasons mentioned in Josephine's post. In fact, I was planning on going back there today with my camera, but Josephine and Cathy2 beat me to it. Oh yeah, and there are NO TVs at Burt's (big plus).

    However, to compare Burt's pizza to Malnati's or any other pan pizza (other than Pequod's) is just not right. Burt has spent over 40 years developing and perfecting a style of pizza that is his own. I don't think there is another place in the country you can get a pizza quite like it. There is a 1963 menu on the wall from Burt's first restaurant, The Inferno in Evanston (a large was 2.50), as well as 1970s menus from Pequod's and Gullivers. Apparently, Burt has always called his creations "Pizza in the Pan" rather than "pan pizza". I think there is a clear distinction. For one, Burt's crunchy crust is only about 5/8" thick. Secondly, there is that wonderful camelized crust (which I now think is way overdone at Pequod's). Plus, the sauce is obviously made from fresh ground tomatoes. If you eat at Burt's you should get peppers on your pizza. Burt uses a combo of very fresh green, red, orange and yellow pepppers. The flavor and texture of the crunchy sweet peppers contrasts wonderfully with the warm tangy sauce and melted cheese.

    Also while you are there, you should sample some of BuddyRoadhouse's BBQ sauces, which they sell for $3/bottle. Not too shabby at all.

    BTW, the Bringer Inn is definitely worth a quick visit, just to soak up the ambience (or lack thereof).
  • Post #43 - April 7th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    Post #43 - April 7th, 2006, 3:18 pm Post #43 - April 7th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    Pequod's has been my wife and I's favorite pizza place for a few years, so hearing about Burt's has my interest more than peaked. We will be going tonight and I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the reccomendation and the photos.
    If it's 3rd and long, try a draw play.
  • Post #44 - April 7th, 2006, 8:13 pm
    Post #44 - April 7th, 2006, 8:13 pm Post #44 - April 7th, 2006, 8:13 pm
    d4v3 wrote:However, to compare Burt's pizza to Malnati's or any other pan pizza (other than Pequod's) is just not right. Burt has spent over 40 years developing and perfecting a style of pizza that is his own. I don't think there is another place in the country you can get a pizza quite like it. There is a 1963 menu on the wall from Burt's first restaurant, The Inferno in Evanston (a large was 2.50), as well as 1970s menus from Pequod's and Gullivers. Apparently, Burt has always called his creations "Pizza in the Pan" rather than "pan pizza". I think there is a clear distinction. For one, Burt's crunchy crust is only about 5/8" thick.


    d4v3--I appreciate your description of Burt's crust as crunchy and 5/8" thick. Describing it as akin to Malnati's was just me grasping at straws, because that's the closest crust to Burt's in my finite experience of Chicago pizza variations. The char really does make it a different animal. But take pity on me, a poor NYC expat, when it comes to Chicago pizza. I wouldn't have had the nerve to undertake this tasting without the sure hand of Cathy2 on the tiller.
    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 #45 - April 7th, 2006, 8:31 pm
    Post #45 - April 7th, 2006, 8:31 pm Post #45 - April 7th, 2006, 8:31 pm
    edheller wrote:Ed's Deep Dish Rant:

    So we ordered from a place called "The Art of Pizza" as the Chicago Tribune rated their deep dish pretty high in one of their articles I found online.

    Though this pizza was not bad, it was not in league with the pizzas mentioned above.

    Problem one: The cheese was ON TOP!
    Any good Chicago style pizza should have sauce and toppings on top!
    (minor sprinkling of parmesan on top is acceptible)

    Problem two: tomato sauce was kinda weak.
    Tomato sauce doesn't need to be anything more complicated than crushed tomatoes, salt, and maybe a little sugar if the tomatoes aren't very sweet. If you can't do tomato sauce right, you ruin the 'za! I'd also add some hot pepper flakes and garlic, but that would be optional.

    Problem three: Crust was somewhere between new york style and pizza hut hand tossed.
    Chicago style deep dish pizza crust (with the exception of Pequod's) typically does not have a lot of rise to it. It's more of a pie crust/biscuit texture.

    p.s. one should encounter these pizzas IN the restaurants. Though they are great delivered, they are FANTASTIC served on site.


    Hey Ed, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think that for pizza connoisseurs, taste is very much an individual thing, but certain tendancies seem to be pretty consistent. I also agree with the poster who said that it depends on what KIND of pizza fan you are (e.g., cheese-sauce-crust).

    While I have to disagree with you on your opinion of the Art of Pizza, I believe it may be due to a misunderstanding or error. I've had all kinds of pizzas from just about every pizza place in Chicago, and have to say that Art of Pizza ranks near or at the top for me (as does Pequod's). From my experience, it appears that what you may have experienced from Art of Pizza was their version of the PAN pizza, not their version of the traditional Chicago-style stuffed deep-dish pizza. I've had all three types at AoP (Thin Crust, Pan, and Stuffed), and their pan is precisely what you described above, with the cheese on top, a thinner sauce, and thicker Pizza-hut style crust.

    Their "Stuffed" is what you call Chicago style deep dish pizza crust, and has only a sprinkling of parmesan and spices on top of what IMO is a tangy delicious sauce.

    So I don't know if the error was on your part ordering or the order taker's, but it really sounds to me like there was a mixup.

    Depending on my mood, Pequod's and Art of Pizza rank as my top 2. I absolutely hate Pizzeria Uno's, and typically refuse to go there when friends are in town visiting, as I think their sauce the blandest there is. I guess some people prefer it because of the butter crust and perhaps they like their sauce less salty. Giordano's, Geno's East, and Lou Malnati's all come somewhere in between and rank as pretty standard in my book, with the noted exception of the sausage at Lou Malnati's, better known as the "Sausage Pancake". To me, the 5 lbs. of sausage in mass 14" in diameter by a half inch think is a bit too much, and trust me, I love meat.
  • Post #46 - April 7th, 2006, 9:44 pm
    Post #46 - April 7th, 2006, 9:44 pm Post #46 - April 7th, 2006, 9:44 pm
    Josephine wrote: Describing it as akin to Malnati's was just me grasping at straws, because that's the closest crust to Burt's in my finite experience of Chicago pizza variations. The char really does make it a different animal
    Josephine - I'm sorry. I was not crtiticizing your comparison. I was just making a point in general that both Burt's and Pequod's should be considered a separate pizza style from traditional Chicago Pan (or is it deep dish?). Actually, I think you are right, Burt's crust has a certain maltiness to it that is similar in flavor to Malnati's, even if the consistency and style are not.

    Anyhow, thanks to you and Cathy2 for doing such a great job on the write up and pictures, I thought you really captured the essence of the place and the food. When I was there last week, I did not get a chance to meet Burt's other-half (Ms. Katz?). Tonight I met her, and she is just as you described. In fact, they are both exceptionally nice people, and they seem so close to all their regular customers.

    All week I was driving people nuts, obssessing about Burt's pizza. So I had to go back there tonight with another Pequod fan, to show them what I was going on about. Tonight, we observed that Burt's crust is thinner towards the middle and gets thicker towards the outside. I wonder if that's why it is as crisp in the middle as it is on the edges? So many pan pizzas are somewhat mushy in the center.

    This time I brought my camera. I thought the owners might get weirded out by so many people suddenly taking pictures of their pizza, but it didn't seem to phase them. Here is a fresh out of the pan slice with sausage and assorted bell peppers. I think it clearly illustrates what you described as the mingling of sauce and cheese.

    Image
  • Post #47 - April 7th, 2006, 11:39 pm
    Post #47 - April 7th, 2006, 11:39 pm Post #47 - April 7th, 2006, 11:39 pm
    Hi,

    When we there on Wednesday night, they seemed quite curious why I was taking pictures. I told them, "It is my hobby," which happens to be the truth.

    Little did they know another hobbyist was about to appear!

    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 #48 - April 8th, 2006, 6:57 am
    Post #48 - April 8th, 2006, 6:57 am Post #48 - April 8th, 2006, 6:57 am
    Josephine,

    Thanks for the detailed comparison. Frankly I was predisposed to prefer Pequods, mainly due to the fact Buddy was so strident and, frankly, I'm not opposed to a bit of puerile humor now and again. Though, based on your, and d4v3's, posts I plan on giving Burt's a try.

    Kudos to Cathy on the photos.

    You missed a cool bar in the Bringer Inn, think middle of Wisconsin 25-years ago, real nice owner as well. My neighbor Dan and I went out on a Sunday hardware store mission a few years ago and got sidetracted to an afternoon of lie swapping and beer drinking at the Bringer Inn.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #49 - April 8th, 2006, 7:40 am
    Post #49 - April 8th, 2006, 7:40 am Post #49 - April 8th, 2006, 7:40 am
    HI,

    A few additional comments on Burt's vs Piquods:

    - I, like Gary, was a bit turned off by the comments on Buddyroadhouse initial statements. While it was proposed to conduct this survey for chowscience. I was curious if Buddy, as an insider, was right or simply full of home team bravado.
    While he was wrong on the Pequod's decor, which we searched high and low for. Yes, we did find a really faded photo of a woman in underwear hugging a guy in the dark vestibule. The men's bathroom was not a shrine to guy-humor unless there is a secret message conveyed in a hanging Boston fern.
    BRH was right about the pizza, which is really what I am most interested in.

    - Josephine asked me to order. We had a pan pizza in both establishments because Burt only serves pan pizza, while thin crust is available at Pequod's. We went with half pepperoni and half sausage, which was really an advantageous comparison. While Burt's pepperoni was mild. Pequod's had a spicy kick, though salty and maybe a bit too crisp from the cooking process edging on burnt.
    The sausage on Burt's was a coarse ground pork heavy with garlic shaped into disks. Pequod's sausage wasn't as distinctive and dropped on the pizza in large olive sized wads.

    - Burt's use of their sauce was much lighter than Pequod's, which allowed it to mingle better with the cheese.

    - Let's face it, me in the 'Bringer Inn' would be like a fish out of water! :)

    Josephine was great fun to share the experience for evaluating the pizzas. In any case someone had to do this job eventually and we got a kick out of doing it! If we had gone on two consecutive visits separated in time, it would have been harder to peck out the differences than visiting one place after the other.

    In the last 10 days, I have had Barnaby's, Lou Malnati's, Burt's and Pequod's pizzas. I am quite charmed by Barnaby's (in Northbrook) and Burt's.

    Best regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #50 - April 8th, 2006, 10:21 am
    Post #50 - April 8th, 2006, 10:21 am Post #50 - April 8th, 2006, 10:21 am
    Cathy2 wrote:- Let's face it, me in the 'Bringer Inn' would be like a fish out of water!

    But Cathy, to do justice to that outstanding name, I have to go there with another gal. After all, it's not called the "Bringim In"!

    My all-time favorite bar name? "Getcha Some" between Weyawega and Waupaca, Wisconsin. The mug of beer on the sign just pushes it into PG territory.(Please excuse the OT tangent. I couldn't resist.)
    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 #51 - April 8th, 2006, 1:58 pm
    Post #51 - April 8th, 2006, 1:58 pm Post #51 - April 8th, 2006, 1:58 pm
    Cathy2 wrote: While he was wrong on the Pequod's decor, which we searched high and low for. Yes, we did find a really faded photo of a woman in underwear hugging a guy in the dark vestibule. The men's bathroom was not a shrine to guy-humor unless there is a secret message conveyed in a hanging Boston fern.
    A couple of years after Burt sold Pequod, there was indeed quite a bit of sophomoric humor in evidence there (that was about the time I started frequenting the place). I imagine that is the period to which BuddyRoadhouse was referring. At the time, Pequod was more of a hangout than a family restaurant. I am sure he and Burt heard a lot of complaints from families that had once been their regular customers. Pequod has cleaned up its act since then. As many of the original, more raucous patrons, grew older and had families of their own, the items of questionable taste were removed or painted over. Much of that stuff has been gone for years. There still are some double entendres here and there, if you know where to look for them. Like I said in my reply to BRH, although the humor was rather juvenile, it seemed fairly harmless. In fact, it was not much different than what you might see on present-day TV sitcoms. The exception was a poster in the men's room of an obese naked woman. You know, the one from the 1980s greeting cards. I never really found those amusing. However, that poster was removed about 15 years ago.

    Actually, the evolution of Pequod's men's room decor is interesting. As I recall, it started out as a humorous list of bathroom "rules", i.e. certain acts one should not commit in a closet sized bathroom equipped with louvered doors with diners just outside. People started adding their favorite euphemistic expressions for those acts (and added their own acts). Eventually the "rules", along with some illustrative graphics, covered all the walls. At some point, the owner, probably fed up with the out-of-control graffiti, but reluctant to spoil the fun (he started it), painted the walls and ceiling of the room with black paint, and wrote some of those expressions in 4 inch day-glo letters all over the walls and ceiling. I think at first, it was even lit with a black light (very impractical for a john). It was childish and silly indeed, but to many, myself included, the loo was actually one of the highlights of the restaurant. Obscure references to the "rules" even found their way onto the pizza boards and take-out menus (an inside snicker for us adolescent minded males). To me, the men's room was a piece of American folk-art. But art, like smut, is in the eye of the beholder. I am sure there must have been some interesting family moments after little boys returned from the bathroom full of questions and new vocabulary words.

    Regardless, I did think it was unfair of BuddyRoadhouse to cast personal aspersions on the current owner of Pequod, rather than stick to more objective criticism. It does smack of bad blood. However, in his defense, BRH did acknowledge that in a subsequent post. Also, his post was a direct response to a question JeffB had asked earlier in this thread, as well as to one of my posts, in which I quoted an unusual remark the owner of Pequod once made to me and a friend while taking our order (it was actually more strange than offensive). In that post, I also speculated on the inspiration for the Pequod logo (which is indeed a whale with panties on its head, and can be seen in neon at the top of this thread).

    At any rate, even without Mr. RoadHouse's invitation (challenge?), I probably would have eventually investigated Burt's place, having driven by it for several years. But, I am grateful that he prompted me to do it sooner than later. In the end, I think BRH's comments were more those of a loyal and enthusiastic friend than a spiteful competitor.

    BTW Cathy2, someone else mentioned Barnaby's to me just yesterday. He was a little embarrassed to admit he really likes the place. I have not been to a Barnaby's since I was a teenager (my local one didn't card for beer). Maybe I will check it out again. What did you like about it?
  • Post #52 - April 8th, 2006, 3:58 pm
    Post #52 - April 8th, 2006, 3:58 pm Post #52 - April 8th, 2006, 3:58 pm
    I have to admit, I kind of stopped reading this thread. Glad I came back to it. I never knew that Interno and Gullivers had any relationship. I was a big fan of both many years ago. Some day I will have to try Burt's.
  • Post #53 - April 8th, 2006, 8:23 pm
    Post #53 - April 8th, 2006, 8:23 pm Post #53 - April 8th, 2006, 8:23 pm
    I had pizza at Burt's tonight. It was very good and I enjoyed the judicious use of ingredients very much. I don't have much to add except that I can't believe no one has yet mentioned the fact that the pizza is served on vintage International House of Pancakes plates. :wink:

    P.S. Skip the antipasto.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #54 - April 8th, 2006, 9:05 pm
    Post #54 - April 8th, 2006, 9:05 pm Post #54 - April 8th, 2006, 9:05 pm
    stevez wrote:P.S. Skip the antipasto.
    Yeah, the antipasto is not really an antipasto at all. It is a small green salad with extra stuff added. As a salad, it is pretty good (very fresh), but if you expect an actual antipasto, it is disappointing.

    I didn't try them, but the onion rings looked fantastic. Unfortunately, I have to get my cholesterol down by quite a few points before I feel OK about eating deep-fried food and pizza at the same sitting.
  • Post #55 - April 8th, 2006, 11:29 pm
    Post #55 - April 8th, 2006, 11:29 pm Post #55 - April 8th, 2006, 11:29 pm
    Hi,

    d4d3 wrote:I have not been to a Barnaby's since I was a teenager (my local one didn't card for beer). Maybe I will check it out again. What did you like about it?


    Until some days ago, I had one other Barnaby's pizza (at their since closed Montrose location) in the mid-1980's when I helped move a friend. I had passed the Northbrook outlet for years, but I wasn't curious until reading threads here on their crust. I have to admit their cornmeal crust is quite distinctive. It is thin, yet heavy and seems to hold its own relative to the toppings. I tried my friend's preferred combination of sausage and green olives, while not my first choice yet pretty good together.

    Thanks on the history of the decor at Pequods. I guess I remembered more vividly the initial comments and didn't register that this was merely history. I think sticking to the merits of the pizza would have been enough.

    SteveZ wrote:I can't believe no one has yet mentioned the fact that the pizza is served on vintage International House of Pancakes plates.


    I remembered, I remembered and then I forgot. :oops:

    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 #56 - April 9th, 2006, 3:25 am
    Post #56 - April 9th, 2006, 3:25 am Post #56 - April 9th, 2006, 3:25 am
    Being new to this forum and from what brief skimming I have done, I am a bit intimidated by the hardcore sincerity and passion that you all display for Chicagoland restaurants in general. I will do my best to keep my experiences and descriptions about the food and not venture off into criticisms of patrons and staff. Then again, atmosphere is an essential player in any restaurant experience, so I may be lying, which in fact I am because Burt's transcends the food in too many ways. For those not interested in reading my own personal pizza journey, please skip to the next post, because I have the feeling I'm about to go off on a long, rambling rant.

    First of all, if you're going into a pizza joint for a pizza experience and excuse the pun, a slice of Chicago's pizza history, then Burt's is the place to go. Growing up in the suburbs, one of my first pizza memories was my parents packing us in to car and driving downtown where we would fight for parking spots with other suburbanites, Wisconsinites and a general clueless douchebaggery of the population who were somehow under the impression that if we circled the block of Michigan Ave. to Superior to Columbus to Huron, we'd eventually find a spot. This also entailed me or my mother hopping out of the car and getting in line at Gino's which on a cool, fall Saturday night was a block long and tailed down Superior all the way to Michigan with a low murmer erupting from the line. It was like the patrons were about to witness a freak show of some sort, or shake the President's hand. It was the literal definition of a restaurant "buzz."

    I was enthralled with idea that someone would take our order in line ahead of time and when we'd finally sit our jelly legs down it would be only a short wait until our Chicago style pizza, unique to the city and it's people would arrive in all of its deep dish glory, layer of sausage and all.

    The fact that they encouraged graffiti on the tables and walls was all part of getting swept into the atmosphere and they had it down to a sob story of two cab drivers that had a dream of the perfect pizza written in story form on the placemats.

    I remember gouging my supplied butter knife into the table, desperately trying to carve my initials in, to leave my mark, and then I'd switch to using a pen on the back of the menu, easily completing the child maze from crust (the start) to pepperoni (or whatever it was).

    When our pizza arrived, it was now the main event, the headliner, the F'ING PIZZA that we had driven around blocks for, dealt with bums, tourists, lines, headaches and arguments. And it was worth it. The waiter would serve each piece from the carmelized black pans, using the weathered spatula to carefully slice the cheese from the edge of the pan which had formed a trio of mozzarella ropes to our plates that were still warm from the dishwasher. The servers had it down. There was a clammering of forks hitting plates, yells, laughter, from two tables away, and above all a conversational roar that never got too loud, but just loud enough to know that you were a part of something big. It was like watching a ballet the way the servers and bus boys would shout "behind you," and someone would move, allowing a tray overhead of 3 pan pizzas pass by with graceful comfort.

    The first thing I'd do is grab one of those gooey white strings that reached the edge of my plate and shove it in my mouth and half-chew/half-inhale moving inward, like one half of the lady and the tramp, all the way to my slice on the plate. I'd get lost in the experience. 8 or 9 years old and drunk from the pure absurdity and energy of a place that did nothing but serve crust with cheese and sauce on it. I fell in love with pizza, Chicago, and the feeling that a restaurant could give you. I never fell out of love.

    Gino's was an annual tradition for me and the family until I became a teenager, too cool and high on my own individuality to participate in such a silly re-occurance. I faded into a dumb, self-righteous phaze for a couple of years and by the age of 20, was living downtown off of crappy breakfast foods and whiskey that I never even thought much about it. Once I got my shit together a couple of years later, I rediscovered my love of the Chicago pie.

    I'm drunk. I'm high.
    If it's 3rd and long, try a draw play.
  • Post #57 - April 9th, 2006, 8:10 pm
    Post #57 - April 9th, 2006, 8:10 pm Post #57 - April 9th, 2006, 8:10 pm
    Hey, DitkaFan,
    I enjoyed reading about your personal pizza journey, but I'm confused. You say that Burt's is the place to go, but it sounds like you may actually prefer Gino's? I haven't been to Burt's yet; (it's on the top of the list!) and I'd love to hear your comments about it as well.
    Greasy Spoon
  • Post #58 - April 9th, 2006, 9:09 pm
    Post #58 - April 9th, 2006, 9:09 pm Post #58 - April 9th, 2006, 9:09 pm
    DitkaFan-- Like GS, I enjoyed reading your memories, which to me, were far from a rant, and wayyyy shorter than Proust's madeleine post (9 volumes and I only got through 4). Anyway, I think you might be interested in this thread about pizza memories. There is another one about early restaurant memories that I couldn't find, but I'm sure one of the moderators can locate it. Keep posting!
    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 #59 - April 10th, 2006, 1:22 pm
    Post #59 - April 10th, 2006, 1:22 pm Post #59 - April 10th, 2006, 1:22 pm
    This thread was on my mind yesterday when I was giving a speech about pizza to a crowd in Topeka, KS. When they asked me about interesting Chicago pizzas that people might not know about outside of town, I mentioned how there were a few good pizzerias in Chicago that had blackened, caramelized crust.

    In return, I received blank stares.

    No one could understand what I was talking about or why it would be good anyway. The more I tried to describe it, the more I floundered.

    Then again, when I asked the crowd where their favorite pizza was, they said things like "Pizza Hut." One guy actually said DiGiornos. Oh well.
  • Post #60 - April 10th, 2006, 1:26 pm
    Post #60 - April 10th, 2006, 1:26 pm Post #60 - April 10th, 2006, 1:26 pm
    DK Jeff,

    Can you tell us a bit more about your talk? What type of a group was it? I'm trying to understand how you could be imported to Topeka to talk about pizza when their favorites are so average.

    Thanks!

    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

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