When growing up, my favorite pizza was Pizza Hut pepperoni pan pizza. My mom or dad would often bring it home after a big shopping trip in the city next to us (it was an ordeal to go because the grocery store was an hour away). It was also a frequent destination for outtings with family friends on a Saturday night. Which was super cool because I was 8 and there were the old school video games in the location we went to (score!).
When it came to toppings, I always went with pepperoni- it was the only one I liked at the time. Although my mom swears up and down I used to eat mushrooms as a toddler.
Then there was college. Where we had the pizza chain, Gumby’s, that soon became my new favorite. This was mostly because it was one of few delivery spots open at 3:00 in the morning.
I was still mostly a pepperoni-only kind of gal, but learned I could bend the rules quite easily if you offer me another Keystone Light while in the ordering process. In addition, Gumby’s was the chain that introduced me to the harmonious combination of pizza with ranch dressing. A habit I still take up on occasion, as it is sinfully delicious.
Then, after moving to Chicago, I was sure that one of the main deep dish spots was certain to strike my fancy.
There was my first experience with deep dish at Gino’s. Eh.
The Rosati’s conveniently located across from my apartment building. Eh.
Lou Malnati’s. Giordano’s. Not bad. Not bad.
What am I missing? What is going on??
After a year or two, the realization was made.
I’m just not excited over deep dish pizza.
I mean… the concept is fabulous. A literal pie of cheese and meat and more cheese? Holy wow.
But I rarely indulge unless with out-of-towners who want to try it. My preference is to just make it on my own (via Trader Joe pizza crust) for a movie night in on the weekends.
Chicago is the mecca of pizza. How is this possible that I do not have a favorite?
Then along came Piece Brewery.
My first time was about a year ago, and I never looked back. The now infamous combo of goat cheese and bacon solidified my membership card to the Piece Pizza fan club.
It may not be Chicago-style (it’s actually New Haven-style), but this Chicago spot ranks up there in my top 5.
They even have their own beer.
I went with Golden Arm- one of their lighter brews. It was a school night, after all…
My heart is theirs forever.
And that is a reason why I was actually looking forward to this last Tuesday (woah- right?). My former manager and I are both pizza lovers and decided, after weeks of trying to plan something, to catch up last night after work at Piece Brewery & Pizzeria.
Funny thing is, going out to eat is a difficult thing for us. My former boss and I both talk relatively quickly and are very capable of rattling on, hopping from one subject to another with no rhyme or reason (this was the case when we worked together, as well). It makes ordering and eating quite difficult. Apologies go out to our extremely patient waiter.
Still a lover of pepperoni, I now prefer to pile the toppings on. And he’s not a big fan of red meat. So we went the vegetarian route. Mushrooms? I’m back, baby! Spinach? Why not? Olives? I love you.
There were also artichokes involved. Don’t hate until you’ve tried it.
They offer “white” (no sauce) or “plain” (no cheese), but I just can’t call it pizza unless sauce and cheese are involved. I’m a purist like that.
The crust is thin, but don’t think it’s not going to be filling. They load up on the toppings that fill you up. Which is awesome. Because I now have my dinner sitting in a plastic carry out box for tonight.
Too bad I didn’t carry out some of their beer while I was at it.
Because pizza without beer (or wine) is just plain wrong. I’ll remember this tonight as I warmup the leftovers.
Question of the Day (or month, since I don’t do this often): Favorite pizza chain when you were growing up?
Filed under: Places to Drink, Places to Eat | Tagged: Chicago, Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, pizza, pizza stuffed with vegetables, Wicker Park Eats | 28 Comments »