National Pizza Day: May 17th

By Caryl Clem

An eating experience can be life changing; food delicious beyond description develops into a craving that will shape your future restaurant choices. My first time going to Pizzeria Uno on Wabash and Ohio streets convinced me that the very finest pizza in all of Chicago was served there. From the moment I entered the dining room, all my senses were on fire smelling, tasting, touching, swallowing, hearing fragments of chatter while observing the oozing cheese and array of toppings to devour. I broke every proper eating mannerism, eating with your fingers, taking as many servings as possible, practically gulping down every morsel.  Instantly, I became a deep dish pizza fan.

Discovering the inventions and trends that came from Chicago is an actual job. The city of Chicago’s cultural historian, Tim Samuelson, researched the origins of deep dish pizza. A transit from Texas University, former lineman Ike Sewell teamed with Italian-American Ric Riccardo, a food business operator working with Chef Adolpho Malnati Sr. to create a round dish pie pizza baked upside down in 1943. The popular new version of pizza led to a second location named Pizzeria Due opening in 1955.  Alice May Redmond and her sister Ruth Hadley were chefs in the early days. Chicago style deep dish pizza becomes loved from coast to coast. Today all the chefs families have opened their own versions of restaurants serving pizza.  Opening in 1966, another thick crust Chicago favorite formed by two brothers Rosario and Francesca Salerno opened their family business, Salerno’s on 16th Street.  Chicagoans have loyally supported them over fifty years enjoying a tantalizing array Italian food based on family recipes.

While exploring pizza information, I was surprised to discover thin crust has won the majority of business for decades, currently at 61 %.   There are over 8 crust thicknesses and varied name styles from California, St. Louis, New York City, Sicilian and Napoleon. You can become a pizza connoisseur traveling around Chicago by reading this article in TimeOut Chicago.

For the calorie counter pizza consumer, the same amount of flour goes into each crust; the leavening agent determines the thickness. The crust can be dominantly corn, gluten free, or grains. Leaving off the meat reduces artery plugging animal fats. Deep dish pizza has less meat fat per serving. Pizza cheese is low in fat compared to burger cheese flavors. Pizza is better for you than a Big Mac or bucket of crispy fried chicken.  Celebrate ending another week at work and go out for a pizza on National Pizza Party Day.

Best of eating in Andersonville Chicago

Andersonville’s began in the 1850’s as a Swedish neighborhood and after the Chicago Fire, the entire commercial strip was dominated by Swedish businesses,  Today, Andersonville is comprised of unique, locally owned businesses of many cultures that add a strong sense of community to the neighborhood and has been known as another Mayberry, similar to the town in the Andy Griffith Show. Committed to encouraging unity in the neighborhood and hosting some of the best restaurants in the Chicago area, Andersonville prides itself in being known for its excellent service and prized cuisine.

Anteprima

On  north Clark Avenue, Anteprima offers a delectable and changing menu of wonderful Italian home style cooking.  Offering reasonable three course menus , Anteprima buys from local and organic producers whenever possible beginning every meal with rosemary salted bread sticks and ending with a dreamy chocolate hazel nut tart.  Enjoy beautifully presented pastas or break from the ordinary lunch with grilled octopus.  To compliment your dinner, high-quality Italian wines are available in carafes so you can have more than one glass.

m Henry

Looking for a great breakfast, brunch or lunch, m. henry offers an intercontinental breakfast served with a fresh baked muffin, scone or warm baguette and petite fruit salad served all day. However, known for their fried eggs sandwiches, m. Henry offers a wonderful organic coffee menu and a dandelion, shallot and leek omelet served with house potatoes. Some have also praised the quiche as being the best as well as perfect pancakes.

Big Jones

Inspired by the American South, Big Jones is known for its famous Southern heirloom cooking with Chef and Co Owner Paul Febribach who has been featured on Chicago radio with his recipes published in the Chicago Tribune, Sun-times and the Chicago Magazine just to name a few. Most recently Fehribach has been honored as a nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Big Jones gives a taste of New Orleans by celebrating with Mardi Gras classics such as buttery king cake and more.

Vincent

Cozy bar and biestro, Vincent is another great place to dine on Balmoral Ave. Adam Grandt began his career at the award winning Carlos Restaurant hired as Executive Chef at Sage Grill in 2008. Now his dynamic style adds nothing but accolades for his innovative presentations at Vincent.  Mussels in saffron or any style is one of diners favorites including big burgers and orange creme sickle mousse for dessert.  Mixed drinks are excellent along with exceptional classic meals.

Antica Pizzeria

Charming and an inexpensive experience, Antic Pizzeria  offers delicious Neapolitan pizza and menu choices that include tender calamari and house made desserts that include tiramisu. Mario Rapisarda (Cocco Pazzo, Spiaggia) and Faris Faycurry (Dylan’s Tavern, Villa Nova) combined their 25 years of expertise and created the Andersonville neighborhood’s first ever wood burning pizza oven.  Antica delivers and helps families prepare special events or create a wine tasting.

Hopleaf Bar

Awarded Michelin’s Bib Gourdman for 2016, Hopleaf Bar can also be a haven for great food. With a Belgian-inspired kitchen, Hopleaf offers a great mussels and frites experiences as well as an extensive collection of beers.  The first Monday of every month features Belgian Fried Chicken served with a Kwak in its famous glass. The Chicago Traveler praises HopLeaf  for its grilled cheese that is filled with cashew butter, cheese and fig jam, pan-fried on sourdough bread.

Hamburger Mary’s

When visiting Andersonville, Hamburger Mary’s is a must with perfectly cooked burgers and a variety of toppings to select. The fried ice cream is a great conclusion to any meal at this bar and grille. Hamburger Mary’s received the Good Neighbor Award in 2013 for being the business that best exemplifies the spirit of community support and customer service. Hamburger Mary’s franchises began in San Francisco and their motto is you are what you eat only offering the best in healthy ingredients.

Andies

Butternut squash soup, cucumber mint salad and a gluten-free winter risotto are some of the delectable’s waiting for you at Andies Restaurant. A delicious Mediterranean dining experience, Chef Andie Tamras brings some of the most worthy recipes from Tunisia and Morocco. A favorite for over 30 years, Andies plants their own vegetable garden as well as herbs such as basil, thyme and cilantro. Andies gives back by contributing to community service organizations such as Care for Real and Sarah’s circle

Jin Ju

The heart of Andersonville cuisine also offers traditional Korean dishes in a romantic setting with dimly lit candlelight. Jin Ju offers barbeque pork spare ribs marinated in a spicy sweet red pepper sauce and a great seaweed soup with scallions in a mussel broth. Their Mandoo soup is wonderful with dumplings, scallions and egg in a clear broth . Jin Ju also offers private events and can customize the menu to suit your party’s needs.

Lady Gregory’s

Floor to ceiling windows bring a passionate beauty to Lady Gregory’s in Andersonville. Inspired by Irish Victorian author, Lady Augusta Gregory quoted as the greatest living Irishwoman, this Irish bar and restaurant  is acclaimed for its lobster mac and shepherd’s pie. Also know for a whiskey selection of 300 and 100 beer s. Lady Gregory’s also provides an entire separate gluten free menu as well as a kids menu.  You can also order online for a curbside pickup. A true Celtic experience and a distinctive place to visit on Saint Patrick’s Day.