What better thing to do on a Friday night than get pizza with your besties? When my intern texted me saying "get to Pequod's at 5:30," he knew I was an easy sell. Pequod's is widely considered a Chicago institution, and their menu features both deep dish pan-style as well as thin crust pizza (my favorite!) They originated in the suburbs and a few years after the original owners sold the restaurant, they expanded to a second location in Lincoln Park. A 2006 fire at the Chicago location closed them for a few months of renovations, but the restaurant now is gorgeous - it's gigantic, and in addition to the main dining room, it also features a second level with larger seating areas and at least one other bar. Their beer list was a bit short, but we ordered a pitcher of Allagash for the table and settled on an order of cheesy garlic bread, a medium cheese thin crust, and a sausage pan pizza.
One cool thing that I noticed was that Pequod's has a sort of priority seating list that you can sign up for starting 24 hours in advance. Luckily there was plenty of room when we arrived and we were seated right away, but that's definitely something I'm tucking away to remember next time we want to go out!
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Dani and I don't order delivery very much, surprisingly - and I'm hesitant to order pizza because nothing can ever top the hole in the wall pizza joint we would get in Boston, but last Sunday we were feeling lazy and who was I to say no when she suggested pizza? We hopped on Postmates (sign up using the code QA8U for free delivery!) and flipped through a few options before landing on Sarpino's. I am not typically a fan of most "specialty" pizzas, but I do love alfredo. We settled on the Alfredo Picante pizza and cheesy garlic bread (just the regular cheesy, not the double cheesy, because that would be too far) and buckled down for a long Postmates wait. More like an hour, but still.
Sarpino's was allegedly founded in Italy, and is now headquartered in Singapore. It's been around since 2001, and has over 80 restaurants open in five countries. With that kind of popularity, I was pretty excited for our pie to arrive.
We excitedly (obsessively?) counted down the minutes until the pizza was set to arrive and basically ran to the kitchen to plate it out. We popped open the pizza box to find pepperoni inexplicably added - the pizza description didn't mention pepperoni, but we just shrugged and dug in.
The cheesy bread was really great, and I could have eaten the entire order by myself. Not greasy at all, and the cheese:bread was a nice ratio.
The pizza, on the other hand, was not such a success. The alfredo was great but I wished there had been more on the pizza. The crust was okay - flaky and a little dense, and the chicken was added to the pizza under the cheese which was great - this helps it from tearing the entire chicken piece off when you bite into the slice. The onions were really what took this pizza down - they weren't cooked at all and were pretty large chunks, so each bite was just full of white, crunchy onion. I like onions a lot, but this was too far even for me.
I might give Sarpino's another chance to try a simpler pizza, like a plain cheese, for a chance at redemption, but so far I'm really unimpressed.
Rating: 3/10 Slices
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Melissa Burt has owned Spanky's for almost thirty years - the owner of the restaurant she was working at part-time in college offered her the chance to become part-owner. Within a year, she became sole owner, and I've seen Spanky's expand three times as far as I can remember. The first location wasn't much bigger than a takeout counter and a few dine-in tables. It's gotten bigger with each new expansion, first adding a private room for parties. The newest location even includes a patio, perfect for summer beers and pizza (the best way to spend a day!)
I have a typical order: the family gets the pizza buffet, I'm always heading straight for the cheese pizza. Ham and pineapple, pepperoni, BBQ Chicken, supreme and Chicken and Ranch are always out on display, but I know what I like and I stick to it ? I'll also get a pile of breadstix and some sauce, and I'm ready to go for a great meal. In addition to the buffet, they also offer specialty pizzas and build-your-own pizzas, with breadstix to DIE for. (Michelle is the only person who knows that recipe - we need to keep her in a padded room so we never lose that perfection.)
The sauce for the pizza and the stix is sweeter than a normal marinara, and the cheese is always perfectly bubbled. I got a bit excited at dinner and didn't manage to document a few other aspects I meant to cover... so I guess that just means another trip is in order soon!