Friday, July 30, 2010

CND Gyros

In the search for the best lunch place around Northwestern's downtown campus, I've become rather disappointed in Streeterville. This might be a little quick of me to judge, but mostly there's nothing too special about the area. The majority of restaurants are large chains with a smattering of pricier pubs and fine dining locales. Also, in my search I've been getting tired of the lunch special that comes out to $10 or more. My goal this week for lab group lunch was to find a good place at a good price. Well, right next to Volare there's this real dive looking place where I figured they might have some good, cheap eats. That's why this week we went to CND Gyros (sorry no website).

Logistics
Being next to an empty lot, and having very little to welcome in customers besides a rather tacky light up sign, I wasn't sure if CND Gyros was even open until I gave the door a tug. It was really hot and humid out, so we all seemed to appreciate the cave-like feel of CND. There's little to no light coming in from the outside, and the AC was on full blast. The front room is an ordering station with the kitchen, and if you keep walking there's a bar with a decor similar to that in Cheers. The first impression I had was that this seemed like the kind of place where everyone was pissed when indoor smoking got banned. CND seems to draw a moderately older blue collar crowd for the most part.


We ordered at the counter and then went into the bar to eat. We had to ask the bartender for water which wasn't a problem, but it was somewhat inconvenient (also I feel rude asking bartenders for water). Pretty soon, they called our numbers and we went and picked up our food from the counter. It's a pretty efficient place to grab a bite if that's what you're looking for.

The prices were higher than I thought they should be. A gyros and fries came out to almost $8. A burger and fries might have been $7, and Austin got the gyros platter which was $12 after taxes and all. You would think by the looks of the place that the food would be nice and cheap (which is why I brought us there in the first place), but that was clearly not the case.

The Food
There's not much to the food as far as options go. You either get Gyros in some capacity, a burger, or one of their specialty pot pies (kinda pricey so no one got them). Kristy and I got the Gyros sandwich in a pita and French Fries. Amanda and Ford got the Cheeseburger with fries, and Austin got the Gyros platter.

 The Gyros Platter

The Gyros Sandwich and Fries

The Cheeseburger and Fries

Everything Gyros related came with raw Onions, Tomatoes, and Parsley. A universal opinion is that there was way too much veggies and not nearly enough meat, especially on Austin's platter which was pretty costly and mostly onions. The tsatsiki sauce that it came with was nice and creamy, providing a cool contrast to the meat, but again on Austin's platter there was way too much, overpowering the rest of the plate. Also, the meat wasn't especially juicy or well spiced considering the place was named after its gyros. The burgers seemed relatively standard, but they weren't all that large or juicy from what I could tell. The fries were sub par. They were heavily salted and overly proportioned on the fried part.

Overall
There's really no reason to go to CND Gyros. It's not that good of a deal, and the food isn't anything special. For those of you from Champaign, I was really hoping this would compare to Zorba's or at the very least Nero's, however that was clearly not the case. The special flavoring to the meat wasn't there. Also, I usually like a little bit of a crisp to the edges of the meat, but really there was no textural variability. So far, of all the places I've gotten lunch at in the area, this one goes at the bottom of the list. I might even suggest M Burger over this place. I'm giving CND Gyros 1 out of 5 Pearls.


Cnd Gyros on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

11 City Diner

Anatomy lab is a funny thing. It's a right of passage for any first year medical student. One thing I never expected, and don't freak out, but after every lab I was always starving. I've heard it has something to do with the exposure to the preservatives. Either way, my lab mates and I were often hungry after lab and liked to discuss our love of food. When I started writing, we started to talk about all of the places we should go together. After a series of failed attempts, this team of gurgitators finally got together this week.


 Well, with Arif (Indian-ish), Timi (Nigerian), and Anthony (lots of things) I had the most diverse crew Jeff Eats Chicago has seen so far. We decided that our new goal would be to eat a meal together from each of our backgrounds. This suggestion came from Arif who had the perfect Jewish deli we just had to check out called the 11 City Diner. I've been to Katz's and Carnegie Deli, so I had high expectations but still managed to keep an empty stomach and an open mind.

Logistics
The 11 City Diner is in the South Loop right down the road from the Roosevelt red line stop. We went on a Tuesday at 6:30 PM and got sat immediately. Although the well decorated diner style interior was intriguing, it was a beautiful night so we sat on their patio. The hostess and the owner both greeted us enthusiastically, but that was just the start to our excellent service. I'm pretty sure you can make reservations, and on a busier time slot you might want one. They have a nice party room too in case you've got a big group.


From the second we walked in till the moment we left, we felt like kings. The waitress and the owner Brad Rubin both took a ton of time to talk with us about their favorite menu items and philosophies on Jewish deli food. Timi ordered his sandwich hot instead of cold, and the owner checked multiple times that it was to his liking. The food came out quickly and just seemed to keep on coming. As far as the cost goes, most of the sandwiches range from $10 to $12. That may seem steep for a sandwich, but the amount and quality of the meat you get makes it well worth it. Compared to some other famous delis out there ($20 sandwiches), this is cheap. The desserts were around $7, and the drinks were around $3 which really let us get a ton of food for our money.


In fact, for dessert we decided to sit inside for a bit to check out the sweet diner decor. From the cool Yiddish writing on the walls to the menorah above the bar and finally to the leather booths, this was the perfect layout for a Jewish diner.


The Food
To start with, Anthony and I tried out some drinks from the Soda Jerk with a Cherry Phosphate and a Chocolate Egg Cream. They were both well balanced between the syrup and the seltzer (if it wasn't, they gave us extra seltzer on the side to add in). I hadn't had an egg cream in years, and this one was fantastic. The only problem was that I drank it in like 2 minutes flat.

 The Chocolate Egg Cream

The Cherry Phosphate

For our entrees we all got different sandwiches. Arif and Anthony both got The Springer, a sandwich piled high with corned beef, pastrami, swiss, and thousand island. Timi had the Woody Allen, a double decker with pastrami and corned beef made to replicate the famous sandwich from Carnegie Deli in NYC. I had the Matzoh Ball Soup and a half Pastrami Sandwich with a Shmear of Chopped Liver. The soup wasn't too salty, and the ball was an amazingly light and fluffy floater. Everyone got their sandwiches on Challah. The meats were all juicy and delicious with the perfect amount of fat. They roast them daily in house and slice them nice and thin. Each sandwich comes with a pickle and coleslaw which are also prepared in house and provide a nice cool balance to your sandwich. The Chopped Liver was freaking awesome. This was the next best thing I've come across to my Mom and Grandma's recipe which is saying a lot. Between the beautiful flavor profile from the liver and the juiciness of the meat, there was no need for any other condiment.

 The Matzoh Ball Soup

The Springer

The Woody Allen

The Pastrami with Chopped Liver

As if we weren't satisfied enough, the owner came out with some free samples to give us a better look into their flavor profile (this was before he knew anything about our blog by the way). First he came out with a plate of their homemade pickles including a pickled tomato and garlic pickles (again all done in house). As someone who has tried and failed to grow his cucumbers and pickle them, I really appreciated the tutorial. This was soon followed by a tour de meat when we were brought out samples of plain corned beef, pastrami, sliced brisket, and roasted brisket. We ate them in that order as the flavors got more intense. What was explained was that the real goal at 11 City is meat purity. The way to go is really to get just the meat on a challah roll and savor the natural flavor. The roast brisket may have been the best I've ever had. It melted in my mouth immediately, and the taste was out of this world. Finally, in order to give us a taste of the brunch options we were given a taste of the 11 City French Toast. It was deliciously smothered in toasted coconut, bananas, and strawberries. After that taste, I would definitely check out the rest of their brunch menu.

The Homemade Pickles (Tomatoes, Regular, and Garlic)

The Tour de Meat

The Roast Brisket

The 11 City French Toast

Well we'd already had plenty when the owner popped his head in and suggested we try some dessert. After some deliberation we somehow found room. Supposedly the Chocolate Cream Pie is the best thing, but they were out of it for the day. Instead we went with the next best choices, the Chocolate Cake and the Carrot Cake. I would say the chocolate cake was the only thing that was just alright. It was rich and tasty but a little bit dry. The Carrot Cake more than made up for it though with an incredible moistness.

The Chocolate Cake

The Carrot Cake

Overall
I've eaten at what people would consider to be the gold standards of Jewish Delicatessen. I know to some of you this might be blasphemy, but I thought that this was better. Now you won't get 2 lbs of meat on your sandwich like at Carnegie or Katz's, but the meat is more flavorful and way less dry. From the service to the amazing food, 11 City Diner hit on every point. That's why I'm giving them a Pearl Necklace, 5 out of 5.


Another note, if you've ever seen the PBS show Check Please, there's a hilarious surprise in the mens room you should check out if you have the chance and the anatomy to make that socially appropriate. Also, I'd like to extend a special thanks to Arif for taking all of these pictures.

Eleven City Diner on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mr. Beef

A few months back, the Travel Channel ran this show called Food Wars. I have no idea if it's still running or not, but the premise is that a blind taste test was held between two rival restaurants in one of many cities. They went to Buffalo, NY to settle some debate over the best buffalo wings in the first episode, and in the second episode they graced Chicago with their presence. The battle.... Italian Beef Sandwiches. The contestants... Mr. Beef and Al's #1 Italian Beef. When I was young, my dad always used to rave about the excellent sandwiches and fries at Al's, and after a few meals there myself it has quickly become my favorite. So, you can imagine how appalled I was when Mr. Beef won the food war 5 judges to 1. How could such a place demolish my long time favorite? I had to see what the big deal was at Mr. Beef. Conveniently, I take blood pressures at a dining program that's pretty close to Mr. Beef. So once with Maddie and then again with Lisa, I went there after an evening of volunteering. (Sorry, no web page for Mr. Beef. It's in River North on Huron and Orleans)

Logistics
Mr. Beef is a two room restaurant with an ordering station and counter seating in one room and a very lengthy communal table in the other. I'd say that the decor is what you'd expect. It's definitely not a clean place, but it's not dirty either (kind of the happy medium you'd hope to see at a good beef joint). I don't really know how well they're doing because both times I went, we were the only people there. Plus, each time I went was at like 6:15 on a Wednesday. You'd think they'd be busy, but I'd say that you can walk in at any time and have practically no wait. It's an order at the counter kind of place, so the service was nice and fast. However, one time we went in and the entire staff was on a smoke break out back, so we had to wait until someone noticed they had a customer.

 The Communal Dining Table

The cost is average. A beef sandwich and fries is right around $6. Considering how much meat you get on a sandwich, it's actually a pretty good deal. What's annoying is that they charge like $0.25 for a glass of tap water. I always found that to be obnoxious and a sign that business must be pretty crappy. One last note is that they have their own parking lot which is nice since that area is usually difficult for parking.

The Food
There are a lot of ways to get a beef sandwich. The first question is how wet you want it to be. I always go with dipped where they actually drop the whole sandwich in the tub of gravy. The next question is what kind of peppers you want. There's usually some mix of large sweet peppers and a giardiniera for your options. I like to get a little bit of both. So my order came to a Beef Sandwich, Wet, Sweet, and Spicy. We also split an order of French Fries, and when I went with Lisa we got some specialty "made in Chicago" root beer.

 The Italian Beef
Sweet, Spicy, and Wet

The French Fries and Root Beer

The Italian Beef Closeup
Sweet and Wet

The sandwich was loaded with beef. There must have been at least a half pound of beef on there. Although there was a lot of it, it wasn't necessarily well seasoned, and besides a salty flavor, not too much else came through on top of the natural beef taste. The sweet peppers were just about as good as anywhere else, but the spicy peppers weren't really anything special. Instead of a nice giardiniera, it was more of just chopped celery with a spicy dressing. The jus that my sandwich was soaking in was pretty good, but again could've used some kind of extra flavoring. The bread was delicious, but I think the industry standard in Chicago is to use a Turano roll, which you just can't go wrong with. I guess overall between the meat, the jus, and the spicy peppers I was looking for some kind of special kick that just wasn't there. It was still a hefty portion of rather tasty meat that hit the spot. The fries were pretty thin (like McDonald's size). They were pretty heavily salted and had the feel that they came out of a mass produced bag, which isn't always so bad, but you can get that anywhere.

Overall
Mr. Beef was pretty good, but nothing too special. I plan on visiting Al's very soon to give a nice comparison. Honestly, Portillo's belongs in an Italian Beef Food War with Al's much more than Mr. Beef does. That's not really a slight to Mr. Beef, I'm just saying that Portillo's has good beef. If you're in River North, there just so happens to be a Portillo's near the Mr. Beef, and I'd suggest you go there instead. Maybe I was just expecting too much and waiting to be wowed, but I would just say Mr. Beef is average. I'm giving them 2.5 out of 5 Pearls.


Mr. Beef on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tamales

Every town has that cluster of restaurants. You know, the one where you basically run into the rest of your town while you're eating. Food at these places really becomes secondary to the fact that everyone gets to walk around and pretend they're interested in your life's recent developments. I'm not saying that the food is bad, it's just not as important as hearing about so and so graduating or getting married or making varsity color guard. I'd like to believe though that these places have to have pretty decent food because something has to attract people besides the social scene. For those of you in Buffalo Grove, there's the whole City Park area with Champps, Wildfire, Big Bowl, and Maggie Moos. There's just no way to get in and out of any of those places without some conversation that you've only had 5,000 times. You always have the option of a polite smile and wave, but that seems a little douchey and you usually get roped into the stop and chat.

Anyways, the other night I was out in the downtown Highland Park area at what I now consider to be the epitome of social gathering restaurants, Tamales (there seems to be some debate about the name, but from what I can gather it is under a name change from Hot Tamales to just Tamales). It has a nice outdoor seating area which melds perfectly into the outdoor seating at Sushi Kushi Too making for the ultimate seen for any local yenta. Luckily for me, this wasn't my home town, and I wasn't held up in any awkward conversations (not necessarily the case for my present company). Interestingly enough there was a guy there who recognized me from this softball league I'm in, but him and a certain teammate of mine (we just call him "Groupon") had some heated words earlier this season so we didn't necessarily talk much.

Logistics
When we got to Tamales it was pretty crowded. Just for perspective, it was about 7:30 PM on a Wednesday night. I think you can make a reservation, but even with the crowd we didn't need one and got seated right away. The one thing was that it was a beautiful night out, so all of the outdoor seating was taken, and we had to sit inside or face a 40 minute wait. We took the inside table.

There was basically one waiter for the inside, but he did a good job of taking care of us. We got a little low on water a few times which was a bit of a problem with some of the spicier dishes, but nothing that wasn't quickly remedied. Our food came out pretty quickly too. Also, the waiter picked up that we were having some good conversation and let us continue without rushing us out or handing us the check too early.

The cost was very reasonable as well. A single tamale cost $4.95, and you could get 2 tamales with rice and beans for $11. Tamales can range quite a bit in size, but these were large and filling, making it well worth the cost.

The Food
Tamales has a complete menu that you might expect at a Mexican restaurant. It's more than that though because they've got a special twist to most items. That special twist usually comes in the form of a special sauce, but we'll get to that in a second. So we started with an essential piece of any Mexican meal, the chips and salsa. The chips were pretty good with a nice thickness and not too much salt. I really liked the Pico de Gallo that came with the chips. There was lots of cilantro, and it tasted really fresh.

 The Chips and Salsa

Although I was amazed by the sizzling dishes that kept coming out of the kitchen, I wasn't too hungry and decided to just order what they're most known for, the Tamales. I ordered the Pumpkin Tamale (the most popular dish) and the Mushroom Tamale. One half of the Pumpkin Tamale had a medium green chile sauce while the other had a spicy red chile sauce. The spiciness mixed really well with the sweetness of the pumpkin filling to make for a fantastic dish. The masa (corn dough) came out really light and fluffy providing a nice exterior texture to the dish. The Mushroom Tamale was pretty good, but nothing like the pumpkin. It had a very rich Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. The filling was thinly sliced mushrooms, and the masa wasn't as nice. Maybe it was the effect of a different filling, but this masa had a tougher feel to it and was slightly drier.

 The Tamale Platter

The Pumpkin Tamale

The Mushroom Tamale

Overall
Whether or not you get stuck in an unwanted conversation or two, you still get to eventually sit down and eat. When you do get that chance, the food at Tamales is pretty good. They're most well known for the Pumpkin Tamale, but the Salmon Burrito and Duck Taco are also supposed to be excellent. I'd quickly come back to try those. Plus, if you get lucky you can sit outside in what really is a nice seating area. Most of the time I've had tamales, they've come out of the back of a van or a rolling cart, but the sauces really made these ones stand out. I'm giving Tamales 3.5 out of 5 Pearls.



Hot Tamales on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meli Cafe

In case you haven't picked up on this yet, brunch is a big deal in Chicago. It's tough to go somewhere too close to lunch time and avoid a wait. People just love it, and there's so many good places to hit up. I was shocked when I realized that the last time I posted about brunch was Flo, and that was about 2 months ago. So last weekend, my sister Lisa took her Step 2 board exams, and to celebrate our parents came downtown to take us to brunch. We decided to try out this place in the West Loop (right in the heart of Greek Town) called Meli Cafe.

Logistics
It was a Sunday morning, and the Kekambas (our 12 inch softball team) had a doubleheader that afternoon. Because of the time constraints we decided to go around 10:30 to brunch. We even got there closer to 10:15, but it was no use. A crowd had already formed outside the storefront, and the wait was 40 minutes. So I parked my car down the street (at $2.50 an hour, what a scam), and we decided to wait it out.

We got sat right at the 40 minute (applause for accuracy). We were walked through the amazingly cramped restaurant to this nice window table, but it was a real hassle to get to and from the table (or move in any direction at all for that matter). Also, because the table was so packed in the corner, no one seemed to get water refills besides me because I had the most accessible seat. It was like 90 degrees out that day, and after waiting outside for 40 minutes, it was a major disappointment that the restaurant was hot on the inside as well. So we were hot and crowded (if only I could've made some joke about being flat).

The waitress was pretty attentive and efficient, but her demeanor was very cold and somewhat rushed. Not like I need to be pampered or anything, but I didn't really want to ask her any questions about the food either. Most importantly, this place is pricey for what you get. The simple egg combo dishes were around $9, but most anything that was interesting was between $12 and $15. Also, I guess they're "known" for being a juice bar of sorts by blending together a bunch of fruits, but all the mixed juices were $5. So if you aim to go here and get something that makes this place unique, you'll probably come close to $20/person which is way too much for brunch in my opinion (unless your Zach Frankel at IHOP). Even then, I guess it'd be ok to splurge on a breakfast if it were really good, but lets talk about the food.

The Food
As I mentioned above, they're known for their juices. Lisa ordered the Banana Orange Juice, and I went with a glass of regular old Orange Juice. The Orange Banana was frothy and tasty, but again, not worth the cost in my book. If any of you have been to Egg Harbor, the Strawberry OJ there is way better.

 The Orange Banana Juice

For our meals, Mom got the Portabella Benedict, Dad got the Gruyere and Bacon Fritata, Noam got the Cajun Scrambler, Lisa got the Breakfast Crepes, and I got the Farmland Skillet. Mom's Benedict was alright, nothing fantastic. The hollandais could've been thicker, and the eggs were a little messy in their preparation. Dad seemed to like his fritata which seemed well loaded with cheese and canadian bacon. Noam liked the kick in the sausage in his scrambler. I was really unimpressed with Lisa's Crepes. They were filled with Spinach, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Scrambled eggs. The crepe itself was bland and lacking in texture. I think it says a lot that she was considering not taking home half of her dish at the end of the meal.

The Cajun Scrambler

The Gruyere and Bacon Fritata

The Breakfast Crepes

The Portabella Benedict 

The Farmland Skillet

I really didn't like my dish. It was a skillet, so lets start from the bottom up. The potatoes were garbage. They had absolutely no crisp, were far too large, and seemed just like quartered boiled red potatoes. How can a place survive on bad potatoes, especially when they're on half of the dishes? The veggies (Spinach, Zucchini, Portabella, and Tomatoes) were a little scarce and overly cooked making them too mushy. There was probably a pound of Havarti Cheese on the plate, and I love cheese, but this was way too much. There was also a nice pool of oil sitting in the dish after I ate it. Worst of all were the eggs. I asked for them poached. Ask Danny Weiss or Molly Kaplan, and they'll tell you that I'm very particular about my poached eggs. They should be a little runny, which is the point of getting them on a skillet so that the other ingredients soak up the yolk nicely. These eggs may as well have been soft boiled. There was no run to the yolk. What makes this so bad is that the menu is plastered with notifications that they only use the best organic eggs. Well organic or not, it only takes a minute to poach an egg, and they should've done mine correctly.

Overall
It can't be that hard to make good breakfast food, can it? Clearly at Meli Cafe they run with the philosophy that if you throw enough butter and cheese on something it's good no matter how improperly you prepare it. I guess most of the dishes were alright, but none of them were worth their cost or the wait. Even if the dishes were under $10 I wouldn't think they were worth it. What's so frustrating is that people seem to love this place enough to wait for a long time. I'm giving Meli Cafe 1.5 out of 5 Pearls.



Meli Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Art of Pizza

Everyone's got their favorite Chicago pizza place. The suburbanites like Lou Malnati's, those from Lincoln Park like Pequod's, the hipsters like Piece and Crust, the Streetervillians like Gino's East, and those that don't know any better like Giordano's. From cornbread or burnt crust to massive amounts of cheese and whole tomatoes in the sauce, every place has their own gimmick that keeps people coming back. Well sure enough my buddy Steven moved to the city this year and brought another cult favorite to my attention. Luckily he lives on the same block and has truly become a neighborhood regular at his favorite place, The Art of Pizza (sorry no website, but it's on the corner of Nelson and Ashland on the Western border of Wrigleyville).


Logistics
The Art of Pizza is an order at the counter kind of restaurant. If they have it ready when you get up there they hand it to you, but if not they'll bring it out. It's not like they waste their time with a table number system like Noodles or Go Roma, but rather they just yell out the food item and wait for someone to raise their hand claiming it. That being said, we didn't have to wait for a table or in a line, but when we got up to leave, the line to order food may have been 20 people long.

We only ordered pizza which had just come out, so we were served immediately. The majority of people seemed to wait a little bit for their food but no longer than 10 minutes or so. I don't think you can make a reservation, and I don't think you need one. There's a lot of seating overall, and most of the tables are large and group friendly. They offer delivery, and I did this once, but it took a long time and the pizza was somewhat cold when it got to me. I would strongly suggest eating in.

One major advantage that they have on other pizza places is their expansive and cheap menu. Although pizza is the star of the menu, they have a wide variety of pastas, salads, and sandwiches that look amazing. If you get pizza by the slice, it's $3 no matter how many toppings are on it. Also, they usually have some amazing daily special like an Italian Beef Combo with Fries and a Soda for $3.50. Universally, the food looks gigantic and comes with soup, salad, and a side for the most part. Most of the other entrees are around $5-$7 and will probably provide 3 meals worth of food.

The Food
As I said before, we stuck to the pizza. I got one Deep Dish Slice with Onions, Mushrooms, and Spinach, and one Pan Slice with just Cheese. Steven got a Pan Sausage Slice and a House Special Deep Dish Slice which was basically the same as mine with Sausage.

 The Deep Dish Pizza (Sausage [left only], Spinach, Mushroom, and Onion)
You may not be able to see the ingredients but they're packed in there

A View from the Back

The Pan Pizza (Cheese Left, Sausage Right)

There's nothing particularly unique to the pizza except that it does everything well. The sauce tastes a lot like Pequod's with a chunkier texture and yet no whole tomatoes like Lou Malnati's. There's a sweetness to it and a lot of Italian herbs. The amount of cheese was spot on as well. Sometimes at Lou's you'll get a pizza that looks like it's just crust and tomatoes while at Giordano's you basically have a solid block of cheese with a few other ingredients. At The Art of Pizza there is a nice happy medium to the cheese. It's enough to sink your teeth into, and yet you can take a bite without having a million strings of cheese between your mouth and the slice. The crust is very nicely done as well. It's a little denser than some places, but there's a ton of butter in it (especially the pan pizza) making it almost a delicious flaky bread stick at the end of your slice. For the most part, the Pan Slice is a nice change of pace and is extra cheesy, but I'd stick to the Deep Dish.

Overall
Really what it boils down to is that The Art of Pizza is good Chicago style pizza without all of the bells and whistles. They don't need any gimmick, just good solid pizza that hits on all of the important factors. It's about as cheap as you'll find good deep dish in the city, and it comes with large portions. Plus, it doesn't have any super unique quality that may alienate certain diners. Logistically, it's really convenient, and you mostly won't have to fight the insane crowds like at the other popular places in the city. Considering that at most other places it takes 40 minutes minimum to cook your pizza, this is pretty convenient. If you'd prefer a unique order you can always call ahead or wait around too. I'm giving the Art of Pizza 4 out of 5 Pearls. Some of you may realize that I gave Pequod's the same amount, and I'm still going to say that my favorite pizzas in the city are Lou Malnati's and Pequod's, but The Art of Pizza is pretty darn good. Thanks again to Steven for treating me to some of the better pizza around.



Art of Pizza on Urbanspoon