Monday, May 11, 2009

Chicago Pizza

I've been wanting to try Chicago Pizza on 4721 N. Main St. (713) 863-9915 for a while now. A few months ago, Matt grabbed a slice of their pizza at a neighbor's party and said it was really good.

I decided to pull together a spontaneous dinner outing and invited our neighbors to stroll with us to Chicago Pizza. It's within walking distance to our houses: score one point for Chicago Pizza!

The joint was surprisingly empty. It's cute and comfortable inside, but we decided to take a table on the patio. The patio ambiance leaves a little to be desired, but it is, after all, adjacent to N. Main. They tried their best to cover the fence with greenery and create a somewhat secluded space.

The waitstaff greeted us quickly and with smiles. We requested our drinks and then immersed ourselves in the menu. Despite lots of different choices--like calzones and pastas--three of us decided to share a pizza and our fourth companion ordered one of the pasta dishes.

We debated between deep dish and thin crust and eventually settled on the former. I'm addicted to bread! I was oh-so-close to ordering their fried sampler appetizer (I'm also addicted to fried foods...) but I switched at the last minute, due to the healthy role modeling of my fellow dinner companions.

Greenery and tomatoes and other things with nice color abounded in our salads--much better than the iceberg lettuce salads I used to endure when I lived in rural Louisiana. And the croutons tasted like my two addictions in one: fried bread. Yum! Although the house dressing was tasty, each bite dripped a bit too much. My neighbor joked about saying, "Bottoms up!" when she got to the end of it.

With the salads, the server set down a full plate of garlic butter bread. Heavenly! I am a big fan of any restaurant that serves free pre-food. However, the bread looked way better than it tasted. It looked nice and spiced, but it tasted bland. I kept wanting to taste butter or parmesan--something! The texture was perfect, but the taste just wasn't there.

Our server was attentive and kept our drinks filled. Even though deep dish pizzas are supposed to take longer, the wait didn't seem bad at all. The server came out to inform us that they had run out of chives for the pasta dish, but she offered to substitute anything else in the dish.

In addition to being addicted to bread and fried things, I'm also addicted to pizza. This pizza tasted pretty good. The cheese, sauce, and ingredients received high marks. However, I had to whip out the red pen and start taking off points when I got to the crust.

Like the garlic bread, it looked delicious! And the texture was perfect! But the taste just wasn't there. It was like--poof! it vanished!

It's similar to when you have a sinus cold and you're eating something you normally really like. The texture feels the same, but you can't taste anything. You keep thinking, "Oh, this experience would be so much better if only I could taste it!" That's what happened to me and the deep dish at Chicago Pizza.

Our service petered off right at the end, and we were forced to bring our check to the cashier, but the majority of our service was good. My neighbors--who are frequent Chicago Pizza visitors--started bad-mouthing their service from past experience, but I'm not going to judge a restaurant on the past. Restaurants--like people--can change.

I'm not about the break out the pom-poms and start chanting "Chicago P-i-z-z-a," but I will go back. I'll try the thin crust pizza next time. Maybe less bread equals more taste.

Overall Grade = B-

HeightsLifers, break out the megaphones and tell us about your experiences with Chicago Pizza in the comments section!


  1. Great review, Sara. I still haven't tried Chicago Pizza myself. I am curious about what other people think. Some Chicago friends swear it's the closest in town to their own, but that doesn't mean too much to me. I am a northeasterner, so I prefer thin crust.

  2. I've been here several times, but always gotten a pizza to go. At this point all I have tried is their pizza, but would like to try the other menu items as well however with Sweet Temptation around the corner, my non-Pizza Italian needs seem to be well met. I do like Chicago for their pizza. I have only tried their thin crust (thanks wifey) but maybe one of these days when she's out of town I'll be able to go deep dish.
    I give the place a high B ranking and definitely support them as a good local Heights restaurant.