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New York Pizza

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Anyone
Flying in to see my sister for a week in Wicker Park.
And I can't stand Chicago Style Pizza, Does anyone have any recommendations for New York Style Pizza (thin crust) and a good BBQ spot in town. I've been to two places so far Smoque and Uncle John's BBQ.
Yet to find a good pizza joint.
Also if anyone has any other recommendations I would love to hear from them and give it a try.
I already have RSVPs for the following places:
Girl and the Goat
Silver Palm
Mado - I heard it was closed
Antico
Has anyone heard of these. My sister is setting it up for me.
Thanks

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Mado Restaurant
1647 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Silver Palm
768 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

Antico
1946 N Leavitt St, Chicago, IL 60647

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  1. There's a huge discussion on where you can go in Chicago to get that dreadful cardboard-oregano-grease stuff they sell in New York and call "pizza". Kidding! Sort of. < grin > Anyway, you'll find it at:

    What is meant by New York pizza....and does it exist in Chicago as I recall it? - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/306952

    Yes, Mado is closed. And has been for months.

    I'd never heard of the Silver Palm, so I went to their website at www.thesilverpalmrestaurant.com Now I know why I've never heard of it; it sounds a lot like Houlihan's. :) No offense to your sister, but you can do a lot better here. Take her to Mexique instead.

    P.S. You have RSVPs - you invited the restaurant to go somewhere with you? LOL!

    3 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Thanks for the heads up on the Silver Palm
      Do you have any ideas for good BBQ.

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      Silver Palm
      768 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

      1. re: bcannell

        A lot of people like Smoque. I don't, but that's probably because I prefer barbecue that does a lot of basting with barbecue sauce, whereas what they do is a dry rub and it's basically smoked meat. Hope that makes sense. It's reasonably convenient from Wicker Park, either via the Kennedy (I-90/94) or the CTA Blue Line. www.smoquebbq.com

        You can find more recommendations at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/360674 although that discussion is somewhat dated now, especially in light of how many barbecue places have opened in the past year or two (A LOT).

        HTH

      2. re: nsxtasy

        Very interesting pizza thread. Even on the Manhattan board we get into arguments as to whether the coal-oven, whole pie only, sit down places or gas-oven, greasy-cheesy, street slice places are the real "New York pizza."

        http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

        (I also never understand why people use RSVP to mean making a reservation...)

      3. Re pizza -- I like Piece a lot, in Wicker Park. One of the older brewpubs in Chicago still in operation, they do 'New Haven' style. Personally, I just see it as floppy thin crust, but it's still delicious. They can get mobbed at night with a loud, young crowd, especially when they're doing karaoke (live band or otherwise). Best pizza in America (according to some) is Great Lake, in Andersonville. It's teeny and you're liable to see long waits. When you get there, they're very good about estimating wait times and you can hang out in a nearby bar until they call (Hopleaf, Acre and In Fine Spirits come to mind). Great Lake is also BYO. Closer to Wicker Park, and easier to get into, is Coalfire. Neapolitan and nearly as good as most of the pizza I had in Rome, I've always been happy there. Spacca Napoli, in Ravenswood, also gets good marks.

        Re BBQ -- Wicker Park is home to Lillie's Q. I still haven't been there but more than a year on, it's doing great business. The chef/pitmaster has won some number of awards and the beer/cocktail program comes up often as really good, especially for a BBQ place. They can get busy, and, again, wait times may run long. Their tri-tip is a specialty, if I recall.

        I really like Honey One. They're BYO and do pork really well. I think the best menu choice is a rib tib/hot link combo. Fries are 'eh'. Chicken wings are also pretty good (so long as you don't mind an occasional feather).

        Re other places -- I never thought of Silver Palm as a food destination until Anthony Bourdain went there for his show (and even then, we can fault/credit Mancow). I still don't know it's a food destination. It's fine, I guess. I've had plenty of really nice drinks there but better food can be had elsewhere.

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        Spacca Napoli
        1769 W Sunnyside Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

        Coalfire
        1321 W Grand Ave Ste 2, Chicago, IL 60642

        Silver Palm
        768 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

        In Fine Spirits
        5420 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

        Great Lake
        1477 W Balmoral Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

        3 Replies
        1. re: danimalarkey

          In RE- Silver Palm
          I agree with you, I think the food is a secondary piece to my sister's plan of "really nice drinks" and middle of the road food with good conversation. She mentioned something called the Matchbox a tiny bar, that was something to see while in the area. Thanks for the info

          -----
          Silver Palm
          768 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

          1. re: bcannell

            Matchbox is next door to Silver Palm (attached, really - they share a wall as well as owners). Matchbox is pretty much the definition of tiny - while sitting at the bar, if you stand up and push the stool back, you're likely to hit the exterior wall. It's fine and drinks are fine (unless you count powdered sugar on a margarita and/or brandy in a Manhattan a mortal sin -- it's a Wisconsin thing, I'm told) and if it's somewhere that you both will have a nice time, that's what counts.

            Having said that, don't discount Big Star or even SmallBar, both in Wicker Park. Big Star can be mobbed, but if you can nab an outdoor table, you'll get really good tacos, great drinks and amazing people watching (inside can get a little loud). Violet Hour is across the street and while it's home to amazing cocktails, the food isn't really substantial, limited mainly to small plates. Conversation is easy, though, since traffic is pretty limited once you're inside.

            SmallBar recently overhauled it's food/cocktails menu. It's been a long time destination for soccer and craft beer, but now they have improved the food/cocktails to match. Inside can get loud, but (and yes, there might be a theme here), the patio out front is lovely. I've only been once since the food menu was overhauled and it was certainly good. Better, I think, than Silver Palm.

            I would also suggest Leopold and Branch 27, just southeast of Wicker Park, proper, though they may fall a touch shy of really nice drinks (which is to say drinks are good, but not quite at the same level as, say, Violet Hour or even Big Star or Matchbox). You could also take a short L ride to Longman & Eagle, Lula's or Revolution. L&E is pretty much nose-to-tail/farm fresh gastropub and while it's always bustling, I don't think a party of two would have a problem conversing. Lula's is a little more... I don't know, reserved, maybe, than L&E? Still excellent, still farm fresh, but maybe they just do a better job of muffling the noise. Revolution is a brewpub, probably the best in the city right now. Food is completely unfussy and can lean a little heavy, but it's certainly a great place to get a fantastic burger. The beers are amazing and the cocktail list is good, too. Sadly, some bartenders are better than others and if you order anything too special (ie. anything beyond a Manhattan or Martini, even), it may not be amazing. Nearby is The Whistler, also one of the city's best cocktail destinations. They don't serve food (though you're welcome to bring food in), but if you can grab a seat on the back patio, you'll have one hell of a night.

            None of these places, though - L&E, Lula's, Revolution or The Whistler - accepts reservations.

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            Silver Palm
            768 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

            Violet Hour
            1247 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

            Branch 27
            1371 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642

            1. re: danimalarkey

              >> Re BBQ -- Wicker Park is home to Lillie's Q. I still haven't been there but more than a year on, it's doing great business. The chef/pitmaster has won some number of awards and the beer/cocktail program comes up often as really good, especially for a BBQ place. They can get busy, and, again, wait times may run long. Their tri-tip is a specialty, if I recall.

              Their website is at www.lilliesq.com

              It's worth noting that waiting times at Smoque can be lengthy, too. They manage it well, so don't panic when you see the line out the door, but 30 minutes is not uncommon.

              >> I really like Honey One.

              I'm not fond of Honey 1. I've found their ribs to be fatty. Meh.

              It's also worth noting that Honey 1 is in Bucktown, not Wicker Park. These two neighborhoods are often discussed together because they are adjacent to each other. But the area north of North Avenue (1600N) is Bucktown, and south of North is Wicker Park.

              >> Violet Hour is across the street and while it's home to amazing cocktails, the food isn't really substantial, limited mainly to small plates. Conversation is easy, though, since traffic is pretty limited once you're inside.

              Violet Hour is an interesting place. It may be the best-known place in Chicago for artisanal cocktails. It's an attempt to recreate an old-time speakeasy. Speaking of which, there is no signage on the facade, just a blank wall with a doorway camouflaged into it.

              >> None of these places, though - L&E, Lula's, Revolution or The Whistler - accepts reservations.

              If you want to get an idea of how bad the waits are likely to be, and when to go to avoid them, see the photoessay at http://chicago.metromix.com/restauran...

              Most of our nicer restaurants accept reservations, many on Opentable as well as over the phone.

        2. Quick question-
          Are you seeking true NY style pizza, or simply "thin crust" pizza? Chicago has several versions of thin crust pizza as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gordeaux

            true NY style pizza

          2. If you enjoyed Uncle John's, more than likely you will enjoy Honey 1 on Western which will be a stone's throw away from Wicker Park. Both places offer Chicago Style Aquarium Smoker bbq. This is not Texas bbq, or Carolina bbq. Chicago AQ bbq is for spare ribs, and rib tips, and hot links. I had a tip link combo at Honey 1 on Wednesday, and it was better than most. Uncle John's links, however, beat Honey 1's by a landslide. The ribs will not have as much fat rendered off as a Texas cue joint because of the differences in cooking style., so your chances of getting fatty ribs are probably higher at a Chicago Aq Smoker joint. I happen to not mind fatty ribs at all. I'm not sure if Honey1 offers baby backs, (most Chicago AQ smoker places do not,) but those would be less fatty if so, because of the nature of the animal- spares are more fatty than b-backs. If you wanna try a Carolina style bbq joint, there is Honky Tonk in Pilsen. I am planning to go on Sunday, so I haven't been yet, but I'm pretty sure it is more of a Carolina style place.

            http://www.honey1bbq.com/index.html

            http://honkytonkbbqchicago.com/

            Since you appear to be a carnivore, I'd like to suggest that you try a few steak Tacos at Las Asadas on Western too. Simple,cheap, mouthwatering delicious char grilled skirt steak tacos. Very casual (order at the counter) go for a snack or lunch.

            1. Labriola bakery/cafe in the Western burbs makes very good Neopolitan pizzas. Not exactly NY style I know, but it's the closest I've been able to find.
              http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/fil...

              In the Chicago area, Dough Boys seems to be the best for NY style pizza: http://www.yelp.com/biz/dough-boys-ch...

              Hope this helps.