Sometimes you get a craving for one type of food, and it almost doesn't matter where you get it. The Feed takes a look at local restaurants that all serve a single food in common with one another. This week The Feed takes a close look at the food that's so good that, even when it's bad, it's still pretty good: pizza.
Piero's is one of those rare cases in the world of pizza: the universally beloved local chain. You won't find Internet flame wars erupting over the quality of this pizza. Instead, the scenario is quite the opposite. Review sites like Yelp testify to an almost suspiciously ubiquitous love-in for the proud little pizza place that could. There's a reason for that pride, as Piero's traces it's roots back to 12th century Italy, complete with pictures of the ancestral home on their website. As for the pies themselves, it's no wonder there's so much love—even the biggest pies, including the stuffed variety, hover around the $20 mark, and are often quite a few dollars less.
The Feed: The large stuffed Piero's Special, a 14" behemoth of cheese, sausage, green pepper and onion, just $20.35.
No Man's Land is something of a mystery. Established just last year, this Wilmette eatery has an outdoor patio for nicer weather and a wide delivery range. But what's with the marketing? The website looks like it was put together by your computer science major cousin in 1999 and doesn't feature any prices. Still, this place generates it's own share of raves from loyal customers for it's unique take on pizza that isn't readily found elsewhere. Pizzas like the Firehouse feature spicy sauce topped with sausage, pepperoni, onions, garlic, crushed red peppers and mixed hot peppers ensure a date that will not end with a kiss, while the condescendingly named 'Girlie Pie,' with dollops of Ricotta cheese, a hearty helping of fresh spinach, and Fresh Mushrooms, topped with just a sprinkle of mozzarella sounds pretty damn good to dudes and dudettes alike.
The Feed: Any of the specialty pizzas (there are more than the two mentioned above) at a massive 20" for $25.
The Wilmette Bowling Center may not be the first place people think of when they think local pizza, but maybe they should. The WBC offers up parties for adults and kids alike, and they provide the pies themselves. Pizzas are cooked fresh on site, and can be eaten while getting down on a game of ten pin, making for a powerful combination of food and fun. The employees here tell us that the pizzas come from next door Cafe Baci, which is connected to the bowling alley through an interior door. The pies may be simple, but they're made fresh to order: no frozen stuff here.
The Feed: A startling deal with 16" pizzas for $11.
It's not strictly a local fave, but Lou Malnati's looms large on the pizza scene here in Wilmette. With over 40 years in operation and 31 locations, there's a reason the pizza giant has spread so far. The tasty pizza is well loved everywhere, and we mean that literally: Lou Malnati's ships anywhere in the U.S., a fact that has saved many a homesick displaced Chicagoan. From the sweet sauce to the buttery crust or ocean of cheese on each pie, Lou Malnati's is the one to beat in the battle for local pizza loyalty.
The Feed: A deep dish 14" pie with one ingredient runs about $19.25
may be as close to anything as an institution in Wilmette, at least as far as pizza goes. The eatery has been around since 1996, and locals that are young enough to have grown up with it consider it one of their childhood favorites. The pizza place functions as something of a pizza sports bar, with a few televisions around the place broadcasting games while locals enjoy a beer and a slice. The sandwiches here are hearty and tasty, if a bit pricey at around $10 apiece, which includes a side, but the pizzas are pretty much in line with most everywhere else in town.
The Feed: A McCarthy's 16" 'Legendary' style pizza, like the Thai pizza or the Foghorn Leghorn, with grilled chicken, red peppers, red onions and goat cheese, $20.79
Stay tuned for more pizza coverage, when we return with the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Big Tomato.