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Friday, February 17, 2006

Candlelite [Meeting #23]

7452 N Western (Google Maps)
Chicago, IL

CPC invaded Candlelite on 2/16/06

This bar has a classy sign reminiscent of 1950's Las Vegas except that instead of mobsters running gambling joints, it's probably mobsters making good pizza. Inside is a pretty clean bar with standards on tap (and apparently $3.50 Stella on Thursday) and nice tables near large windows.

The pizzas: All were very good. Signature cracker crust, light on the sauce, and they use what I believe to be low-fat mozzarella cheese. It didn't melt quite like cheese usually does. We got all thin crust pies.

1. Basil, Pesto, and Spinach - More like basil and cheese. Enjoyable, but I could have used more pesto as a tomato sauce substitute. The spinach was unremarkable.

2. Fungus Among Us (Mushrooms + Sausage) - Probably had the most sauce of any of the pies. Appropriately salty, the sausage was not very strong but tasty and the mushrooms were fresh.

3. Bringing the Heat (Pico de Gallo, Pepperoni, Jalapeno) - A crowd favorite, but I found it to be kind of boring. The Pico de Gallo tasted like it came out of a can and the pepperoni didn't mesh well with the sauce and the jalapeno peppers. The peppers were fresh though.

4. Roast Beef - Nice, generous cuts of roast beef splattered across the pizza. Plain and simple, big taste.

And we polished off three orders of their delicious garlic fries. Pictures courtesy of G Wiv on LTHforum. Check out this great foodie site.

Seriously though, I'd kill any and every member of CPC for some of those garlic fries right now.

Petey gives Candlelite a score of 8.0

Candlelite Chicago on Urbanspoon


  1. I give this place an 8.8

    I enjoyed the Pesto Pizza, as well as the Fungus Among Us, but the real star of the show was the Roast Beef pizza... delicous.

    The Garlic Fries were also amazing, and though they weren't pizza, I can't help but award them extra points for 'em

  2. Overall very good pizza. Out of the four pizzas I thought the best one was the "Bringin' the Heat". I'm not sure what yu need to get this award but jalapeno on a pizza should qualify someone for the congressional medal of honor. The next best pizza was the " fungus among us" although the sausage could have been a bit spicier. The next two, although quite different, didn't particularly do it for me. I though the basil, pesto and spinach was O.K but I NEED tomato sause on a pizza. The basil was present but when I order basil on a pizza I prefer it to be the dominant flavor. I am not a huge fan of roast beef on pizza. (by the way I am not a prude). Overall this place had very good thin crust pizza which I would rate a 7.25 out of ten.

  3. Candlelite did the thin cracker crust well. Their pizzas are cut into squares, which I prefer for a thin pizza. Pieces on the edge were crispy but not burned and pieces in the center were not soggy. Sauce was lacking but I'm willing to consider that there may have been a compromise to preserve the quality of their crust. We ordered large pizzas but the size wasn't particularly big, especially for a thin crust. Don't expect to feed 4 hungry people with one pizza. I would say 3 max.

    Candlelite had some interesting ingredients and all 4 of the pizzas that we ordered were listed as Specials on the menu. Of the specials I liked the 'Roast Beef' the best with 'Bringing the Heat' a close second. Here's the rundown:

    Roast beef - It was very tasty and a unique idea but it was still pretty much simple roast beef on a thin crust pizza. Maybe a combination with onions, a cheese variation, or a special dipping sauce could have spiced things up a bit. That being said, it made my #1.

    Bringing the Heat - I liked the sound of pico de gallo as an ingredient but it didn't quite live up to the hype. Baked in the cheese the small tomatoes didn't stand out. I might have considered adding the pico de gallo on top of the cheese in a bruchetta-like fashion. Overall, the combination of pepperoni, jalepenos, and pico de gallo was a good one.

    Basil/Pesto/Spinich - I'm not a big fan of the pesto pizza and this one didn't do anything to change my mind.

    Fungus Among Us - A good sausage and mushroom pizza. I give the edge to the mushrooms over the sausage. A solid choice on the menu but not a stand out.

    Overall, I really liked Candlelite's thin crust. They had some interesting specials and a couple were quite good. However, they didn't quite have enough 'specialness' for me to recommend a long drive up to 7000N just to try the pizza alone. The garlic fries definitely deserve mentioning and actually outshined the pizza in my opinion. Combining them with the Roast Beef pizza should be enough to warrant a trip. If you're in the area it's a no-brainer that you should give this place a try.

    Rating: 7.5

  4. I liked the thin cracker crust on this pizza. I enjoyed the spinach/pesto pizza, though it could have used more garlic. The other three pizzas definitely needed more sauce, but all were good. The fungus among us was the clear winner for me, though the sausage could have been a bit spicier. The roast beef pizza was great. The "bringing the heat" pizza was okay, but the pepperoni was kind of mediocre and the pico de gallo did nothing for me. And the garlic fries were just delicious. Overall, I enjoyed the pizza and the place, and I give Candlelite pizza 8.0 points.

  5. Given that the crust was so good, I was disappointed to not have more sauce on all the pies. The sauce they make is pretty good, when you can actually taste it. I think that when I go back (and i will), I'm getting extra sauce on my pizza. Points off for the cheese not being fully melted. I like it when it gets slightly brown as well.

    Everyone fell in love with roast beef. I liked it but actually preferred the Pesto Pizza the best.