This is the blog and public record of the Chicago Pizza Club. We eat a lot of pizza and share our thoughts on it as well as post any relevant pizza news we come across.

We invite you to post any comments on anywhere you have eaten under our review of that establishment. If you have any questions, please read the FAQs on the sidebar first to see if it has already been answered. Please note that we are at capacity and are not seeking new members. And finally, if you have a place you think we should try, have some other inquiry, or want to send us love/hatemail then please contact us at:


Monday, February 27, 2006

Salerno's [Meeting #24]

1201 W. Grand Ave. (Google Maps)
Chicago, IL

CPC invaded Salerno's on 2/23/06

Located in the trendy River West area, Salerno's gives you the impression it's not too happy about all the new people moving in despite the higher disposable income they bring to the neighborhood and their own coffers. Just to the south are warehouses (abandoned and functional) and to the north old apartments and new condos. Inside, it's like a lounge from the 70's except that the smoke isn't so thick.

This place is surprisingly large on the inside and had a few families dining when we arrived. We kept hearing random words coming form the bar and we discovered that on Thursday they play a Chicago trivia contest. No word on what the winner receives, but it's probably secondary to knowing you are a Chicago expert and the jealous and hard looks from your defeated competitors are likelyto be sufficient. Of note, they have a nice take out window adjacent to main dining area where jokes are cracked.

Ok, the food:

  1. Regular Crust, artichoke and mushrooms

  2. Regular Crust, pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, and onions

  3. Thin crust, roast beef and zucchini
And to boot, they offer the standard Italian beers served with a healthy slice of attitude by your waitress. This place is actually not the original Salerno's (the original being in a suburb), but it takes some effort to drag Petey outside of his urban environment. The price was right, about 60 bucks for 3 large pizzas that fed 9 of us.

Petey gives Salerno's a score of 4.2

The Roast Beef and House Special pizzas

The Mushroom & Artichoke pizza

Noam has trouble digesting his cheese...

Kate enjoys a slice

"Pizza goes in here..."

Stelio contemplates Roast Beef...

Where it all went down

Salerno's Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. I was not a fan of this place at all.

    The crust was somewhat enjoyable, but in the end was a touch too dry, powdery and flaky.

    The cheese was just an oily blob of dairy sitting on top of my pizza offering very little taste and threatening to cut off my air supply as I tried to swallow its gelatinous mass.

    I mildly enjoyed the mushroom and artichoke pizza, but mainly because those are just two good ingredients that did their best to save the pizza. The roast beef pizza paled in comparison to the roast beef version served last week at the Candlelite. And the house special pie that we had tasted like every other mediocre green pepper/sausage pizza I've ever eaten in this city.

    So in the end I give this place a 4.5

  2. i too, was dissapointed by salernos. no dilly-dallying, i'll get straight to the business:

    -cheeze: totally without flavor. plus, by the time the pizzas were served, the cheeze had all congealed into one big mess. i'm sure y'all know the type; the kind of cheeze where when you take you're first bite and pull back, the rest of the cheeze on the slice slides off the dough in one big glob. not fun. also, there was too much cheeze for this guy.

    -sauce: same problem as with the cheeze, except this time not enough, which i guess is o.k. since it didn't really taste like much. both the cheeze and the sauce together were so bland that, believe it or not, i had to salt my pizza. which i have never ever had to do. and i am ashamed of doig so....

    -toppings: o.k. i guess. the best was the artichoke and mushroom. bonus for real mushrooms, not the canned stuff. although, minus for the italian beef pizza, which we had high hopes for after last weeks good experience. the beef this time tasted chewy.

    overall- i give this a 3. i know its kinda harsh, but i'm sticking with it.

  3. I am still digesting the cheese. I just finished chewing it and it is coursing through my intestines as I type this, FOUR FREAKIN' DAYS LATER!!! I think we have beaten the cheese to death by now. I was also disappointed in the fact that all three pizzas came out at once and all were a different temperature. We had hot, warm and cold. (The waitress was great by the way; I think this was more of the fault of the kitchen.) The sauce may have been made from ketchup as it had no seasoning. I used every condiment on the table (minus the sweet & low) to supplement the lack of flavor. If you are ever stuck, and this is the only place left to go for pizza the mushroom and artichoke was the best only because it was served above room temp, and they were generous with the mushrooms. Overall this place gets a 4 out of ten.

  4. I concur with the previous judgments entered against the cheese. Also, the crust was too thick and bready. I thought the standard special of the mushrooms, peppers, onions, pepperoni, sausage, etc. was okay, but I think I would have preferred all of the pizzas with thin crust and less cheese. However, I have no way of knowing if the thin crust can truly be enjoyed, because the chewy roast beef defiled the one thin crust pie we did have. Considering that Domino's is the standard 4.0, I'll give Salerno's a 4.5.

  5. Well, much has been said and it's all been bad. I have to agree with the reviews thus far in saying how disappointed I am. What really hurts, where the pain truly starts, is that I have previously ordered from Salerno's for takeout and usually enjoyed my pizza a lot. But they will not be judged by a lone pizza eater; their sentence will be handed down by the discriminating palate of Pizza Club.

    The verdict: the cheese was a bit much, but tolerable. Their sauce, usually abundant and salty, was sparse and bland. The toppings were ok, but just so you know how disappointed I was, i think the veggie pizza was easily the best. I actually did enjoy the crust - I thought it was not too doughy and crisp enough. The thin crust was a bit weighed down with roast beef, however.

    It hurts Salerno's, but you hurt me first. 5.0