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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Barcello's [Meeting #31]

1647 N Milwaukee Avenue(Google Maps)

773 486 8444

CPC invaded Barcelo's on 4/13/06

This family-owned Bucktown pizzeria has been making their pizza from a top secret recipe developed in Calabria, Italy back in the early 1900's. Eat your heart out, Colonel Sanders. They have a prime location just a block of the intersection of North, Milwaukee, and Damen. Thankfully, Milwaukee Avenue seemed to offer enough parking to accomodate all 13 of the CPC members that attended.

We went on a Thursday night at 7:30 and were the only diners in the restaurant for a good portion of our meal. The decor was nicer than the picture on their webpage suggests and they added a nice touch of tall white flowers (Kelly tells me they are calililies) on every table. It’s nicer than your typical walk-in pizzeria and good for a group of friends but not a romantic place that will impress your first date. The wait staff was pleasant but looked at bit bored by the slow evening. They were helpful over the phone when I made reservations and made a special point of informing me that the restaurant was BYOB. We came armed with Sam Adams, Goose Island, Bass and Guinness.

The menu offered a wide range of pizza sizes (baby 10” – party 18”) and some gourmet ingredients including giardiniera, prosciutto, artichokes, shrimp, cappers, sundried tomatoes, red peppers eggplant, zucchini, and ricotta cheese. They also have a couple specialty options including a taco pizza and a double dough pizza. Barcello’s serves a full menu of Italian dishes and appetizers. Diners on a budget should look for coupons on their takeout menu.

We had the following:
Thin Crust (taco pizza)- tomatoes, lettuce, parmesan cheese, and ground beef
Thin Crust - (veggie pizza) - green peppers, broccoli, spinach
Pan Crust - italian sausage, prosciutto
Stuffed - sundried tomato, spinach
Thin Crust - giardiniera, blue cheese, artichoke (yes, you read that correctly)

The first round of thin crusts took about 45min to arrive, which was a little surprising since we were the only ones in the restaurant. Either there was a busy delivery service that runs in and out the back or they had to pre-heat the ovens when our group walked in. The stuffed crust that I was told would take 45min came at the 1 hour mark. However, when we added another thin crust they were very accomodating and the turn around was only 15min.

Petey gives Barcelo's a 7.35.

The veggie pizza, ready for action

Mmm... cheesey stuffed pizza

And here's the pan crust

Noam digs in

A thin crust

Where it went down

Barcello's on Urbanspoon


  1. What to say about Barcello's? Overall the pizza here was pretty enjoyable, but it didn't really make that much of an impact with me.

    The 'Taco Pizza' was actually pretty enjoyable, it had a suprsing taste to it which I think came from the cheddar cheese. But in the end, a few small slices was enough, I don't think I'd want to tackle a whole pizza with ground beef, lettuce and tomatoes under normal circumstances.

    The Taco Pizza was a thin crust, and like the other two thin crusts we had it stayed crisp without getting soggy in the middle as you ate it, and without having been overcooked. So that's always a good sign. I enjoyed the veggie thin crust pretty well, much more than I would have expected of such a vegetable-laden pizza.

    The prosciutto and sausage pan pizza was pretty tasty. But I think my favorite of the evening was the stuffed pizza. If I remember correctly the ingredients in this one included spinache and sun-dried tomatoes. I think the sun-dried tomatoes added quite a bit of flavor to this pizza.

    So overall, a decently enjoyable place but in the end not one I think I would make an effort to go back to.

    My rating, 6.5

  2. I thought this place was great. It is a small quiet restaurant in my favorite neighborhood. The place is tiny and for most of the night we were the only people in the place. It seems that it did pretty good carry-out business though. Of the three pizzas I tried, I thought the stuffed spinach & sun-dried tomato was the best. (I was not eating meat this night so I can only comment on three of the pies). The crust on the pizza was great. It was soft in the inside and baked golden on the outside. The sauce was not too sweet and was plenty thick. The spinach was fresh and there were plenty of sun-dried tomatoes on my slice, which added a salty flavor to the pizza.
    The veggie pizza was also great. It was a great thin crust. The crust was crispy and thin. The veggies were all fresh. I especially like the broccoli which tasted as if it was steamed prior to being baked on the pizza. The cheese was wonderful as well. It was not very sticky and easily chewy.
    The final pizza was ordered by myself and fellow pizza club member Ryan D. after having consumed several beers. The choice of toppings on this thin crust were interesting to say the least and were probably influenced by alcohol. We had a jardinière, artichoke and blue cheese. Now, I know these don’t go well on paper, but this pizza was quite good. It was obviously spicy, but probably too spicy because it masked the taste of the blue cheese which I thought was a cool topping. On my next visit to Barcello’s I will make it a point to order a blue cheese pizza. I still maintain this was a good pizza. Overall I give Barcello’s a 7.5 out of 10.

  3. I thought Barcello's did everything well, and nothing was outstanding. The thin crust stayed nice and crispy, and the vegetables on their vegetarian special were nice and fresh - I really do enjoy broccoli on pizza, and it was cooked just right.

    I'm glad we tried the taco pizza, because I've seen it on a few menus and never tried it. It wasn't bad, though it had a lot of lettuce. Maybe next time when I see a "cheeseburger" pizza I will have to try that out as well.

    The pan pizza with the sausage and prosciutto was tasty, and I liked the stuffed as well. Stuffed with spinach done well is always delicious. Barcello's put in the right amount of cheese (that is, not a huge thick layer of it), and the sauce was plentiful.


  4. I really enjoyed Barcello's. The initial wait for the pizza was a bit long but really didn't bother me since we were able to sit down immediately and enjoy the B that we had BYO'd.

    The Barcello's crust was pretty unique. It had a crispy outside with a bit of chewiness on the inside. I thought it was quite good and a significant notch above the crust of a Bacci's or a Waldo Cooney's. The pan pizza was a thicker version that retained this crispy/chewy characteristic. None of the pizzas were overcooked and the crusts were consistent on each piece of pizza.

    The sauce at Barcello's was flavorful and tangy without being sweet. There was plenty of sauce on the thin and pan crusts and ample portions on top of the stuffed.

    Toppings were outstanding. The sausage was better than most I've tried. Vegetables were particularly fresh and although I usually prefer meat toppings I probably ate more of the veggie pizza than anything else. Some members didn't get much prociutto on their pan slices but I was lucky to get some nice big pieces which I enjoyed. Tomatoes on the Taco pizza were fresh and covered every inch of each slice.

    Overall, I think Barcello's toppings are some of the best I've had and they give you plenty to enjoy on each slice. The sauce was pretty good and the crust was unique and significantly better than your typical crust. Lastly, the preparation, while a little slow, was consistently good. Highly recommended.


  5. Sadly, this place has closed.