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.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bricks Chicago [Meeting #40; Meeting #9 Revisited]

Bricks Chicago
1909 N. Lincoln Ave. [Google Maps]
(312) 255-0851

CPC invaded Bricks on 3/21/07.

Petey has made some new friends since he first started making his rounds in the pizza circuit, so he decided to revisit an old pizza club stop. This one pre-dates the current blog, so it was a good chance to get some photos and post a review.

Bricks started in California and now has a restaurant in Chicago. It is a pleasant, dimly-lit spot located in the basement of an apartment building in Lincoln Park. The whole place has a heady aroma of garlic that will lure you into ordering more pizza than you need (see below). The service was fairly good and they will take reservations for large parties. Bricks also offers a nice beer selection with a good number of microbrews and such.

At Bricks, the menu includes a variety of specialty pizzas featuring creative combinations of their fresh ingredients. You can also build your own pizza. We selected the following specialty pizzas:

  • brickhouse: pureed artichoke sauce, sweet red peppers, roasted garlic, mozzarella, and asiago.
    • this was the only pizza we ordered that did not have any meat or tomato sauce, and that pureed artichoke sauce did a fine job of holding the pizza together.
  • sole mio: housemade meatballs, tomatoes, spinach, fresh mozzarella, and tomato sauce
    • this was a crowd favorite. the meatballs themselves were lush and flavorful, and the pizza as a whole was very well-seasoned.
  • berzerkeley: smoked ham, artichoke hearts, sweet red peppers, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.
    • the berzerkeley turned out to be probably the most humdrum of our selections, but it was still pretty good, because Bricks makes good pizza. the ham was not terribly flavorful. most members noted the similarities between this pizza and the brickhouse, and cited a preference for the brickhouse.
  • the ditka: "all the meat ..."
    • ... or so they say. there were some comments that this characterization was misleading due to the lack of meatballs on this pie, but it was meaty nonetheless. some pizza clubbers complained that there was not enough meat for a pizza that purported to be all about the meat. personally, i don't like it when meat-loving pizza piles the meat so high you feel like you're biting into a thick deli sandwich, so i found the ditka had the perfect amount of meat.
  • petaluma club: bacon, chicken breast, onion, fresh tomato, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.
    • as a pleasant surprise, this pizza was actually quite tasty. "but, of course it was," you say, "it has bacon!" true, but the chicken breast had the pizza clubbers feeling wary. however, the chicken itself was very tender and juicy, and it was sliced nice and thin. as a result, it mixed well with the other ingredients and avoided a common chicken pizza pitfall: taking over the pizza with big bland mouthfuls of dry chicken. and, of course, it had crisp bacon! unfortunately, the bacon was not spread evenly across the pizza, but the slices with good amounts were delicious.
The pricing for the specialty pizzas is as follows: 10" $10.50 12" $16.75 14" $19.95.

We ordered five 14" pizzas for eight people, which got us very full and was still about one pizza too many, so we all had leftovers to take home. The cost was $16/person without drinks, but including tax and tip. The pizzas all arrived hot on our table within a few minutes of each other, about 35 minutes after we ordered.

Petey gives Bricks 8.6/10.

The Ditka ... mmm, meat ...

An aerial shot!

The petaluma club

Where it went down...

One happy Chicago Pizza Club

Bricks on Urbanspoon

Marie's Pizza [Meeting #39]

Marie's Pizza, Dining Room, and Lounge
4127 W. Lawrence Ave. [Google Maps]
(773) 685-5030

CPC invaded Marie's on 2/20/07.

Marie's has been around for decades and makes a popular thin crust pizza. The pizza makers hang out by the window, and the restaurant is attached to a liquor store, which you actually have to walk through in order to get to the restaurant. Why not pick up a bottle of wine? You can enjoy it with your dinner for a small corkage fee. That only goes for the wine, though. The entrance to the restaurant opens up on a bar and leads back to an ample space with plenty of tables and red booths lining the walls. Our server was friendly and seemed like she had worked there for a long time.

We ordered the following pizzas:

* thick crust, sausage and garlic
* thin crust, pepperoni and mushrooms
* thin crust, bacon

Overall, the pizza was quite good, but very greasy, particularly the pepperoni pizza. The thick crust pizza was just a bit thicker than the thin crust, but very similar. The mushrooms and garlic were canned/jarred, which is always a bit disappointing, but pretty standard for an old-school family restaurant like this.

Our pizzas came out in less than a half hour, and the cost came out to $7/person for the food, including tax and tip.

Petey gives Marie's 6.167/10.


Going fast!

Sausage and garlic

The ambience

Making your pizza

Where it went down...

Marie's Pizza, Dining Room and Lounge on Urbanspoon