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Monday, May 05, 2008

Pequod's [Meeting #57]

2207 N. Clybourn (GoogleMaps)
(773) 327-1512

CPC invaded Pequod's for the second time on 4/27/08.

Da club came together on a mild spring day to take a bite out of Pequod’s signature caramelized crust pan pizza in Lincoln Park. This was one of our largest meetings to date, with a group of about fifteen folks including regulars, new members, out-of-town visitors, and a couple of tykes.

Pequod’s, named for Captain Ahab’s whaling ship in Melville’s Moby Dick, is one of several establishments started by the legendary Burt Katz. These days, Burt spends his time making pizzas at the appropriately named Burt’s Place in Morton Grove, but his signature pizza can be found at various other establishments he owned at different points in the past going back to the 1960's, including Pequod’s and Gulliver’s. Don’t expect to see Burt at any of his former haunts, though. When TimeOut Chicago asked Burt for his thoughts on his former pizza places, he replied, “When you sell your car, do you check on it every six months? Nope.” Nevertheless, the CPC has visited Burt’s Place in the past, and there is no mistaking his lingering influence on Pequod’s.

The restaurant itself is a long, rectangular room with a bar along the left side. We had to string four or five square tables together to accommodate our large group. It is a casual spot with dim lighting, where you can hang out with family and friends or just stop in for beer and pizza while you watch a sports game. The image of the whale is prominent throughout, as you can see in the photos below.

At Pequod’s, you can expect charred outer crusts, a nice tangy sauce, and abundant fresh toppings. The crust itself is thick and more bread-like than the typical pan pizza. It is soft other than the charred outer edges. The cheese is good enough, but it comes in a pretty thin layer and it’s not terribly remarkable until it joins the caramelized goodness of the charred crust. The sauce is delicious and probably one of the best around town in my opinion. It is sweet, tangy, and altogether the flavors are very well-balanced. Because of the thickness of the bready crust, El Presidente and I often request extra sauce and/or cheese when we order Pequod’s for delivery.

We enjoyed the following pizzas at our meeting:

  • Pan Pizza with Sausage and Pepperoni - the sausage comes in big, flavorful chunks and the pepperoni is appropriately spicy.
  • Pan Pizza with Pepperoni, Onion, and Garlic - this is a great combination. some spicy pepperoni, the crunch of the onion, and the garlic is probably my favorite topping here because it goes so well with the sauce.
  • Pan Pizza with Garlic and Basil - perhaps because of the daintiness of the ingredients, this pie didn't seem to get as much sauce as the others, so it was a lot of bread, but still tasty.
  • Pan Pizza with Spinach and Mushroom - the combination of these two waterlogged vegetables resulted in a wet mess, but the ingredients themselves were good.
  • Pan Pizza with Mushroom and Garlic - fresh, perfectly cooked mushrooms and garlic. a good combination when not partaking in the meat options.
  • Thin Crust with Canadian Bacon and Pineapple - the pineapple was cut into rings, so it didn't appear on every slice, but the juices still added the flavor throughout. the Canadian bacon was cut into small, thin slices. generous amounts of cheese. this pizza was okay, and we tried it to get a feel for the thin crust, but I wouldn't order it again. go for the pan pizza.
The pizzas came out in a timely fashion and we ended up with a bill of $15/adult. Overall, a delicious and successful outing that has me itching to get back to Burt's again soon.

kate-d. gives Pequod's an 8.2

The CPC gives Pequod's 8.15/10.

Serving up some deep dish...

Thin crust Pineapple and Ham

The crowd-pleasing Pepperoni, Onion & Garlic

The famous Carmelized Crust

What do you mean there's no more pizza?

El Presidente has a whale of a good time...

Where it went down...

Pequod's Pizza on Urbanspoon


  1. This was my first trip to Pequod's and I'd heard a lot of good things about it. Perhaps it was because my expectations were too high, but I wasn't all that impressed. That's not to say I didn't like it, because I did. I just wasn't blown away by it.

    Except, that is, for the sauce, which was exceptional. The sauce is both sweet and spicy, but not too much of either, and has a nice full texture to it.

    The sausage and pepperoni was my favorite, but the sausage was a bit overseasoned. All of the toppings were generally good. But where the pizza was lacking for me was in the crust. The pan pizza had a thick crush, which I don't mind on principle, but to have crust that thick be so dry and pretty much flavorless (aside from the carmelized portion in back) took away from the flavors. That amount of crust also demands more cheese than these pies offered.

    The thin crust pizzas were good, but they did not have much sauce on them.

    I give Pequod's a 6.5.

  2. I love Pequod's, and don't get to eat there very often, so I was pretty excited about this meeting. It is also the site of my very first Chicago Pizza Club meeting. Anywho, I was disappointed at all with this meeting. Also, I got to try their thin crust, which I'd never had before. While pretty delicious with Canadian Bacon and Pineapple it still pales in comparison to the thick crust pizza. I love the taste of the crust as well as the carmelized cheese, and they don't slouch on their ingredients either. Both the Pepperoni and Sausage pizza and the Pepperonni, Onion and Garlic pizzas were excellent. So, based on our new ratings standards, I give Pequod's a 7.5

  3. OK, so I'm really liking the new review scoring system. Seeing as I regularly eat Pequod's pizza and it pops into my head whenever I think of good deep dish, I think my final score will be an 8.9.

    First of all, I like the crust. Even though it's a big, loaded pizza the crust holds up very well although it is not very flavorful. But since I generally disregard all but exceptional crust, it served its function of holding all the good stuff very well.

    We tried a LOT of pizzas and the standouts are anything with meat. the meat here really serves as salt because the veggie pizzas all seemed to be missing that fifth flavor characteristic. The basil and garlic pizza was well balanced and not overpowered by the garlic, but the crust takes up to much room and you end up with what is really a foccacio.

    As someone who eats here regularly, I recommend extra sauce when ordering. It's delicious sauce with an obvious fresh flavor, but sadly, not enough is usually on the pies. The burnt cheese rim is kind of a novelty, but a welcome one nonetheless. The texture is great.

    The thin crust is unremarkable. And that's why Pequod's falls a bit short of 9.0.

  4. Like Miss Marla, I had never been to Pequod's but had heard many good things about it.

    The pan pizzas were better than the thin crust. The thin crust wasn't "bad," it just wasn't that memorable. We had pineapple and canadian bacon, and the pineapple was still in ring form. Personally, I prefer to put the pineapple into smaller pieces around the pie so that it is more evenly distributed. The crust was twisted around the edges, which was a nice touch.

    As for the pan pies, I really liked the crusts. It was thick, but had a decent crunch and the caramelized ends really distinguish these pies from other places. My favorite was the pepperoni, onion, and garlic. There were loads of pepperonis and overall a good balance of crust, sauce, and toppings. I also really enjoyed the fresh basil and garlic. These are very simple flavors that work so well together, that I think it's generally hard to mess it up. Probably my least favorite was the spinach and mushroom. The crust didn't seem to work as well with this one, but it was also my last slice, and there's a chance I was too stuffed to really appreciate it.

    Overall. Pequod's is pretty good. I'll give it a 7.0.

  5. I LOVE ME SOME PEQUOD'S! I think that the crust is to DIE for! It is perfectly crunchy on the bottom and chewy in the middle. The carmelized (NOT BURNT!- sorry el Presidente) cheese is D-E-L-I-S-H! I do not think the crust is flavorless, there is definitely a hint of butter. The sauce is flavorful and fresh. I am a big fan of too much sauce on a pizza, so I'd have to agree with most posts at this point and say we could use a little bit more. But I'm not going to sit here and cry about it.

    I enjoyed four out of the five pizzas we ordered. The spinach basil was missing something, but I couldn't quite pin point it (it was super cold by the time I got to it, so maybe it was better warm). Even the canadian bacon pineapple made my taste buds dance. My all time favorite pizza is the deep dish pepperoni, garlic and onion from Pequods. It is simply amazing!

    I give Pequods an 8.5 based on the new scoring guidelines, as I DO eat this pizza regularly!

  6. You better buckle up, mofo, because the Pequod pizza got it all.

    Dump truck delivered toppings, crispy deep dish crust with a carmelized rim, and a savory sauce.

    If I spent all day in a little wooden boat, soaked with freezing cold water, trying to jam a flimsy harpoon in something 100X my size so that the rich jerk down the street could balance his ledger after dark - this is exactly the type of pizza I would want when I got home. Now you understand.

    I give Pequod's a 10.

  7. Holy Balls! I never thought I'd say the day where someone handed out a rating of 10!!

  8. Agreed on the 10. I don't think Ryan got the memo on the new rating system.

  9. Oh, I think he got the memo... I'm just impressed that he's found his slice of pizza heaven

  10. Memo was reviewed prior to grading. Down with hermetically-sealed shelf 10s! Follow you heart.

  11. Pequod's has long been a favorite of mine. This is the place I go to when I feel I need a good quality pizza. Doesn't matter if you are going there, carrying out or have it delivered this stuff is good. My favorite is the suasage and pepperoni. So simple yet so elegant. When you are down in the dumps and you feel the need for a good pan pizza, say to hell with the calories and pull up next to Pequod's pie. It has great cheese, good sause, plenty of ingredients, and that fantastic carmelized cheese. I think the thin crust are under valued. The have plenty of cheese and good fresh ingredients. I give this place a solid 8.5/10

  12. You go for the caramelized cheese crust in the pan pizza. They don't skimp on the toppings, especially on one of my favorite heart-cloggers-- pepperoni and sausage. I feel my chest tightening just typing this.