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Monday, July 28, 2008

[Second Helping] Caffe Florian

We went to Caffe Florian tonight on non Chicago Pizza Club business. But everytime we eat pizza it IS Chicago Pizza Club business...

We last went here about 2 years ago. Not much has changed. They still serve a well-balanced pie that pleased the crowd. In these summer months, it is a lot slower due to the evacuation by so many of the university students. Tonight was obviously just a slow summer night for the restaurant, but they quickly took our order and brought out the pizza. We ordered:

  • Pan with sausage and garlic
  • Thin with pesto and artichoke hearts
You can read the comments for our individual assessments, but I think this place is a hidden gem tucked away in the back alley of Hyde Park


  1. Great pan pizza. Buttery, crunchy crust and loads of chunky tomato sauce. The taste of sausage was barely discernible, and I think the meat toppings in general are not exactly a bounty of flavor at this place, so i would probably stick with pepperoni next time I get a meat pizza. Looking back on my review at the official meeting two years ago, many pies later, I think the 9.0 I gave was a bit much. But the pizza is still excellent, and worth a trip to UChicagoland. Still love the artichoke and pesto combination, but I think I prefer it on a pan pizza because those ingredients are even better when they are mixed up in an orgy of chunky tomato sauce.

  2. When I look back on our old review, I still agree with most of what we said. It was excellent pan pizza and good thin crust. The ingredients tonight were canned, but the quality of the crust and sauce still redeems the pizza - specifically the pan. The crust is the story here. Highly recommended, but don't expect good sausage. Last time, we were disappointed in the ham but liked the pepperoni so it looks like that might be the best meat option. I'm a little miffed about the canned garlic and crappy sausage - last time the basil was fresh though. Keep it simple here and inquire to see if your ingredients are coming out of a can or if they're fresh. No excuses Hyde Parkers, this pizza stands up very well to the best in the town.

  3. As a Hyde Park native who grew up when Medici was in the location currently occupied by Florian, I figured the address was infected with bad pizza juju. I was very to happy to discover that the only problem with Medici's pizza was that it was made with Medici's recipes. Caffe Florian makes some good pies.

    I love sausage. The sausage at Florian was embarrassingly bad. It was processed, flavorless garbage. But the crust and the sauce were spectacular. The buttery, crunchy, flavorful crust was tremendous. The sauce was so good that I got up from my seat to walk over and take a tomato can down from a high shelf just to see where it came from. The answer: Stanislaus, the best in the country.

  4. Wait, Florian moved to where Medici used to be? That makes my brain hurt.