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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pizza D.O.C. [Meeting #67; Meeting #11 Revisited]

Pizza D.O.C. [GoogleMaps]
2251 W Lawrence
Chicago, IL

CPC invaded Pizza D.O.C. on 10/15/08.

Pizza D.O.C. is now the grizzled veteran of Chicago's Neapolitan-style pizzerias. There are other Italian restaurants scattered throughout the city that also make pizza, but among those who are best known for their pizza, D.O.C. is the longest running. We originally came here 3 years ago and gave it largely mixed reviews. While we appreciated the quality of ingredients, there were complaints about soggy crusts and low quantity of toppings. Now, after having recently reviewed Coalfire, La Madia, and Spacca Napoli we return to our original Chicago Neapolitan destination.

We ordered 6 pizzas

  • Margherita
  • Quattro Formaggi (bleu, mozzarella, swiss, parmesan)
  • Boscaiola (sausage)
  • Fiorentina (salami and roasted peppers)
  • Gustosa (egg, asparagus, ham, and parmesan cheese)
  • Asparagi e Caprino (asparagus and goat cheese)
The pizzas came out as the were ready and they started coming out 20 minutes after we ordered them. The oven is a less stylish version of the beautiful oven at Spacca Napoli, but it does the job and fits multiple pizzas during busy dinner and lunch rushes. A good rule of thumb with this style of pizza is to wait a few minutes when the pizza arrives before eating it. This accomplishes two things: one, it gives the pizza a chance to cool and not burn the hell out of your mouth and two, it allows the ingredients a chance to cool from liquid mess to melted solids and the crust stiffens a bit as well. Unfortunately, I was hungry and burned my mouth.

In general, I think we were fairly pleased with our pizza. The crust was not hard and dried out although they were a little too liberal with the dry flour they put on the plates to keep the pizza from sticking. I kept tasting it throughout the evening. The pizza was sliced for us, which seems like a mundane thing until you go to a restaurant that doesn't do it and you end up operating on your pizza with a dull blade. The sauce, when present, was again barely noticeable. The asparagus was great I think it works better when it's chopped up as opposed to the more aesthetically pleasing but less practical whole spears used at La Madia. And the prior complaints I logged about lack of toppings seems to now be satisfied; the sausage pizza in particular had a great sausage that completely covered the cheese canvas.

Maybe this place has improved somewhat from our last visit or, more likely, our tastes have opened up a bit. In any case, another successful meeting at a very good neighborhood pizzeria. While some consider this a destination pizzeria, with so many other options in town I don't think that's true. Certainly a good pizza, but no longer the only game in town.

Petey gives Pizza D.O.C. a 6.5

The Pizza Oven...

Waiting for some deliciousness...

The Fiorentina Pizza...

The Gustosa Pizza...

The Asparagus and Goat Cheese...

What a spread...

Where it went down...

Pizza D.O.C. on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm just not that into you, Pizza D.O.C. The pizza was good and without major flaws, but I found it a little boring. The crust on all but one or two pizzas could have used a bit more time in the oven. There was a lot of cheese, but not much sauce. In fact, the sauce was really only discernible on the margherita pizza, which was quite a nice basic cheese pizza. I also liked the four cheese pizza with its hint of gorgonzola. The toppings were pretty good, but nothing that would knock you over, with the exception of the delicious egg on the ham, asparagus pizza. That was a tasty treat, with runny yoke mixing in with the other toppings. The sausage was poured onto the sausage, mushroom pizza in very generous quantities, and it was not bad. Overall, for this general style of pizza, I would easily prefer La Madia, Coalfire, and Spacca Napoli.


  2. This place was pretty good, but I wasn't really excited about anything. The egg, ham and asparagus pizza was a nice suprise and pretty enjoyable. I did like the crust, and thought it was pretty moist with a hint of actualy flavor, but the toppings besides the sausage seemed pretty middle of the road. I'd definitely eat here again if someone I knew wanted to go, but otherwise I think I'd try to steer myself to the nearby Spacca Napoli to get my Neapolitan fix. In the end they score a 6 in my book.

  3. There's really no point in making a pizza in a wood-burning over if you're going to screw up the crust. A good crust on a Neapolitan style pizza has to have both chew and crispness. 4 of the pizzas had no crispness and two of them just had a little bit. That means that all six pizzas were not cooked for a long enough time. That is not acceptable.

    The sausage was very good - nice and juicy. I would have liked more fennel, but whatever. The cheese was all high quality, which was good, and the other toppings were also good. The sauce was virtually nonexistent.

    But good toppings and cheese can only carry a pizza so far. I was expecting more. I give Pizza D.O.C. a 6.

  4. I thought the four cheese pizza was excellent, and the other pizzas were above average. I wasn't as taken in by the ham and egg pizza as other members of the club. Unlike La Madia's grape pizza, which tasted as good or better than the more traditional offerings, I didn't think the egg brought more than novelty to the table. I would opt for other offerings like the sausage/mushrooms, four cheese or the goat cheese/asparagus if I eat there again.

    As for the crust, yes, it was a little doughy on most of the pizzas, but it was good tasting bread. Also, as stated above, there wasn't a lot of sauce. I didn't mind this much since I think that let the high quality toppings take center stage.

    I'll give Pizza D.O.C a 7.5

  5. This pizza evoked a more rustic feel than other Neapolitan pizzas for me. The egg in particular was outstanding. The bleu cheese was great in the four cheese pizza; it lingered in the background without totally overpowering as bleu cheese often can. As mentioned in the review, chopping the asparagus was a great move. Also, the fresh basil that you sprinkle on the margherita was a nice touch.

    It's hard to put my finger on what exactly I find lacking in this pizza, but I think it isn't one large deficiency as much as it falls a bit short in every component of the pizza.

    My score is 6.5

  6. The Margherita was surprisingly very good -- nothing outstanding or surprising, just a nice, salty taste with not too much oil. The Boscaiola had great-tasting sausage but (as many have mentioned) not enough sauce. Actually, this place needed more sauce on all the pizzas. The Quattro Formaggi was too sugary and sour, which I know sounds weird for a pizza, but that's what I tasted. The rest were kind of meh...reasonable, but not worth going back for. I will stick with my Spacca Napoli. This was a 6.0, and I feel like I'm being generous.