For years now, my friends and I have gone to the Clarke’s diner on Clarke St. in Chicago late night to grab some food after a night out. It sort of just became our thing. There would be a point in the night where one of us would chime in, “Anyone feel like grabbing some food?” and next thing we knew we were in a cab on our way to Clarke’s. I will admit, I usually pushed people towards this option. Why? Because they serve pizza of course.
If I’m not mistaken, they have 5 different pizzas to choose from. A bbq pizza, a veggie one, a chicken pizza, etc. I always just get the four-maggio one. It comes with cheddar, parmesan, feta and mozzarella cheese on it. It’s always been very hard for me to order anything else on a menu when I know they serve pizza as well. So, time after time, while everyone else is usually ordering the Denver skillet or something breakfast related, I get the pizza. Every single time. But this really isn’t a shock to anyone, is it?
So, last Saturday night we were out celebrating one of my best friend’s birthdays and happened to be right down the street from Clarke’s. And of course we were hungry so we said, “What the hell.. Let’s do it.” (It had been a really long time now since we had been there). I think I had finally made everyone sick of going there. I didn’t even open the menu. I was getting the Four-Maggio again. That much, I knew.
On to the review. I have to say, I think my tastes have changed over the years. Because back in the day I used to think this pizza was half-way decent. I won’t say it was the best or anything. But I obviously would get it time and time again. All my friends thought I was nuts and would always comment that it tasted like cardboard. But for diner pizza, it was pretty much what I expected and I seemed to enjoy it. I have to admit, I think the first time I had Clarke’s pizza was the first time I ever had feta cheese on one of my pizzas. And I really liked it. So that part gets an “A” for effort from me.
But, this last time we went, I think I finally started to realize why so many of my friends claimed I was nuts for liking this pizza. The cheese seemed to be undercooked. It looked like it could have stayed in the oven for a few minutes longer. The crust tasted very bland to me. It didn’t taste like it had any seasoning in it, which it really could have used. I only at about half of the pizza (It’s an individual size, don’t worry). Usually I could eat almost all of it but one or two slices. And even when I used to have leftovers, I would still take them home with me. This time, I said no thank you. Reheating this pizza just did not sound appealing to me at all.
Maybe it’s because I have higher standards now when it comes to pizza (since I blog about it now). But Clarke’s pizza just didn’t do it for me anymore. I will sadly give this pizza a 2 rating. Clarke’s, we had a good run. But I’m on to bigger and better pizzas now. Maybe I’ll come back and visit you again some day and give you a second chance. So for now, let’s not say goodbye, let’s say…see you later?