Bojono’s Pizza

Just this past year I discovered that I live very close to Bojono’s Pizza which is located at 4185 N. Clarendon in Chicago. A really great pizza place that exists just a few blocks away and I never knew it! What kind of pizza reviewer am I? My friend Jason has been recommending this place to me for awhile now since it is located right in my own neighborhood (so I really had no excuse not to go and check it out). He mentioned that they have pretty good thin crust so after finally heading north in my neighborhood instead of south as we often do, we discovered just how good Bojono’s pizza actually is. And I have happily had it several times ever since.

Bojono’s opened up in Uptown in 1996 and prides themselves on serving pizza made with only the freshest ingredients. From all the pizzas I’ve ordered from Bojono’s, I can attest that the fresh ingredients are definitely noticed and make for a great pizza. One of the first pizza’s that I ordered from there was a thin crust with bacon, garlic, pepperoni and extra cheese. Just some of my usual favorite ingredients of course. The first thing I noticed when I opened the pizza was I thought “Hmmm, I didn’t ordered crumbled sausage…” Well that wasn’t crumbled sausage folks. It was tons and tons of crumbled bacon!! Usually when I order bacon on a pizza it isn’t that noticeable, but this pizza had lots and lots of delicious bacon on almost every bite. Another time I had ordered mushrooms on my pizza from Bojono’s and the pizza was literally filled edge to edge with mushrooms. So if you like a lot of toppings on your pizza, this place definitely doesn’t shy away from them. It was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed the crust on this pizza. It was a very light and very fresh dough where just the ends of the crust were crispy. Just the way I like it on a thin crust pizza. I also like the sauce that Bojono’s makes. I like that it is a little on the sweeter side and they use the perfect amount of sauce on their pies.

Bojonos Pizza

When we placed the order over the phone we were using a Groupon and had around $3.00 left to spend so the woman on the phone asked if we wanted a side salad or a drink or anything to go with it. We went with a side salad with ranch. I have to say, the homemade ranch dressing was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was really good! The fresh ingredients paid off again. They even gave us a mini loaf of bread and some butter to go with our salad. Even the bread tasted super fresh. I forget how much I love bread until I have a really great piece of it and just want to go back for more.

bojonos2

Another time, me and my besties ordered Bojono’s for a girl’s night in (GNI) and we decided to try the Bojono’s salad (along with pizza of course). This one had romaine lettuce, salami, fontinella cheese, tomato, celery, carrots, bermuda onion, black olives, pepperoncini, roasted peppers and comes with their special dressing although we ordered their homemade ranch on the side because it’s just that good. I literally was stealing the fontinella cheese off of all my friends’ plates. What? We all know how much I love my cheese! And the roasted red peppers, salami and pepperocini really made the salad. So delicious.

Unfortunately, this place doesn’t really have a seating area to dine-in at. They have more of a waiting area with stools. But if you get the chance to stop in, order a pizza to go or call up and get one for delivery. All I can say is Bravo Bojono’s. Bravo. I will give this pizza at least a 3 out of 5 stars


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Did Apart Pizza Company Stand “Apart” From the Rest?

Low and behold folks, I had yet another Groupon-like deal (this one was a Living Social coupon) for another pizza place that I had to use up before May 24th. This one was for Apart Pizza Company. There are two locations that I know of. One in Andersonville in Chicago on Broadway and another at the corner of Montrose and Lincoln. Now when looking at the website, http://www.apartpizzacompany.com, it was kind of hard to tell if either of these locations actually had seating. But I finally did see that the one on Broadway had at least patio seating, so Broadway was the one we decided to go ahead and try.

caesar salad

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in the door. But I will say I was at least happy there were 3 whole tables to sit at since we felt like dining in instead of just getting delivery that night. The place was definitely set up more as just delivery pizza place rather than an actual dine in restaurant. So on to the ordering. The menu had a lot of great toppings and specialized pizzas to choose from. For instance, one pizza that we almost went with was called the Tricolore which contained fresh tomatoes, goat cheese and spinach. Another one I thought sounded great was the Quattro Formaggi which had brie, goat, parmesan, and bleu cheeses. Mmmm cheese! But we ended up just creating our own with pepperoni, bacon and goat cheese. When we placed our order though, I forgot that our coupon was worth up to $30! So we had to order more if we wanted to get our money’s worth. (Ok twist my arm.) So we increased our pizza from a medium to a large (since I always love leftovers anyways) and also ordered a Caesar salad and some fountain drinks (for future notice, this place is BYOB).

Our pizza came out pretty quickly. So quick in fact that they hadn’t even brought out our salad yet. But that came shortly after. The salad was pretty large and that being said, we finished the whole thing, it was so tasty. The pizza came in large New York style slices. They are all hand tossed so you really end up getting a good sized pizza which is always nice in my opinion. As far as thin crust goes, this place was pretty comparable to some of the other places I have been to. The bacon had a great smokey flavor to it. It wasn’t the small, cheap crumbles you might find on some pizzas. The slices of bacon were nice and thick and flavorful. The amount of goat cheese they put on there was just right too. Some places will load it on when you ask for goat cheese and although I do love my cheese.. it can sometimes be too overwhelming of a flavor if there’s too much of it.

Apart Pizza Company

The people on staff here were all very nice. You can tell the manager takes pride in what she does. She was very attentive to us and the other couple at the table next to us that were also dining in. Now granted there were only 2 tables to have to take care of, but none-the-less, they were very nice and accommodating there. I would definitely go back. I think I would have to rate this pizza a 3.5 out of 5.

One Spicy Pizza – Cha cha cha!!

OK, it’s a new year. Time for CPG to come out of hibernation and write her first blog of 2011. For my first homemade pizza of the year I decided to go with a spicy theme tonight (probably against my better judgement considering I landed in the emergency room towards the end of 2010 for stomach issues again). But, what can I say, old habits die hard. Mom, I promise I took a Pepcid AC! So let’s get started with what was in the dough.

Ingredients:

1 Tbs Olive Oil
2/3 Cup Lukewarm Water
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 1/4 Cups Flour
1/4 tsp Oregano
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 Jalepeno Pepper, minced (optional, I did not have one unfortunately)

And into the bread maker the ingredients went. This was a little bit smaller dough recipe than I typically make. But it was just what I was looking for, a thinner crust than usual. Once the bread maker timer went off, the dough was ready to come out. It looked perfect. I could see the little flecks of red pepper flakes throughout. Next, it was time to get the dough on the pizza pan and add the sauce and toppings.

Spicy Pizza Toppings

Toppings:

Ragu Pizza Sauce
Spicy Italian Sausage Pieces
Pepperoni
Fire Roasted Red Peppers
Kalamata Olives

For the cheese, I used shredded mozzarella, parmesan, and pepper jack for a bit more of a kick. Three types of cheese are better than one right?! I cooked the pizza at 385 degrees for 18 minutes and 23 seconds. A number I thought sounded good. It came out just perfect with the cheese lightly browned and good crisp to the crust. I have to say, this pizza was probably in my top 3 pizzas I have ever made. The amount of sauce was just perfect. When ever I think I have just enough sauce, I always add just a little bit more. I have always liked a decent amount of sauce on my pizzas. The spicy sausage really added some amazing flavor. And to kick things up yet another notch, I always add crushed red pepper on top of my slice when I eat my pizza. So all the spicy flavors came together quite nicely. If the heat is a little too much for you to handle, you can always dip your crust into ranch dressing to cool your mouth off. The only thing I might have done differently with this pizza is added MORE of the fire roasted red peppers to it. They were so darn good I could not stop eating them right off of the pizza before it even went in to the oven.

Spicy Homemade

Bricks Chicago Pizza Review

So you’ve all heard of Groupon.com by now right? I blogged about it a few posts back. It’s a site where you can get discounts off of things like restaurants, massages, salons, etc. Well there’s another site that is very similar to that one called 3 o’clock club (3oclockclub.com) where you get a few deals per day emailed to you right around 3:00pm. Well I happened to have a gift certificate purchased from there to use on a meal at Bricks Chicago pizza. So Thursday night we decided to use it and see just what all the hype was about. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Bricks.

Bricks was founded in 1997 and is located at at 1909 N. Lincoln in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. They pride themselves on tasty beer, crispy thin crust pizza and great music. When we first walked up to the building, I didn’t think we were at the right place except that it clearly had the sign hanging above the door. But the entrance led to a dark basement that kind of smelled a little funky to be honest. But, once we got inside it looked just like your typical pizza pub.

Bricks OberonThe first thing I noticed that scored major points with me was that they served Oberon on tap! I have only seen like 1 or 2 other places in the city that serve it on tap. So I was instantly pleased. Then, I looked at the menu and I have to say, there were so many interesting choices for pizza toppings that all sounded so good. I was having a difficult time deciding what I wanted to order. We ended up getting the Red Planet pizza which included sweet red peppers, italian sausage, goat cheese, mozzarella, and red onion. We were a little unsure about the red onion so we decided to swap it out for something we KNEW we already loved… Bacon! Can’t go wrong there.

When the pizza came, I immediately noticed the delightful taste of the goat cheese. Goat cheese makes everything better in my opinion. So I was instantly happy. The crust had a nice crispiness to it and I liked the flavor of it. One thing I will say, is that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the type of sausage they used. I’m not saying I hated it 0r anything, I’m just saying that I’ve had better at many other pizza places before. Another thing I noticed was that I didn’t think there was enough sauce on this pizza at all. In fact, we commented on how we felt like we could barely taste any sauce on it at all. So I’m not even sure what it tasted like to be able to judge it.

Bricks Chicago Pizza

I have heard so many good things about Bricks. In fact, whenever I look up new pizza places to try, it always shows up near the top of many lists I find. I thought it was very good, don’t get me wrong. I will agree, they have some good tasting thin crust pizza and a lot of creative pizza toppings to choose from. Maybe my expectations were set too high on this one, but I didn’t think there was anything super special that really stood out with this pizza. I think it was very comparable to a lot of other thin crust pizzas I enjoy. For instance, D’Agostino’s or maybe a better version of Pizza Rustica. So I’d have to give this pizza place a 3 rating. I would definitely go back to try some other pizzas in the future. But for now, I have many many other places to try in the meantime!

D’Agostino’s equals D’Licious!

D'Agostino's PizzaThis weekend I went to D’Agostino’s Pizza & Pub on Southport in Wrigleyville. I just tried this place for the first time in June 2009. But I have been back several times ever since because I really enjoy this pizza a lot. It has a good atmosphere with a casual dining area and a bar. They even have darts which is always a bonus! They also have outdoor seating in the summer. It’s a great place to go if you just want to hang out, have a pizza and enjoy a few beers. Which is exactly what I was in the mood for this weekend.

We ordered a thin crust, pepperoni and bacon pizza and a bucket of Coors Lights. You can’t go wrong there. I was impressed at how quickly the pizza came out. One thing I really enjoy about D’Agostino’s pizza is their sweet tasting sauce. It’s got a great flavor that stands apart from other sauces I’ve tried. The sauce to cheese ration was just the right amount in my opinion. And the crust had a great crispiness to it. Another bonus about this pizza was the amount of bacon they put on it. There was lots and lots of yummy bacon. To be honest, I never used to get bacon on my pizzas until recently. But it is quickly becoming one of my favorite toppings. And they definitely put a decent amount on the pizza. So I was happy.

Lindsay at D'Agostino's Pizza

D’Agostino’s always seems to have some great specials whenever I go too . And I often get coupons for discounts off their pizza in the mail as well. So it makes eating there fairly inexpensive. Which is always a good thing.

D’Agostino’s Weekly Specials:

Monday – LARGE 16″ 1 TOPPING THIN CRUST PIZZA $14.00.

Tuesday – With any size, thin crust pizza order  FIRST 2-TOPPINGS ARE ON US.

Wednesday – Come Dine in on Wednesday and save half off a large 16″ 1 topping thin crust pizza.

Thursday – With any size, pan or stuffed pizza order FIRST 2-TOPPINGS ARE ON US.

Saturday – Extra Large, 1-topping thin crust pizza with garlic bread and a 2L soda FOR ONLY: $19.95 plus tax

My rating for this pizza would have to be 3 slices! Obviously I enjoy this pizza whether I am dining in or getting it delivered since I keep going back for more. So if you’re in the neighborhood or catching a Cubs game, definitely stop in for a slice or two. This pizza will definitely hit the spot!

D'Agostino's Pizza