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  • Post #241 - October 20th, 2008, 10:00 am
    Post #241 - October 20th, 2008, 10:00 am Post #241 - October 20th, 2008, 10:00 am
    This is a discussion board, so I'm a little surprised at the calls for people to stop posting. If you have something new to say, you should say it. One of the purposes of this board is to share experiences. If you are just repeating what has already been written, think twice before posting. I think these guidelines apply to all our threads, not just this one. I found Buddyroadhouse's description of Burt's process very interesting. I'm also grateful for the discussion about ordering ahead. The first time I went to Burt's, I was turned away because I didn't pre-order and, even though it was early evening on a weekday, they had run out of food. At the time, I thought this was strange. Now I know that this is a fairly common occurrence.
  • Post #242 - October 20th, 2008, 10:10 am
    Post #242 - October 20th, 2008, 10:10 am Post #242 - October 20th, 2008, 10:10 am
    Please don't misunderstand me. I don't want people to stop posting; I just think this conversation trend has deteriorated past the point of useful, informative, interesting, or even new.

    KennyZ also reminds us that another unfortunate outcome of this digression is to obscure other useful information, that we need to make points clearly and definitively. Specifically that with all the new press Burt's has received, ordering ahead has become the best way to ensure enjoyment of his pizza.
    "The only thing I have to eat is Yoo-hoo and Cocoa puffs so if you want anything else, you have to bring it with you."
  • Post #243 - October 20th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #243 - October 20th, 2008, 10:14 am Post #243 - October 20th, 2008, 10:14 am
    If you have something new to say, you should say it... If you are just repeating what has already been written, think twice before posting.


    Or as the late senator Morris Udall said during a senate debate that seemed to be running forever, "Everything has been said, but not everyone has said it yet."

    The problem with these kinds of threads is not that they don't share valuable experiences, it's that they also share lots of non-valuable non-experiences-- they lead to piling on and people expressing demands of a restaurant they haven't been to, sometimes in increasingly high dudgeon.

    My last experience at Burt's was not the friendliest. They're clearly a bit stressed by the post-Saveur business. Yet it would never occur to me to demand changes from them, least of all because I contributed in some small way to the present situation, but mainly because, it's Burt's, they'll be changing some time after North Korea does! And God love 'em for it.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #244 - October 20th, 2008, 10:59 am
    Post #244 - October 20th, 2008, 10:59 am Post #244 - October 20th, 2008, 10:59 am
    Ok, let's take this in a slightly different direction...one that will hopefully help all LTH-ers...

    Does anybody (Buddy?) have a menu for Burt's Place and can they scan it and post it? Heck, if we order ahead it would be nice not only to know their phone number, but what they offer and prices from their menu!
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #245 - October 20th, 2008, 11:10 am
    Post #245 - October 20th, 2008, 11:10 am Post #245 - October 20th, 2008, 11:10 am
    good idea. if someone scans and posts a menu we can order beforehand... anyone?
  • Post #246 - October 20th, 2008, 11:24 am
    Post #246 - October 20th, 2008, 11:24 am Post #246 - October 20th, 2008, 11:24 am
    RSMBob wrote:Ok, let's take this in a slightly different direction...one that will hopefully help all LTH-ers...

    Does anybody (Buddy?) have a menu for Burt's Place and can they scan it and post it? Heck, if we order ahead it would be nice not only to know their phone number, but what they offer and prices from their menu!



    great idea, I am curious as to why this hasn't been done yet?
  • Post #247 - October 20th, 2008, 11:35 am
    Post #247 - October 20th, 2008, 11:35 am Post #247 - October 20th, 2008, 11:35 am
    I am sure I have a menu around somewhere, but it isn't in the take-out menu box.

    In the meantime, BuddyRoadhouse summarized the menu here:

    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:We have 10", 12", 14', 16" & 18" pizzas. Topppings include sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, mixed bell peppers, black & green olives, garlic, spinach, fresh sliced tomatoes, and fresh banana & jalapeno peppers (forgive me if I've missed anything, I'm working away from my home computer and am working from memory here)

    Appetizers include garlic bread (with and without cheese) jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, small and large salads.

    Yes, there are a few non-pizza items on the menu, but when it is busy (almost always lately) Burt will not make them. I know this sounds crazy to some, but remember this is one 71 year old guy doing all the food prep, by himself in a small kitchen. He focuses on the pizza and just has no time for anything else.

    If you call ahead, give them your full order, including appetizers, salads, etc. They will try to time everything out so that all the food doesn't come out of the kitchen at once. Of course, that is the other part of this social contract-you are expected to show up on time. 7:00 means 7:00 in Burt's kitchen. He is making sure that your pizza comes out on time and he expects you to be there on time to consume it as soon as it comes out of the oven. This is part expediency (pizzas sitting around waiting for customers to come in and eat them take up valuable space) and part pride in product (hot pizzas, fresh out of the oven taste better than one that has been sitting around for twenty minutes and then reheated). With rare exception, you can set your watch by when your pizza hits the table. If you order appetizers plan on arriving at least 15 minutes earlier than when they tell you the pizza will be out.


    I'll add that Burt's has a few beers from Great Lakes Brewing Company, though I don't remember which ones. There are also some other beers that I can't remember (Rolling Rock?).

    Burt's hours (as of March 2007) and address are:

    G Wiv wrote:Burt's Pizza
    8541 N. Ferris
    Morton Grove, IL
    847-965-7997

    Lunch Wed, Thu, Fri 11:00am-1:30pm
    Dinner Sun,Wed,Thu 4:30pm-9:00pm
    Dinner Fri, Sat 4:30pm-10:00pm
    CLOSED Mon, Tue
  • Post #248 - October 20th, 2008, 11:50 pm
    Post #248 - October 20th, 2008, 11:50 pm Post #248 - October 20th, 2008, 11:50 pm
    they also have heineken and a few other beers on tap.
  • Post #249 - October 21st, 2008, 8:45 am
    Post #249 - October 21st, 2008, 8:45 am Post #249 - October 21st, 2008, 8:45 am
    I don't remember Heineken on tap at Burts - the best beer on tap there that I remember is Liene's. But I always get one or two of the Great Lakes brews in bottles.
  • Post #250 - October 21st, 2008, 8:59 am
    Post #250 - October 21st, 2008, 8:59 am Post #250 - October 21st, 2008, 8:59 am
    I know I may be skewered for this question, but what the hell:
    Is there any time that a walk-in is usually okay, a la Kuma's Corner? I'm assuming 12-2 and 6-closing are not, but maybe an off hour, say, 3pm on a weekend, is fine? I'd like to see what all the fuss is about, but I'm not a "reservation" kind of gal. Sorry if this question has been posted earlier.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #251 - October 21st, 2008, 9:05 am
    Post #251 - October 21st, 2008, 9:05 am Post #251 - October 21st, 2008, 9:05 am
    The last time we went, we went at 4:45, and we still got some grumbling about not calling in. Until Burt's slips back into happy obscurity again, I'd call.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #252 - October 21st, 2008, 9:13 am
    Post #252 - October 21st, 2008, 9:13 am Post #252 - October 21st, 2008, 9:13 am
    Pie Lady wrote:I know I may be skewered for this question, but what the hell:
    Is there any time that a walk-in is usually okay, a la Kuma's Corner? I'm assuming 12-2 and 6-closing are not, but maybe an off hour, say, 3pm on a weekend, is fine? I'd like to see what all the fuss is about, but I'm not a "reservation" kind of gal. Sorry if this question has been posted earlier.


    Scroll up a little bit and you'll see Burt's hours. They are not open at 3pm on weekends.

    If you aren't a "reservation kind of gal," I suggest either making an exception or calling to order your pizza right before you are going to head over. If you chose the latter, be prepared to be told that they can't accommodate you. But you might get lucky.
  • Post #253 - October 21st, 2008, 9:19 am
    Post #253 - October 21st, 2008, 9:19 am Post #253 - October 21st, 2008, 9:19 am
    hey pie lady you are close enough to call one in for pick up. thats what i usually do
  • Post #254 - October 21st, 2008, 9:27 am
    Post #254 - October 21st, 2008, 9:27 am Post #254 - October 21st, 2008, 9:27 am
    Pie Lady wrote:I know I may be skewered for this question, but what the hell:
    Is there any time that a walk-in is usually okay, a la Kuma's Corner? I'm assuming 12-2 and 6-closing are not, but maybe an off hour, say, 3pm on a weekend, is fine? I'd like to see what all the fuss is about, but I'm not a "reservation" kind of gal. Sorry if this question has been posted earlier.


    I imagine you coulld walk in a lunch time. Of course, given how long it takes to cook a Burt's pizza, it would be a long lunch.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #255 - October 21st, 2008, 10:17 am
    Post #255 - October 21st, 2008, 10:17 am Post #255 - October 21st, 2008, 10:17 am
    I just want to throw my own 2 cents in here. My wife and 2 young kids started frequenting Burt's somewhere in the late 2006 / early 2007 time frame. I learned about Burt's Place from Buddy on the roadfood forums. Of course the pizza was an epiphany, but we also enjoyed sitting down and chatting with Burt and Sharon. We loved the place so much that we went at least once a week (many times more often) despite living 40 miles away. My son's first pizza was from "Mister Burt" and, to this day, he turns his nose up at most other pizzas! At any rate, our enjoyment continued for quite some time.

    Fast forward to the post-Saveur, post-medical-procedure days when we headed out to Burt's, famished for what we had been deprived of for what felt like an eternity. Of course we called ahead and we were there as they opened on a Saturday evening. You cannot imagine how excited we were. Well, when we stepped in, Sharon greeted us with "Did you call ahead?" I said yes, honestly thinking she was joking. I was then slapped with a "Your name?" I gave my name and she seated us. Both my wife and I were a bit flummoxed.

    When she came back, she informed us that the pizza would be ready in 5 minutes. Excellent. I then asked (as politely as I could...think soup nazi customer) if it would be possible to also get a pizza to go. We would often do this in the past since we live so far away. She went back to Burt who was now standing near the phone area. He immediately began yelling "I said it would be 5 minutes!" I cannot express how small and embarrassed we felt right there.

    Anyway, once it arrived we finished the pizza quickly and drove back home somewhat in a shocked silence for the hour and fifteen minute trek. We honestly didn't know what to think. We went back one more time for a carry-out after that, but that was the very last time we ate Burt's wonderful pizza. We've actually been in the area a few times, but we don't even consider going back.

    It saddens me to even think about it, but it is what it is.
  • Post #256 - October 21st, 2008, 11:07 am
    Post #256 - October 21st, 2008, 11:07 am Post #256 - October 21st, 2008, 11:07 am
    I'm starting to think Burt must add some kind of narcotics to his pies. WTF, I'm actually thinking about calling them, ordering a pizza, and driving up there to check it out, but I'm afraid I'm being setup for a huge practical joke.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #257 - October 21st, 2008, 11:21 am
    Post #257 - October 21st, 2008, 11:21 am Post #257 - October 21st, 2008, 11:21 am
    Darren72 wrote:
    Pie Lady wrote:I know I may be skewered for this question, but what the hell:
    Is there any time that a walk-in is usually okay, a la Kuma's Corner? I'm assuming 12-2 and 6-closing are not, but maybe an off hour, say, 3pm on a weekend, is fine? I'd like to see what all the fuss is about, but I'm not a "reservation" kind of gal. Sorry if this question has been posted earlier.


    Scroll up a little bit and you'll see Burt's hours. They are not open at 3pm on weekends.


    Oops! I goofed. I did read the times, but luckily I was only using 3pm as an example. Sorry!
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #258 - October 21st, 2008, 11:23 am
    Post #258 - October 21st, 2008, 11:23 am Post #258 - October 21st, 2008, 11:23 am
    Never been to Burt's, but it sounds like to much notoriety has ruined its charm.

    Like so many restaurants before.
  • Post #259 - October 21st, 2008, 11:28 am
    Post #259 - October 21st, 2008, 11:28 am Post #259 - October 21st, 2008, 11:28 am
    I was just thinking that myself, especially after iiifrank's last post. But it sounds like an interesting pizza. I wish they made individual sizes so I can get a lunch 'za - but now I know better than to ask!
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #260 - October 21st, 2008, 11:34 am
    Post #260 - October 21st, 2008, 11:34 am Post #260 - October 21st, 2008, 11:34 am
    Pie Lady wrote:I'd like to see what all the fuss is about, but I'm not a "reservation" kind of gal.

    Pie Lady wrote:I wish they made individual sizes so I can get a lunch 'za - but now I know better than to ask!

    I'm sure Burt and Sharon will be happy to make you an individual pie with no reservation or preorder. Just walk in say HI, I'm Pie Lady! and they will hook you right up. Maybe ask if they will make a thin crust or, better yet, a double cheese crust stuffer like Pizza Hut.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #261 - October 21st, 2008, 11:40 am
    Post #261 - October 21st, 2008, 11:40 am Post #261 - October 21st, 2008, 11:40 am
    G Wiv wrote:Just walk in say HI, I'm Pie Lady!

    :lol: Maybe I should change my name to PizzaPie Lady.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #262 - October 21st, 2008, 12:04 pm
    Post #262 - October 21st, 2008, 12:04 pm Post #262 - October 21st, 2008, 12:04 pm
    I have been watching this topic since its inception and had vowed to myself that I would remain a neutral bystander. I guess it's now time to break the vow. My family and I have been regular patrons of Burt's since 1995 (yes, ALL of the rest of you are Johnny-come-latelys). We live in the 'hood so it has always been our "go to" spot for pizza. Over the years there were numerous nights in which we were the only patrons in the restaurant. We always enjoyed the attention we received and the long conversations we were able to have with Burt and Sharon. We introduced friends from all over the country to Burt's and to this day they still ask about the pizza...and about the owners. Our favorite story is when I ordered 8 pizzas for our daughters Bat Mitzvah pre-party party (1996) and Burt asked me "All at once??". Flash forward to approximately four months ago when sadly we had our last visit and taste. We played by ALL the rules...ordered several hours ahead, showed up exactly on time, asked for nothing additional to the order other than beverages. After a short (very acceptable) wait for a table we told Sharon our name (again a distinct change from when they never asked your name when you called in for a pick-up) and then proceeded to wait close to half an hour for our pre-ordered, play by the rules pizza. Within ten minutes of the pizza getting to our table Sharon was back over asking if we wanted the remainder wrapped to go. At that point there was perhaps 2/3 of the pizza remaining. She repeated this line of questioning less than five minutes after the original inquiry. There was little room for doubt that she was attempting to give us the "bums rush" so that others could have the table. We were ultimately out the door in less than half an hour from the time the food reached the table.
    No, to be pre-emptive to what many of you may be thinking, I DO NOT expect any sort of preferential treatment because of my long standing customer status. What I did expect was the ability to enjoy my meal in a time frame which was acceptable to all concerned.
    I fully agree with previous responders to this topic who stated that Burt has the right to run his business in whatever manner he so desires. It was his decision to say yes to Saveur magazine, his decision to allow Anthony Bourdain and crew into his restaurant and his decision to prosper for whatever length of time he has this unending line of people spilling out onto Ferris avenue. Unfortunately for us, we will not be back anytime soon. Of course, this will be no loss of income for Burt as there are others who will gladly fill the void left by us (and I suspect many of his other pre-Saveur effect regulars). Love Burt, Love Sharon, Love their product...but as it's his right to make decisions, we too have those same rights. I guess the best way to keep all of this in perspective is to remember....it's only a pizza.
  • Post #263 - October 21st, 2008, 1:50 pm
    Post #263 - October 21st, 2008, 1:50 pm Post #263 - October 21st, 2008, 1:50 pm
    Now that people know to call ahead, what is the big deal? It isn't hard to call and they appreciate it. Most of us have cell phones with number storage.

    If all it takes to get that wonderful pizza is a call ahead, unless I have to fashion that phone from bare wire and balsa, I am making that call. After all, it isn't all that convenient to get to Morton Grove from the city, what is a few minutes on the phone with Burt or Sharon? Unless you are walking in from across the street, you've got the time.

    The Saveur rush has made the way that they want to things more difficult, but if all that has changed is how to get the pizza, and not the pizza itself, then we are OK. If it isn't for you, there are many great pizza options.
  • Post #264 - October 21st, 2008, 2:11 pm
    Post #264 - October 21st, 2008, 2:11 pm Post #264 - October 21st, 2008, 2:11 pm
    LuvstoEat wrote:No, to be pre-emptive to what many of you may be thinking, I DO NOT expect any sort of preferential treatment because of my long standing customer status. What I did expect was the ability to enjoy my meal in a time frame which was acceptable to all concerned.


    If I had "long standing customer status", I WOULD EXPECT some kind of preferential treatment (within reason, of course)---- This is a perk that goes with the territory in ANY business relationship,and it is not unreasonable to expect it once in a while.

    What confounds me is why there are so many "fanboys" and "Kool-Aid drinkers" when it comes to this place and its methods. The guy makes a good pizza, but it is not transcendent by any means.

    If long-time customers are presently being treated like crap, maybe it's time for Burt to close the dining room and add another oven and go to carryout only. I can only imagine how bizarre things will be after the Tony Bourdain segment airs.
    Last edited by cito on October 21st, 2008, 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #265 - October 21st, 2008, 2:17 pm
    Post #265 - October 21st, 2008, 2:17 pm Post #265 - October 21st, 2008, 2:17 pm
    or he could switch to something that doesn't take up some much damn oven space, so as to serve more customers. Why does it have to be a pizza place? What's wrong with ice cream?
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #266 - October 21st, 2008, 2:33 pm
    Post #266 - October 21st, 2008, 2:33 pm Post #266 - October 21st, 2008, 2:33 pm
    why doesn't he just raise his prices to ration the demand?
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #267 - October 21st, 2008, 2:36 pm
    Post #267 - October 21st, 2008, 2:36 pm Post #267 - October 21st, 2008, 2:36 pm
    Kennyz wrote:or he could switch to something that doesn't take up some much damn oven space, so as to serve more customers. Why does it have to be a pizza place? What's wrong with ice cream?

    When you called in your order it could melt if you are late.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #268 - October 21st, 2008, 2:38 pm
    Post #268 - October 21st, 2008, 2:38 pm Post #268 - October 21st, 2008, 2:38 pm
    Kennyz wrote:or he could switch to something that doesn't take up some much damn oven space, so as to serve more customers. Why does it have to be a pizza place? What's wrong with ice cream?


    Nothing is wrong with ice cream, but based on his rules you would probably have to call in your cone order.

    In all seriousness, it seems that the dining room has turned out to be a great big hassle for Burt and Sharon. I was offering a sincere suggestion.
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #269 - October 21st, 2008, 2:40 pm
    Post #269 - October 21st, 2008, 2:40 pm Post #269 - October 21st, 2008, 2:40 pm
    Kennyz wrote:or he could switch to something that doesn't take up some much damn oven space, so as to serve more customers. Why does it have to be a pizza place? What's wrong with ice cream?


    I know you're joking, but I once had a dream that Burt also had an ice cream parlor. Yes, I've dreamt about Burt's Place and I'm not too ashamed to admit it. :oops: There were days when his pizza was all I could think about.
  • Post #270 - October 21st, 2008, 2:42 pm
    Post #270 - October 21st, 2008, 2:42 pm Post #270 - October 21st, 2008, 2:42 pm
    Yes, but Burt likes to talk so much wit his customers ... I'd think he'd miss that if he went carry-out only. Also, I believe I heard him say that he'd never offer delivery, because the pizza wouldn't be as good after traveling, and he only does carryout because then it's the customers' responsibility to make sure it gets to its destination in reasonable shape.

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