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Freddy's Pizza, Cicero

Freddy's Pizza, Cicero
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  • Post #31 - February 7th, 2010, 4:50 pm
    Post #31 - February 7th, 2010, 4:50 pm Post #31 - February 7th, 2010, 4:50 pm
    We stopped at Freddy's yesterday after having lunch in Chinatown. The gelato was great. Kudos for the pistachio, hazelnut, dolce latte, and lemon. I took home some salami, a loaf of bread, and 5 lbs. of their mild italian sausage. I wish they were close to the house as everything is wonderful. Go there. Freddy's is officially a GOOD THING.
    Find good food and eat it.
    Sapatero
  • Post #32 - August 21st, 2010, 1:40 pm
    Post #32 - August 21st, 2010, 1:40 pm Post #32 - August 21st, 2010, 1:40 pm
    Per signs posted on their door today, Freddy's will be closed for vacation August 28th - September 16th. They will reopen Friday the 17th.
  • Post #33 - October 16th, 2010, 2:26 pm
    Post #33 - October 16th, 2010, 2:26 pm Post #33 - October 16th, 2010, 2:26 pm
    First trip for me to Feddy's today. Just as good as I had hoped.
    The oldest daughter and I very much enjoyed the pizza, all 4 slices - artichoke, cheese, sausage and focaccia.
    Gelato was also excellent. I had the tiramisu, she had the forrest berry (as much as I hate to admit it her's was the better of the two).

    I really hadn't realized Freddy's was just south on Ridgeland over the Ike or I would have been much sooner.

    On the way home we drove right past Luco's - looks like we have some interesting weekends ahead of us.
  • Post #34 - October 16th, 2010, 3:20 pm
    Post #34 - October 16th, 2010, 3:20 pm Post #34 - October 16th, 2010, 3:20 pm
    Freddy's artichoke pizza is the bomb!
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #35 - November 29th, 2010, 8:30 am
    Post #35 - November 29th, 2010, 8:30 am Post #35 - November 29th, 2010, 8:30 am
    I love when I say to Joe, "the porchetta is a great addition", and he says, "it's been around for a while." A while as in, what, a month or two, in Freddy time, that's like five minutes. Yet, porchetta showing up on the "menu" counter, well that just epitomizes what I love about Freddy's. See, a winning 30+ year formula is never fully formulated. Why not throw porchetta on the menu. Take a side of hog, legs removed, separate the loin and bones, put the boneless loin back, layer with herbs, roll the rest of the pig around. Tie. Bake in pizza oven. A new Freddy's tradition.

    Hat Hammond calls Freddy's the Zabars of Cicero. It's a neat turn of phrase, and one that fits in some ways--the store part of Freddy's works quite well. Still, I do not find myself transported to the hustle-bustle of the Upper West Side when I visit Freddy's. Rather, certainly at my lunch the other day, I feel like an extra sitting at the table of a Tony Bourdain shoot in Sicily. Or something like that.

    On our table, some of it purchased by us: a plate of thick slice house made coppa; house made prosciutto wrapped around imported mozzarella, a salad on the side; wads of house made bread; that porchetta, about 2 inches thick, I guess the size of a hub cap around; roast potatoes, two tongs full of rapini, a pork cutlet sandwich for good measure, and the pasta necessary to complete an Italian fantasy meal, with sausage and bits of prosciutto. Some home made wine would have completed the scene but cans of pop seem very appropriate.

    Joe and Freddy's always have the ability to surprise and delight me, no matter how many previous meals. This meal the delight came from the newly created porchetta as well as the generous spread offered us. I'm not sure where the next delight will arrive, but I know it will next time I visit.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #36 - November 29th, 2010, 12:58 pm
    Post #36 - November 29th, 2010, 12:58 pm Post #36 - November 29th, 2010, 12:58 pm
    I also enjoyed the porchetta a few weeks ago, but did not ask them to warm it (and it wasn't hot straight from the oven), and with that thickness and richness would have enjoyed it more as a hot entree rather than a cold sandwich filling, my oversight. The house-marinated artichokes (they were whole, including choke) were perfect that night, along with the customary pepperoni bread, rapini, and penne with peas and prosciutto.
  • Post #37 - November 29th, 2010, 1:07 pm
    Post #37 - November 29th, 2010, 1:07 pm Post #37 - November 29th, 2010, 1:07 pm
    Santander wrote:I also enjoyed the porchetta a few weeks ago, but did not ask them to warm it (and it wasn't hot straight from the oven), and with that thickness and richness would have enjoyed it more as a hot entree rather than a cold sandwich filling, my oversight. ...


    Sounds like you confused the porchetta with the porketta.
    ...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 #38 - November 29th, 2010, 1:32 pm
    Post #38 - November 29th, 2010, 1:32 pm Post #38 - November 29th, 2010, 1:32 pm
    Kennyz wrote:
    Santander wrote:I also enjoyed the porchetta a few weeks ago, but did not ask them to warm it (and it wasn't hot straight from the oven), and with that thickness and richness would have enjoyed it more as a hot entree rather than a cold sandwich filling, my oversight. ...


    Sounds like you confused the porchetta with the porketta.


    I've been lucky enough to have both of them hot and cold, and the way Freddy's is cutting it (and with such a fat cap) made me more excited thinking about it warm. I wouldn't have the same instinct at Tony's, which also makes its own porchetta (and has a few imported offerings) for sandwiches.
  • Post #39 - July 20th, 2011, 5:39 pm
    Post #39 - July 20th, 2011, 5:39 pm Post #39 - July 20th, 2011, 5:39 pm
    Picked up a slice of artichoke pizza and a sub today at Freddy's. Both were great. I've been trying to get a slice of margherita but they never seem to have any when I stop in. Freddy's bread is always fantastic.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #40 - July 20th, 2011, 6:55 pm
    Post #40 - July 20th, 2011, 6:55 pm Post #40 - July 20th, 2011, 6:55 pm
    I recently made my first trip out to Freddy's. For such a long time now, people talked to me like I was the only guy in Chicago who had never been to this place.

    Unfortunately, after being built up so high, Freddy's was disappointing in just about every aspect.

    The place was packed around 6 p.m. and we found it a little tough to navigate the food upon entry. We were new, so it was expected in a busy, casual neighborhood spot like this. But there was no line. No one really helped us. No order whatsoever.

    The food looked decent, but nothing was marked to specify what it was or priced in any way, and getting someone's attention was tough. I'm a curious guy so I wanted to know what was in everything before deciding. It really feels like the employees/owners were catering to people they knew and the rest of us were just hoping to get helped. I'm not looking for Michelin Star service in a spot like this but I was pretty disappointed when I asked questions and got attitude.

    We almost walked out, made it back to the entrance and figured what the hell, we should at least sample and give the food a try.

    Once we selected our items I was really disappointed to see it put in the microwave before they served it to us. On delivery, we got warmed up paper plates on a plastic tray. No waters. No bread. No napkins. I had to ask for everything.

    We tried the gnocchi, some vodka pasta and a slice of the margherita pizza with the intent of getting a second round. Everything was average. I've had much worse. I've had much better. At the $25 price point for what we thought was just a small sampling of items, we expected something better. The two pasta scoops were sample size, at best, with no meat or sides of any kind.

    Overall, my guest and I left disappointed in the service/attitude but primarily in the value of the food. The food tasted decent and the sauces weren't bad—Jackson's rating of 5/10 for standard Chitown Italian fare—but for self-service, microwaved pasta and warmed up pizza one would think it might be a little cheaper. We hit a local spot closer to us and ate a post-dinner cheer-up meal afterward.

    I really miss D'Andrea's in Berwyn. To me, that place was and always will be the real deal.
  • Post #41 - July 20th, 2011, 10:26 pm
    Post #41 - July 20th, 2011, 10:26 pm Post #41 - July 20th, 2011, 10:26 pm
    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I've been going to Freddy's since 1980 and the food has always been top-notch. Yes, the place is a bit frenetic at lunch, but the kids working the counter are always polite and helpful. I try and stop by every Saturday to buy a few groceries and enjoy a slice.
  • Post #42 - July 21st, 2011, 12:41 am
    Post #42 - July 21st, 2011, 12:41 am Post #42 - July 21st, 2011, 12:41 am
    ChitownJackson wrote:I really miss D'Andrea's in Berwyn. To me, that place was and always will be the real deal.


    +1
    Fettuccine alfredo is mac and cheese for adults.
  • Post #43 - July 21st, 2011, 12:48 am
    Post #43 - July 21st, 2011, 12:48 am Post #43 - July 21st, 2011, 12:48 am
    ChitownJackson wrote:The place was packed around 6 p.m. and we found it a little tough to navigate the food upon entry. We were new, so it was expected in a busy, casual neighborhood spot like this. But there was no line. No one really helped us. No order whatsoever.

    Here's one of the main problems that you faced. You are not going to get a lot of personalized hand-holding service when the place is mobbed. If you go back, try to avoid the rush hours. I've never had any problem with their food, however.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #44 - July 21st, 2011, 4:51 am
    Post #44 - July 21st, 2011, 4:51 am Post #44 - July 21st, 2011, 4:51 am
    Blown Z wrote:
    ChitownJackson wrote:I really miss D'Andrea's in Berwyn. To me, that place was and always will be the real deal.


    +1


    Tonini's in Berwyn has some kind of ties to D'andrea's. Not sure exactly what. You might wanna investigate.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #45 - July 21st, 2011, 8:50 am
    Post #45 - July 21st, 2011, 8:50 am Post #45 - July 21st, 2011, 8:50 am
    Yeah, sorry to hear, you were there at peak, an hour before closing. Regardless, I've found that once you have their attention, you have their full attention. And usually they give you the option of having things heated or not heated. My guess is because it was the end of the day maybe there was no more fresh stuff on its way out, straight from the oven? I have friends who like to go at the end of the day specifically because they often get bonus dishes thrown in for free!
  • Post #46 - July 21st, 2011, 9:31 am
    Post #46 - July 21st, 2011, 9:31 am Post #46 - July 21st, 2011, 9:31 am
    No waters. No bread. No napkins.


    Freddy's isn't that kind of place. If you want water, buy a bottle. If you want bread, take a loaf off the counter. Napkins? Grab some. I think maybe your expectations were different than reality. I have always had great food at Freddy's, but sometimes you have to sort of assert yourself to get what you want, when you want it. It's a different kind of place.
  • Post #47 - July 21st, 2011, 9:52 am
    Post #47 - July 21st, 2011, 9:52 am Post #47 - July 21st, 2011, 9:52 am
    On the other hand, whenever I've gone there with kids, they've bent over backwards for us. Water, bread, napkins to the table for us. In the winter, they carry things to your car!
  • Post #48 - July 21st, 2011, 1:42 pm
    Post #48 - July 21st, 2011, 1:42 pm Post #48 - July 21st, 2011, 1:42 pm
    dukesdad wrote:
    No waters. No bread. No napkins.


    Freddy's isn't that kind of place. If you want water, buy a bottle. If you want bread, take a loaf off the counter. Napkins? Grab some. I think maybe your expectations were different than reality. I have always had great food at Freddy's, but sometimes you have to sort of assert yourself to get what you want, when you want it. It's a different kind of place.


    Exactly. It's basically a store that makes their own food (and really, really well) that happens to provide you with a place to eat. It's not really a full-service restaurant.
  • Post #49 - July 25th, 2011, 12:26 pm
    Post #49 - July 25th, 2011, 12:26 pm Post #49 - July 25th, 2011, 12:26 pm
    dukesdad wrote:
    No waters. No bread. No napkins.


    Freddy's isn't that kind of place. If you want water, buy a bottle. If you want bread, take a loaf off the counter. Napkins? Grab some. I think maybe your expectations were different than reality. I have always had great food at Freddy's, but sometimes you have to sort of assert yourself to get what you want, when you want it. It's a different kind of place.

    The funny thing was the two local cops who were dining across from us had everything brought out to them. Napkins, waters, bread, butter, utensils. They were even checked on at least once while they were eating. As first timers, we obviously received none of this. So really, it's "that" kind of place, and ya know, it's fine.

    Honestly, the poor service was no big deal. Johnnie's Beef won't win any attitude awards but the difference is their food is actually good, and worth the prices they're charging. I'll be damned if their beef, combos and ice aren't worth the trip.

    My expectations for Freddy's were that at least the food would be worth it but it was very average across the board. The microwaving really killed it for me as everything was just soggy and gross.

    Either way, it's no big deal; I have no plans of going back. It missed the mark on all three of my criteria: food quality (taste), service and value. I'm really not fussy at all and I'll return if at least the food is good. I'll sit on a stool and eat at a crowded bar and bring my own damn utensils if the place is good enough. Freddy's is clearly not that place (for me).
  • Post #50 - July 25th, 2011, 4:05 pm
    Post #50 - July 25th, 2011, 4:05 pm Post #50 - July 25th, 2011, 4:05 pm
    Taking extra care of local cops is kind of an unwritten rule. Your probably not from around there, but being a Cicero or Near West side Chicago cop isn't the the easiest or most pleasant job in the world. I have no problem if Anne and Joe want to give them special treament.

    FWIW, I think the quality at Johnnie's has really dropped in the last few years.
  • Post #51 - July 26th, 2011, 7:12 am
    Post #51 - July 26th, 2011, 7:12 am Post #51 - July 26th, 2011, 7:12 am
    Microwaving the food is kind of sad, but I'm guessing they justify that practice based on speed and reduced heat (as compared to an oven).

    My solution would be to get the rapini, sausage and peppers in oil, some bread, and avoid pizza and other items that would require heating before serving.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #52 - July 26th, 2011, 8:35 am
    Post #52 - July 26th, 2011, 8:35 am Post #52 - July 26th, 2011, 8:35 am
    two local cops who were dining across from us had everything brought out to them


    Ever wonder why cars park everywhere and no one gets a ticket?
  • Post #53 - July 27th, 2011, 2:09 pm
    Post #53 - July 27th, 2011, 2:09 pm Post #53 - July 27th, 2011, 2:09 pm
    I love Freddy's. For the most part, IMO , the food is meant to be taken home (except gelato), as opposed to eaten there, but I do both most of the time at the same visit. An Arancini (cheese-filled is a bit better than meat for me, but I love both) and sauce to eat there, maybe with a little salad of one sort or another, plus some cheese ravioli, a slice or two of pizza and some rapini to take home. And I really love the bread, best in the city for me, but that is because I prefer a very crispy, almost burnt, crust, and chewy crumb, so Freddy's particular style is just what I like.

    On the other hand, I get why some would say you have to push your way to the front, figure out what to order on your own, it can be pricey (I never leave without spending at least $25) and not everything is great (I no longer order their chicken dishes as the breast cutlets always come out tough and flavorless no matter how they are prepared, and I was never a fan of their IB). Even so, every time I go there are ten things I consider before settling on ordering five.

    They do not heat everything in a microwave, some stuff goes into the oven in back. There is a system and some thought.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #54 - July 27th, 2011, 8:09 pm
    Post #54 - July 27th, 2011, 8:09 pm Post #54 - July 27th, 2011, 8:09 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Microwaving the food is kind of sad, but I'm guessing they justify that practice based on speed and reduced heat (as compared to an oven).


    Used judiciously I don't think it's a real crime.
    If I took 2 servings of last nights penne bolognese and warmed one in a microwave and one in the oven or a saute pan you'd never tell the two apart.
    It's not like they're doing any actual cooking in the microwave, just giving it a bump.
  • Post #55 - August 13th, 2011, 10:46 pm
    Post #55 - August 13th, 2011, 10:46 pm Post #55 - August 13th, 2011, 10:46 pm
    Antidotes for the held-food blues at Freddy's: whichever pizza has just come up, pepperoni bread at any temp, grape tomato caprese, homemade hot coppa, lemon Italian ice.

    I'll grant that the chicken can be rubbery and is priced too high at $7.99 a piece currently, and that the fried items (artichokes, arancini) don't work microwaved, though I actually prefer then room-temperature. However, rather than a decline, I think I've observed more variety - multiple pizzas, pre-made sandwiches, porchetta, salads, roasted mushrooms and artichokes - and more item turnover in the past few years. This place is indispensable for my pancia.
  • Post #56 - August 13th, 2011, 10:55 pm
    Post #56 - August 13th, 2011, 10:55 pm Post #56 - August 13th, 2011, 10:55 pm
    You misspelled labonza

    :wink:
  • Post #57 - August 13th, 2011, 10:57 pm
    Post #57 - August 13th, 2011, 10:57 pm Post #57 - August 13th, 2011, 10:57 pm
    zoid wrote:You misspelled labonza

    :wink:


    Now that's my paisan' talking. La torta: una menzogna.
  • Post #58 - August 13th, 2011, 11:19 pm
    Post #58 - August 13th, 2011, 11:19 pm Post #58 - August 13th, 2011, 11:19 pm
    :mrgreen:

    Well done
  • Post #59 - August 14th, 2011, 7:54 am
    Post #59 - August 14th, 2011, 7:54 am Post #59 - August 14th, 2011, 7:54 am
    Santander wrote:However, rather than a decline, I think I've observed more variety - multiple pizzas, pre-made sandwiches, porchetta, salads, roasted mushrooms and artichokes - and more item turnover in the past few years. This place is indispensable for my pancia.


    Granted, I'm very good friends of the house, and my meal nearly always includes some special treat, I am thoroughly objective in my assessments of Freddy's. And I will say that I believe the above statement to be true.

    I pretty much fell in love with Freddy's on that first day, many athons ago, but I do believe it has gotten better over the years. One of my favorite things to order, the flat sausage patty is a newer invention, and the outstanding porchetta an even newer offering. Don't forget, even the dining room has improved in recent years.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #60 - August 15th, 2011, 10:23 am
    Post #60 - August 15th, 2011, 10:23 am Post #60 - August 15th, 2011, 10:23 am
    Grabbed an Italian sub and small Fruits of the Forest on Friday. Outstanding.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?

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