LTH Home

great lake in andersonville

great lake in andersonville
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 4
  • Post #31 - March 30th, 2009, 8:36 pm
    Post #31 - March 30th, 2009, 8:36 pm Post #31 - March 30th, 2009, 8:36 pm
    Ronnie, you had an awesome post. G wiz, yes, I do feel that the food at Great Lake is truly extraordinary and worth attempting again. Best bets are to go there early on Wed. or Thurs. night. Any other time and expect to wait. Nick is the only person cranking out the amazing pizzas and Great Lake only has one oven with room to cook two pizzas at a time. But wow! It is the best pizza I have ever had in my life.
  • Post #32 - March 30th, 2009, 9:10 pm
    Post #32 - March 30th, 2009, 9:10 pm Post #32 - March 30th, 2009, 9:10 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:This pizza was, for me, revelatory and easily worth the minor inconvenience we had to endure to experience it. This was a truly magnificent, bar-setting experience.

    R,

    I have attempted to go to Great Lake three times, no-soap-radio. I figured three strikes and out, but after your post, and conversations with others, looks like I have to go one more inning of attempts.

    Wonderful post and pictures.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    I too had 3 misfires before this visit. I think the best plan is to go when they open, right at 5 pm, on a Wed or Thu. When I return, which I definitely will, that will be my m.o.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #33 - March 30th, 2009, 9:11 pm
    Post #33 - March 30th, 2009, 9:11 pm Post #33 - March 30th, 2009, 9:11 pm
    miesplz wrote:Ronnie, you had an awesome post. G wiz, yes, I do feel that the food at Great Lake is truly extraordinary and worth attempting again. Best bets are to go there early on Wed. or Thurs. night. Any other time and expect to wait. Nick is the only person cranking out the amazing pizzas and Great Lake only has one oven with room to cook two pizzas at a time. But wow! It is the best pizza I have ever had in my life.

    Great minds think alike :)

    Thanks, for the kind words.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #34 - March 31st, 2009, 12:03 pm
    Post #34 - March 31st, 2009, 12:03 pm Post #34 - March 31st, 2009, 12:03 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I had an unequivocably stellar experience last week at Great Lake and felt, based on this initial vist, that it was clearly among the finest pizzas I've eaten in Chicago and quite possibly the best. I think there are a few other places that are in the ballpark but based on quality, execution and my personal preference of style, I cannot remember a more satisfying artisanal pizza.
    Throwing down the gauntlet, are we now... :lol:
    But I do agree with you. Every part of the pizza and dining experience is well thought of. IMHO, the crust is just divine, and the ingredients are just amazing.

    The number of pizzas on the menu have max'ed out at 7, so I was shocked when I only saw 4 offerings. One of my favorite pizzas that they make is one made with Newsom’s Hickory Smoked Country Bacon (you can order it online), crème fraiche, onions and sage (I think Trader Joe's has something close to this). IIRC it should come out around the spring summer months (which is also around the time they (may) bring out the squash blossoms).

    Ron, love the way you captured section of the crust. It really shows how well they were able to load up the toppings and keep the crust rigid. Amazing technique. There have been times that I see customers being turned away because they have run out of dough or ingredients. On one occasion I asked Nick how long he kneads the dough and how much more time to let it set/rise. He really could not give an answer, as he would throw out more variables such as heat, humidity, etc.. This is someone who sure knows what he is talking about, and someone who I want making my pies.

    The interior is pretty nice as well. There are a many modern/Scandinavian design pieces. In fact when we first got to the restaurant, I thought it was an antique store, as there was no signage stating that it was a restaurant and they served pizzas.

    To make it easier to get a seat, check out the hours below (this might change is a few months, call to make sure). Honestly the best time early Saturday, while everybody is having brunch. They also have seating outside, in front of the restaurant, when the weather warms up.

    BTW, Ron, nice pics, and you missed documenting the photo of the a pizza box from Pizzeria Bianco.

    ------
    Great Lake
    1477 W Balmoral Ave
    Chicago IL 60640-1201
    (773) 334-9270

    Wed-Fri: 5:00-9:00
    Sat: noon-9:00
    Sun-Tue: closed
  • Post #35 - March 31st, 2009, 12:35 pm
    Post #35 - March 31st, 2009, 12:35 pm Post #35 - March 31st, 2009, 12:35 pm
    It's also easier once the weather gets nice and the capacity doubles... by including two tables outside.

    Really, it's no trick to get in there, you just have to want to eat at 5:30. And at least you don't have to call ahead to reserve your dough!
    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 #36 - March 31st, 2009, 1:12 pm
    Post #36 - March 31st, 2009, 1:12 pm Post #36 - March 31st, 2009, 1:12 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    I have attempted to go to Great Lake three times, no-soap-radio.



    Thanks for this...I just learned something when all I was trying to do was read about good pizza!
    "Your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice
    When you cut it, mama, save me a slice"
  • Post #37 - May 19th, 2009, 9:02 am
    Post #37 - May 19th, 2009, 9:02 am Post #37 - May 19th, 2009, 9:02 am
    This is a place that is on my "you better get there before you leave or your palate will kill you" list. I know I will sleep better leaving town if I know there is someplace here operating on the same level as Pepe's, Sally's, Modern, Naple's, or Harry's in Chicago. I know there focus is different here but this looks like a place that has a wild, reckless abandon for quality that I see in my favorite places back east.
  • Post #38 - May 19th, 2009, 9:39 am
    Post #38 - May 19th, 2009, 9:39 am Post #38 - May 19th, 2009, 9:39 am
    Stagger wrote:This is a place that is on my "you better get there before you leave or your palate will kill you" list. I know I will sleep better leaving town if I know there is someplace here operating on the same level as Pepe's, Sally's, Modern, Naple's, or Harry's in Chicago. I know there focus is different here but this looks like a place that has a wild, reckless abandon for quality that I see in my favorite places back east.

    Better hurry. GQ (Alan Richman) just named it the Best Pizza in the U.S.

    Kevin Pang at The Stew wrote:A notoriously slow pizzeria in Andersonville will become even slower, now that GQ Magazine has named it as serving the best pizza in America.

    In June's issue of GQ, food writer Alan Richman singles out Great Lake's Mortadella Pie (1477 W. Balmoral Ave.) as the best he's tasted after traveling 20,000 miles scouting the perfect pie.

    GQ declares Great Lake pie the best pizza in America

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #39 - May 19th, 2009, 11:36 am
    Post #39 - May 19th, 2009, 11:36 am Post #39 - May 19th, 2009, 11:36 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Better hurry. GQ (Alan Richman) just named it the Best Pizza in the U.S.
    =R=


    Uggg I know... I would say great for them but for two reasons.

    1. They appear to operating a full capacity already so it isn't like they need or can handle a sharp up-tick in orders (this is speculation, of course).

    2. I worry about the crowd that would be led to a place by someone that orders and touts a red pie at Pepe's and a white pie at Sally's. This smacks of someone trying to be different at all costs (this is not speculation).

    Anyway, I have nothing but time until I get to CT...
  • Post #40 - May 19th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Post #40 - May 19th, 2009, 12:50 pm Post #40 - May 19th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Kevin Pang is a funny guy: "A notoriously slow pizzeria in Andersonville will become even slower, now that GQ Magazine has named it as serving the best pizza in America."

    I do still think about that Margharita we had, almost a year ago now.
  • Post #41 - May 19th, 2009, 3:59 pm
    Post #41 - May 19th, 2009, 3:59 pm Post #41 - May 19th, 2009, 3:59 pm
    Stagger is right about one thing. Great Lake may not currently be able to, or even care to, handle the hordes of foodies that will swarm to their shop now that the GQ, Alan Richman critique is out. Great Lake has garnered other prizes too in the past. They certainly deserve the accolades.
    I crave Nick's pizza. It is truly spectacular and worth waiting for!!! I have never eaten a better pizza anywhere, ever. I will continue to seek out pizza, but for now, Great Lake rules!
  • Post #42 - May 19th, 2009, 4:13 pm
    Post #42 - May 19th, 2009, 4:13 pm Post #42 - May 19th, 2009, 4:13 pm
    NBC 5 just mentioned the story during the 5pm broadcast.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #43 - May 21st, 2009, 5:11 pm
    Post #43 - May 21st, 2009, 5:11 pm Post #43 - May 21st, 2009, 5:11 pm
    Did you read the comments page on Kevin Pang's blog? Thank goodness it appears that "the general public" have "different" tastes, to be kind, regarding what's the best pizza in town - hopefully that limits the hordes of people coming in...
  • Post #44 - May 21st, 2009, 8:39 pm
    Post #44 - May 21st, 2009, 8:39 pm Post #44 - May 21st, 2009, 8:39 pm
    The fiance and I tried to go last night around 8, and we were told that we should just give up and try again tomorrow. So we left. We didn't try again today, I think we'll wait a while to let the buzz die off a bit . . . unfortunately we live too far away for take-out, unless it's nice enough to just eat outside somewhere.
    Rich Chocolates & Candies
    5333 N. Lincoln
    Chicago, IL 60625
    www.richchocolates.com
  • Post #45 - May 22nd, 2009, 4:34 pm
    Post #45 - May 22nd, 2009, 4:34 pm Post #45 - May 22nd, 2009, 4:34 pm
    FWIW, I just called: it's 5:30 exactly. Amazingly enough, I got through right away and spoke with Lydia. She sounded remarkably composed under the circumstances but said several useful things:

    1. For the time being, they are suspending phone orders.
    2. That means that only walk-in orders are accepted.
    3. The line was already out the door before they opened and so, even if we walked over and placed our order, it would like have been a couple hour wait.

    She asked for patience while they tried to figure out what to do about things. Frankly, I felt sorry for her. I can probably not even imagine what things must be like in the center of the pizza universe about now. She seemed to think that this would all wear off sooner than later, but I told her she ought to get set for the long haul. And we wished her luck. She'll need the patience of Job for the next few weeks/months.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #46 - June 18th, 2009, 6:02 pm
    Post #46 - June 18th, 2009, 6:02 pm Post #46 - June 18th, 2009, 6:02 pm
    It does indeed appear that, as per Gypsy Boy's previous post, that Great Lake is in for the long haul.

    Blissfully ignorant of all the recent PR, I tried to get take-out from Great Lake today. We've been going there since they opened (I think we were the second customer), but since we have a small baby, eating-in is not an option. A phone call got a message machine that said we would have to walk-in to place a take-out order.

    Baby and I strollered up and walked the two blocks over, where we found out the reason for the walk-in ordering. Lydia that the main reason for keeping walk-in takeout so that they could accommodate people from the neighbourhood. Place wasn't actually two crowded--but then it was only 5:55. However, we noticed that everyone in the kitchen already looked overwhelmed. Baby and I placed an order. Then we were told the next pick-up time was 8:20.

    8:20! It wasn't even six p.m. Baby has to be in bed at 8:30. As there was no way I could come back at 8:30, baby and I left sadly sans pizza and knowing that our days of Great Lake pizza were probably over.

    It seemed strange that it was going to take them over two hours to get to our pizza when the place was half-empty, but perhaps they are grouping take-out orders together and doing them in between eat-in orders? Well, I'd love to eat-in, but I don't think the other patrons would enjoy their pizza with a side of Howling, so it's not really an option right now.

    I wish Nick and Lydia all the best of luck, and am glad that they are so successful, but it's always disappointing when a place you've been very loyal to and have loved so much grows beyond you.

    Lillafury
  • Post #47 - June 19th, 2009, 9:07 am
    Post #47 - June 19th, 2009, 9:07 am Post #47 - June 19th, 2009, 9:07 am
    Wondering if anyone can tell me whether they've tried Great Lake pizza both onsite and carryout.

    Having only tried their pies at the restaurant, I've always speculated that it has a relatively short half-life, making it a less-than-optimum pizza as a carry-out product (like most other variations of thin-crust pizza).

    Is there a noticable drop-off in enjoyability between the two in reality?
  • Post #48 - June 19th, 2009, 12:14 pm
    Post #48 - June 19th, 2009, 12:14 pm Post #48 - June 19th, 2009, 12:14 pm
    PIGMON wrote:Wondering if anyone can tell me whether they've tried Great Lake pizza both onsite and carryout.

    Having only tried their pies at the restaurant, I've always speculated that it has a relatively short half-life, making it a less-than-optimum pizza as a carry-out product (like most other variations of thin-crust pizza).


    In my lone experience at Great Lake, this was certainly the case -- perhaps even more so than some of the other local thin-crust favorites (Coalfire springs to mind as surviving transit in, at least marginally, better condition).

    I had originally intended to carry the whole pie home, but made it no further than my car before inhaling a slice -- which was fantastic (the praises of the pizza are justifiably sung far more ably upthread). I headed home to Logan Square and found the quality had degraded significantly. Still a more-than-adequate pizza, but just a shadow of what it had been moments out of the oven.

    SW
  • Post #49 - June 19th, 2009, 12:20 pm
    Post #49 - June 19th, 2009, 12:20 pm Post #49 - June 19th, 2009, 12:20 pm
    Though I think GL reheats the next day very well.

    Admittedly, that's sort of like the difference between Grandma being alive and Grandma looking lifelike.
    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 #50 - July 5th, 2009, 10:07 pm
    Post #50 - July 5th, 2009, 10:07 pm Post #50 - July 5th, 2009, 10:07 pm
    My first post.

    This may sound a bit extreme but never less true. After reading this thread and also another article about Great Lake on Slice, I decided I had to try it. Unfortunately it took some advance planning as I live in upstate NY. So last week my family and I drove over 1600 miles round trip just to visit Great Lake.

    Needless to say if Michelin gave stars to pizzeria's Great Lake would fall under "worth the journey" category. I'll put Great Lake right up there with Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix and likely surpassing it. We tried three pizza's and all exceeded our expectations.
    I have not mastered posting photos yet but for those interested see below link to some I uploaded on this Great Lake face book fan group. Thank you to all the above posters for the heads up but next time I think I better fly. It seems the older I get the rest (rooms) areas get farther and farther in between. :lol:
    http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?ref= ... 0472678781
  • Post #51 - July 5th, 2009, 10:18 pm
    Post #51 - July 5th, 2009, 10:18 pm Post #51 - July 5th, 2009, 10:18 pm
    Hey Robert,

    Nice to 'see' you here.

    I agree with you about GL being as good or better than Bianco, which is no small praise. I love Bianco but GL was on another level for me.

    I also agree completely about the bathrooms on roadtrips. :D

    Completely impressed by your culinary dedication. :)

    =R=

    robert40 wrote:My first post.

    This may sound a bit extreme but never less true. After reading this thread and also another article about Great Lake on Slice, I decided I had to try it. Unfortunately it took some advance planning as I live in upstate NY. So last week my family and I drove over 1600 miles round trip just to visit Great Lake.

    Needless to say if Michelin gave stars to pizzeria's Great Lake would fall under "worth the journey" category. I'll put Great Lake right up there with Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix and likely surpassing it. We tried three pizza's and all exceeded our expectations.
    I have not mastered posting photos yet but for those interested see below link to some I uploaded on this Great Lake face book fan group. Thank you to all the above posters for the heads up but next time I think I better fly. It seems the older I get the rest (rooms) areas get farther and farther in between. :lol:
    http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?ref= ... 0472678781
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #52 - July 5th, 2009, 10:35 pm
    Post #52 - July 5th, 2009, 10:35 pm Post #52 - July 5th, 2009, 10:35 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Hey Robert,

    Nice to 'see' you here.

    I agree with you about GL being as good or better than Bianco, which is no small praise. I love Bianco but GL was on another level for me.

    I also agree completely about the bathrooms on roadtrips. :D

    Completely impressed by your culinary dedication. :)

    =R=

    robert40 wrote:My first post.

    This may sound a bit extreme but never less true. After reading this thread and also another article about Great Lake on Slice, I decided I had to try it. Unfortunately it took some advance planning as I live in upstate NY. So last week my family and I drove over 1600 miles round trip just to visit Great Lake.

    Needless to say if Michelin gave stars to pizzeria's Great Lake would fall under "worth the journey" category. I'll put Great Lake right up there with Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix and likely surpassing it. We tried three pizza's and all exceeded our expectations.
    I have not mastered posting photos yet but for those interested see below link to some I uploaded on this Great Lake face book fan group. Thank you to all the above posters for the heads up but next time I think I better fly. It seems the older I get the rest (rooms) areas get farther and farther in between. :lol:
    http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?ref= ... 0472678781



    You know Ronnie without saying your above post was mostly responsible for this aching back of mine. :lol: At least it was short compared to Bianco's. Yet I still need to get out there again to visit our friend Eliot.

    PS. Also tried Hot Dougs and Burts Place. We enjoyed both very much but Great Lake really blew me away.
  • Post #53 - July 6th, 2009, 5:08 am
    Post #53 - July 6th, 2009, 5:08 am Post #53 - July 6th, 2009, 5:08 am
    Is Great Lakes open on Sunday? I've checked other sites, and some say they are only open Tues.-Sat., others say to call to check for hours, and still others don't even list hours o_O. We are going to Chicago in a couple months, and are tossed between Burt's Place and Great Lakes for a Sunday dinner. But, it GL is closed, this makes our decision very easy :)
  • Post #54 - July 6th, 2009, 5:26 am
    Post #54 - July 6th, 2009, 5:26 am Post #54 - July 6th, 2009, 5:26 am
    I ran into Lydia (one of the co-owners) on the street the other day. She told me their new hours but also said that they are trying to fine-tune them as well and, in the end, recommended calling first. I think that's probably the best course of action. I know that there are some who would prefer the certainty of regular hours, but I'm guess that this is one of the prices you pay for Great Lake. Whether you want to do that or not is, of course, up to the individual. I won't argue for it or against it; that's simply the way it is. If you'd prefer absolute certainty, then maybe Great Lake isn't the place. Good luck!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #55 - July 6th, 2009, 9:19 am
    Post #55 - July 6th, 2009, 9:19 am Post #55 - July 6th, 2009, 9:19 am
    robert40 wrote:You know Ronnie without saying your above post was mostly responsible for this aching back of mine. :lol: At least it was short compared to Bianco's. Yet I still need to get out there again to visit our friend Eliot.

    PS. Also tried Hot Dougs and Burts Place. We enjoyed both very much but Great Lake really blew me away.

    LOL! Even for me, the drive+wait for pizza at Great Lake isn't much shorter than a flight to Phoenix. Not saying it isn't worth it, just saying . . . :wink:

    I'm glad you got to try Burt's and Hot Doug's, too. Did you go anyplace where access wasn't quite as arduous? :P

    I definitely need to get out to Phx again, but not this time of year -- way too hot for me.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #56 - July 6th, 2009, 1:11 pm
    Post #56 - July 6th, 2009, 1:11 pm Post #56 - July 6th, 2009, 1:11 pm
    Hey robert,
    I have a quick question of opinion for you. As I stated in a previous post, I'm looking to go to a pizza place of LTH noteworthiness, and I'm tossed between Burt's and Great Lake. If they are open on Sunday, would you (or anyone else who would like to contribute their thoughts) choose GL over Burt's? My main concern is wait time. With Burt's, I can call ahead and let them know when we will be there. But I'm so tempted to try my luck at GL just to see what it's all about. Any thoughts?
  • Post #57 - July 6th, 2009, 1:22 pm
    Post #57 - July 6th, 2009, 1:22 pm Post #57 - July 6th, 2009, 1:22 pm
    pastry643 wrote: Any thoughts?


    Yes, 2. My first thought is that you should post a follow-up about your epic trip to Chicago last month. My next thought is that you should read the very lengthy threads about Burt's and Great Lake and decide for yourself, given all of that information, which sounds most appealing.
    ...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 #58 - July 6th, 2009, 1:33 pm
    Post #58 - July 6th, 2009, 1:33 pm Post #58 - July 6th, 2009, 1:33 pm
    Kennyz,

    In her April initial inquiry, the poster stated, "This summer, I will be having a food-centric long weekend in Chicago with my father."

    It is entirely possible the trip she's been planning has not yet happened.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #59 - July 6th, 2009, 1:37 pm
    Post #59 - July 6th, 2009, 1:37 pm Post #59 - July 6th, 2009, 1:37 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Kennyz,

    In her April initial inquiry, the poster stated, "This summer, I will be having a food-centric long weekend in Chicago with my father."

    It is entirely possible the trip she's been planning has not yet happened.

    Regards,


    He/she also said in that thread that June 13 was the date for the Alinea dinner. Maybe it all got postponed. If so, I'll revert to the just the second of my 2 thoughts. There is such a wealth of information about Burt's and Great Lake that I think one is best off reading through them and deciding what sounds most appealing. "Which one would you choose?" type posts are relatively useless, in my opinion.
    ...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 #60 - July 6th, 2009, 1:45 pm
    Post #60 - July 6th, 2009, 1:45 pm Post #60 - July 6th, 2009, 1:45 pm
    Kennyz wrote:There is such a wealth of information about Burt's and Great Lake that I think one is best off reading through them and deciding what sounds most appealing. "Which one would you choose?" type posts are relatively useless, in my opinion.


    I don't know, I think asking the perspective of an out-of-towner who has just eaten at both places can be both interesting and useful. However, since Burt's was "enjoyed very much", and Great Lake motivated a 1600-mile round trip, was "worth the journey," "really blew me away," and likely surpasses Pizzeria Bianco....I'm not quite sure what additional information is being sought in the comparison.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more