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Candlelite, the crackliest cracker crust in town

Candlelite, the crackliest cracker crust in town
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  • Post #31 - September 25th, 2007, 6:52 pm
    Post #31 - September 25th, 2007, 6:52 pm Post #31 - September 25th, 2007, 6:52 pm
    Just returned from my first meal at Candlelite since the infamous "crust change" and am most happy to report that THEY CHANGED THE CRUST BACK!!!!

    That's right, folks - the Candelite Cracker Crust of yore is back, and the Tuesday night two-for-one special is still in effect. The Garlic Fries are now called "Garlic and Herb" fries, but they are still most excellent.

    Suffice to say that I am very pleased with this development.
    I exist in Chicago, but I live in New Orleans.
  • Post #32 - September 25th, 2007, 7:21 pm
    Post #32 - September 25th, 2007, 7:21 pm Post #32 - September 25th, 2007, 7:21 pm
    A couple of weeks ago, some friends asked me to meet them at the Candlelite. I was a little reluctant, because of my last experience there(6 months ago). As it turned out, I was also very pleased with the pizza, as well as the burgers and the fries. I thought it might have been a lucky fluke, but now that I have some corroborating testimony, I would not hesitate to go back.

    What is even weirder, it was Hecky's Barbecue night, and one of my friends ordered the tips. I thought Hecky's tips are not that great to begin with, but if they are delivered, held and re-heated, they will really suck. Surprisingly, they didn't suck at all. There was actually some smoke in the meat (not just the sauce). They weren't close to Honey 1 good, but they were better than just edible, which was more than I expected.
  • Post #33 - September 26th, 2007, 6:00 pm
    Post #33 - September 26th, 2007, 6:00 pm Post #33 - September 26th, 2007, 6:00 pm
    What kind of pizza did you order? We had the pesto, which turned out to be too salty to eat.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #34 - September 26th, 2007, 6:28 pm
    Post #34 - September 26th, 2007, 6:28 pm Post #34 - September 26th, 2007, 6:28 pm
    We got the sausage and pepper (sausage, roasted red peppers and tomatoes) and the one with the pepperoni and jalapenos. We ordered them both extra crisp which kept them from getting soggy from the veggies. I am not a big fan of the pesto or white pizzas.
  • Post #35 - November 28th, 2007, 6:05 am
    Post #35 - November 28th, 2007, 6:05 am Post #35 - November 28th, 2007, 6:05 am
    ChiNOLA wrote:That's right, folks - the Candelite Cracker Crust of yore is back, and the Tuesday night two-for-one special is still in effect. The Garlic Fries are now called "Garlic and Herb" fries, but they are still most excellent.


    I had dinner at Candlelite with a few other LTHers last night. While the 2 for 1 pizza special was in full effect, I was very disappointed in the crust, which wasn't at all like the crispy, matzoh-like crust of the past. It was a bit thicker and undercooked and gummy. One of my dining companions accurately described the taste as Bisquick-like. I was hoping for great things, but I was sadly disappointed. I guess it's back to Marie'sfor me.

    Marie's Pizza & Liquor
    4127 W. Lawrence
    Chicago, IL
    773-725-1812

    Candlelite
    7452 N. Western Ave.
    Chicago, IL
    773-465-0087
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #36 - November 28th, 2007, 6:22 am
    Post #36 - November 28th, 2007, 6:22 am Post #36 - November 28th, 2007, 6:22 am
    stevez wrote:I was very disappointed in the crust, which wasn't at all like the crispy, matzoh-like crust of the past. It was a bit thicker and undercooked and gummy. One of my dining companions accurately described the taste as Bisquick-like. I was hoping for great things, but I was sadly disappointed.

    Steve,

    Disappointing sums it up, though there were a few highlights. Of the two pizza we had I enjoyed component parts on each, sausage has a distinct fennel note, jalapenos were fresh and plentiful and the softly sweet caramelized onions on the White pizza were delicious. Unfortunately the White pizza was marred by underdone gummy crust evocative of Bisquick and the low rent ricotta had separated.

    Candlelite is an overall pleasant place with a nice vibe, good service, friendly waitresses, plus I liked the house salad I had. I might give it one more try, but will be very specific as to ordering the crust well done.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #37 - November 28th, 2007, 7:12 am
    Post #37 - November 28th, 2007, 7:12 am Post #37 - November 28th, 2007, 7:12 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    stevez wrote:I was very disappointed in the crust, which wasn't at all like the crispy, matzoh-like crust of the past. It was a bit thicker and undercooked and gummy. One of my dining companions accurately described the taste as Bisquick-like. I was hoping for great things, but I was sadly disappointed.

    Steve,

    Disappointing sums it up,


    Yikes! Dunno what the story was on my last visit, but I could (and did) swear that they changed it back.... I'll have to head back to reconfirm, but when I was there last it was definitely not "undercooked and gummy"...

    I'll be sure to post a followup.
    I exist in Chicago, but I live in New Orleans.
  • Post #38 - November 28th, 2007, 8:12 am
    Post #38 - November 28th, 2007, 8:12 am Post #38 - November 28th, 2007, 8:12 am
    I can back ChiNOLA on this. On my last visit (which was 2 months ago), the pizza was very good. The crust was very thin and crisp (I did ask for it crisp). Wonder what happened. Maybe they changed cooks again.
  • Post #39 - December 30th, 2007, 10:56 pm
    Post #39 - December 30th, 2007, 10:56 pm Post #39 - December 30th, 2007, 10:56 pm
    Went to Candlelite for the first time and realized why the place has always seemed so familiar for me--I spent many a drunken college night a few doors down at the Mark II when all the Evanston bars closed.

    Anyhow, I can confirm that the crust is definitely matzoh-like and tastes exactly what you would expect a cracker crust to taste like. There was no sogginess whatsoever in the pizza.

    We ordered the sausauge & peppers pizza and, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed, but I think that might be a result of our ordering choices. The sausage and peppers pizza comes with fresh tomatoes, but the tomatoes were very watery and flavorless (yes, it's December, I should have known better). The provolone (which is the cheese on this particular pizza) was a bit bland and, just overall, the pizza was bland. Now, I can deal with pizzas that are not heavily spiced (when I make my own pizza, I just like crushed tomatoes and salt as my sauce, with nothing else), but this was blander than I had expected, especially for a sausage pizza.

    Vito and Nick's is still my Chicago-style thin crust champion, with Marie's second and perhaps Pat's third.

    That said, I don't think it was a bad pizza, but I'm surprised it ranked #3 in that one Time Out Chicago pizza round-up. I definitely want to return to try another pie with a custom set of ingredients, maybe a sausage-garlic-jalapeno pizza with mozzarella cooked extra well.

    That said, the soup of the day, "seafood extravaganza soup" was simply fantastic. It was based on a clear broth, with chunks of salmon, new potatoes, carrots, and celery. Looks like something mom would make at home if she made fish soup. The broth was very clean-tasting and flavorful, without being fishy. I couldn't stop raving to the waitress about the soup. The garlic-herb fries were pretty good, too. And the dessert, a freshly-baked cookie served in a miniature cast iron skillet, topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, also rocked.
  • Post #40 - January 4th, 2008, 8:18 pm
    Post #40 - January 4th, 2008, 8:18 pm Post #40 - January 4th, 2008, 8:18 pm
    I haven't yet been to Candlelite, so I shouldn't opine, but ...
    Sweet Willie wrote:Way too much cheese, WAY TOO MUCH.

    How could there possibly ever be too much cheese? I cannot envision any scenario in which the quantity of cheese present would be excessive.

    "What a friend we have in cheeses" -- that's my motto. :D
  • Post #41 - January 5th, 2008, 2:01 pm
    Post #41 - January 5th, 2008, 2:01 pm Post #41 - January 5th, 2008, 2:01 pm
    Katie wrote:I haven't yet been to Candlelite, so I shouldn't opine, but ...
    Sweet Willie wrote:Way too much cheese, WAY TOO MUCH.

    How could there possibly ever be too much cheese? I cannot envision any scenario in which the quantity of cheese present would be excessive.

    "What a friend we have in cheeses" -- that's my motto. :D


    I wouldn't accuse Candlelite of putting too much cheese on their pies, but there certainly is such a thing as "way too much cheese," at least to me. When you can pull off all the cheese and toppings with a single tug of the cheese (because the cheese and toppings have solidified into one giant sheet o' cheese), that's too much cheese.
  • Post #42 - January 5th, 2008, 2:54 pm
    Post #42 - January 5th, 2008, 2:54 pm Post #42 - January 5th, 2008, 2:54 pm
    Even back when Candlelite's pizzas were good, I always ordered them with "light cheese" (and "well done and crispy"). They've always been a bit heavy handed in the cheese department IMO.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #43 - January 5th, 2008, 10:55 pm
    Post #43 - January 5th, 2008, 10:55 pm Post #43 - January 5th, 2008, 10:55 pm
    stevez wrote:Even back when Candlelite's pizzas were good, I always ordered them with "light cheese" (and "well done and crispy"). They've always been a bit heavy handed in the cheese department IMO.



    I'm going to have to try it in this fashion. I tried it. Liked the crust but thought the cheese was just a bit too much. Like it over burdened the pizza. And I do love my cheese.

    Vito and Nick's , certainly one of the best out there but despite those I still love me some Barnaby's. And know this hasn't been decided as one of the best on this forum but it still grabs me.
  • Post #44 - January 6th, 2008, 4:59 am
    Post #44 - January 6th, 2008, 4:59 am Post #44 - January 6th, 2008, 4:59 am
    Lucky Vito's and Congress too in Logan Square -

    not to mention Vito-Angelos on Fullerton
    "Mmm...this IS a tasty burger !" - Jules Winnfield
  • Post #45 - January 6th, 2008, 9:06 am
    Post #45 - January 6th, 2008, 9:06 am Post #45 - January 6th, 2008, 9:06 am
    Katie wrote:How could there possibly ever be too much cheese? I cannot envision any scenario in which the quantity of cheese present would be excessive.


    Katie, this band called Cheese on Bread made a song that I think you'll appreciate: I Like Cheese.
  • Post #46 - January 6th, 2008, 11:10 am
    Post #46 - January 6th, 2008, 11:10 am Post #46 - January 6th, 2008, 11:10 am
    Sauganaut wrote:
    stevez wrote:Even back when Candlelite's pizzas were good, I always ordered them with "light cheese" (and "well done and crispy"). They've always been a bit heavy handed in the cheese department IMO.



    I'm going to have to try it in this fashion. I tried it. Liked the crust but thought the cheese was just a bit too much. Like it over burdened the pizza. And I do love my cheese.

    Vito and Nick's , certainly one of the best out there but despite those I still love me some Barnaby's. And know this hasn't been decided as one of the best on this forum but it still grabs me.

    I loves me some Barnaby's too. I probably grab lunch at their Northbrook location for my office a couple of times a month. It's delicious and really quite unique.

    Generally speaking, count me in the 'less is more' group, when it comes to pizza. Successful pizza is all about balance. When the pie comes out of the oven, it should all be cooked thoroughly and evenly. Too much of anything tends to impede that process, IMO.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #47 - January 12th, 2008, 8:49 pm
    Post #47 - January 12th, 2008, 8:49 pm Post #47 - January 12th, 2008, 8:49 pm
    Went to Candlelight tonight, and can't remember the last time I had such a disappointing experience. Ordered a large half sausage half mushroom. When it arrived at the table it was absolutely the smallest "large" I had ever been served. At best the pizza was average, although the onion rings we ordered were very good. Service was abominable with only one (not so able) waitress serving the entire north side dining room. We watched as pizzas and salads were being sent back from numerous tables. It took forever for us to finally flag her down so we could get our check, and when she finally did bring it, it was completely wrong. Another 10 minute wait while she enlisted the help of the bartender to try to figure it out. What was most amusing was the fact that someone who obviously was the owner or manager (he would get up every so often and head to the kitchen) was sitting at a table next to us eating and never noticed the chaos going on around him (or just didn't care...). As they say in the restaurant biz...We've "86'd" Candlelight.
  • Post #48 - January 17th, 2008, 7:44 pm
    Post #48 - January 17th, 2008, 7:44 pm Post #48 - January 17th, 2008, 7:44 pm
    Where is Marie's that has been mentioned in this thread?
  • Post #49 - January 17th, 2008, 7:47 pm
    Post #49 - January 17th, 2008, 7:47 pm Post #49 - January 17th, 2008, 7:47 pm
    pamiela wrote:Where is Marie's that has been mentioned in this thread?


    Marie's Pizza
    4127 W. Lawrence
    773-725-1812
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #50 - December 18th, 2008, 8:44 am
    Post #50 - December 18th, 2008, 8:44 am Post #50 - December 18th, 2008, 8:44 am
    LTH,

    Not much chat about Candlelite, last post in Jan, and after my pizza last night I can see why, completely mediocre thin crust pizza does not generate much enthusiasm.

    I sat at the bar, service was brisk and interactive, pizza came out in a reasonable time frame volcanically hot and looking pretty as a picture (which I did not take). Pizza itself was a just-miss, dough slightly cakey, flavorless sausage with flabby texture and tomato sauce so bland I would not have know it was there except for color.

    Frankly, I am being a little harsh, in the framework of pizza Chicago and beyond this was not a bad pizza, but considering at one point Candlelite was an LTHForum GNR and talked about in such august thin pizza company as Marie's and Vito and Nick's it's a little disappointing.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #51 - December 18th, 2008, 8:58 am
    Post #51 - December 18th, 2008, 8:58 am Post #51 - December 18th, 2008, 8:58 am
    G Wiv wrote:Frankly, I am being a little harsh, in the framework of pizza Chicago and beyond this was not a bad pizza, but considering at one point Candlelite was an LTHForum GNR and talked about in such august thin pizza company as Marie's and Vito and Nick's it's a little disappointing.


    It really is a shame. Cookie and I have not returned since this fatal visit in 2006 where it was very clear to us that the pizza dough had changed significantly, and not for the better. Candlelite was a GNR, was highly regarded on the northside Thin-Crust-A-Thon, and is the place where I discovered the joys of the sausage-mushroom-onion-fresh jalapeno pizza. Now it's a pizza that I ignore.
  • Post #52 - December 18th, 2008, 10:49 am
    Post #52 - December 18th, 2008, 10:49 am Post #52 - December 18th, 2008, 10:49 am
    Bland, bland, bland...too bad.....I never had it in it's heyday. And judging from the very cool old sign, look as if this used to be a classic old tavern.....now looks like Applebees inside....dull....won't give it any more chances
  • Post #53 - December 18th, 2008, 10:55 am
    Post #53 - December 18th, 2008, 10:55 am Post #53 - December 18th, 2008, 10:55 am
    ParkLaBrea wrote:Bland, bland, bland...too bad.....I never had it in it's heyday. And judging from the very cool old sign, look as if this used to be a classic old tavern.....now looks like Applebees inside....dull....won't give it any more chances


    Well, even after they changed owners and remodeled, the pizza was still quite good. As of a couple years ago, the kitchen changed things.
  • Post #54 - January 13th, 2009, 8:42 am
    Post #54 - January 13th, 2009, 8:42 am Post #54 - January 13th, 2009, 8:42 am
    Had a great pizza here last night. My impression is that it is probably not the best thin cracker crust in the city, but certainly one of the best on the North Side, and thus far the best pizza, bar none, that I have had in Rogers Park. The place DID NOT remind me of an Applebees, but perhaps my aesthetic sense was off because I simply relieved to be out of the damn snow.

    Oh and definitely order your pie easy cheese, well done as someone in this thread suggested - it makes for a far superior 'za.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #55 - September 7th, 2009, 10:08 am
    Post #55 - September 7th, 2009, 10:08 am Post #55 - September 7th, 2009, 10:08 am
    I am going to be in the area later this week and was wondering if anyone has an update on the quality of Candlelite's pizza recently. I had been there many years ago and remember a time when it was great, but am uncertain if a return visit is a good idea or not. Or maybe a visit to Marie's for some great thin crust pizza instead.
  • Post #56 - September 7th, 2009, 10:43 am
    Post #56 - September 7th, 2009, 10:43 am Post #56 - September 7th, 2009, 10:43 am
    As I said in my last post, this place turns out a mean thin crust, that while not the "best" in Chicago, is certainly in the top-tier on the North Side. Ask for easy cheese, well done, and if you like spicy, top with fresh jalapenos. You will get an excellent pizza.

    Alternatively, I think D'Agostinos on Addison and Southport is awesome (again, easy cheese), though many on this thread disagree with me (pizza snobs, what do they know? :lol: ).

    Just my two cents.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #57 - September 20th, 2009, 4:49 pm
    Post #57 - September 20th, 2009, 4:49 pm Post #57 - September 20th, 2009, 4:49 pm
    I stopped at Candlelite mid-afternoon today for a late-lunch, early-dinner - and to watch the first-half of the Bears/Steelers football game. Pizza is what I ordered and I thought it was very good . . . served with a classic Chicago cracker crust.

    Candlelite Restaurant – Cracker Crust Pizza

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Beverages

    Image

    The pizza I ordered is described on the menu as, "Sausage And Peppers - spicy italian sausage, roasted red peppers, fresh tomato slices, mozzarella and provolone." The flavoring of the sausage (and the fennel used in its production) stood-out above all else and the cheese was subtle. I asked for some char on the pizza and the added cooking time to produce it probably resulted in some of the ingredients to achieve a "well done" cooked stage, more so than is typical for pizzas, but that was fine with me. For those who've commented in the past, lamented the absence of a pizza here with a "matzoh-like crust" - I can tell you that the matzoh/cracker crust texture was back today. I had two pints of beer during the visit: one of the Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, which I liked a lot and the other a Guiness Stout, which I thought was served too cold but which warmed nicely before drinking.

    Conchas – from Supermercado Morelia, Rogers Park

    Image

    Prior to arriving at the Candlelite I paid a visit to Supermercado Morelia, about a block S. of the restaurant, to better acquaint myself with the store (not bad, but not terrific - but I'm pleased it's in the neighborhood) and to pick-up a couple of freshly-baked conchas, to remind myself what "authentic" conchas look and taste like afer now having eaten the disappointing version of conchas baked and sold by the Bayless folks at Xoco (to be referred to hereafter as "the immitation conchas.").
  • Post #58 - October 25th, 2009, 5:52 pm
    Post #58 - October 25th, 2009, 5:52 pm Post #58 - October 25th, 2009, 5:52 pm
    I stopped at Candlelite this afternoon to watch some of the Bears game, have a beer and some pizza. The bar is serving draught Dead Guy Ale from Newton, Oregon's Rogue Ales Brewery (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/132/355) and since I hadn't tried it yet I had a pint, with my "personal" sized margherita-style pizza. I thought the ale's after-taste a bit harsh, so I had just one. The kitchen was spot-on with the cracker crust bottom to the pizza, but though the pizza was okay it wasn't as good as, say, the margherita served-up by Coalfire. I wasn't disappointed overall, but nothing was a ball hit out of the park. Maybe had the Bears performed better my taste would have improved!
  • Post #59 - October 25th, 2009, 7:34 pm
    Post #59 - October 25th, 2009, 7:34 pm Post #59 - October 25th, 2009, 7:34 pm
    Bill,

    The Candlelite pizza one post up looks excellent. might be time for a revisit.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #60 - October 26th, 2009, 11:25 am
    Post #60 - October 26th, 2009, 11:25 am Post #60 - October 26th, 2009, 11:25 am
    Candlelite pizza certainly experienced a dip in quality at some point, for reasons unknown. However, over the past 3-4 months in my experience, the crust and pizza are back to destination quality. I now seek it out as perhaps the best example in the Evanston/Rogers Park area.
    Last edited by ChgoMike on October 26th, 2009, 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...

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