Author Topic: Chicago Pizza Trip -- Through Thick and Thin  (Read 9443 times)

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Offline BTB

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Re: Chicago Pizza Trip -- Through Thick and Thin
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2010, 05:33:48 PM »
Before I delete some of the pictures on my digital camera, I thought I'd close out or complete some quick reports of some of my 2009 visits to pizzerias last summer that were kind of in the Chicago/midwest area (actually southwest Michigan). While not in Chicago proper, some may find information about these two pizzerias interesting as I've seen no recent reports about them on this website. And they are great places that someone ought to say something about.
 
The first being in St. Joseph, Michigan which is about an hour's drive from the south end of the Chicago metro area . . . up and around Lake Michigan on Interstate 94 a bit.  Silver Beach Pizza is a relatively new comer to the southwest Michigan area but had rapidly risen in fame and popularity among thin crust pizza aficionados both in the area and by the many, many Chicago visitors that travel on by St. Joseph.  And the biggest reason for that simply is . . . they make great thin crust pizza. 
 
Silver Beach Pizza is located about a couple of blocks from Lake Michigan near the site of the old, famous Silver Beach Amusement Park (like a Riverview) that existed there right on the shores of Lake Michigan a half century ago (and I barely remember it as a kid - but it is no longer in existence . . . sob . . . sob).  It is uniquely situated in an old railroad depot alongside passenger railroad tracks that are still in operation today (between Chicago and Michigan destinations . . . I guess). 
 
It is a great place to stop by for a cold beer and some of the greatest pizzas ever in southwest Michigan.  For lovers' of the great Aurelio's pizza in Illinois, you will be shockingly surprised to see how remarkably similar the Silver Beach Pizzeria is to an Aurelio's pizza.  They are very, very similar.


Offline BTB

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Re: Chicago Pizza Trip -- Through Thick and Thin
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2010, 05:38:08 PM »
While their pizza is one of the best in southwest Michigan, I have one small caveat, however.  Every aspect of their pizza is really good and super tasty, but one small drawback I've found is that they hardly put any sauce on their pizzas (which I think is apparent from the pictures).  Even my wife who doesn't like a lot of sauce on her pizzas remarked to me . . . "next time order extra sauce!"  And that's what I advise all to do when they visit this great pizzeria . . . at least if you like a modicum of tomato.sauce on your pizza.  But on the other hand, they are immensely popular and crowded, so many may like their extremely light touch of tomato sauce.

Silver Beach Pizza
410 Vine St
St Joseph, MI 49085
    (269) 983-4743
http://silverbeachpizza.com/

Some reviews at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g42673-d647639-Reviews-Silver_Beach_Pizza-Saint_Joseph_Michigan.html and http://www.yelp.com/biz/silver-beach-pizza-saint-joseph .
 

Offline BTB

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Re: Chicago Pizza Trip -- Through Thick and Thin
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2010, 05:45:00 PM »
Fricano's is one of the very special ultra or wafer thin crust pizza places that I've long raved about.  It is unique among thin crust pizzerias in my experience.  For instance, they only serve one . . .  repeat, one size pizza (12") and only offer a choice of 5 ingredients on their pizzas (Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushroom, Green Pepper, Anchovy, but  NO ONION).  I don't know why, but they make a big point of stressing no onion.  They are one of only a handful of pizzerias that I've ever seen that make up their dough skins long in advance of baking their pizzas.  They make them in house and have many dozens of pizza skins prepared earlier that are sitting around their kitchens separated by parchment or some other kind of paper.  I think if you travel through their website, you will be favorably impressed with their pizza business, as well as get very hungry upon viewing their extremely tasty looking thin crust pizzas.  See http://www.fricanospizza.com/ .

They have only five locations throughout southwest Michigan, each one owned by one member or the other of the Fricano family.  I've been to all five but found the original location, Fricano's Pizza Tavern in Grand Haven, Michigan, to be uniquely the best of the famous pizzeria group.  Only the original location there in Grand Haven usually assures one of a very crispy crust pizza from the rim to the center of the pizza.  The other locations, while very good, are a little bit hit and miss in this regard.  My recommendation to all who try their great pizza is always to order your pizza (usually one per person) cooked crispy or well done.  Note the good old fashion deck ovens -- the best kind for making pizzas.

Offline BTB

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Re: Chicago Pizza Trip -- Through Thick and Thin
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2010, 05:50:55 PM »
The original Grand Haven location is unique in another kind of way.  It is a medium size restaurant serving pizza only, seating about 40 to 60 people and in the hot, sweltering summertime is the only business in Grand Haven, Michigan that does not have air conditioning. Their extremely hot ovens are in full view of most of the tables in the restaurant making for a very warm experience in the middle of an average hot summer.  Despite that there is usually a line of people out the door waiting for a table on the weekends in the summertime.  It is really a sight to see.  And thousand of pizzas are gobbled up on those weekends during the summer. 
 
I am far, far away from their pizzerias and only wish that someone down here in Florida could make a unique wafer thin crust pizza even half as good as the great Fricano's of southwest Michigan.

Fricano's Pizza Tavern
1400 Fulton St.
Grand Haven, MI 49417
    (616) 842-8640
http://www.fricanospizza.com/

Some reviews on Yelp at http://www.yelp.com/biz/fricanos-pizza-tavern-grand-haven.

                                                                                                    --BTB
 

Offline BTB

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Re: Chicago Pizza Trip -- Through Thick and Thin
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2010, 10:03:04 AM »
In regards to St. Joseph, Michigan, here is a link to the sights, scene and events around the Silver Beach area.  And most of this is within a walking distance of the Silver Beach Pizzeria mentioned above.  Makes for a nice drive or weekend in the spring and summer.
 
See http://discoverstjoseph.blogspot.com/2009/08/beaches-of-st-joseph-area-silver-beach.html

Offline malvanova

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Re: Chicago Pizza Trip -- Through Thick and Thin
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2010, 01:27:16 PM »
Hello everybody,just to review and share my visit to Union pizzeria in Evanston IL. as far as the locale its very trendy and attractive, the oven was built by an Assyrian I was told told by one of the workers, I don't think  the chimney has a good draw by the darkened front arch, but irregardless the heat was fierce inside ,timed a pizza at 2.5 minutes not bad at all the pizzas were at the table in about 10 minutes after it was ordered, it was very busy, on the style of pizza, very good taste and crispy bottom cracker style pizza, I prefer a more chewy outer crust crispy bottom myself more Napoletana style, all in all it was very pleasing trip, next stop Nella Pizzeria when I get a craving for a good WFO Pizza, I have not fired up my oven for pizza yet, to cold to spend time outside cooking pizzas ye :'(  :(  but I'm itching badly, resorted to finding WFO Pizza establishments in Chicago, I prefer my own if you all know what I mean to each their own ;D, my indoor pizzas are not to my liking, ,its all or none my taste buds say,WFO :pizza: rules,


   Phil
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 01:36:34 PM by malvanova »


 

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