Eating Chicago: Burt’s Place

25 Apr

When my sister was accepted to Northwestern University, I jumped for joy, practically crying tears of happiness.   Why my enthusiasm was tantamount to my sister’s is easily explained.   An acceptance letter from Northwestern=a college visit in Chicago=me begging to go along=happy eating. 

As soon as my dad, my sister, and I got into Chicago, we headed over to our hotel in downtown Evanston.  No sooner had we put down our bags then we sped off in a cab to Burt’s Place for some of its famed deep-dish. 

A quaint environment, the dining area at Burt’s relies mostly on dim lamps and lanterns for light and houses much vintage memorabelia.  Burt’s wife was hospitable and made us at home with some “pop,” (gotta love that northwest territory slang!) and beer.  Her charm comes from her humble and matter-of fact attitude; when another man ordered a “Stella,” she asked what a Stella was.  Upon being informed that it was a beer, she laughed and said no, that Stella was her daughter’s dog’s name, and that they only sold Great Lakes beer.  I knew I was going to like Burt’s.

Burt himself was a conversational man and talked about corrupt politics with my dad for a while.  He must be around seventy, but he seems young at heart and looks much younger.   I wonder how a man of that age can appear so tirelessly dedicated to a job in a kitchen.  His pizza is phenomenal to boot.

When the well-worn black deep-dish pan came out to our table, we could barely keep ourselves from diving into it while Burt’s wife served us.  Our peppers and mushroom pie had a flawless carmelization to the crust and lacked the doughiness that deep dish pizza can sometimes have.  The dough was thick, but it was cooked through nonetheless, making a sort of soft bread topped with a thin layr of cheese and sauce.  I now understand that New York and Chicago style pizzas are two different foods–not comparable in the least, yet equally delectable.

deep dish at Burt's

deep dish at Burt's

When we left Burt’s, we knew we would not be able to find  deep dishquite that awesome  for the rest of our trip unless we could find the time to return.  We did not take comfort knowing that our hotel was nearby to many deep dish pizza chains; they would not stack up.  All I could do to console myself was to think that should my sister decide to go to Northwestern, I will become a quasi-regular at Burt’s when I visit her.


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