Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria: Chicago

When you visit Chicago, the big thing that needs to be done is eating a real Chicago deep dish pizza!  I went up to Chicago to visit some friends and family.  Lou Malnati's Pizzeria was recommended as the place to go!
The Menu
We called ahead to make reservations, but they told us they didn't take them on Thursday evenings. It was ok, because we were seated right away! We were handed these menus that had this awesome picture of a Chicago deep dish pizza on the front! 
We decided that we would order two appetizers to start.  
We ordered the Bruschetta.  It had eight pieces, which was really good, because there were seven of us.  The tomatoes were very fresh, and so was the basil.  There was a good amount of garlic on the bread, along with olive oil and shaved Parmesan.  The bread had a good crunch to it.  I really liked this dish! 
Stuffed Spinach Bread
The Stuffed Spinach Bread came to us exactly like this! It was only about five inches long, which is on the small side.  I wish the server would have described the size to us, because we may have ordered two! I cut it and got about five pieces out of it.  Then, some of us cut our pieces in half to share them.  The taste of the bread that was stuffed with cheese, spinach, onion, garlic, and tomato, was pretty good. It had a side of marinara to dip it in. The dip had a rich tomato flavor to it, which is always a good thing! Next time we go, we might skip this appetizer and stick with the Bruschetta!
The Malnati Chicago Classic
I was told, the standard Chicago deep dish pizza includes sausage.  This restaurant proved this by having a pizza named The Malnati Chicago Classic on their menu.  They describe this pizza on their menu as:Made with Lou's lean sausage, some extra cheese and vine-ripened tomato sauce on Buttercrust.™ It's authentic Chicago!
This pizza was pretty amazing!  If you are a carnivore, I definitely recommend trying this out! The trade marked Buttercrust is almost cookie like, in a good way.  The cheese is pefect with the sausage, that had the appropriate spiciness, and the tomato sauce on top was superb! 
We also ordered the "Lou."  The "Lou" is described as: A pizza so good we gave it his name! Spinach mix, mushrooms and sliced roma tomatoes covered with three cheeses. I didn't try this pizza until I had the leftover slice later. This pizza was really good, but I think I prefer the Malnati Chicago Classic over the "Lou."  Get the "Lou" if you are a vegetarian.  It still stands as it's own Chicago Style deep dish pizza. 
Lou Malnati's has a nice friendly atmosphere. I didn't get to take pictures of the whole pizzas, because they served them to us by the slice.  The price is fairly reasonable.  The staff were friendly and helpful.  
I give Lou Malnati's Pizzeria 4 pizza pies out of 4!  This is a first for me!  The truth is, everything was good! If you are in the greater Chicago area, look up Lou Malnati's and go!  This pizza and the appetizers were so good!  The atmosphere is great!  
Just go! You'll thank me later!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Elevator: Columbus, Ohio

Last weekend, I was in Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio Music Educators Association Conference.  For the second year in a row, we've eaten at the Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus. The food here is amazing!
I've learned the thing to get here is the Rock Fillet. You can get it with Mahi Tuna instead, or get both.  It also can come with a house salad, Caesar salad, or cup of soup.  I got the house salad.  It was extremely good, with blue cheese crumbles, candied walnuts, and arugula. The salad had a bit of a kick to it.  I don't know if that was from the candied walnuts, the dressing, or the fresh cracked pepper, but it was extremely tasty!  Bread was also served to us with our drinks.
They bring you the Rock, a raw piece of meat on a rock heated to 450 degrees. The meat cooks right in front of you!
The Rock Steak
I like my steak fairly well done.  The server recommended cutting it into strips and cooking them to my liking.  I did this.   
Cut into Strips
The steak cooks fairly quickly after it's cut into the strips.  It was served with three dipping sauces.  My favorite was the Pepper sauce.  The other two were a beef au ju and a Dejionaise type.  My dinner also included the mash potatoes.  They were awesome!  I had to force myself not to eat them all! 
Me with My Rock Steak
I give the Elevator 3 and a 3/4 pizza pies out of 4.  I was extremely happy with the Rock Steak!   Next year, I will probably go back and get the exact same thing.  Every one else at the table said, their food was great too!  This restaurant has a full bar and a great atmosphere.  It also has a great history behind it. It's even registered as a historic landmark.  If you are going to visit Columbus, Ohio and need a good place to, try the Elevator.  I don't think you'll be disappointed!