As a DePaul alumna, I’m a big fan of Lincoln Park, the Chicago neighborhood known for its graystone buildings, tree-lined streets and rich character. But, just between us, what I really love are the restaurants. And of all the Lincoln Park restaurants, Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co is one I love a lot.
Step inside this Lincoln Park landmark, and you enter a dimly lit, wood-heavy restaurant that’s, nine times out of ten, packed with people. Those awaiting seating stay in the front benches or move into the glass-enclosed room at front. A man—the man—comes by to ask you how many and to give you the wait time. He doesn’t write anything down. He’ll remember your face.
On the large, folding menu, there are pizzas, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads. The Mediterranean-style flat bread is a house specialty, and it’s definitely worth trying and sharing. Large and doughy, boasting the smell of garlic and herbs, it overflows on the plate they place it on. It tears easily, with a consistency similar to naan or pita, and is delicious.
While we’re talking about food, can we just focus on the pizza pot pies for a minute? I’m borrowing the below photo from the restaurant’s Web site, so you can see what I’m describing. Triple-raised dough creates a sturdy crust, which is inverted at your table when you are served, letting the homemade sauce flow into the center. According to ChicagoPizzaandOvenGrinder.com, the sauce is made of “olive oil, fresh garlic, onions, green peppers, whole plum tomatoes and a special blend of cheeses; sausage made from prime Boston butts; and doorknob-size, whole, fresh mushrooms.” For those who don’t eat meat, there’s also a vegetarian option available.
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
2121 N Clark Street
(at Dickens Ave)
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-2570 || www.chicagopizzaandovengrinder.com
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