Pizza and beer, beer and pizza, they just go together like peas and carrots, Laurel and Hardy or ice and cream. Old Chicago Pizza has beer and pizza aplenty. They even advertise on the door that they carry 110 different beers.
Old Chicago, which just opened at 1835 Old Fort Pkwy., just in front of Lowe’s Hardware, is a big place with plenty of seating. The seating is divided up so that the bar is separated from the rest of the restaurant by a brick wall. This gives the duel function of being a good family restaurant and a bar as well. It’s big and airy as far as pizza places go and the aroma of pizza cooking hits you as soon as you walk in the door. If you were not hungry when you got there, you will be after smelling that. As par for the course for me, I choose to sit close to the bar, just to cut down on the travel distance.
On my visit, at the recommendation of manger Brent Causie, I ordered the double deckoroni pizza. It comes loaded with over 70 pepperonis, spicy pizza sauce, Mozzarella cheese and your choice of crusts. Since I was in Old Chicago, I opted for the traditional Chicago deep dish pizza. The pizza I ordered was a medium and it alone was enough to feed two hungry pizza lovers. But since I was in the mood to experiment, I also ordered the Signature Trio appetizer, which came with garlic bread, pizza rolls and dipping sauce and very unique pizza nachos. The nacho chips are crisp pizza dough and have pizza topping instead of the standard nacho stuff.
I also ordered the Caprese Side Salad. This was a really cool mix of sliced Mozzarella cheese, spinach leaves, olives and tomatoes covered in balsamic vinegar and olive oil which you can eat it with your fingers. To me, this is really cool and something different than you find in most places.
Old Chicago carries many other items on its menu like steak and shrimp, Chicken Rustica, Louisiana Blackened Steak, fish and chips, burgers, pastas and buffalo chicken tenders. For the sweet tooth they have the Old Chicago’s Famous Big Cookie. It’s so big that they bring it to you in a pizza pan. They bake it and bring it to you fresh from the oven. Or you can get an Applezini which is made with Granny Smith apples and cinnamon baked in a made-from-scratch Pizzini dough, dusted with cinnamon sugar. It comes with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. They also make their own homemade cheese cake.
Manager Brent likes the cheesecake so much he has dreams about it. He said that his wife woke him up one evening because he was talking in his sleep about how good it was. Talking in your sleep may be the best testimonial any person could give to a dessert.
Along with my culinary treats I enjoyed several of the draft beers that Old Chicago keeps on tap. On a regular basis, there are 30 different beers on tap to choose from, six of which are rotated regularly. I started with the Yazoo Hop Project, then moved on to try several of the other beers on tap. The $1.50 Monday, all-day beer special helped fuel my experimentation. Along with daily specials, Old Chicago has the World Beer tour.
“You register with us and we keep track of the beers you’ve had from our selection. You can try up to four a day. You win prizes along the way and you can take more than one tour,” Brent said. “If you complete 10 tours, you get your name added to the Hall of Fame and you win a really cool Old Chicago pewter tankard.”
There are also mini tours, usually based around the holidays.
“We just had the Cinco De Mayo tour and it consisted of several Mexican beers. We also have Root Beer tours for the kids; they can win prizes too,” Brent said.
Old Chicago is open until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and until until midnight on Sundays. The full menu is available until close.
I can’t think of any food that knocks out the after midnight munchies than pizza. Now there’s a late night recourse other than the three-day-old piece of delivery pizza that resides in the back of my fridge. Dang, I’m hungry. I think, I’ll go for a pizza and a beer.