Burt’s Place

Find caramelized pizza crust at this hole-in-the-wall

OK, OK, so it’s not in Evanston. It’s in Morton Grove, but only a short drive from Dempster, and you absolutely must get there. Saveur‘s Chicago issue put his pizza on the cover, and with good reason.

Your Burt’s saga begins with a phone call to Burt himself. You aren’t just making a reservation, though. You will also be ordering your pizza. Choose your size: small (10″, $12.25), medium (12″, $13.25), large (14″, $14.25), x-large (16″, $16.25), xx-large (18″, $19.25). Then choose your toppings (two are included, after that it’s extra): sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, mixed bell peppers, black olives, green olives, sliced tomatoes, spinach, garlic, banana peppers and jalapeños. (A plain cheese pizza is a dollar or two less, depending on the size.)

Your pizza will be on the table within a minute of your reservation, so Burt and his wife suggest you arrive ten minutes early to order drinks. And when I say on the table, I mean it will be on the table whether you’re sitting at it or not. This place is timely, and believe me, you want your pizza hot!

It really is Burt’s place — he and his wife have been serving up their famous deep dish pan pizza (with caramelized crust, of course), since 1971. What is caramelized crust? It’s a buttery cornmeal deep dish dough with a little bit of cheese between the pan and the cornmeal, so it burns a little to sweeten the edges. Don’t expect a lot of cheese on the pizza — the emphasis is on the crust and the thick slices of vegetable toppings. As far as toppings go, the thick mushroom slices and even thicker sausage patties are your best bet.

Tara for TKGO City Guides

8541 N. Ferris Ave., Morton Grove. (847) 965-7997. Cash only! Lunch: Wed.-Fri., 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. Dinner: Sun., Wed., Thu., 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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