Category Archives: Chicago

Leona’s Neighborhood Restaurant Pizza Chicago Style

leonas.jpgMmm, doesn’t that pizza look so fresh and tasty? Want to guess where it’s from? No. No. And no–I’ll pretend you didn’t read the headline. As much I love Leona’s, I never really associated its yum factor with their pizza. I finally tried it, and I was absolutely delighted.

Leona’s is always great to visit. The atmosphere is comfortable; the servers are attentive; and the food is always plentiful, delicious, and affordable. The wine list, although not extensive, is well-priced and perfectly savory. The pizza, as you can see, is packed with fresh toppings. The pizza seems to be cooked nearly until completion and then the vegetables are placed atop and cooked briefly last. It made for a very pleasant, satisfying surprise of crispy green peppers and mouth-watering mushrooms. In fact, I really enjoyed the overall “crunch” of the pizza; the crust was fantastically crispy. The layers of cheese, sauce, and toppings were well-balanced, and everything did taste incredibly fresh.

I was really happy I decided to try Leona’s pizza. Their 1950 Traditional pizza seen here cost around $13, and there was plenty for 2 people. Visit any of the 12 Leona’s locations in Chicagoland. Check out to visit the one closest to you.

Leona’s Pizza gets 7 out of 8 slices

Best Pizza in a Supper Club: Mecca Supper Club Chicago

shrinkmecca.jpgLast night, I had pizza at the Mecca Supper Club in Edison Park, Chicago. The Mecca is a cozy bar/restaurant that is known for its karaoke nights as well as its loyal group of patrons. The Mecca has a number of home-cooked, hearty dinner entrees, but the pizza seems to be just as popular as the dinner meals. In fact…the pizza is definitely more popular during late-night, after-karaoke hours.

Mecca pizza tastes like a traditional pizza, but they make a few variations that make it slightly different from your usual slice. There is more of an emphasis on spices, and you taste in the sausage and atop the layer of cheese. They also bring out Romano cheese (or possibly Parmesan), but not in the dusty crumbles we usually find in pizza shakers, but like the shredded mozzarella you find at the grocery store. You sprinkle some on top, and you notice the positive addition of flavor! The cheese and sauce taste pleasant, but it’s the fresh toppings and spices that bring out the flavor. The pizza is also very affordable (a 9-inch costs about $8, and a 15-inch costs around $14).

The pizza is a good pizza, but it’s the atmosphere that makes Mecca pretty special. It is very much seen as neighborhood pub but is welcoming to all types of visitors, of all types of ages. I would like to point out that it seems as if the Mecca is continuing to make some additions to their design (with new plasma screen TVs and a few more booths). Check out for more information or visit 6666 N. Northwest Highway in Northwest Chicago.

Mecca Supper Club gets 6 out of 8 slices.

Pequod’s Chicago Burnt Pizza

pequodsslice-of-pequodsDon’t worry: it’s not as bad as it looks! Actually Pequod’s “caramelized cheese” (aka, “burnt”) pizza was really good.

I was certainly shocked to see the blackened pizza at first. I actually turned to the hostess, who didn’t seem nearly as concerned as I did about the smutty-looking pizza after I showed it to her, so I said: “I’m a restaurant critic. Are you sure you want to serve a pizza that looks like this to me?”

I was assured that the pizza was fine, the darkened edge was their specialty, and did I want a menu for future orders? I smiled, accepted a menu, and hoped I didn’t scare them too much with my I’m-a-big-tough-restaurant-critic attitude.

Pequod’s pizza was one of the more original pizzas I’ve eaten in a long time. The whole burnt thing was interesting and was actually pulled off really well—somehow, it complemented and even enhanced the tastes of the rest of the pizza. The sauce was in a smaller helping than usual but still fit the dynamic of the rest of the flavors. I ordered a half pepperoni, half sausage and onion pan pizza, and the toppings were incredibly fresh. I love sausage that leaves you with that great spicy aftertaste, and this sausage taste complemented the onions perfectly. The pizza tasted fresh and smelled fresh—so fresh, it makes me want to bottle it up and sell it as a cologne! (Say…didn’t Burger King do something like that with its burger scents?)

The cheese and crust were also pleasantly mild in taste. My only complaint, which still won points for originality, was the layer of cheese was so small compared to the uprising of crust. I know this is common to “pan” pizza, but it still seemed a bit short. The crust was light and pleasant to eat…but I missed having more cheese to my bite.

Pequod’s Pizza is an original. Heck, even its weird fish logo is original (check out to see what I mean). Suburbanites, visit Pequod’s Pizza at 8520 Fernald in Morton Grove, and City Dwellers can check it out in Lincoln Park at 2207 North Clyborn. You won’t be bored by your experience!

Pequod’s Pizza gets 6 out of 8 slices!

Make sure to check out Martha’s other pizza reviews here
Twitter: ExaminerChicago