Now I know why they rave about Chicago Pizza

Exchequer Restaurant & Pub, 226 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60604.

My mate Don's been telling me for over 15 years that there are no real Pizzas outside Chicago. Not being overly impressed with the pizzas he prefers in California, I never really believed he was expressing more that Illinois patriotism. But on a recent trip to Chicago I found out what he meant. And boy, if his judgment isn't perfect, it's damn close!!

During the day I'd seen the Exchequer while walking around town. But I decided it sounded and looked too much like yet another American style pub. When I got back to the hotel that evening, I told the concierge about Don's Chicago pizza claim and that I wanted to see how true it was. Well I'm blowed if the concierge didn't suggest the Exchequer saying, "They do the best pizza in town."

I decided on arrival to explore the bar and see what beers were on offer. As in all good pubs, I was delighted to find myself immediately engrossed in a conversation with a couple of other friendly patrons and the bar(wo)man. We had a great little laugh together, and the bartender suggested I try a couple of tasters before committing to the beer I wanted. This was great, just great.

When it came to eating time, I chose the Meat Eater's Pizza (Cheese, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Seasoned Ground Beef, Canadian Bacon), with regular bacon added, $13.50. This pizza sent my spirits souring. I have never tasted anything quite as good in my 13 years of American life. While I've had lots of delicious pizzas in London, Italy, DC and other places, this had something special about it that I just can't identify. Furthermore, I had a devil of a job finishing it, even though I'd ordered the small (10") deep dish.

The Exchequer menu offers Salads, Regular Entrees (such as Filet Mignon, Rib Eye, Surf & Turf etc.), Seafoods, Burgers, Deluxe Sandwiches, Italian Specialties and New Orleans Style Pasta. “Fish and Chips” is a house special. On the one extreme, 8” Pizzas are available as appetizers. And on the other, there are triple-decker sandwiches for the hearty appetite. Another specialty is “Exchequer’s Famous Baby Back Ribs”, full slab $14.95.

This is an extensive selection of dishes some of which I’m just going to have to try next time I’m in town. I especially look forward to the Mixed grill (Mini beef kabob, boneless pork chop, boneless chicken breast) $13.95. Grecian Pork Chops , $10.50, sounds intriguing

Exchequer pizzas are rated **** by Roger Ebert.

Wally Robertson, August 2000

Tel: 312 939 5633
Fax 312 786 9128
Exchequer on the web

Pizzas can be ordered in advance on the number above.

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