We first heard of Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder (we call it CPOG for short) through our good friend Ellen. Prior to moving to Chicago, she saw CPOG featured on Food Network as one of Chicago's best eats. The concept is unique: CPOG makes these amazing upside-down Pizza Pot Pies that are hot and fresh out of the oven. The server brings it to your table and flips the pie right-side up, scooping out all of the ingredients from the bowl underneath into the pizza bowl. I'm doing a poor job of explaining but hopefully my pictures can help you piece together the process. The half-pounder size for pizza pot pies is usually enough for one person to eat (the photos above are of half-pounders). Our family usually starts outs with the Chef's Salad and the Mediterranean Bread. I love BOTH of these appetizers. The Chef's Salad (not pictured in this post), though very basic, contains the freshest vegetables! CPOG also has an amazing salad dressing - I don't know what they put in it, but it goes very well with the vegetables in the salad. The Mediterranean Bread is very thin and much larger than the plate it is served on. This bread is delicious because of all the different herbs flavors and textures - the whole thing wrapped together is chewy with some crunches here and there - it all adds to the taste of the appetizer.
We are always down to eat at CPOG, but keep in mind the following tips before dining there:
- They don't take reservations
- The wait is never less than 45 minutes unless you hit it up after 8:30pm (generally speaking).
- The host never takes any names down; there is no list. He just memorizes your order in line.
- (So we were told) Never ask "how much longer is the wait"? Apparently they'll move you farther down the "list" without you knowing it
For more info on the Pizza Pot Pie and the Mediterranean Bread, see what CPOG has to say for its own dishes:
The Pizza Pot Pie is an individual serving, “made from scratch” with triple-raised Sicilian bread-type dough; a homemade sauce consisting 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. (Vegetarian pizza pot pie may be special ordered.)
Mediterranean Bread - Described simply as a creation. An honest product with a presence, a substance, a fragrance, and a taste. This bread was intended as a compliment to the Antipasto and the Salad Dinners but has earned its reputation, standing alone, as this restaurant’s most popular menu item. Serves two to four adults and is enhanced by wine.
Thanks for reading!!