Chicago trip, Day 2 (Lunch at Burt’s Place)
the view from our hotel room…thanks Priceline!
On Day 2 of our eating trip, we woke up nice and early to take the Metra to Burt’s Place, a little pizzeria in Morton Grove that’s been photographed on the cover of Saveur magazine. Even legendary bad boy Tony Bourdain’s eaten here.
Burt’s Place is so well-known, Morton Grove erected this sign right off the Metra, so day trekkers from Chicago (only 25 min. away) can easily find the restaurant
Two weeks ago, I called Burt’s Place to make a reservation. Burt kindly informed me that I would have to place my order right away, and directed me to their menu on Urbanspoon.com. If it seems strange to order your pizza a full week before you intend to fly out and eat it, rest assured, this is how it always works at Burt’s–it’s a small restaurant, he told me, so he needs the pizza cooked and ready to hit your table as soon as you and your party walk in the door. Otherwise, he’d have people occupying his few tables, slowly sipping beers and debating over the pizza toppings, while there’s a line out the door.
In the hour or so we were there, the phone rang off the hook. Sharon, Burt’s wife, answered the phone and patiently directed each caller to the menu online. This is the only way you’re going to get a reservation at Burt’s.
at 11:30am exactly, the pizza I had ordered 2 weeks earlier hit the table: sausage, banana peppers, and bell peppers
“You didn’t think that when you called 2 weeks earlier from Seattle, I’d have this ready for you right at 11:30am now, did you?” said Burt, as he brought the pizza out to our table. I honestly didn’t expect the pizza to be exactly on time. But there it was!
we enjoyed the Eliot Ness with our pizza
72 years old, and still makin’ pizza!
Burt and his wife Sharon chatted us up for an entire hour, despite the phone ringing, and despite there being pizzas to bake. Burt was especially hilarious, telling us how he hung up on the poor guy calling from Saveur magazine to tell him they wanted his pizza on the cover.
“I’d never heard of Saveur magazine,” he said, “So I said: ‘I don’t buy magazine subscriptions over the phone!’ And I hung up on him.”
Burt and Sharon don’t even have cable, and had to go over to a friends’ house when No Reservations featured the pizzeria on the show.
Burt’s is known for his caramelized crust, and ultra fresh toppings
If you’re ever in the Chicago area, I hope you’ll stop by Burt’s Place for a deep dish pizza and a chat. Burt and Sharon are two of the sweetest, most down-to-earth people we’d ever met.
(Just be sure to call ahead with your order ready!)
Posted: August 17th, 2009 under Uncategorized.