Chicago: Pizza Metro

A couple of weekends ago I went to Chicago for Lollapalooza, a three-day outdoor rock fest. I didn’t go for all three days, and not even really all of one, but anyway, it was my excuse for a trip to Chicago.

I used to live in Chicago, and although it’s not my favourite city, it is a pretty damn good one. I really enjoyed my time in Chicago, and I love having excuses to visit.

One of my favourite things about Chicago is the food scene. While I was planning for my trip, I did a little research on restaurants and their menus, and I just found myself getting unbelievably excited. It wasn’t until I felt that excitement that I realized it’s not a feeling I get here in Blacksburg. In Blacksburg, I don’t go into a tizzy trying to decide between too many good restaurants, and, once I’ve decided on one, trying to decide between too many good dishes. The whole time I was thinking about Chicago, I existed in a delicious state of agony.

Because each place I ate was a careful selection between too many good choices, I present them here. This way, they last more than half an hour in my tummy.

The first stop I made was to Pizza Metro. Located just a couple blocks east of Division on the Blue Line, it was a convenient place to have dinner right after arriving at O’Hare.

Pizza Metro is known for their pizza, which is why Hide found it in the first place. When we went, their pizza was indeed very good (who can resist potato and rosemary?), but even more special was what happened besides pizza. The chef was cooking the staff meal while we were there, and he started chatting with us. When he was done with a pasta he had made, he asked, ‘Want to try some?’ Of course we did, and it was delicious. I thought it was the coolest thing that had ever happened to me in a restaurant.

Beautiful basil, a functional, lovely decoration for the sidewalk seating area.

So it’s no wonder that I decided to order pasta from a pizza place; I knew they were fully capable of a bang-up job, it had sentimental value, and I’m a pasta person anyway. I got the penne metro, which came with a garlic white wine sauce. I was pretty sure I would love the sauce and, at the same time, not be able to duplicate it. I was right on both fronts.

As was the case last time, the service was great, friendly and down-to-earth. This time, the season was right to sit outside in their sidewalk seating. That’s one of the great things about Chicago: the sidewalks are extremely wide, so many restaurants have seating out there, and it makes for great sidewalk culture and people-watching.

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