IBJOpinion

DINING: Second City-inspired pizzeria wants to be second to none

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

This month, we hit four dining establishments all just steps from the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

First stop: South of Chicago Pizza and Beef. (619 E. Virginia Ave., 203-7110)

ae-chicago-pizza03-15col.jpg The deep dish pizza at South of Chicago features ingredients shipped from the Windy City. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Usually, I don’t quote from restaurant websites, instead letting the food and atmosphere of a place speak for itself. However, I can’t resist this bit of big-shouldered hubris regarding the pizza competition in Indy:

“Being from the south side of Chicago, we encountered a culture shock! The pizza here is really aweful. I stress, aweful. … I’m here to do what I can to set a new standard on how pizza should be.”

So, without a spell checker but with dough made daily from scratch, fresh Italian sausage, house-made meatballs and most ingredients shipped from the Windy City, how does South of Chicago do?

Not bad, actually.

On our visit, both of the small-ish dining rooms were crowded with conventioning firefighters, giving the place an added shot of authenticity. Clearly not designed to accommodate even a small all-you-can-eat buffet ($8.99), South of Chicago has added one nonetheless, jamming it into a corner where a pair of deep dish pizzas, a steam table of baked pasta, a basic pasta bar and drinks kept a steady stream of customers on their feet.

Don’t be surprised if you get your chair bumped or an elbow to your side. But, hey, we’re all friends here, right?

The pizza, of course, is the primary concern. No, it’s neither Chicago’s own Gino’s nor Giordano’s, with its elephantine slices that you can lift only with the help of two friends or a forklift. True Chicago pizza-masters like chunks: chunks of meat combined with chunks of tomato.

Here, the pizzeria had about half the toppings you’d expect at the source. But don’t get me wrong, these aren’t delicate slices by any stretch of the imagination or waistband. Two slices is plenty for most mortals outside a 15-mile radius of Wrigley Field.

Outside the buffet, a 14” Deep Dish Pizza with two toppings runs $16.49, well within the range of pricing you’ll find closer to Lake Michigan.

Pizza isn’t the only way to go here, but whatever the case, arrive hungry. The limited menu of alternatives includes a monster of a Meatball Sandwich ($6.49) featuring juicy, marinara-soaked orbs slathered in cheese ($1 upcharge) melted into the delicious bun. If only I had an entire family with me to share it. Fries on the side were perfectly acceptable.

The Italian Beef & Sausage Combo ($7.49) isn’t for the lighthearted (or heart-conscious), either, with enough beef to quickly collapse the roll in which it’s wrapped.

There’s Eli’s Cheesecake ($1.99) and Tiramisu ($2.99) and ice cream dessert options, but who are they kidding? We had enough trouble getting back to the office as it is.•

__________

First in a month-long series of Indianapolis Cultural Trail restaurant reviews.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT