So Anne Burrell has given this place a Maury Povich style makeover. The crust is about 50% less dense and is now eligible for mastication. The have dumped the word ‘brooklyn’ from the moniker and it looks like this place is worth another shot. Check us out on the Cooking Channel tonight at 8:30 CST and watch me make a complete ass of myself.
Full review of the updated Flour and Stone coming soon!
—— ORIGINAL REVIEW ——
When Flour and Stone opened last year in Streeterville, I kept hearing the term “Brooklyn Style” pizza getting tossed around, as though this is a common thing that everyone should already know about. Apparently, even people from Brooklyn aren’t in agreement.
I’ve had Grimaldi’s before, and to me, the most similar thing we HAD in Chicago was Great Lake (much respect, rest in piece [pour some 40 oz on the curb].) The thought of another Great Lake caliber pizza joint in Chicago gives me partial food boner. We had to give it a go.
But then there’s Flour and Stone, and unfortunately, their current incarnation couldn’t hold Great Lake’s jock. They shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as Great Lake, unless it was something like: “I stopped by Flour and Stone to use the bathroom before I went to Great Lake” or maybe “That guy just wiped a booger on the window at Flour and Stone. Speaking of pizza, we should go to Great Lake soon.”
Anyway, we sat down in a completely empty restaurant (on a Saturday afternoon? Rut ro.) to a cringe-worthy social situation. You see, there’s a sign that we apparently missed that says “order at the counter.” When we arrived, the host then told us (the only people in the fucking restaurant) to sit down wherever. He then stood halfway across the restaurant and told us to just ‘holler our order’ when ready. I didn’t think he was being literal and had actually meant just yell it across the restaurant, but I was wrong. I would’ve been more comfortable texting him my order to him or just pointing to the menu while nodding. But no, instead I lowered my voice a few octaves to avoid a mid-thirties puberty crack, and blurted out my order.
“[uncomfortable swallow] 1 Margherita and 1 Sicilian [awkward pause] and an IPA [weird pause] and a coke.”
It was just weird. It’s too bad they don’t serve xanax, because I would’ve ordered a couple.
After the Wonder-Years’esq awkwardness subsided, our pizza arrived just on time.
Boom: 14″ Margherita (classic shit) and KADANG: 14″ Sicilian (Bacon, red and white onion and crushed red pepper . . . bitch.)
Both of them came out looking beautiful. There were some thunderdome sized bubbles that had burst in the crust, and the cheese looked perfectly well done.
First bite was awesome, a perfect balance of cheese and sauce. I didn’t understand why this place was getting almost universally shit-on by the reviewing community. But as I got deeper into the slice, it started to make some sense. The shit got harder and harder to eat the closer you got to the crust.
Let me be clear, the crust is chewy. Not baguette chewy, more like kevlar / muscle-failure chewy. It was like my jaw was doing cross-fit or something.
I’m not sure if it’s the oven or the dough recipe, but this shit should never happen:
But in the rare case that this is by design, then Jesus Christ, then they should change their tagline:
I considered just taking the first bite of every slice to fill up, like I was getting down with a Cinnabon, but I didn’t want to seem like a crazy person.
And honestly, if I could change anything else about the place, it would be the ambiance. It doesn’t feel like a pizza parlor, but more like a sterile pizza asylum. Draw the shades, make it darker in there. Throw on some red and white checkered table cloths. Hire a couple of dogs to share of bowl of spaghetti, I don’t know.
Not like it makes a huge difference, but if we’re going for Brooklyn Style Pizza, lets not cut any corners. I want to eat it in a dungeon.
In conclusion, Flour and Stone isn’t shitty, it’s just not really that great either. It’s almost perfectly average. And in the city of Chicago, average pizza = death.