Great Lake Slangs Pies Like Heron

0 Posted by - March 28, 2009 - Things We've Eaten

Cafe Luigi, Calo, Coal Fire, Connie’s.  And that’s just the fucking c’s.

Damn fam…there is HELLA pizza joints in this town.  So many spots that make they sauce too sweet, crust too doughy, and fuck with ingredients that would even make Ron Jeremy’s dick soft.  But, its time to take the junior league pizzeria shackles off dem tired dogs cuz CGs got you.  I have to admit, I took a long ass dirt nap on Andersonville’s Great Lake Pizza, but this weekend I got rebirfed.  On the real, co-owners Nick Lessins and Lydia Esparza aint some stinky hippie transplants who decided to open up a pizza joint.  They are chefs.  Pizza chefs.  And they are fucking killing it.


Prior to, we were possessed by Fat Kids Camp type hunger and were well aware that dining-in was going to be as competitive as getting into Best Buy on Black Friday.  When we rolled in, the 14 seats were taken so we hovered over the 10 top hoping to intimidate the lions share of diners.  But these heads weren’t having it.  We instantly knew who we were dealing with: LTH Krew.  This wasn’t just the normal LTH scene either; this was the Deerfield contingent.  They were easily 6 bottles deep in vino tinto and the DSLR was getting heavy use as hot pies arrived.  As they talked about “The Best Pizza In Chicago” and Fox & Obel (poor folks, no worries if you don’t recognize the name), their bratty kids sat at a two top taking their money market portfolios for granted.  I noticed that Timmy had a better cell phone than I did.  Fuck.  An Asian cat rolled in and as Lydia rang dood up she said, “you’re that guy from downtown…”

The needles on the tables bounced off the wax.  Hole up, hole up.  I thought, “What?  Kats are coming up from the Loop for this shit? Am I about to get culinarily boned?”  Right then, two MILFs got up from they two top and I snapped out of my raw dog thoughts.


throw some tarragon on that shit

While we sat, I felt something other than the LTH convi pulling me in and I looked up to the heavens.  It was the low budget menu board talking mad game; proclaiming the restaurant’s inherent goodness in rather offensive terms…


Great Lake staff (a.k.a. the two owners) were not in a rush to get food out.  We obliged by thoroughly quenching our thirst.  We had nearly finished our bomber of Southern Tier Black Ale, so I made the executive decision to hop ova to In Fine Spirits to re-up on that juice.

The mixed green salad and homemade buttermilk came first.  I wish that I could say that I remember the ingredients, but I don’t.  Where the fuck yall at, menupages?  Nevertheless, the shit was on point and I ate with the confidence that my fiber intake was getting back on par from a week of neglect.


After gobbling the greens down, we waited for what seemed like an eternity for our pie.  I wasn’t heated.  While on pause, mad heads came in and out for their pizza pick-ups (Great Lake don’t play that delivery shit).  We could easily read the anticipation on their faces.  Personally, my frothing rate resembled that of advanced mental retardation at competitive sporting events.  Finally, I unclenched my fists when pizza #2 came crawling up to the table.

img_4896 and LTH ass


don't even look at that last bite, bitches

Simple and elegant.  Artisan dough, farm fresh tomatoes, local pork sausage, and Wisconsin cheese all doused with olive oil.  Oh. My. Damn.  While grabbing for slices, a hunk of sausage slid off and hit the floor.  Shit was so good, I picked the bite right up off the hardwood and devoured it.  NO JOKE.

Now, I don’t usually fuck with pizza crust, but Great Lake’s dough was so buttery and crunchy and light, I killed everythang.  Think Pillsbury Dough Boy having sex with a stick of a Stick of Land O’ Lakes and you’ve got it.  No doubt, every single morsel of this pizza was juicy as jheri curls with fresh activator.


After all this goodness, my ass needed a bathroom session.  To get there, I had to walk through the kitchen and the entire prep/storage area.  My idea 1-D has always been to do a book on “Best Restaurant Bathrooms.”  After taking a stroll through Great Lake’s operational hub, I’m thinking that idea 1-G will be “Best Restaurant Kitchens to Walk Through.”  If you try to take either one of these ideas, I WILL cut you.


There is something humbling about a dining space where, at the back door, lies a doormat for various tennis shoes.  I mean, this looks just like my boy’s nest, except he doesn’t have 20 bags of artisan bread flour stacked up.  Its an almost unreplicatiable feat to make diners feel at home in their restaurant…I honestly don’t know of a better example of how it should be done.


  • avatar
    Roy March 29, 2009 - 10:56 am Reply

    Oh shit you ate the floor sausage! Any time your inner German Shepard comes out at a restaurant you know that’s the shit. That shit had you regressing to your childhood bringing back that 3 second rule.

    • avatar
      darwensi March 30, 2009 - 6:34 am Reply

      Yea mang. I got down on all fours and lapped that shit. It was not my best moment.

  • avatar
    =R= March 30, 2009 - 9:04 am Reply

    LMAO! I think your camera added at least 30 pounds to my ass. Nice account, though. That really was some stellar pizza. Fwiw, we were actually 2 parties mixing at the 9-top. 2 Deerfielders, 2 neighborhooders and a once local friend who now lives in L.A. Among the other folks at our table — don’t know their names — was one of the founders of Corner Bakery. As for the bratty kids, well, sorry about that. I thought they were relatively well-behaved but that was a long stint for the little fuckers. And while we didn’t drop any food on the floor, if we had, I would have had no problem snarfing it up. Not only would it have been well worth it, the place was immaculate.


  • avatar
    darwensi March 31, 2009 - 9:55 am Reply


    Glad you likey. The fare was stellar and it was definitely one of my best dining experiences in CY09. This also includes you all, as we are constantly looking for other quirky homo sapiens to enhance the restaurant dynamic (and talk mad shit about). We are undeniably mere mortals when placed next to your gang and eagerly use your forum as our SOPs.

    As for the yunguns, no worries. Much like arguments that we have with our Mothers, we say a shit on this sight that is not meant to offend. Happy gluttony!

  • avatar
    john March 31, 2009 - 2:06 pm Reply

    This place is harder to get into than Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. They’re open like four hours of the week. I want some!

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