The Inaugural Old Style Chicago Pizza Summit Recap: We Partied Hard

Sunday evening, Old Style hosted Chicago’s first ever Pizza Summit. It’s amazing that a town with so much pride in their favorite food had yet to organize such an event, but we’re so glad someone did.

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The summit was held at the Chop Shop & 1st Ward in Wicker Park and broken into 2 different sessions, 2-5 PM & 6-9. Hungry and eager to get inside was line down North Ave of likeminded, pizza loving individuals. They were lucky to get in on a Pizza Party that sold out in 3 minutes thanks to the efforts Old Style and Do312. The patient crowd was greeted at the door by a man who definitely looked to be in charge, named T.J., and the awesome Chop Shop staff.

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Partiers were led toward their destiny for the evening, which would have been appropriate to the sounds of Willy Wonka singing “Pure Imagination“.

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Once checked in, you were handed 5 tickets that gave you plenty of Old Style to wash down the feast that was about to ensue…and a pretty cool personal pizza slice plate.

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Then it began. Around the room, like a wagon circle of deliciousness, were the fine folks from…

 Home Run Inn

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And yes, we have a secret #HomeRunInnHandshake that only the cool kids know.

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Taco in a Bag

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They brought the super innovative “Pizza in a Bag” with them.

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Flo & Santos

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With a polish sausage pizza that is to die for.

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Gino’s East

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If you go anytime soon, try the veggie pizza with mashed potatoes in it. Trust me.

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Santullo’s 

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They kept it simple, and simple was perfect.

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Lou Malnati’s

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The famous family recipe, that we all recall made Jon Stewart chill for a minute.

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Dimo’s

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I tried Mac & Cheese pizza for the first time, and it made me into a believer.

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Pie-Eyed Pizzeria

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In case you can’t read that description, it says BBQ pizza with five-spiced braised pork belly and Wisconsin cheese curds. Yeah.

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Connie’s Pizza

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I greatly appreciated these cool people for letting me reminisce about growing up on Connie’s going to ballgames in Chicago. I imagine many of you can relate…

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Boiler Room

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You may recall that Boiler Room ranked #1 on my Pizza Challenge list a year ago…

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The guys from Boiler Room actually served as the opener for the evening’s keynote speaker, flipping dough way more impressively than i ever could…

Immediately after that last dough throw into the crowd, the Alan Parson’s Project (better known locally as the Chicago Bulls intro music) was cranked to the max in the room!

Yes, capping off the week where he formed the PARTY Party for this year’s election season, Andrew W.K. spoke to pizza loving, party-till-you-puke crowd about what it means to live positively and the kind of joy pizza brings to people everywhere. To sum it up as eloquently as possible, IT WAS COOL AS HELL…I’d rank it ahead of Rocky’s speech after defeating Ivan Drago.

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To perfectly wrap up his State of the Pizza Union address, Andrew W.K. led supporters in chant worthy for such an event.

 

He then met with fans and pizza-lovers alike. Even Snapchat Face-Swapped with my partner in crime for the night, Kristin.

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Whose hair looks better? Serious question.

The fun didn’t stop there. Upstairs, the U.S. Pizza Museum debuted its epic collection.

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The museum will be at The Chop Shop on April 4th for you to check out, and then you’ll have to find out where they POP UP NEXT by following their Facebook Page. They had some really cool swag that’s very much worth snagging for yourself or that special pizza fan you know and love.

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Also upstairs was a sweet little getaway section where bartender extraordinaire Kristen mixed us some Old Fashions to go perfectly with our Old Styles. Serving as a connector between the bar and the rest of the summit was an awesome rooftop patio that was made better by great weather.

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Providing excellent tunes, sound and projector GIFs on the wall all evening were the tandem of Kristin and Eric.

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Overall, it was a really fun time filled with super nice people, pizza and partying. Looking forward to the next one already. Well done, Old Style Chicago.

Here are some more scenes from the 2016 Pizza Summit.

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Follow along for more adventures on Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes as well. 

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Ballpark Foodie: White Sox Unveil New Food Items for 2016 Season

As that new baseball season smell keeps fans anxiously waiting for Opening Day’s first pitch, baseball stadiums across the nation will be permeated with the unique smells of ballpark food. Sure, you can pickup your classic baseball hot dogs, pretzels and nachos, but why not indulge the foodie culture that the sport has come to identify itself with in recent years.

The Chicago White Sox have been especially keen on the tastebuds of their fan base. Double-thick maple bacon on a stick is staple for fans (and goes great on the Comiskey burgers grilled at the same stand). Thursday afternoon, the club rolled out their new concession items for the 2016 season at U.S. Cellular Field.

Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

Merkt’s Cheddar Beef Sandwich

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Thinly-sliced ribeye, grilled and tossed with Merkt’s cheese. Seved on a hoagie roll and topped with Chi-Town Pico.

 

Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Dog

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Vienna all-beef hot dog on a pretzel roll bun. Topped with nacho cheese and bacon. 

 

Tater Totchos

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Tater tots, available in a mini green betting helmet, topped with nacho cheese and jalapenos. 

 

New Beggars Pizza Options

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Barbecue Chicken – Thin crust with sweet BBQ sauce base, diced chicken and mozzarella.

Italian Beef and Giardiniera – Pretty self explanatory. 

 

Click here for concession location details and gluten free options (for those who need them). White Sox home opener is Friday, April 8th against the Cleveland Indians. Tickets available for the upcoming season here

I’ll be there April 9th to try everything out myself. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram

Ballpark Foodie: Texas Rangers Unveil ‘Wicked Pig’ and Then Some

Do you like pork?

Well you better…that is if you plan on trying one of the most Texas style things we’ve ever seen at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

The Texas Rangers unveiled their new menu items for the 2016 season. Starting with the “Wicked Pig” sandwich…

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This behemoth of a sandwich boasts layers of pulled pork, thick cut Danish bacon, split Texas sausage, prosciutto, and sliced ham topped with coleslaw and pork rinds…covered with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. It will be served at the “Smokehouse 557” stand in section 49 for the price of $27.

Also available in Arlington will be the Chicken and Donut Skewer.

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It’s a 12-inch skewer consisting of fresh donut holes and fried chicken drizzled with buffalo honey sauce. The skewer is located at the “Flew the Coop” stand in section 50 for $12.

The new items don’t stop there. More items include:

  • The Flaming Hot Cheetos Dog – All beef hot dog, topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and nacho cheese, also infused with Flamin’ Hots.
  • Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese – Self explanatory
  • Ballpark Vegan Menu – Southwest Black Bean Burger, Vegan Nachos and Hot Dogs, and Shake It Up salad. (Like the old McSalad Shaker)

I’ll be posting more of my findings during the season on here and social media, but don’t hesitate to share anything you try at a ballpark or stadium on Facebook and Twitter with #BallparkFoodie.

Ballpark Foodie: Hot Doug’s and Portillo’s Join Cubs at Spring Training

Whether you’re visiting Arizona for some Cactus League Spring Training baseball or a midwestern transplant just living in the area, you’ll get to taste some real Chicago delicacies at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. During their 15-game home exhibition schedule, the Chicago Cubs will feature sausages from Hot Doug’s and Italian beef from Portillo’s at their concessions like they do at Wrigley Field.

As many ‘encased meats’ enthusiasts know, Hot Doug’s owner Doug Sohn closed his fine Avondale gourmet sausage establishment back in 2014. However, Sohn has frequently brought Hot Doug’s back in pop-ups, on top of pizzas at Piece, and at a stand in the Wrigley Field bleachers.

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At Sloan Park, Hot Doug’s will rotate different selections that reflect the “favorites” from Wrigley. Up first starting Friday, will be the spicy polish and jalapeno-cheddar sausages that are named after Champ Summers and Steve Trachsel. The selections will change after every 5 games, so there will be 3 different pairings during Spring Training.

The Cubs’ newer Arizona facility has featured Italian beef in the past, but this time they have teamed up with Portillo’s because c’mon…it’s Portillo’s.

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There are two Portillo’s restaurants in Arizona already, Tempe and Scottsdale, and that reflects the Chicagoan presence living in the area. Now residence and tourists can get some more of a taste of Chicago while watching Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber jack home runs out of the desert.

If you attend Spring Training this year, please share your ballpark food porn pics with us on Facebook and Twitter!

The Best Pizza Party Ever Is Coming To Chicago

As you already know, we’re strong advocates for great pizza here.

Apparently so are Old Style, Do312 and Andrew W.K, as they will be hosting Chicago’s FIRST EVER Pizza Summit at The Chop Shop & 1st Ward in Wicker Park on April 3rd.

The event will feature 12 of Chicago’s best pizza places and chefs, serving slices and pizza inspired cuisine, and a keynote speech by A.W.K. himself. Saying the dude “loves partying and pizza” is an understatement.

Tickets for the pizza summit go on sale February 19th at 10 PM on the Empty Bottle website and TicketWeb, with two different sessions at 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM CDT. The sessions are open to the general public and tickets are $35 a piece, covering all-you-can-eat food and 5 Old Style beer tickets over 3 HOURS.

My only question is…

Who’s coming with me?! Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

 

Adele’s Audio Issues Lead To In-N-Out Burger After GRAMMYs. She Wins.

If you watched the GRAMMYs Monday night, you probably caught Adele’s performance. It wasn’t her best, no.

It sounded like something went wrong with her microphone at the start and it seemed to bother her the rest of the way.

Adele addressed the issue herself on Twitter, and it sounds like she’s rebounding perfectly.

 

Being in the midwest, I’m officially jealous of Adele and would happily trade places…simply for a “3 x 3” at In-N-Out.

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Hungry? Follow along for more on Facebook or Twitter!

Valentine’s Weekend Poll: Heart Shaped Doughnuts or Pizza?

First off, Happy Valentine’s Weekend to you.

Whether you have a hot date, reservations at a fancy sit down joint, or marathon RomComs with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, at least you have plans. Regardless of your relationship status on Facebook (or how complicated it may or may not be), at least food won’t break your heart…so to speak. Everything tastes better with a fun theme too.

As you know, we have an appreciation for both doughnuts and pizza here. You can start your day with one and end it with the other, making it great day at that. This weekend you can eat something that represents your love for food, but let’s see which one you love more.

Do-Rite Donuts in Chicago and other shops will have these available all weekend.

(Actually, a box of doughnuts sounds better than just chocolates.)

Lou Malnati’sand other pizza places will be making pies like these to fix your craving.

 

There isn’t a wrong choice, and really you’d be better off having both, but which makes your heart jump first:

Heart shaped doughnuts or pizza? 

 

Let me know on Facebook or Twitter