Old Chicago in Kansas City

My boyfriend and I love going out to eat. A date night for us, is taking our taste buds on a journey at a new restaurant in the Kansas City area. I encourage everyone to do this, not only does it switch up the environment but it also allows you to try new flavors and have new experiences with your partner. You learn a lot about another person through their food choices believe it or not. We try to avoid chain restaurants but out of convenience, Old Chicago was the choice of the night due to its late hours.

There are 3 locations currently in KC; Overland Park, Independence, and North Kansas City. We visited the Independence location which seemed to be strategically placed next to Main Event, a late night entertainment spot for people of all ages, and conveniently right off the highway.

From first glance inside, the place fit the description of a chain restaurant, with the tacky all over the place wall decorations that I thought was still only in existence in Applebee’s and TGIF and our waitress who put on the “waitress” voice as she gave us her pitch for appetizers all in one breath before she asked us our drink order.

The menu was overwhelming. I felt like I had to take time to mentally organize it. If you have ever been to the Cheesecake Factory and flipped through their endless options of a menu, that is exactly how this menu felt; never ending. There is a section for “Taproom Bites” and “Taproom Starters,” aren’t these both sections for appetizers? A lot of redundancy and a bit of an insult to my intelligence.

We started off our meal with “cheese curds.” (Photo below) Little deep fried balls of white cheddar cheese. I was startled by the fact that these little curds cost $9.49! I don’t know about you, but I don’t think an appetizer should cost more or as much as the meal especially for something so bite size!

As reluctant as I am to admit it, these little balls of cheese were good. They came with a side of jalapeno ranch to dip them in that was complimenting.

I probably won’t order those again though unless it was a happy hour special. All of their appetizers cost about the same and there wasn’t much variety. Everything looked very filling. Side note: An appetizer is a pregame to the meal. It shouldn’t fill you up. 

So finally after stuffing our faces with these little cheese curds, our pizza arrives. We had ordered the “Chicago 7” from their section of “Classic Recipes”. The pie was covered with pepperoni, Italian sausage, red onions, black olives, green peppers, sliced mushrooms. I do give Old Chicago props because that pie looked just like the picture. No false advertisement in that area. (See featured photo)

The waitress kindly asked to serve our first piece. I don’t know if they usually do this or it was out of kindness but either way, I wasn’t going to stop her.

The pie was thick and covered in toppings. There wasn’t one slice that was bare.

While it wasn’t bad pizza, it wasn’t great pizza. It was…..meh. To be a little positive, I think it would be the perfect day-after, leftover pizza.

But realistically and honestly speaking, I wouldn’t go back if the choice was mine.

The meals were overpriced meritocracy and the focus was clearly not on the food, but on their extensive beer selection. I don’t mind having a large selection of beer, but you could tell that that is where this business focused on. An example of a company that executes balancing their beer/food focus well is Yardhouse. Old Chicago needs to take some notes from them.

I think this would be a good place to go to when you want to escape from the family and watch the game,…….just not to indulge in pizza.

If you have any suggestions on where to go next for pie in the Kansas City area send me an email or comment or press follow to see where my stomach leads me next!

 

 


 

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Spicy Pie in the Forest

Even while on vacation my love for pizza doesn’t stop.

I recently returned from a week long trip to electric forest in Rothbury, Michigan for weekend one and while constantly on the go from stage to stage, slowing down with a slice of za was the best decision a festival goer could make.

The first day, out of hunger/anger, I found myself in line for a food vendor named “Homeslice.”
They freshly served pizza out of their woodfire oven, which was quite impressive. The line wasn’t a mile and a half long so they won the battle for my hunger. I got my slice and headed to the next stage.
The pepperoni and cheese covered slice fulfilled my hunger but tasted like any other pizza. The woodfire oven gave it a nice crisp on the thin barely there crust but the remainder of the pie was floppy. In other words, eating it without the plate was not going to happen and I needed some napkins. I love my thin pizza, but this was a bit too thin and I was frankly disappointed in the unimpressive-ness of the taste but no longer “Hangry.”
The next day my nose lead me to the legendary Spicy Pie.

Leading up to the festival, my boyfriend was adamant that I try this vendor. He has gone to the festival for 3 years in a row and through our 2 years of dating, he has never lead me wrong when it comes to the serious matter of pizza.
I searched the web for Spicy Pie and found they have 17 years of “za” knowledge under their belts, I couldn’t find how long they’ve been on the festival circuit but I assume quite a bit considering on their website it is implied that this is only what they do and do not have a store front so I feel like it was safe to assume these guys KNOW what they are doing.
On their Facebook, they posted a map of their locations throughout the Electric Forest grounds for their fans (photo below) and kept them updated them on their pie needs and contests. I appreciate this in a business because they created that link between the pie and the people.
First thing I noticed, options. Side note: if a place has only 4 options or less for pizza, its insulting. Your taste-buds deserve flavor. 
Spicy pie offered 6 flavor combinations and caught my eye with their “Hot Lips Hula-Han.” This slice came with pineapples, jalapeno, and crushed red peppers for $7.
The slice was HUGE and packed with flavor! The crust was crispy and fluffy and the slice was not overly thin like the one from Homeslice. The ingredients used were fresh and of quality and the pineapple and spice contrast was more than satisfying. My quest for good pizza was fulfilled.
I wish I could’ve tried their other flavors but I got lost in the music of the forest. I will for sure be returning to the festival, not only for the music, but also for Spicy Pie.


 

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