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Posted by Gary on 04/05/2012
We love Great Lake! We live an hour away and have been going to Great Lake about every 2-3 months; it is that good. The pizza is unlike anything we have had anywhere else, loaded with seasonal vegetables and artisan cheeses. Spinach with cumin and Dante cheese; Cremini mushroom (a layer of mushrooms covering the entire pizza, not just a few scattered about, which almost melt in the cooking process, creating a taste like the most amazing mushroom soup); Shredded butternut squash; Tomatillo salsa. We've had them all and, honestly, each pizza was better than any pizza we've had anywhere else. The salads are also exceptionally good. The Farmer's Market salad is a large pile of fresh mixed greens and micro greens, with great textures and complex flavors, topped with an excellent buttermilk dressing. There also are special salads, which periodically change depending on what's fresh, which are always great. We had an awesome grated Brussels sprout salad, and others that we can't recall but remember as being great as well. The atmosphere of the restaurant is comfortable and casual. They are happy to answer any questions you have, or to tell you anything you want to know about the food and restaurant; but they also let diners eat in peace, without feeling a need to intrude on the dining experience by constantly checking in. If you are looking for a restaurant with chatty servers, this is not the place for you. However, if you want incredible food and a comfortable dining experience prepared and served by people that care passionately about the quality of the food that they serve, then you have to try Great Lake.
Posted by Disappointed on 07/16/2011
Heard nothing but raves about this place. Took the family and barely lucked into an order slot. The restaurant is in a quaint location. We were told they only handle some many orders per-day. Seating was out of the question only so many reservations per-day, period. Organic equals cool in my book but this was over done and the crust was salted. Not you typical menu I liked it but the rest of my party didn’t. Gotta say it was over priced for what you get. The service was not good. While waiting for our pizza we got the impression they didn’t want us in their small shop hang around. Because we traveled across the city to get there and did not have a reservation we didn’t have a place to eat. We asked for a local park to got to and got a bar’s address that looked pretty grungy from the outside. We eventually found a couple of benches on the street and made the best of it. Needless to say we won’t be going back.
Posted by Samantha on 03/21/2011
I've talked up Great Lake to anyone who would listen for the past two years... without ever actually eating there. This past Thursday changed that. After randomly deciding to walk to Andersonville to finally leap into that tiny little store front, we waited 45 minutes for the restaurant to open at 5pm. At 5:40, we left full and in awe, the number 2 was AMAZING, never had we enjoyed a pizza without wanting to dump parmesan & crushed red pepper on the sucker. It was entirely worth the wait.
Posted by Anonymous on 03/10/2011
Worth the wait... and there usually is one
Posted by Annette Mambuca on 08/02/2010
To paraphrase Caesar, "We came, we ate, Great Lakes conquered us." My husband and I are locals, living not far from Andersonville. We'd read the reviews in the major mags and local rags extolling the virtues of the pizzas and, predictably, bemoaning the wait. Luckily for us, my husband sauntered down Clark Avenue to Great Lake while I waited for my sister and her daughter, in town from Philadelphia, to finish their shopping at a nearby store. I rec'd a whispered call from my hubby to come to Balmoral immediately. We did, and Voila...a table at Great Lake awaited us. The five of us, elated to be there and finding it impossible to pick 2 of the 3 proffered pies, ordered all three and a green salad to boot. The salad, said my niece, tasted like the earth. And she was right on. We spoke of nothing else as we ate it. Then came the pies, one after another, kindly and perfectly paced. We spoke in hushed tones, such was the reverence we felt. Midway through the first pizza, my eloquent niece, all 16 years of sophistication and well accustomed to authentic Italian food during multiple trips to the country, pronounced it was so delicious it made her tingly all over. The three of us shivered in agreement. Knowing we had 3 whole pizzas to taste, we began saving some of the outer crusts of our individual pizzas, which I let dry for 3 days. We're about to consume a most fantastic panzanella from those remains. (I've sampled a bit, so I know.) Granted, we waited nary a second for our table last Friday, so I can't speak to the woes of those who have and left Great Lake smarting a bit from the experience. All I can say is, next time, I'll wait.
Posted by Mr. X on 06/24/2010
Despite tornado warnings, upon arriving we were told that they do not seat parties of more than 4! Who knew? Why not? Luckily, due to the weather, two of our party couldn't make it. The pizza was good, but I don't think it compares to Pizza DOC. If you want to try the pizza, order one to go.
Posted by Mr. B. on 04/29/2009
The pizza at Great Lake is so good that it makes me sad to be a New Yorker. I don't know when I'll be back in Chicago to try it again, but I do know that every pizza I encounter from now on will be compared to the two I tasted at Great Lake. Some details: It's BYOB. Prices are high for regular pizza, but low for the best pizza in the country. The restaurant isn't really big enough to accommodate a lot of demand (seats maybe 12-14), so recognition will probably mean interminable waits for a table. In my opinion, it's worth it. I've read other reviews and not everyone had the near-religious experience I did, so no guarantees. But, for me, this is what everything else has to measure up to. It's just that good.