Dozens of beer styles join classic pizza and scrumptious apps and entrees
A few days ago, a serious pizza craving struck me right in the pizza lobes of my brain. I wasn’t craving just any pizza. I had to have a thick, cheesy and meaty pizza pie, landing on the table with substance and a purpose.
I wanted a pizza with a clear strata of ingredients layered into a thick, buttery and crispy crust that my usual thin-crust, fold-and-eat, New-York-style pizza joint could not produce. I had a Chicago-style, extra-large pizza craving that had to be satiated before it turned into a unnatural desire that would embarrass me and my family. I had to act quickly.
Although my wife understood the gravity of the problem, she was not sympathetic enough to let it get in the way of her own cravings. She made it clear that she was not in the mood for pizza in any form or fashion, which presented a dilemma that could have possibly sent the evening’s dinner plans spiraling out of control.
Then Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom came to the rescue.
I was already a fan of the pizza and beer at Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom. With 36 taps and around 65 different bottled beers, it easily became a favorite meeting place for me and my friends. Honestly, “Old Chicago is the Beer Authority,” as they put it.
The dozens of beer styles available are always changing. They offer an “Explorer Series” multiple times throughout the year, focusing on a particular style, with six-to-eight options, allowing folks to truly dive into that style and see what it’s about (as in their recent “Belgian-style Explorer Series”).
Then there is the “World Beer Tour and Mini-Tours,” such as their upcoming Oktoberfest Mini-Tour, during which you can sample Oktoberfest-style German beers.
Whether you want a white ale or a Kolsch-style beer on a hot summer day, or a unique porter or stout in the colder months, Old Chicago Pizza is the “Authority” when it comes to the best place to taste and enjoy beers from around the world.
But back to their pizza.
It’s exactly what you want when you’re craving a thick, Chicago-style pie with a mountain of toppings. And they have a stellar selection of wings, with ten different flavors, from Twice-Baked Applewood Dry Rub to Original Buffalo and Sweet Thai Chili sauced.
But as good as the pizza, wing, and beer scene is at Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom, the restaurant is just as perfect for a night out with family or a casual dinner with friends. The wide range of choices and quality of food is what saved our night out and allowed me to satisfy my pizza craving.
When my wife and I opened our menus, we immediately began to ponder the appetizer possibilities. Our server suggested the Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls, as if she could read our minds. These seductive swirls of scrumptiousness are made by twirling fresh, house-made dough around hand-cut pepperoni, green onions, and gooey cheese to create a fluffy, cheesy, meaty flavor dance in your mouth.
Then, it was entree time. When my eight-inch, Chicago 7 pizza with a Chicago Thick crust hit the table, I was mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of freshly cut vegetables and glistening pepperoni—that is, until I spotted my wife’s plate.
She had ordered the Chicken Pesto Mac N Cheese from the trio of Toasted Cheddar Mac-stravaganza options happening in the center of the menu. It was a thing of beauty. Creamy white cheddar combines with fresh pesto sauce to coat corkscrew pasta, broccoli, and tender chunks of roasted chicken.
This mixture gets topped with more white cheddar and toasted, buttered bread crumbs for a nice crunch. Once I coaxed my wife into giving me a bite, I came down with a serious case of entree envy. Thankfully, she was in a sharing mood and kept a steady stream of sample bites coming to me throughout the meal to mitigate my envious urges.
The portions were huge, and the food was so good that we ate it as if we were going to win something. But even after this generous meal, we were tempted by the house-made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches.
We ended up sharing one of these made-to-order sweet endings and dipped it in the hot fudge sauce strategically provided for an extra touch of decadence. A fitting finale to a delicious meal.
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom
250 Northgate Mall Dr., Chattanooga, TN 37415
Hours: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.