Now that I have finished all my CA trip posts I can re-focus on Chicago dining. We'll get back into the groove with a post from Mish. Enjoy.
Crust on Division is pure awesome. It's so much more than just pizza. I love restaurants that have more surprises on their menu to prove they are far from a specialized at only one area, and can actually offer a variety for their customers.
I liked everything about this place: from the red plastic water cups (boyfriend and I agreed at dinner that we do love a nice plastic water cup, not sure why), to our hippie waiter (that needs a haircut but was personable & practically squatted on the ground when he took our order so the sun wasn't in our eyes in the outdoor patio where we were seated). Most importantly, the food was fresh, and the ingredients well selected to create perfectly executed dishes.
We went after work on a Friday. I was not in the mood for pizza, since I had eaten it a few times within the last couple of weeks, so I actually ordered other items on the menu. I know what you are thinking "Mish you are crazy. You went to Folklore and didn't order steak and then went to Crust and didn't order pizza." Well if that's the case, you are probably right, but I guess it's a testament of how I have committed to stay true to self as far as determining what cuisine I'm in the mood to eat (not just what I'm "supposed" to eat a a restaurant). I think that it just proves that many places I've recently tried in Wicker Park have a breadth of items regardless of what your hankering is for.
To my surprise (I didn't do much research prior to attending dinner), everything was locally grown and totally organic. I got the sweet potato appetizer that was basically olive oil marinated sweet potatoes and pecans. It was a cold dish that was topped with sea salt. I know it sounds simple, but I could probably have had 14+ more servings, considering that it was seriously the perfect combination of sweet to salty, plus you really can't beat a locally grown ingredient at the peak of its season perfectly prepared. YUM. Also, I decided to get the beat salad with spinach and goat cheese. Another fantastic choice perfectly prepared. Doug got a pizza, slightly spicy with sausage on it. Of course, I tried some and picked off most the sausage (but don't worry, I tasted it a few times) like a wimpy girl, but the pieces I tasted were insanely juicy and well cooked, with a slight brown glaze on the top. Excellent.
By the way, this is perfect time to eat there at the weather isn't too hot. They have cute tables (of course I like the chairs! they are super cute and I think from IKEA) that are lined with green flower planters, sitting on the wide Division Street. It's perfect for people and/or chubby baby watching. We were so relaxed after our meal as a result of this environment, in fact, that we forgot the to-go box of pizza (oops! Sorry Doug, I know it was on my side of the table).
And P.S., they do have a side bar as well (the venue was much larger than I originally thought) so I will not hesitate heading there for some cocktails at the bar in the near future (they had great wine choices, a handful of micro-brews, and also some seasonal cocktails! Woo!). Seems like an awesome spot to be, regardless of your intended drinking/eating amount. The people are nice, the prices are reasonable, and I'll be back to eat again soon. I suggest you do the same.