Friday, October 21, 2011

Is Chi-nnati's Pizza Worth The Wait?

Chi-nnati's Entrance

      I'm always fascinated when new restaurants transform existing spaces, especially when they do a great job worthy of appearing on HGTV.  Such was the case with Chi-nnati's—Jalapeños Mexican in a previous life and a Ground Round before that.  Neither of those was successful which leads one to believe that some spaces just seem to carry bad karma with them.  Hopefully all of that has been extruded in the process. Chi-nnati's deserves to be around for a long time.

      I visited with my work buddies a few weeks ago so Eric and I decided to pay a visit on a Sunday night.  Their specialty is Chicago deep-dish pizza that takes time to prepare.  Chi-nnati's offers the option of calling ahead so your order is well on its way to being ready by the time you arrive.  That added service
worked perfectly for us.  (They also deliver within 5 miles.)  We decided to share a Spring Bleu Salad when we got there so by the time we finished that our Meat Freak Deep Dish and Thin Crust Chi-nnati's Chili Pizzas were ready to be served.  

Spring Bleu Salad
      The salad was fresh with cucumbers, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and bleu cheese crumbles with a sesame-ginger dressing.  The addition of edamame beans was what gave it some crunch.  The crust is what gives the pizzas their personalities.  Eric likened it to a breakfast pastry and I found it to be like a crisp pie crust.  

Chi-nnati's Chili Thin Crust Pizza
For the thin crust pizza, it was like a freshly baked cracker.  A Chicago/Cincinnati chili replaced the red sauce, a mild version that was kicked up a notch with the addition of onions and banana peppers.  

Meat Freak Deep Dish Pizza
The deep dish combined Canadian bacon, ground beef, sausage, and pepperoni with a chunky tomato sauce and mozzarella in a thick corn meal crust.  We couldn't finish both, but the deep dish held up nicely on Monday night.  

      Service was friendly and attentive.  Our only complaint was the blaring sports TVs with football games.  Very few people were into them and we found them annoying to compete with in our conversation.  A little volume tone down for the main dining room would make for a more accommodating space.  After Eric groused about it during the meal, we saw that Sunday evenings are football specials at Chi-nnati’s.  That is most likely a strong draw for patrons that evening.

6" Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza
      On my previous visit, I chose the Lunch Special of a 6" Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza served with a Side Salad (the salad isn't mentioned on the menu).  It's a great deal and there's not such a long wait for preparation 
Side Salad
at lunchtime Monday through Friday.  Salads are also a specialty at Chi-nnati's.  Karen selected the South Side Chicken with sweet corn, black beans, and onions  served with a chili-ranch dressing.
South Side Chicken Salad
Chi-nnati's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Maybe I'll place an order for a pizza someday when Eric and Neil are away. Something with chicken sounds good!

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