Three Floyd's Brewpub
9570 Indiana Parkway, Munster IN 46321 (map); 219-922-4425; threefloydspub.com
Pizza Style: Thin-crust
Oven Type: Gas
The Skinny: Not worth the drive from Chicago just for the pies, but for a bar this is pizza well done
Price: 14-inch pizzas, $11 to $16
I have yet to meet a serious beer drinker in Chicago who does not love beer from 3 Floyd's, the Munster, Indiana–based brewery that's been pleasing discerning Midwestern palates since 1996. The company has undergone a few expansions in the dozen years it's been open, but demand is so high around here that widespread national distribution is still a ways away. In the meantime, if you are in the area or have a particularly good friend who is, Dark Lord Day is April 24, and if you want a golden ticket, you need to start following 3 Floyd's on Twitter now.
At the brewery sits Three Floyd's Brewpub, which I was introduced to at Chicago Gourmet last fall. There, when most of Chicago's best restaurants were offering samples of food, the jagerwurst with house-made mustard and braised red cabbage put out by Three Floyd's Brewpub was one of a handful of places I went back to for seconds. With those outstanding bites in mind, I went to Three Floyd's on my recent tour of Munster that also included John's Pizzeria and Schoop's for burgers.
I noticed a couple of things while perusing the menu. First, the restaurant has a wider variety of food than the kind of place where you typically find good pizzas. Second, while they have a build-your-own option, the specialty pies showed an impressive degree of creativity. I ended up going for one of the less ambitious pies, pepperoni and pickled jalapeños.
The crust is not made in-house, which shouldn't be too surprising in a restaurant that is far from being a pizzeria. But as Nick Kindelsperger has taught us, even a terrible crust can be somewhat saved by a hot oven, and Three Floyd's cooks its pies at 700°F. That's not to say the prefabricated pie was great—it was a bit too crisp—but it was not bad at all.
Both of the toppings were very good. I'm normally not a fan of pepperoni, but I correctly assumed that these guys weren't going to put out the salt lick that passes for meat at most places. This thin-sliced, oven-crisped pepperoni reminded me what pepperoni should taste like. The pickled jalapenos were also quite good, but the chef was surprisingly stingy with them. Jalapenos are not an expensive ingredient and if someone orders them on a pizza, I think the person making them can safely assume his customer is expecting some heat on their pie. That said, the bites that had both pepperoni and jalapeno in them had a great spicy, chewy, tangy flavor combination. Unfortunately, those bites were few and far between and the rest of the pizza was pretty ordinary, although still good for a bar.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of beer and are anywhere near Munster, you owe it to yourself to check out Three Floyd's. And if you want to eat while you're there, for pizza at a bar you can do a whole lot worse.