Daily Slice: Jimmy's Pizza Cafe, Chicago
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
The list of places that put out good New York slices in Chicago is a short one, but it recently got a little longer when Jimmy Kang opened Jimmy's Pizza Café in Lincoln Square. The large slices ($3.50 with a topping or $3 without) get briefly reheated in a tabletop Bakers Pride oven. The crisp and chewy crust is just limp enough to demand diners fold their slice if they want to eat with one hand. More importantly, it's a good piece of bread that's perked up with some salt. The sauce is a shade on the pasty side, though that could have been due to the sitting under a heat lamp, or getting reheated process. The sausage, fennel-packed chunks from Fontanini, made for a nice Chicago twist to the New York specialty.
The bigger twist came from something that seems out of place in a pizzeria and out place in Chicago: beignets. Kang told me that he came up with the idea based on the zeppole he'd seen in some New York pizzerias but wanted to do something lighter. I can't argue with that logic, and these fried, oily, sugar-covered pieces of airy dough (3 for $2.50) are so good that I walked out thinking the pizza and beignet combination actually makes sense.
Jimmy's Pizza Cafe
5159 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625 (map)