By John Stillman ‘19
Chicago: The Second City, The Windy City, and the greatest city in the world. But let’s face it, Chicago is the pizza capital of the world. Although Chicago is known for its famous deep dish pizza, the Southside is well known for the finest thin crust pizza you can find.
In the area surrounding Brother Rice, there are so many wonderful options. But a question has been nagging me: what pizza reigns supreme? I decided to go on a quest to determine the greatest pizza around Brother Rice.
I chose five well-known pizza places within five miles of Brother Rice. Each pizza I reviewed was thin crust and cheese only for accuracy purposes.
Palermo’s 95th-Oak Lawn
Palermo’s pizza is an exceptional pizza with their iconic sweet sauce. The cheese is melted just perfectly and the loaded spices in the middle of the pizza make it delightful. Their crust is slightly crispy but still soft on the inside. Palermo’s only downside is the price. A large cheese pizza is $20.50, which is slightly overpriced for any pizza with just cheese on it. Despite its price, Palermo’s is a great pizza where consistency is premium.
What is a Brother Rice pizza review without Barraco’s pizza? Barraco’s sauce is the happy-medium, with a slight sweetness but tart enough to create a perfect balance. The cheese is nothing special but their spice makes it stand out. The crust is always consistent and flavorful, which is crucial for the foundation of the pizza. Unfortunately, I feel Barraco’s has struggled to find the overall consistency since it tragically burned down a couple years ago. At the end of the day, Barraco’s is a timeless classic, as it is the pizza many of us Crusaders have grown up on.
Rosangela’s, the forgotten pizza on 95th Street, overshadowed Barraco’s and Palermo’s. Rosangela’s has a very tart sauce, and their crust is the runaway winner in flavor and crispiness; it is rare to find that combination in any pizza. Like Barraco’s, Rosangela’s consistency is a major issue. For example, I always find their pizza to be better on Sunday than any other day of the week. I do not have a possible explanation for this, but consistency cannot be emphasized enough when talking about pizza.
Home Run Inn-Beverly
Home Run Inn may be better known as the best frozen pizza, but people forget how great their regular pizza tastes. Home Run Inn has your typical, nothing fancy sauce, but their cheese and crust sets them apart. Their fresh mozzarella has a taste unlike any other and their crust has a great combination of a crispy outside and soft inside. Home Run Inn does not include any spices on top of their pizza, and, on certain days, it lacks the flavor of other pizzas. Home Run Inn is a must try for any pizza connoisseur.
The final pizza of this review is Milano’s in Beverly. Perhaps the hidden gem of this group, Milano’s mountain of cheese along with its savory sauce remains supreme. You always know what you will get at Milano’s, as they offer consistency unlike any other pizza in the area. Milano’s negative is their crust. Their bland and tasteless crust ruins all of the pizza’s assets. .Milano’s is a hidden gem and a must for any Southsider.
Although all these pizzas are great and unique in their own way, Palermo’s is the all around best. Every part of the Palermo’s pizza experience is great. From their mouthwatering cheese to their sweet sauce, Palermo’s can’t be beat. Sure their prices may be higher than most, but if you want the best, you have to pay for the best. I can promise you, you won’t be disappointed.