Families, looking for casual, fast food, that is unlike any other place- attention! A couple of “local” guys from Lake Forest/Lake Bluff have developed something different, efficient, affordable and very tasty. Here we were on a Sunday night. Our granddaughter had been in a travel soccer game in the city and we were heading back to the burbs to meet Jane for dinner. Sarah wanted a Calzone, Adam a deep dish, Julie and Mike wanted salads, Jane a sandwich, and myself a thin crust pizza. Where oh where could we grab these items and not kill an hour and pay an arm and a leg?
Having heard about a place called Donati’s Pizza Company with locations in Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Rolling Meadows/Palatine and now Lake Bluff, where we were told a pizza, made to your specifications could be on the table in 4 minutes, and deep dish in under ten! How is that for “fast food”? Well, I can tell you that the Shaw kids fell in love with the Pizzas. Adam enjoyed the deep dish and while he only had the cheese topping, said it was the best sauce he ever had (in all his ten years of age). I took a taste to see what an older person would say- one that grew up on thick pizzas of all kinds (a Chicago area specialty) and must say, I also found it to have a solid flavor and zest. Rebecca, also gave it a thumbs up and she added some other ingredients as did Sarah, who also ordered her Calazone exactly as she did her pizza; salami, pepperoni and cheese (very little sauce). Her eyes said it all- this was something that she could eat daily. In fact, she asked me to ask co-owner Jeff Urso, if he might open one of these dining spots in her village of Northbrook, so she could eat there more often.
The Shaw kids, left clean plates and were delighted with their meal. Each completely satisfied. We also had a special sandwich, The Fresh Moz. The tastiest “grilled Cheese” concept to come along and one that I could eat on a regular basis. What is neat about Donati’s is that it is casual, “very casual” and fast, but with complete efficiency. The pizza is only $7.99 ,and that is any sauce, any ingredients (as many as you want). 10″ pizza crispy thin, or gluten free. Chicago personal deep dish is 7″ at same price, as is the Panino Sandwich, the calzone ( which is a folded over pizza) and a salad is the same (5 choices). You place your order, pick your ingredients, pay and find your table. They will bring it to you in a short period of time. Hot, fresh and delicious! Thumbs up from the 7 of us!
They also do party catering, so if you are planning a function and need to have great food at reasonable prices, visit their website at www.donatispizza.com. There you can also find their contact info, so you can place an order for pick up or delivery or sneak a peek at the wide menu so you will know what you want when you enter the place. We enjoyed our dinner in Lake Bluff, the newest entry in their less than five years in business ( they opened in Lake Forest in 2011), located at 205 S. Waukegan Road. Phone number 224-544-5105. They are located in the plaza on Waukegan Road and Route 176 with plenty of free parking. The dining area is not large but comfy and for you sports fans, TV screens fill the walls as do some great jokes and quotes. It is a true treat to meet and eat at Donati’s Pizza Company- “Pies by Local Guys”, Jeff Usro and his buddy Ray Bozic
Vernon Hills/Mundelein 847-918-0900
Rolling Meadows/Palatine 847-359-7900
Hours vary, but they are open for lunch. Best to visit www.donatispizza.com or call. They are known for high quality affordable dining. Dine-in, Carry-out and delivery.
FYI- Tonight, when we arrived at Lake Bluff, we learned that the ovens in nearby Lake Forest had gone down. They re-routed the orders to their new Lake Bluff location and despite having double the normal business, Jeff and his able bodied crew, rolled up their sleeves and went to work making sure that every single order was up to the standards that they set. PERFECTION! (photos by Adam Shaw)