I grew up, as many Chicagoans did, knowing that the best thin pizza in town was a little company called Father & Son Pizza”. In fact, I never knew they had anything else. We only ordered by phone and had it delivered. It was always hot and crispy and my folks loved it! As the years went by, they grew into a full scale restaurant, in fact three and the name became Marcello’s, because they are more than pizza (although, I must say, it is still the best of the best when thin pizza is mentioned).
While we have been going for many years, we, being creatures of habit, order the “usual” items and really never looked at the full menu, which is mind-boggling to say the least. If you cannot find something on the Marcello’s menu, you are either not hungry or dead. We decided to visit the Northbrook location at 1911 Cherry Lane tonight with some friends. By having four of us, we are able to sample far more items, and in this case, the other couple has some diet restrictions, which kept us on our toes regarding what to order.
Larry Goodman, one of the managers at this location, offered some suggestions- things he knew we never had tried. He made some awesome suggestions. For our appetizer: Calamari, lightly breaded and served with Chipotle pepper and cocktail sauce- tender and juicy with none of the “rubbery tastes associated with calamari. Delicious. We also had a thin crust Abbe’s gluten-free pizza. Marty is on a gluten-free diet and so we knew that this would be right up his alley. Guess what? I found theAbbe’s gluten-free pizza to be as crispy and delightful as the old established Father & Son from my youth (when we ate gluten). Be assured, if you are on a gluten-free diet, Marcello’s will satisfy your hunger.
The have many choices of salads as well as flat breads and soups so that everyone in your party can have exactly what they crave.. Shellie, who is a non-meat diner, did find herself digging in on some of the entries that Larry made sure we tried: their broasted chicken is an item that people travel for. Yes, I know a south sider who drives to Lincoln Park to pick up this tasty treat every week. That is dedication, but the broasted chicken is that good. It can be ordered Country, BBQ, Garlic, teriyaki, Buffalo (hot) and Oregano, by the piece or in a two piece or four piece dinner. Try the twice baked sweet potato as your side- makes you feel as if it is Thanksgiving with chicken!.
Who doesn’t love a slab of ribs? I love them, but often, when going out, do not order them as they can be “messy eating”. These ribs are “par-boiled” so we do not have to fight to get the meat off the bone. They are juicy and the BBQ sauce is a sweet one that enhances the flavor. We also never would think of ordering a hamburger or cheeseburger at Marcello’s- after all, is that Italian? Guess what- one of the juiciest burgers we have ever tasted. One more entree is all we could handle, although I watched some other entrees go by to other tables, and saw a few things that I will partake of next time. The brisket sandwich is “just like what Grandma made during the holidays”. Tender , sweet and tangy served on a fresh roll is a crowd pleaser (even Shellie, who doesn’t eat meat, tasted this awesome dish).
There are so many other items to choose from, I could go back once a month and not order them all in a year. As I said, over the years we have enjoyed the pastas, the pizza and the skirt steak sandwich (which is back on the menu). They also have banquet facilities for all types of parties and of course catering. It is difficult to eat this much and still want dessert, but one cannot go to Marcello’s and not partake of their signature dessert pizza- either Very Berry or Hot Toffee Apple (my favorite). Wow! They also have a fabulous Chocolate Mousse cake and the desert pizza can be done gluten-free as well. I am not sure who Abbe is, but her recipes for “gluten Free are amazing!
Full bar service is available and if you are on North Avenue, you can visit their bakery and take home some very special cookies for the “Cookie Monster” in you! This is just a small sample of the selection at this family favorite, since 1947. They also are very “kid friendly” with a divine menu for the youngsters. To view the menu and layouts, visit www.marcellos.com.
The locations are:Northbrook (where we dined) 847-498-1500, Lincoln Park, 645 West North Avenue 312-654-2550 (just around the corner from Steppenwolf and The Royal George for your theater nights) and Logan Square at 2475 N. Milwaukee Avenue 773-252-2620. All locations have lots of free parking and great employees who will make your dining experience one to remember. Enjoy!
Whether you dine in, carry-out, get delivery or have a party, Marcello’s, a Father & Son Restaurant will be perfect. By the way, if you join their loyalty club (earning points every time you dine) you will receive a free 12″ pizza on your next visit. sign up on-line.