Thursday, February 05, 2004

The Good Word

The big spread in the Chicago Tribune (registration required) surely has a bunch of people saying to themselves, hey that's me. As DougK once famously put, I've found my tribe. Not all of the people, in the tribe, however, like to shout their tips. My friend and neighbor, Mark, has been reading Chowhound for a while. He follows suggestions. He he's eaten at El Barco, Islas Marias, Garden Buffet, etc., and he has his own tips too. He turned me on to La Piazza in Forest Park. A great tip.

I've only been once, for lunch, but I can already tell it is a welcome addition to the greater Oak Park food scene. If nothing else, Piazza plays as well to parents as it does to kids, something nearby kid friendly places like Pronto Roma and Leona's cannot claim. For the kids, make your own pizza's. You start with a slab of dough which you stretch and toss; then sauce, cheese and your choice of toppings. They bake it for you, and viola, it is good too. Really nice pizza with a crust both crusty and pillowy soft--at least the way the chowhounditas made it.

Mom had a rolled and stuffed eggplant with house made pasta. Fresh mozzarella and a short cooked tomato sauce expertly garnished the dish. Dad had a sammy of chicken Milanese on fresh baked foccacia. Not a sandwich to grab. Too big and sloppy. I needed to deconstruct the chicken and its toppings, basil and above average winter tomatoes, but I still enjoyed it. Piazza breads their chicken breast with something coarse--almost like corn flakes (hey do not laugh, in yesterday's New York Times, (registration also required) it was reported that super chef David Burke coated foie gras with corn flakes). I liked the crunch, but I would have preferred a slightly thinner, pounded chicken breast.

Dinners are more expansive, not the sandwiches. I think the kid's pizza option is always there.

La Piazza
410 Circle Avenue
Forest Park, IL 60131

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