Buffet or a-la-carte: A-la-carte
Date of visit: 11/23/18
Salam/hey guys! Today I will be talking about probably one of my most anticipated visits of all time. Why was it anticipated? Well, it's because of the fact that a location of a popular chain is getting reviewed! The chain? None other than the classic Chicago institution: Giordano's. And what is the popular Chicago food item? Deep dish pizza. Well, we had a spot in Houston for a while (D'Marcos, which closed down) and Fuzzy's (ask for options, but less stellar than D'Marcos). Then, when I was deciding where to go during the trip, I got a picture saying that one of the Giordano's had halal options and that it was prepared separately. I was amazed. I finally got to try the place that so many would always rave about when it came to deep dish. It's the Giordano's that is located in Des Plaines, which is located near O'Hare and a long drive from Burr Ridge. I headed there after spending the day in downtown Chicago which ended with an amazing sunset at 360 Chicago (John Hancock Building). I was going to meet a group of Muslim food bloggers that are based in Chicago (IG: adventuresofshakandb). The original plan was to take the rail by myself from downtown to there, since the location was 5 minutes from the station. But, I got picked up and then we headed there. Surprisingly, I-90 was not packed as I thought it would be. That meant a little wait. My dad was worried about me being alone, so I went inside and said that I would be back since they were on their way. I sat in the Panera Bread next door (didn't walk since it was cold outside). As soon as they were 5 minutes away, I went inside the restaurant.
Let The Experience Begin!
For a popular pizza chain, the location was SMALL. Only one row of tables and then there were some bar stools. And it was packed. A large party consisting of 14 people came in. There was even a line for takeout where the waiting time was nearing two hours. The wonderful thing? All but one group were brown folks like myself. And they were getting the halal toppings. The bloggers arrived, and we helped ourselves to the barstools and drinks (I got a Pepsi). Then, we ordered.
For appetizers, we ordered the fried calamari (squid). And before reading the next sentence, I would like to say that no fiqh discussions will be allowed. Different schools have different opinions about which seafood items are permissible to eat. The fried calamari came with artichoke fritters, lemon rings, banana peppers, and fennel with their marinara sauce. For the main, we ordered a meat and more with the halal meat. The meat was halal beef pepperoni, halal beef salami, halal beef bacon, and halal beef sausage. You must request the halal toppings when ordering. They are available when dining in and taking out. For delivery, you have to call them in order to get the halal toppings. The large one, which we got, was $37.25 + tax. The appetizer was $10.95+ tax. One important thing to mention is that the cooking process for deep dish is long. So it's recommended that you order appetizers.
The menu is like any pizza spot. You have apps, pizzas, and some plates and sandwiches. I also like that there is an individual deep dish option here. I'm assuming that the halal meats can be put in some of the other dishes, so just check if they can do that. As of now, this is the only location of Giordano's in the COUNTRY to have halal options available.
|The Deep Dish|
|Our attempt at a cheese pull|
|Side shot of a slice|
The pizza was incredible. Incredibly cheesey and meaty. All of us loved the pizza. I can safely say that Giordano's was well worth the hype. This was definitely the greatest deep dish I've ever had. The calamari was great as well, even though there were some accidental bites into the lemon. Overall, two thumbs up.
One thing that made this place stand out was the service. The person working with all this rush was amazing. She was able to make everything calm despite the long waits, and she was incredibly friendly. The owners are also friendly. We had a small chat before leaving about how they were able to convince corporate to serve halal meat at the location, and thanked them for serving halal.
Giordano's cheese may be great based on how it tasted along with the meat, but for a true deep dish experience with halal meat, head over to this location! It being packed is a testament to the fact that the halal options at Giordano's is a hit! Hopefully a Lou Malnati's location and/or either the Morton Grove or a new location of Pequod's would follow suit in the future, since it''ll be nice to have more than one option for halal deep dish in the city where it originated from. I'll definitely be back to try it again, no matter where I would be in Chicago.
Total: 20/20 = 100% (A)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$
Phone: (847) 635-8550
Timings: Sun-Thu: 10:30 AM - 10 PM; Fri-Sat: 10:30 AM - 11 PM