Once upon a time there was a South of Chicago Pizza in Fletcher Place, on Virginia Avenue. It had one of the best, if not the best, Italian Beef sandwich in the city. they also had a lunchtime buffet. They were so successful they were able to open another joint near Greenwood. Back in July they were told that the new building owners didn’t want to renew their lease. So they are gone and this joint is here.
I enjoy buffets. It is just difficult for me to get any decent pictures of the buffet line.
This is most of the salad bar, in 2 shots. For an inexpensive buffet ($11- drink included) it was well-appointed.
They also offered a plain cheese pie and a meatball dish.
On my first trip I got a slice of both the sausage and bacon pies. Deep dish and a thinner crust. I also tried their meatball dish. I enjoy deep dish sometimes, it depends on the crust. However I consider it more an open-faced Calzone than a pie. I agree with Pat about the sauce it tasted of tomato only. Some people swear that a pizza sauce should be unassuming so that the toppings will stand out. Others contend every element of a dish should stand on its own. In this case I am more a stand by itself sorta guy. This especially is relevant with the meatball dish. The meatballs were huge. One cross-section was about 3 inches. They had a great texture, just no great taste. The overall dish was something I would eat at a buffet but as a primary dish, no.
As I said this was a nice salad bar. This was a very good buffet and from the lunch crowd the folks in the neighborhood agree.
Modifications are politely declined.
We will accommodate allergies if possible.
From some reviews and comments I have read and heard, these two little lines have a few of my fellow citizens all worked up.
This is fly over country and folks here don’t like to be told what to eat or how to eat. As an occasional Libertarian I can empathize with that sentiment. However as a one time working chef I can see the reason for such a statement. A chef or cook spends quite a bit of time creating a dish for service. Taste, replication, presentation, sourcing, pricing all these things have to be considered.So naturally they want people to try it as they intended. That being said you must have some flexibility. If not you might just end up cooking for friends and family.
This was my “first course”. This is their toast plate. It features a lovely baguette from Amelia’s, and a nice little tomato and cucumber salad. Hiding behind the salad is egg rillette,topped with pickled onion. Traditionally rillette is a pork pate. Here it’s a chopped soft egg. Great spread on hot bread. On the far side sets their house ricotta, and the show stopper on the plate. Clementine confit. That is one of the craziest things I have eaten in a while. It’s tangerine segments cooked in hot lard. It was damn good. All of the components worked very well together. The slight acidity of the tomatoes to balance the richness of the egg and cheese but to me the star was the confit. This plate was a definite hit. Had I known that was what I would get I would not have ordered as much as I did.
After ordering the bread before it even arrived my server was back and I order chicken livers, bacon and a bun. I figured I would be safe since some folks were complaining that the portion size was “small”. This joint has changed their menu at least 3 times since they opened,approximately 4 weeks ago. So I jumped on the chicken livers they offered.
Now this is a chicken lovers fantasy plate. Six crispy fried livers sitting on a schmear of liver pate. In between the livers were two-inch square pieces of toast. This whole plate of decadent chicken liver goodness was covered with hot sauce. Not just any hot sauce but barrel aged sriracha. Now I have had the regular form of this hot sauce,but never the barrel aged stuff. They put the mash in whiskey barrels and give it a couple of months to “mature”. The resultant sauce is as different from the standard sauce as Laphroig is to Passport. And to provide a subtle taste difference they offered sticks of pickled white turnip as well. This plate was more than enough to sate a luncheon appetite and definitely worth the 10 bucks I paid for it.
I was about half way through the first plate when I received the second. I told my server, Natalie to bring food out as it came up. I would find a way to keep up.
While I was finishing my livers my other food appeared. A chocolate and hazelnut bun and sorghum glazed bacon.
This bun was delicious. Period. The fact that it was $3 is remarkable. Almost as remarkable as the bun itself. I understand that their pastry chef is named Zoe. Well Zoe you have a new fan. What you do is possibly illegal in some countries.
The last thing I ordered was a $5 piece of bacon. Sounds crazy doesn’t it. What you get is a hunk of Smoking Goose bacon fried and then glazed with sorghum syrup.
This piece was huge. At first I thought it was a hunk of pig jowl, but after cutting it I would guess it was indeed pork belly. Fat, slightly smoky and sticky sweet from the molasses. An excellent job.
So as you can tell I enjoyed my lunch. A lot. I just have too questions. What is with the no capital letters on the menu? Also why the knit caps some of the help are wearing. Is that a fashion or a fad. I’m just curious. So this joint had an unequal amount of hype before opening. After eating here I can seen the reason for a lot of it.