Burgers Pizza Restaurant Reviews

Mashed Potato Pizza and Merkts Cheddar Burgers

merkts cheddar burgers brownstone chicago

After being extremely disappointed that I was not able to score Foo Fighters tickets for their intimate show at The Cubby Bear Friday night, we decided to hit up Piece Brewery & Pizzeria in Wicker Park instead. Why Piece you ask? Well for one their pizza is incredible, but we’ll get to that in a minute, but the other reason is that when the Foo Fighters were in town recording their new song (and filming for the HBO show), they would frequent Piece. So yes, I was hoping for a Foo Sighting… Which never did happen, but the food was still delicious.

Piece Brewery & Pizzeria

I’ve briefly written about Piece before, but it’s been a while and the pizza is delicious, so why not write about it again. It was a Friday night and we tried to get there a bit earlier than we thought the typical dinner crowd would arrive. Celeste took the train up from downtown and made it there around 545 and put our name down. Nick and I didn’t arrive until a little after 6 due to some terrible traffic, but once we were there they were able to seat us right away even though Liza wasn’t quite there yet.

After we ordered our drinks we decided to try the Warm Spinach and Tomato Dip appetizer which is shredded spinach and diced tomatoes in a mozzarella alfredo sauce served with tortilla chips. Now I’m not a huge fan of spinach-type dips, but everything else sounded good so I went for it. There was nothing overpowering about the spinach and I actually really liked it. The chips were extremely salty, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but a few of them were a bit much. Overall though, the dip was pretty solid. I’d definitely order it the next time we go.

After we finished our appetizer we noticed that the entire place was basically full and there was a line out the door. So if you plan to have dinner on a Friday night, make sure you get there a little earlier. Although I do think they accept reservations for parties of 10 or more, but you have to be seated before 6pm. But anyways, back to the food…

pepperoni pizza piece chicago
Too dark to take a new picture of the pizza, this is from a previous visit.

We ordered two medium pizzas for the four of us, one red pizza w/ pepperoni and one white pizza with half mashed potatoes and half chicken and mushrooms, I think. The red pizzas are your traditional tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, where as your white pizzas are plain crust brushed with olive oil, diced garlic and mozzarella cheese (no sauce). Personally I’m not a huge fan of the white pizzas so I stuck to the pepperoni, which was amazing as usual.

The white pizza with the mashed potatoes was a recommendation from a friend of ours and despite the fact that I didn’t try it (only because I didn’t want to waste stomach space on anything other than pepperonis), everyone else seemed to think it was pretty good. I wouldn’t say they thought it was the greatest thing in the world, but it wasn’t bad at all, and worth trying.

So despite the lack of a Foo Fighters sighting, our experience at Piece was amazing as usual. It’s pretty hard to find a thin crust pizza in the city of Chicago that rivals Piece in my opinion.

Merkts Cheddar Burgers at Brownstone Tavern

Saturday night we decided to head over to Headquarters Arcade Bar in Lakeview for an small celebration of Iman’s birthday (the surprise party was the weekend before). But before we ventured over there later that night, we decided to head over to Brownstone Tavern in North Center for a quick bite to eat and a drink.

We frequent Brownstone a bit because it’s around the corner from Nick’s place, and the food/drinks are pretty good. It’s a Four Corners bar, meaning that it’s one of like 11 different bars around the city owned by the same people.

We were just stopping in for a quick bite to eat and a drink, so the quickest thing to get would be cheeseburger sliders, complete with Merkts cheddar cheese (pictured at top). I am a huge fan of Merkts cheddar cheese, whether it’s the spread you buy at the grocery store or the kind you find at restaurants. Although I’m still not convinced the stuff at the restaurants is the same spread I buy at the store. I’ve tried to melt it down a bit and it doesn’t seem to have the same consistency or flavor as the restaurants, but maybe I’m wrong.

Anyways, these Merkts cheddar sliders at Brownstone (and other Four Corners bars) are amazing. They are cooked perfectly, the meat is delicious, they are served on a hawaiian roll, and topped with merkts cheddar… I don’t think it gets much better. It was the perfect pre-video game/drinking meal before we made our way over to Headquarters.

So overall it was a pretty solid weekend of food. The only things that would have made it better would have been a Foo Fighters sighting at Piece and for Nick to have gotten a call back from the waitress for whom we left his phone number on the check, HA!

Merkts Cheese Sharp Cheddar, 8 Oz
  • No artificial flavors No artificial preservatives
  • refrigerated-cream-cheese

About the author


I'm a married man in his 30's who doesn't really "like" food. If it weren't for my wife I would be living off of pizza and cheeseburgers for the rest of my life. Follow me as I venture slightly out of my comfort zone to try different foods and restaurants.

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