Friday, June 11, 2010

Marcello’s: A Father and Son Restaurant

After dance practice for Tejas and Sonal’s sangeet, a group of the dance crew went over to Marcello’s for some din din. Tony was feeling in the mood for Italian and I had heard from another Glutoid that Marcello’s had excellent pizza so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

We arrived after 4 hours of practice and we were pretty much all starving. I opted for a backwards meal – meaning, I ate dessert first! Marcello’s has this gluten-free brownie circular pizza that they serve on a little wooden board cut like pizza slices. Almost everyone at the table tried a piece and agreed that this was not very tasty. I’d liken it to how the Trader Joe’s brownie mix tastes. As everyone was sipping away on their beers, I ate 3 pieces of the brownie pizza just because I was hungry and the rest of the food was taking a while to prepare.

The restaurant was filled with families. The group next two us had an adorable 2 year old that kept offering Sucheta lipstick from his mom’s purse. We were kind of a rowdy bunch and the grandmas and grandpas kept looking over at us. Or maybe they were looking at us because we were dressed in exercise wear and sweats and clearly underdressed. I thought this place would be a low-key pizza eatery since it’s located in a strip mall under the el tracks. I was clearly mistaken. We walked in to see servers dressed in black slacks and crisp white oxford shirts, white starched linen table clothes, sleek dark wood floors and moderately upscale decor reminiscent of Tuscan restaurants. I’d recommend at least wearing nicer jeans when you dine here.

There was a nice selection of gluten-free food items with its own dedicated sections on the menu. I ordered Abbe’s Gluten Free Pizza in the 8” Pan Pizza variety. There’s also a 12” thin & crispy version, pastas made from rice flour, salads and even gluten-free Redbridge beer! I don’t even remember what beer tastes like since I haven’t had it in 10 years.

You can get any toppings you’d like or even any of the specialty pizzas made on the gluten-free pizza crusts. I went for the BBQ chicken on my pan pizza. This might give Aurelio’s a run for their money! The pizza tasted very authentically Chicago-Italian with a thick crust that was baked to perfection. You couldn’t even tell that this was a gluten-free pizza. The crust had a rich buttery-crispy flavor that you just savor in your mouth. The chicken was juicy and tender and the bbq sauce dark and sweet. The mozzarella cheese was very fresh and melted just slightly so the cheese stretches as you pull another slice onto your plate. Add a little crushed red pepper and you’re in heaven. The helping was large enough that I could take half home to enjoy for another meal.

I give it the “Best Gluten-Free Pizza in the City” pizza award. Aurelio’s is good, and my co-worker’s parents own the LaGrange location, but it’s a really far drive!

645 North Ave
Chicago, IL

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