Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of being invited to taste Boiler Room’s new menu options with Enzo from Son of a Pizza Man. Recently listed as #5 on Chicago Magazine’s top 38 pizza places in Chicago, Boiler Room has quickly become a Chicago pizza institution. During our visit, the restaurant was extremely hospitable and even kind enough to pick up the bill for us. Boiler Room’s new menu is permanent and includes 3 new pizzas, 5 craft cocktails, and 2 desserts.
Full disclosure, I’ve been to Boiler Room many, many times before Saturday when I previewed their new menu items. I LOVE Boiler Room. It’s hands down the best place in Logan Square to grab a quick bite and beer with friends before bar hopping on Milwaukee Ave. Their outdoor patio is spacious and rivals any outdoor dining space in Chicago. The décor includes an industrial catwalk and salvaged and repurposed materials from the Chicago Transit Authority, fire houses, and Swiss Air cargos. A cult classic movie is always silently playing behind the bar. The staff is friendly. The Roto-Felx rotating deck oven is exposed and visible from outside of the restaurant and you can watch the cooks sling New York style pizzas and spin pizza dough the air from your seat. Believe the hype. Boiler Room is THE shit.
For this review, I decided to deviate from my standard order—the infamous PB&J special: a slice of New York style pizza, a PBR tall boy, and a shot of Jameson for $8.50. Instead of the PB&J with my beloved slice of the Purist—fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic reduction atop a homemade sauce, Enzo and I ordered 1 full pizza.
We settled on a pizza that included 2 of Boiler Room’s new menu options. Our pie was 1/2 Waltzing Matilda: honey mustard base sauce topped with cheddar cheese, sautéed mushroom, grilled Amish chicken, bacon and mixed herbs and 1/2 Broc & Roll: Alfredo base sauce topped with fotina cheese, grilled broccoli, Amish chicken, garlic and scallions. Both pizzas were tasty but could’ve used a heartier amount of chicken. Then again—having not eaten all day, maybe I was just really hungry. As always, Boiler Room’s signature thin, cornmeal-like crust was crunchy, delicious, and one of the best parts of both pizzas. Neither of the pizza options included Boiler Room’s homemade red sauce and that was fine by me. It was nice to try a different base and the honey mustard sauce on the Waltzing Matilda was super satisfying and unique to Boiler Room.
We visited Boiler Room for lunch, just after they opened at noon. Given the time of day, I could only bring myself to try 1 of their 5 new craft cocktails. As a whole, the new cocktail list is impressive and appeals to the non-beer drinking crowd and establishes Boiler Room as more than just a place to grab a PBR tallboy and a slice. There’s a nice cocktail selection ranging from the standard Moscow Mule to more intricate and creative options. I opted to try the Same Old Trump Haters, primarily because I thought the name was cheeky. Plus, it’s never too early for tequila. The cocktail had a lot going on and included a handful of ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce like peloton de la muerte mezcal, gabriel boudier marasquino liqueur, and bittermens xocolati mole bitters. The cocktail included egg whites, which I love in my drinks. I’m not sure how well the Same Old Trump Haters paired with the pizza we ordered but, on it’s own the drink was delicious. And, at only $8, I would certainly order it again.
Both of the new desserts pay homage to Boiler Room’s bread and butter, their PB&J special. There’s a Jameson infused cheesecake served with a house made raspberry jelly with Jameson and a Boozy Root Beer Float made with Not Your Father’s Root Beer and Jameson soft serve ice cream. We split a slice of the cheesecake and were somewhat disappointed. The Jameson was overpowering and the dessert would’ve likely tasted better with the use of a different liquor. Having had the boozy soft serve from Boiler Room many times before, we should’ve gone with the root beer float.
If you haven’t already visited Boiler Room, you’re missing out. Use their new menu items as an excuse to go there, NOW. Jump on the Blue Line. Get off at the California stop and jaywalk across the street IMMEDIATELY. Try a full pie or go with the infamous PB&J, either way you won’t be disappointed.
2210 N. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Pizza Style: New York