1477 west balmoral avenue
chicago, il 60640
big jones, great lake pizza is a place i have been trying to get to for some time now. owned by husband and wife team nick lessins and lydia esparza, great lake is a true labor of love. every pizza served at great lake is made by the hands of lessins and virtually every ingredient is sourced from local farmers and suppliers for optimal quality and freshness. however, being that the restaurant is open just four days a week (dinner only), has a twelve seat dining room, and is located in an area that is not conducive to reach via public transportation, it has been bypassed over and over again in lieu of places that are more convenient to visit and serve more than just pizza. this time around i was determined to fit great lake into our busy dining schedule, and decided that stopping at the restaurant immediately prior to hitting the road back to st. louis was the most logical course of action. while there is little argument that the pizza is anything less than incredible (gq magazine named it #1 in america and grant achatz has praised it), much had been made about the long wait times, price of the pizzas, and the supposed curt attitudes of the proprietors. with just a 3.5 star rating on yelp and a plethora of viscous reviews, i approached our meal with excitement but also a bit of trepidation.
based on my experience, i can say that with the exception of no public restroom being offered, any complaints about great lake are completely unwarranted. carrie and i were treated with nothing but kindness from the staff and we did not witness anyone else being spoken to in an unwelcoming manner. i ended my review of big jones by stating that if i lived in andersonville i would have a hard time staying away from the restaurant. my feelings toward great lake mirror that same sentiment and i am truly envious of those who live in neighborhoods with such strong restaurants. ever since this trip, carrie has been looking online at apartments in andersonville...