In the book Gulliver’s Travels (1726, Lemuel Gulliver), the title charcter’s journey takes him into several remote nations of the world. Maybe that was the inspiration for the menu at “Gulliver’s” pizzeria in Chicago. While Italian cuisine is the norm at a pizzeria, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and American food are not. For anyone who has been here knows that this place is out of the norm. The outside of the restaurant is adorned with a plethora of antiques but once you step inside is when it really hits you. Step inside either of the large dining rooms and you’ll see a vast sea of lights covering the ceiling while antiques/sculptures cover every wall in the place, including the bathroom! They claim to be the most beuatiful pizzeria in Chicago. That might be in the eye of the beholder because it may also be the most gawdy pizzeria in Chicago.
Tonight my brother and father join me for a late dinner (open until 1am). “Gulliver’s” is a wise choice if you and your friends are in the mood for different things. After perusing the novel of a menu my father decides on the Philly Cheese steak, my brother chooses a small thin crust pizza, and I go for their famous pan pizza and a cup of French onion soup to start.
First thing out is the soup, which has a nice onion flavor in the broth and is topped with a very large amount of mozzarella cheese on top. The cheese is nicely browned and some of the overflow is baked right onto the crock it was served in. I actually love the parts that run over because they have a little crunch to go with all the gooey cheese on top. Dinner arrives and there is nothing small about it. The cheese steak is about eight inches of thin-sliced top sirloin sautéed with mushrooms and onions, and Monterey Jack cheese. It’s big, meaty, greasy, and good. The sandwich came with an order of onion rings which were steak cut and coated in a wonderful crunchy batter. My brother’s small thin crust is actually 12” in size. When we asked our waitress she informed us there is no small thin crust, it starts at medium and goes up from there. The pizza is topped generously with sausage and pepperoni and is nestled on top of a cracker type crust. It’s crisp on the outside and every so slightly chewy on the inside. The star of the show is my small pan pizza. When it comes to deep dish a small is the equivalent of a large thin crust. The crust is a crisp golden brown and piled with cheese, sausage, pepperoni, and sauce on top. The thing that makes pizza so great (especially deep dish) is the crust. The crust here is very good. Crunchy and tasty, but also sturdy enough to withstand all the toppings without becoming a soggy mess. My only minor complaint is that I wish the sauce would have been thicker with some visible chunks of tomato running throughout. Still a good sauce, but it seemed to be more of a thin crust sauce.
Time for dessert right? Wrong. While our waitress was good about getting refills on our drinks, she never offered us dessert. To me that’s part of good service and she definitely missed the boat. If you’re not in the mood for any of the above they do have big ½ burgers (called Gulliburgers) and crispy chimichanga’s that are equally as big. Final bill with tip came out to about $65 for the three of us, not bad considering the large portions. Overall “Gulliver’s” offers very good food, large menu, funky atmosphere, late hours, and average service. Rating *** out of ****.
2727 W Howard St
Chicago, IL 60645-1303