The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Baby-on-Board Review: HomeMade Pizza Co.

By Elizabeth Shapiro in Food on Sep 19, 2007 8:00PM

What do Brooke Shields, Grant Achatz and this Chicagoist mama have in common? All three have a professed love for the convenience and taste of HomeMade Pizza Company.

HomeMade Pizza Co. sells uncooked pizzas that you then take home and pop in the oven. Twelve minutes later, you’ve got a fresh-tasting, thin-crust dinner. Voila! June Cleaver has nothing on you.

Menu options include funky, artisanal options like goat cheese and herbs or a combo of ricotta, poblanos and chicken sausage, but you can always create your own pie from their list of over forty toppings. Prices are a bit steep and start at $9.75 for a bare-bones pie to $16.75 for their more involved pizzas. Health-conscious diners can choose a whole-wheat crust; localvore fans can take heart in their commitment to 2007_9_homemade.jpgusing Wisconsin cheeses. They even let your picky eater select their own topping for a mini-pie ($5.75), and offer a party package ($39.95) for five little ones (or you and your friends) to create their own pizzas, complete with all ingredients as well as hats and chef’s aprons. We tried their BLT pizza and were impressed with how well their crunchy, salty, generous bacon slices combined with their baby spinach and chunky garlic. We also got suckered into buying their massive chocolate chip cookie, which ideally cooks in the oven as you eat your pizza. It wasn’t anything special, but a hot cookie straight from the oven is sometimes as good as it gets. For the pizza and the cookie, remember to remove the cardboard and plastic wrapping but not the parchment, and stick that bad boy right on your oven rack.

Now, we’re not saying that this place has the best pie in Chicago (we heart you, Art of Pizza!); it’s certainly not the heavy, thick pizza that most of us crave, and some of our friends claim there's a quality difference between locations (five in Chicago, more in the surrounding area and Minnesota). We loved our pie for its fresh ingredients and the convenience of a twelve-minute meal that actually tastes like it took longer. When our other options are an hour-long wait until delivery, time-intensive cooking from scratch, or subjecting other diners to our wailing wonder, HomeMade Pizza Company seems to be the perfect solution to feeding a family with a cranky toddler.

Check their website for a location close to you; we visited the store at 3430 N. Southport.