When it comes to pizza, at most places you’d expect choices to be pepperoni, sausage or cheese; deep dish or thin crust.
But if you want your favorite entrée served to you on a pizza pie, there’s a place in Chicago for you.
“I like it, but there’s not enough chicken on it. What happened to the chicken?”
At Dimo’s restaurant, fried chicken, mac 'n' cheese, steak nachos, waffles, penne pasta -- even s’mores end up on pies. You name it, they’ll probably put it on a round 16 inch crust.
Some of the choices seem succulent, and some--less than appetizing.
“Its just so cheesy!” declared 18-year-old Janais Peace, after taking a bite into the mac 'n' cheese pizza, as noodles were falling off the slice. “This combines two of my favorite foods,” she said with a big grin as she chomped.
It’s no surprise that this joint is open until 4 a.m. or even 5 a.m. when there’s a crowd. And yes, “there’s often a crowd at that hour” assures restaurant manager Alfredo Puente, whose name sounds like it should be a pizza choice. “It’s really popular with the after-bar folks,” he said.
Some pizza purists would say these things don’t belong on pizza.
One customer, Rhonda Heidel, 38, declared that the Hawaiian style tastes kind of like a pepperoni pizza with pineapple on it. “But I like it” she said, “because I don’t want too much stuff on my pizza.”
“It’s not bad but it’s not, like, amazing,” said Heidel’s friend.
“It’s all very comfort foodie,” said Kelly Ramirez, 18, explaining why she’s a regular at the restaurant. “I'm a very indecisive person and this has all the different flavors so I don’t have to choose," she said.
“Ew, it has such a weird spicy, cheese taste. I’m not sure if I like this,” said Alex Pippenger, as she bit into the Buffalo chicken pizza, which is a combo of grilled chicken, hot sauce and bleu cheese.
“I like it, but there’s not enough chicken on it. What happened to the chicken?” asked 15-year-old food connoisseur Eric Greenfield
Greenfield’s friend Paul Camaya had an interesting take on the Philly, which is covered in beef, peppers and onions. “I really like it but it tastes more like a sandwich than pizza.”
For dessert, there’s more pizza, of course.
The s’mores version has chocolate, marshmallows and Teddy Grahams, but it sits atop a layer of mozzarella cheese, which one patron called a “strange mix.”
But Greenfield disagrees. “It tastes like chocolate cheesecake,” he said. “It’s really good!”
"I love the pizza, all the pizzas, especially the one with the french fries!" said a very excited Jenna Pup, who really must love pizza because she has a tattoo of one on her abdomen.
Matt Rasich, 27, who works at the retail shop next door to Dimo’s, comes to the unusual pizza parlor “at least twice a week” and bravely tries a new flavor each time.
Rasich claimed the Philly Cheese Steak pizza as his favorite, but since he’s originally from Philadelphia he might be biased. “This one hits home for me,” he said.
So what’s the pizza people order most?
"Our most popular so far is BBQ chicken cheddar bacon ranch," said Puente. One happy couple dining on it agreed it “has so much flavor!”
Coming up with new and different concepts for pizza recipes isn’t always easy, and Dimo’s has a new one every day, which is why the restaurant hired a “culinary support person” -- although I’m not sure what he was thinking when he created the one topped with liver.
At Dimo’s, where customers can even dream up their own concoctions and order it on a pizza, the possibilities are scary.