Food & Drink

The Fifty/50 fellas introduce Quad Cities-style pizza

Published On 05/31/2011 Published On 05/31/2011

Things you grew up with have a way of sticking with you, especially if your dad was Art Fry, inventor of the Post-it note. For childhood 'za all grown up, hit Roots Handmade Pizza.

From the folks behind The Fifty/50, Roots is slinging the "Quad Cities-style" pies one of the owners grew up with in a massive 300+ capacity bar (made from 110yr-old wood from the original building) and patio, with mirrors angled towards the kitchen for a view of the heart of the operation, and walls covered in riveted tin, which can't tear its longing eyes away from said heart. The pizza's distinguishing qualities include a hand-tossed, malt-heavy crust that's scissor-cut into strips, with signature varieties including QC faves like one that's covered in a thick, fine-ground layer of housemade fennel sausage, and the gringo-tastic Taco topped with all the fixin's and seasoned chips, plus new creations including one they claim tastes exactly like a Big Mac, but's called the Big Mick, which is either a nod to Coming To America or Alec Baldwin. Other highlights include lasagna w/ housemade pasta sheets, which went through 17 versions before being perfected; mozz sticks made with hand-pulled curds; and a selection of sausages (Greek-style gyro, chicken-chorizo), any of which can be corndogged or wrapped in a blanket, which despite the precedent set by Ye Olde British War Crimes won't do much to quell any uprisings in your stomach.

Of the 70 Midwestern brews, 15 are draught (including a pizza-pairing house specialty courtesy of Two Brothers), while six ice-encased taps flow with vodka & tequila, and the specialty drinks/shots are themed around childhood, e.g., the Sambuca/ Dr. Pepper/black cherry vodka Good & Plenty, though hopefully you didn't have any of those during childhood, 'cause the effects would definitely stick with you.

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1. Roots Handmade Pizza 1924 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Helmed by the people behind The Fifty/50, this deluxe corner spot in West Town is slinging "Quad Cities-style" pizza. The hand-tossed crusts are infused with the same malt you taste in your beer before they're lathered with homemade sauce, doused in mozzarella, topped with your choice of fresh ingredients and cured meats, fired, and sliced into thin, easy-to-eat strips. Perfect for big family outings and group nights, the bar and patio seat more than 300.