What to Eat

What to Eat at Roots Handmade Pizza, Opening May 31

Are you ready for Quad City-style pizza?
Are you ready for Quad City-style pizza? Photo: courtesy of Facebook

Roots Handmade Pizza is set to bring Quad City-style pizza to Chicago on Tuesday, May 31. The project was first announced back in October, which means we’ve all had plenty of time to figure out what the hell Quad City-style pizza is. Hopefully, you’ve watched a few of the videos put together by the co-owners, Greg Mohr and Scott Weiner. We especially loved the one where they attempted to strap in a few dozen pizzas into the back seat of a car during a reconnaissance mission in Iowa. We’re really excited to see how it holds up to the fine pizza offerings of Chicago, and we finally have a copy of the menu. But if you need one last little primer, here are the four things that you really need to know.

1. The Crust: The freshly made pizza dough contains a “heavy dose” of dark-roasted brewer’s malt. That gives it a nutty and slightly sweet taste, along with a noticeably darker color. All the dough will be hand-stretched, instead of just being fed through a sheeter.

2. The Sauce: The owners have described it as well seasoned and smooth, with a nice hit of spice.

3. The Toppings: The mozzarella is fresh from Wisconsin, with a slightly lower fat content, so an oil-slick doesn’t form on the top. The Italian sausage is lean and heavily flavored with fennel.

4. The Cut: Chicagoans are used to square slices, but this pizza will be cut with scissors into long rectangular pieces.

While we’ve been focusing on the pizza, the menu certainly doesn’t stop there. There is also a long list of appetizers, sausages, and a huge create your own salad section — featuring 45 or so lettuce and topping options, plus 14 dressings.

As we mentioned back in October, the owners are also working with Bleeding Heart Bakery to open a cafe adjacent to Roots. It is scheduled to open in late June. But for now, check out the full menu.

Roots Handmade Pizza Menu [PDF]

Roots Handmade Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622; 773-645-4949

What to Eat at Roots Handmade Pizza, Opening May 31