This December, my best friend and I went to the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company to try its famous pizza pot pies. After seeing them all over Facebook and Instagram, we decided to see if the pie is worth the hype.

2 hours and 45 minutes. That's how long the wait was. No reservations allowed. Little room inside to stand or sit. And no benches outside to sit on. However, I must admit that the wincing, windy wait was well worth it.

Please note that they do not take your name so you can leave. They said they take names, but I really think the host just remembers faces and takes people in on a first come, first serve basis. There's also a waiting line of sorts. Trust me, you and others will know who came before and after one another. People are really hungry for their pizza pot pies and wait in clumps, some inside and some outside.

#SpoonTip: This is a cash-only restaurant, so bring a full wallet.

The Menu

The menu is very limited! They only offer five types of plates. Salads, Mediterranean flat bread, grinders (subs), pizza pot pies, and tortoni (an Italian ice cream).

The couple next to us was eating the Mediterranean bread, and it looked so amazing. It's a thin pita bread and has lots of flakey cheese and herbs on top. Of course, when my friend saw the platter, she flagged a waiter down for some. The bread came out pretty quickly, so it was a smart move on her part. It kept us occupied during the wait for our pot pies and it's really thin, so it won't fill you up too much.

#SpoonTip: Make sure to ask for olive oil to dip it in.

The Pizza Pot Pie

We ordered two pizza pot pies. The two things that are added in (like toppings on a pizza) are meat and mushrooms. However, the options you have are to order meat or vegetarian and with or without mushrooms. We both got meat and I got mine with mushrooms (to have the full experience).

While waiting for our order, the restaurant was very cozy and smelled so good that I felt like snatching the pot pies I saw around me. The whole place is very wooden and looks kind of like an old bar. Come starving, but prepare for cravings and the weird urge to eat everything around you. All I can say is the wait inside was worse because it was so tantalizing.

The pies are either a half pound or one pound. We ordered two half pound pot pies, but also could have shared the one pound pie. We probably should have shared because neither of us finished the whole thing, and we're both able to eat a lot.

How It's Made

The process of making the pizza pot pie includes lots and lots of cheese. They first take a bowl and brush it with butter. Then they add layers and layers of sliced, Wisconsin brick cheese, after which they put button mushrooms and their secret meat sauce in the bowl, which has meat, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and garlic in it. The meat is pork sausage. It brings a really unique taste and isn't very heavy. After, they top it with Sicilian dough and another layer of butter.

When they bring out the steaming hot bowl, the waiter will flip the pot pie onto a plate and scoop out the ingredients into the breaded bowl.

Some questions that we used to evaluate the pot pies are:

Will they be too cheesy? Will the mushrooms taste good? Is the red meat (pork) sauce going to be good? Why is the pork so special compared to other types of meat? Are there too many veggies in the meat sauce? Will it have too much garlic or not enough garlic? Is the bread baked well and taste delicious? Should they allow for more "toppings" to be mixed inside?

Meat Sauce

First, let's talk about the sauce. I personally love pork sausage, so I was really excited. The meat is pretty good. There definitely was a LOT of it, but it made sense because of the amount of cheese was in the pie. Neither my friend nor I tasted a lot of pepper (the vegetable) in the sauce, but more so tasted cooked tomatoes.

I really liked the sauce and realize that the pork sausage is better than hamburger meat or meatball meat because it stood out. Lots of meats might have faded and become bland or mushy in the mix of cheese and tomatoes. However, the sausage was very easy to taste and super juicy. I loved the meat choice because it added a savory and bold taste to the mix of heavy cheese and bread. Also, the meat was cooked perfectly, which is rare because sometimes it can be overdone in pot pies.


The bread was incredible. I love thick pizza bread because it was soft and easily cut. This allowed for me to have a nice chunk of bread with eat bite. I do wish they brought out a bowl of extra bread, just in case people run out and want more. Otherwise, the bread was baked nicely. It was really fluffy and thick on the inside.


I do have to say, I didn't really like the mushrooms. I think they were a bit soggy and distracting from the rest of the meal. I wish that instead of mushrooms, they had a list of other ingredients you could add. I know simplicity can be perfection, but I would much rather have had other choices rather than mushroom. I do have to admit though, while I like mushrooms, I don't love them. So, if you love mushrooms then maybe you will love these. I just felt they were overcooked.

Cheese, Cheese, and more Cheese

And now the cheese... The cheese makes this pot pie incredible! While it was very thick, every bite was more and more enjoyable. It was warm, gooey, and delicious, which is really all that matters

Overall, I was stuffed after my meal. However, the wait was well worth it. I will never think of eating a pizza again when I know I can make a pizza pot pie. The staff was kind and polite and rushed around to satisfy everyone. With so many people, I have to hand it to them for doing such a hard job.

The excitement over these pies is well deserved after I took my first bite. The pizza pot pie was over the top and simply yummy. It filled my soul with cheese, cheese, and loads of cheese and was definitely worth the wait.