Is anything more lovable than a corny pizza joint, the kind with energetic owners, tablecloth designs that went out of style in the early '80s, and a cliched slogan (in this case: "We put the crunch in the pizza, not on your wallet!")?
That's the charm of Phils Pizza D'Oro, the Northwest Side eatery with a plethora of Italian dishes and dozens of quirks (for instance, selling six-packs of Pepsi) to solidify its status as a neighborhood dinnertime hangout.
Let's talk pizza: Phil's best pies are its thin-crust, which are as crunchy as the slogan and, at $9 for small, $12.65 for large, not all that bad for the wallet. For a pizza/sandwich hybrid, try the restaurant's trademark Big Gunner: Choose between Italian beef, sausage or meatball, top it with meat sauce and mozzarella and add green peppers or pepperoncini. Serve it all on garlic bread for a unique and gargantuan -- but obviously Italian -- meal.
There are plenty of sandwiches, salads and appetizers as well, but, other than cheeseburgers, the joint stays pretty close to its Italian roots, offering manicotti, mostaccioli, Italian sausage and buckets of chicken (which I believe is a delicacy in Bologna).
Open usually at 4 p.m., Phil's is strictly a dinner pizzeria. It is the type of restaurant best enjoyed with family and friends, especially anyone associated with Italy, which is well-represented with an oversized mural and several depictions of the old green, white and red entwined with the American flag.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert