Several weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit the new Home Run Inn Pizza, located in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. Located near the Belmont Avenue CTA stop, there is also plenty of parking, so access is easy.
We've been to our local Home Run Inn in Darien several times, and this new location is quite different in feeling, with a centrally located bar and exposed brick giving it a more urban feel. We really liked the decor, with fun artwork, slightly upscale furniture, and with plenty of TVs if you're there to watch the game with food. This restaurant definitely fits in to the Northside.
Menus are the same, for the most part, as at the other locations, though must-haves like the beer sampler were unavailable (they did have a good selection of local beers, so kudos for that). Again, a not very expansive by-the-glass wine list, but sufficient for this pizzeria sports bar.
We started with wings (tasty, but a bit sweet and lacking heat) and a Harvest Salad, very tasty and worth ordering. I think my new favorite pizza is their The 1947 (sausage, caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms), flat out fantastic. We didn't have our kids with us, so on their behalf I tasted the HRI Mac N’ Cheese Skillet (fresh cavatelli pasta, served in a sauce of extra sharp cheddar, fontina, and parmesan, and topped with garlic bread crumbs), good but lacking in seasoning. Most kids would love it I bet. As with many restaurants, Home Run Inn has options for eaters with dietary restrictions, both vegetarian and gluten-free, so the whole gang can eat here happily.
Decidedly non-restricted are the desserts - we opted for the Ghirardelli Chocolate Bomb Cupcake (Ghirardelli chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips, topped with creamy mousse and chocolate fudge) and the Peach Cobbler (served in an individual cast iron pan, with a pie topping, raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream). Outstanding way to end the meal.
Home Run Inn Pizzerias play multiple duty, as a neighborhood joint, a sports bar, and a place to feed a big group. This location is more accessible and more rooted in its location than our earlier experience, and worth seeking out. Broad menu, good beer, a place to bring family and friends.
Meal provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.
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