REVIEW: Ja Grill & Ian’s Pizza

I had free time and I was bored. So I decided to hop around the city for some cheap and fast food. My food adventure was supposed to include a third place – Nhu Lan, a vietnamese sub place that was recently featured on Chicago Serious Eats. Unfortunately, after Ian’s Pizza I had pizza coma and decided to save the subs for another day.

@ Ja Grill – where I got a Jamaican beef patty. DELISH.

I grew up eating Jamaican beef patties in Toronto and haven’t had one since… more than a decade ago. This was just what I remembered loving about a beef patty – spicy beef wrapped up in flaky pastry dough. Although this patty’s dough was a bit too soft and not as flaky/crispy as I would’ve want it, the beef quality was excellent and the seasoning was perfectly savory with a very slight kick. I took this baby to go so I didn’t get the entire dining experience but the restaurant looked cozy and inviting so I can’t wait to go back for a real meal.

@ Ian’s waiting for my pizza to warm up. I heard of this place on DDD (Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives) and it’s been on my “to-go” list for a while now.

I can’t believe I have never been to Ian’s while living in this part of the neighborhood. This is unacceptable. This must change now.

Here is my favorite – Italian sausage on the right. My least favorite – bbq chicken with fries on the left.

Ian’s italian sausage thin crust puts NY style pizza to shame. Usually when you think of pizza, it’s always the toppings that steal the show. With Ian’s, the toppings were amazing – the cheese was gooey, the sausages were flavorful and bursting with juiciness, AND the crust was really great – chewy, crusty, and thin.

The bbq chicken fries pizza was okay. It had oregano seasoning which isn’t my favorite. And the bbq sauce was a tad too sweet for my liking. Actually I am probably a little biased because I really don’t like bbq sauce in general.

The third slice was pesto based with cheddar and potato.

It was inventive but something was lacking… I think truffle oil would’ve made this one stand out, giving it that “wow” factor. The potato and cheese were great but the flavor was slightly monotone. This slice reminded me of Elate’sย breakfast pizza (which I might review another day).

Overall, quite a satisfying experience!

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