As the first post on Hungry Jax, we had to make it new and local. We visited Carmine’s Pie House on Forbes and King Street in Riverside (2677 Forbes Street), which just opened two weeks ago. We arrived around 8:00pm for dinner, and the place was packed. The place has an overall relaxed environment, with locals hanging out and having beer and wine, in which they have a large selection. The beer chalkboards contain a large variety of different beers, ranging from microbrews to the usual Bud Lights. There was an aura about this place that had me thinking it would be become an instant classic, but who knows. The last place that was here was called Al Hilim – The Dream Café, and that didn’t last long at all.
We were told the wait was going to be 35 to 40 minutes, but we were seated in about 15. Overall the service was slow, but it seems like they were ironing out the kinks. The menu was limited, as they were trying to get accustomed to massive swarms of people raiding the food. The sentence on the limited menu summed it up, “Beer and wine, pour till we run out – Thanks Riverside for your business in a couple of months we will reintroduce our full menu.” Basically, we are going to drink and be merry, and then we’ll eat once we get acclimated to the chaos.
We ordered the following items:
Wings – I must say, these were pretty amazing. Overall, they came out extremely hot and crunchy. They had a hot sauce on them, but they were not drenched. They were served with a sweet hot sauce on the side, that is made in house and is delicious. It kind of reminds me of the “Smack My Ass, and Call me Sally” sauce at Tiajuana Flats. The wings were definitely something I would come back for without a doubt.
Burning Down the House Lasagna – The lasagna came out served with some massive melted mozzarella cheese and homemade sauce. Wow! With five different layers including chicken, sausage and the works, this dish is sure to be one of the signatures of the restuarant. The bread served with it, probably could have been a little better, but it wasn’t needed. This little piece of heaven could have been my last meal, and I would have been a happy man.
Medium Pizza (Olives, Pepperoni, and Jalepenos) – Although it wasn’t the best pizza I have ever eaten, it certainly was extremely tasty. Overall the pizza was crispy on the bottom, and perfectly cooked. The key to making a good pizza is the following: 1) Keep the ingredients and cheese from sliding off the pizza, and 2) It’s all about the sauce. Overall, the pizza had both of these qualities, yet it just didn’t strike our fancy. By all means, if you order us one….we’ll eat!
Chicago Beef Sandwich – My boy J, order the Chicago Beef Sandwich, and it looked tempting to steal. I was definitely jealous when it came to the table. Before I could take a picture of the sandwich, J had eaten a couple bites. Needless to stay, this thing is a staple. If J likes it, then you will too.
In conclusion, definitely hit up Carmines. We truly believe this place will be an instant classic. As J says, this place is legit!