Hang out at J.B. Alberto's and you'll watch the whole world go by. Or at least, the diverse range of residents inhabiting Rogers Park
The establishment consists of a pizza oven and cooking area (to your left as you enter), and the counter area where orders are made (hang a right at the entrance). Red, white, and green (the Italian flag colors peppering the joint) menus on the walls display a dizzying array of eats. Pizzas come in multiple varieties: deep dish, stuft and double decker; and there's also sandwiches like Italian beef, chicken and ribs, pastas, appetizers, salads and a super burger.
Patrons flock in and out, picking up pizzas mostly, or kicking back on one of the chairs in the order area, waiting on pizzas to be made. A painter in whites, a stocky guy with a dark beard in mom jeans and a shiny jacket advertising Turkish cymbals, an African American guy talking to himself (actually to his mobile phone ear device), sprinkling red pepper flakes on his pizza in the box, women in flip flops picking up solo pizzas, a homeless guy who gets treated to a thin crust with sausage by a generous young Latino man - this is a sampling of the eclectic dinner crowd on a Monday evening around half past four.
Deep dish of all sizes (10-16 inches) are popular, as is the thin crust in 20-inch size (supposedly the city's largest pie), and pastas (made fresh daily along with sauces) such as lasagna ($5.75 on Saturday) and mostaccioli ($4.75 on Sunday).
In addition, there's pizza by the slice, available in thin or deep-dish variety, cheese or cheese with sausage ($2.25-$2.75). You can grab it to go, or avoid evil Styrofoam by having it served up on a paper plate, and eat it right there on the spot.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Marla Seidell
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