CJ Chicago on Beijing Lu
We were a little bit lost a few days ago. It was after 8 pm, and we were hungry. Normally this is not a problem in Shanghai. But all bets are off during Spring Festival. All our neighborhood Chinese joints were closed. Sherpa’s was closed. All our normal delivery stand-bys were closed. And our refrigerator was, as usual, empty. So, we scanned the delivery listings of a local magazine and settled upon Yellow Submarine, which we remembered having served us not-great-but-passable pizza in the past. They were open, and their pizza was just how we remembered it to be. But attached to the pizza box was a menu for a restaurant we had never heard of before: CJ Chicago.
We scanned the menu, and one word stopped us in our tracks: Ditka. Ditka? DITKA! If a restaurant in China has a dish named after Mike Ditka it’s got to be kind of authentic, right?
DITKA’S POTATO WEDGES
A large plate of Italian Seasoned Potato Wedges Fried to a Crispy Golden Brown in Olive Oil
And then — holy cow — we see another American original:
HARRY CARAY’S CHICKEN VESUVIO
A True Chicago original, oven roasted baked chicken sauteed with olive oil, garlic, white wine and served with potato wedges.
But what CJ Chicago really prides itself on is its pizza — Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza. They claim to use the original recipe from Uno’s Chicago Grill. And that is what we ordered a couple days ago, when we found ourselves in the no-restaurants-open-because-of-the-holidays-and-our-laziness situation. And, while we are definitely no experts on Chicago pizza, it tasted pretty damn good. And it was indeed quite thick — 1.5 inches (about 4 cm) — we measured it. (Because it was the holidays, and we were throwing health precautions to the wind, we also tried to order something called Hackney’s Onion Loaf — “Beer-Batter” and “Golden Fried” — but that wasn’t available.)
CJ Chicago’s pizzas are all 9-inches (23 cm) in diameter and 94 RMB, regardless of the toppings you choose (we got spinach, mushroom, onion, tomato and black olive). And because of the thick crust, a 9-incher is enough for two people. (You need to allow around an hour for delivery of a Chicago pizza, because it takes longer to cook.) The restaurant, which opened January 24, seems to share the Yellow Submarine kitchen, and like Yellow Submarine is open for delivery only (they deliver out of 1634 Beijing Xi Lu, near Jiaozhou Lu). They deliver 24 hours a day, too — which makes Shanghaiist think we might be eating some deep-dish pizza Monday morning during the Super Bowl. They also deliver cheap drinks: Tsingtao for 5 RMB and “International Beer” (read Budweiser and Heineken) for 10 RMB. Delivery is free, too. Just don’t forget to get out of the house to go to the gym later on.
CJ Chicago. Call 6415-1666 for delivery 24 hours a day.
Eat Me is a semi-regular feature on Shanghaiist that highlights new or noteworthy restaurants in Shanghai. Know of a restaurant you think deserves consideration? Email us at tips(at)shanghaiist.com.