That One Parliament Cover of Prince's "Erotic City" Credit: John Carruthers

Tuesday, I was still dreaming of Funeral Potatoes’s pimento cheese hash brown-stuffed jalapeño poppers from Monday Night Foodball, when I was summoned back to the Kedzie Inn’s kitchen for a secret pizza and donut conclave.

Not many know this, but Miguel Hernandez, one of the Kedzie’s regular chefs, is a 15-year veteran of Marie’s Pizza, which explains why Wednesday through Sunday the bar’s tavern-style, square-cut pies are always in demand. Owner Jon Pokorny says he can cook anything on his regular menu himself, but the Blodgett pizza oven is Hernandez’s domain.

So it felt almost profane when John Carruthers and Dennis Lee showed up to the darkened bar and started slinging pies in a practice run for MNF week six, this Monday, October 4. I mean, Carruthers’s thin-crust pies are classic and faultless in their foundation, but his Crust Fund Pizza pop-up affords him the freedom to get as weird as he wants to. And World’s Greatest Food Writer Lee, a former Paulie Gee’s pizzaiolo, now Chief Oreo Correspondent for the Takeout, recently made a Pupperoni pizza. So I didn’t know what to expect, and I was glad it was Hernandez’s day off.

But if he shows up this Monday I’m not gonna sweat it. Gaze upon the menus above and below. Carruthers is sticking with the classics: his homemade fennel sausage and giard- spackled square slices are paragons of the form. And Lee’s meat special, inspired by the cheesy flame-grilled Korean fire chicken at Dancen, and drizzled with hot honey ignited by Samyang Buldak ramen seasoning, is like a visitation from a separate astral plane, where you’re sent to bed without any doughnuts if you don’t finish your pizza. 

Let this night be a brief portal into that dimension. Joining us will be Cam Waron, Honey Butter Fried Chicken culinary director, and chief Potado-nut designer for Tubers Donuts. Later this year Waron’s lysergic, spud-built old fashioned dunkers will be available to help the Cubanos and MaidWrongs make it safely through your alimentary canal when HBFC sous chef (and Waron’s spouse) Becca Grothe opens TriBecca’s Sandwich Shop at 2949 N. Elston.

This Monday is your chance to taste that brave future world. The eldritch strains of a theremin arose when Waron pulled back his woolen cowl, fixed me in his merciless gaze, and uttered his incantation: “I take local potatoes, bake them off, rice them, and then fold them into an old fashioned mix. I’m an asshole, so I fry them in clarified butter. Solid fats seem to hold the moisture more in doughnuts, so when people used to fry them in lard or Crisco, it didn’t weep the oil into the doughnuts. Clarified butter does the same. While some doughnuts taste oily, these are buttery.”

This rip in the space-time continuum starts at 5 PM, long after preorders have sold out. They are on sale right now, but if you miss those, don’t worry. Five PM and beyond is still a fine time to show up, place a walk-in order, and grab a beer at the bar; or perhaps the evening’s cocktail pairing, designed by Pokorny, who huddled with the chefs in a corner of the kitchen cackling. I’m pretty sure I heard the words “Mountain Dew” and “Malort” mentioned in the same sentence.

Kedzie Inn
4100 N. Kedzie
(773) 293-6368
kedzieinn.com

All profits from food sales will benefit the Friendship Center Food Pantry, at 2711 W. Lawrence in Albany Park, and Carruthers will have copies of Pizza for Everyone available for purchase.

What a Load of Buldak, Mike Sula