Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Favorite Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago


Forget ranking films and songs, it's time to finally rank the one thing that matters most to human beings: PIZZA. As my Chicagoland departure date looms, it now feels appropriate to reveal my Top 5 Chicago-style deep dish pizza's. You should know that I love pizza. I love all kinds. If I was allowed only one kind of food that I had to eat the rest of my life, pizza would be my first choice. Before coming to Chicago, the closest thing I had to a deep dish was Pizza Hut. For those who've had true Chicago-style pizza, you know that Pizza Hut (while being good) is nothing close to what is sold here in the Chicagoland area.

It's probably for the best that I am leaving the area because at the current rate that I am consuming deep-dish pizza, Chicago hotdogs, and gigantic burgers (or just awesome normal burgers at Smash Burger) I will become perfectly round in just a year or two. Cities give a lot of great food options, but mid-west cities in particular seem to give a lot more unhealthy food options. This city is killing me!

Okay, let's turn now to the top five. All five of these restaurants began in Chicago and although they feature a wide variety of pizzas, they all specialize in serving deep dish. Let me know in the comments what your favorite deep dish pizza is!

I've been told it's a creepy picture, but it's the only one I have with me in it!
Fork and knife please!
 My least favorite of the major deep dish pizza joints is still a fantastic pizza pie. There is actually one just a couple of blocks from my house (less than a 7 minute walk). I applied here for a serving job when I first arrived, but Chili's snatched me up first.

#4
Peter Chan and I enjoying this leg of our pizza walking tour

Discovered this great pizza place as part of a pizza walking tour. It's not nearly as famous as some of the other names on this list, but its still a high-quality pizza joint that's located near north side of Chicago. The slice in the picture above is smaller slice than other places because this was one of several places we stopped on the tour. Overall, the pizza (plain cheese here) had a sweeter sauce and more cheese than most of the others. A nice place to visit if you get the chance.

#3
My first taste of deep dish with my Dad
Eating a Chicago Classic with the Gradones
Lou Malnati's was the first deep dish pizza I tried here in Chicago. The first picture above with my father is the very first slice of Chicago style I ever tasted and after a long day touring the city it was heavenly! Below that picture is a shot with Pierce and Lindsey Gradone. Both times I believe we ordered the 'Malnati Chicago Classic', which is their version of a sausage pizza. What sets this one apart is the fresh tomato sauce and gigantic pieces of sausage. These pieces are so fresh and thick that they take nearly 45 minutes to cook after ordering!

#2
I took Ken Valardi to a Giordano's just down the street from my house to feast on a pizza stuffed with meat
Peter Chan and Pierce Gradone with me on our pizza walking tour
Giordano's is a little different in that their pizza is called "stuffed" deep dish. Rather than place the toppings on...well...the top of the pizza, they put the toppings and cheese underneath the sauce. I love getting the "Meat and More Meat", featuring pepperoni, salami, sausage and bacon, when I eat here. There is enough meat and cheese on this pizza to put you into a food coma (trust me) from just two slices. I think what separates this pizza from the others is the crazy amounts of cheese (most of any pizza I've eaten) and the insanely delicious salami on the "Meat and More Meat". I love it.

#1
The place lights up nicely at night
Taking advantage of the warm weather and eating on the patio with my friend Cocoa Jim
Eating inside with my Mom
You say you've never had deep dish before? Come visit me and I will take you here. Why? This place invented Chicago deep dish pizza in 1943. For the link in the title I nearly linked to a wikipedia article about the history of Chicago-style pizza. Not only did this place invent the pizza, but the guys who created 'Lou Malnati's' and 'Gino's East' got there start in the kitchen at this pizzeria. When I say THIS pizzeria, I mean the small little pizzeria that you can still visit today.

Pizzeria Uno is NOT the same as the the Uno Chicago Grill. They don't sell the same pizza, don't equate the two. The Pizzeria Uno that began on 29 E Ohio St is the same one that sits there today and the pizza is made using the very same recipe. Get the classic pizza and you won't be disappointed. It has the best sauce and the most unique crust, that I can only equate to being a bit like cornbread, out of all the pizzas. You have to try it to see what I mean. If you are in Chicago for a short trip and can only try one pizza, go here. 


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