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Chicago Pizza


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34 replies to this topic

#1 gfweb

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:34 PM

I've always contended that Chicago-style pizza is actually a casserole in a bread bowl. Four unimpeachable experts agree that whatever the dish is...it isn't pizza.
http://eater.com/arc...icago-pizza.php
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#2 annabelle

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:56 PM

I have to agree. 

 

I've never warmed up to Chicago style pizza, and now experts agree!


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#3 Kerry Beal

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:48 PM

I had such high expectations the first time I sat down to eat it - waited forever to get it and when I finally did I wondered what all the fuss was about!


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#4 rotuts

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:07 AM

I had a pizza DD at the original uno's in CHI in the early 70's   there was a big big wait and a fun atmosphere and the pizza was very very good.

 

I think they no longer are very special.

 

it was the EVOO they put on the bottom of the pan, then the dough etc that made it so good

 

the crust sort of fried a bit in that oil once it hit the very hot oven.

 

RIP



#5 Shel_B

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:54 AM

I'd call it a pizza, or a pie, or whatever ... name's not important to me, but ... this creation has no subtlety, no discretion.  It's overdone with excessive ingredients.  So regardless of what it's called, I'm not anxious to eat one.

 

We've got a Chicago-style pizza place here, and it's always, ALWAYS, crowded, so a lot of people seem to like these heavier pies. Even their thin pies have a thick, heavy crust.


Edited by Shel_B, 25 March 2014 - 08:56 AM.

.... Shel


#6 gfweb

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:58 AM

We've got a Chicago-style pizza place here, and it's always, ALWAYS, crowded, so a lot of people seem to like these heavier pies. Even their thin pies have a thick, heavy crust.


Underestimating the public's taste and advertising like crazy is a recipe for success.
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#7 rotuts

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:00 AM

EVOO is expensive   these chains probably use very little, even the 'uno' chain

 

Test Kitchen did an ep on making these

 

and i was surprised how much oil went into the bottom of the pan.

 

with our this oil, and you see it absorbed to the bottom of the crust, a bit like fried bread, these things leave a lot to be desired.

 

lots of people get bigs macs, ever day.

 

take it or leave it.



#8 munchymom

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:17 PM

I am willing to admit that Chicago deep-dish is not pizza. That's because it's better than pizza. It shouldn't have to share a name with those flimsy circlets of dough delicately topped with tiny amounts of ingredients. (Tongue slightly in cheek here - I do enjoy a thin crust pizza every now and then - but deep-dish is my favorite food in the world.)

 

ETA: if anyone who isn't currently in Chicago wants to try for themselves, here's my recipe:

 

http://goodformeblog...dish-pizza.html


Edited by munchymom, 25 March 2014 - 01:21 PM.

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#9 rotuts

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:32 PM

on sale now are ConAgraCon's   'Uno's Deep dish Pizza"   50 % of refrigerated.

 

One is now in The BV

 

but .............

 

it fits my Chicago Metallic 'cake pan'

 

Ill get a few more of ConAgraCon's stuff

 

Ill pre heat the CM pan  with EVOO  ( Tj's Greek )  ( you have seen the reviews ?  I hope so )

 

bubbling

 

then do these Puppies that way.

 

I hope for mY health id doesnt work out 

 

:huh:



#10 Tri2Cook

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:42 PM

I honestly don't care if it's called pizza or not. It's not my ideal pizza. I prefer my pizza very basic. But if I'm eating a Chicago style, I eat it for what it is, not for what it isn't. In that context, I've had some I enjoyed very much. I somewhat equate it with my personal preference regarding lasagna. My ideal lasagna is pasta with some stuff, not stuff with some pasta. But I don't tell people who disagree with me that what they make isn't lasagna and I've eaten a lot of lasagna done their way that I still enjoyed.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#11 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:54 PM

What difference, at this point, does it make?  :wink:


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~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#12 rotuts

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:34 PM

Well I think he said :

 

""  I eat it for what it is, not for what it isn't ""

 

Q.E.D.



#13 janeer

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:20 PM

Not pizza
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#14 paulraphael

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:38 AM

I grew up in Chicago with Giordano's being my holy grail. My family had it every year for Christmas, with champaign. 

Now, after almost 20 years in Brooklyn, I can't stomach that stuff when I go back.

 

It really isn't pizza. For a while I thought, "ok, this isn't pizza, but it's delicious." Now I'm thinking it's actually kind of disgusting.

The thing I like about it is the pastry-like crust. It's flaky and sort of buttery (although I don't think there's really butter in it ... not sure what they do) and generally very well made.

But the toppings are so thick and gooey, and not very good.

 

If the thing were maybe half as thick, and with better quality ingredients and more refinement, I'd like it a lot as a unique snack for when I'm crazy hungry.

But it its traditional form, thumbs down.

 

I've been spoiled by the relentless striving for pizza nirvana in NYC over the last decade. There are at least three new-school places in the city that make better pizza than I've ever had before. I used to be a serious pizza maker at home. Then Roberta's opened in my neighborhood, and I gave up. There was just no point anymore.


Edited by paulraphael, 27 March 2014 - 07:40 AM.


#15 rotuts

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:32 AM

""  now experts agree  ""

 

:blink:

 

I had a DD(P) in Chicago in the mid-70's at the Original and only Uno's at that time.  I was a student on the S.Side, and finally had a friend w a car.

 

the wait was long, the decor perfect for DD(P) and the 'item' served was delicious and snarfed up quickly by the both of us.  a bit of burned 

 

mouth tells the tale.  later we went to the brand new Duo's, on the adjacent corner.  same owners, but more up-tempo decor.  cant remember a thing about the

 

DD(P).

 

Uno's became a chain etc etc.  a long while back  Test Kitchen did an ep on DD(P).  of note: a lot of EVOO went into the bottom of the preheated pan

 

before the DD(P) went into that then then into the hot oven.

 

TJ's has a small Fz DD(P)  16 oz  4.49.  This week my locally owned MegaloMart had 'Uno' s, refrigerated DD(P) 1/2 off for 4.99. normal price $$10.  Pepperoni of course.

 

I thought Id look into that and add to this discussion.  its  25 oz, 1/2 the cals are fat, 110 gm.  Na comes in at 3500 mg  did not see a ref to HFCS, nor any mention as far as I can remember to EVOO or butter. it is claims to have no Trans-fats.

 

this DD(P) is made by Uno's , a few towns over from me.  its clearly the manufacturer of the TJ's pint sized version.

 

I tried two DD(P) :  

 

1) first day  'as directed'  I had hoped to only eat 1/2 and save the other 1/2 for a room temp 'gourmet' breakfast

 

it did not work out that way.  burp.  I thought the DD(P) was 'acceptable'  i may have been influenced by the bargain price.  :blink: my personal prefs. are to add chili flakes, EVOO, Green Tabasco, maybe some dried oregano after the DD(P) is done.

 

2) the second day, I did the same exp but with a very generous coating of EVOO on the bottom of a Chicago  (  :cool: ) metallic cake pan

 

preheated to sizzle the pop the DD(P) in that pan and finish in the BV-XL

 

This DD(P) was quite good.  again, I failed to save 1/2 for breakfast.  at 10 $$ / DD(P) Im not going back for more.

 

I thank God they are only on sale this week.   I can barely move today after only 2 DD(P)'s 1 / day x 2.

 

the TJ'S SmallBoy id had once, but not w the EVOO treatment.  it serves one.  there are no expectations for a remained for Breakfast. Its a bit difficult to move around after eating it, but that seems to pass fairly quickly.  ice cold beer helps.

 

over all I think DD(P)  properly treated w EVOO  has some sort of place 'on the plate'.  Perhaps not your plate.

 

it is what it is, and its not anything else.  the TJ's Small Boy will go well w Ice Cold Beer and some sort of Unionized USA Football game

 

you get to take it or leave it.  and you can call it anything you want.  but if you ask for it at TJ's  better call it Deep Dish Pizza.


Edited by rotuts, 27 March 2014 - 08:43 AM.


#16 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:01 AM

Why doesn't Chicago thin crust ever get mentioned?  Honestly, growing up, I had deep dish maybe 5 times -- but I did eat thin crust, square cut pizza all the time.  Is that not pizza as well?  I think if you took a survey of people in and around Chicago eating pizza, it would be thin crust, square cut all the time -- and it is done in a specific way at places like Salernos and at my grandfather's old place, Uncle Pete's  -- I could care less about Deep Dish (except for Burt's Pizza --- got tell Burt it isn't pizza...) -- but I do care about a good, thin crust cut into squares.  I will take that over NY pizza any day.



#17 rotuts

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:04 AM

good point.  A.Bourdain did an interesting show on Chicago a while back.  I enjoyed it as I lived there for 4 years.

 

DD(P) Chicago style was pretty much poo-poo'd  as you mention



#18 Shel_B

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:12 AM

Why doesn't Chicago thin crust ever get mentioned?  Honestly, growing up, I had deep dish maybe 5 times -- but I did eat thin crust, square cut pizza all the time.  Is that not pizza as well?  I think if you took a survey of people in and around Chicago eating pizza, it would be thin crust, square cut all the time -- and it is done in a specific way at places like Salernos and at my grandfather's old place, Uncle Pete's  -- I could care less about Deep Dish (except for Burt's Pizza --- got tell Burt it isn't pizza...) -- but I do care about a good, thin crust cut into squares.  I will take that over NY pizza any day.

 

The problems with Chicago square cut pizza, as far as this New Yorker is concerned, is that some pieces have no crust, can't be held in one hand and folded, and the crust is not thin enough (at least in all examples I've tried) or crispy enough. 

 

Can you buy a  slice of the square cut pie?  If so, how does one eat the pieces without crust?  It doesn't seem possible to eat a slice out of hand without the cheese and sauce running all over the place.  What's the technique?


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.... Shel


#19 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:23 AM

Well, square cut pizza is not meant for walking and eating -- but you can pile pieces on top of each other to make a sandwich, but I don't think I would walk around with that.  Is portability now the determinant for pizza?  Square cut has something for everyone -- some people like the outside crust, some people don't.  We give choices here!  ;) I remember when we were kids and we asked my grandfather to cut a pizza in triangles -- just like pizza hut -- he simply shook his head and then had to draw a picture for himself to remember to cut it that way.  I get that New Yorkers will always claim that their pizza is the end all be all -- I just disagree.  Also, if the outside crust on the Chicago Pizza you were having didn't literally disintegrate, you are probably right -- it wasn't crispy enough...



#20 annabelle

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:35 AM

When I make pizza at home, I make it on a half sheet, so it's more of a square cut than a pie.

 

The problem I have with Chicago style pizza is that the crust is soggy due to there being too many toppings and too much sauce.

 

I like to make pizza on homemade focaccia that I bake about half way and then cover with sauce and toppings (usually pepperoni and cheese).

 

The cracker-like crusts are too thin, so the focaccia works well and reheats well.



#21 rotuts

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:37 AM

I like the crust on a proper DD(P).

 

in the North End ( Italian ) of BOS for zillions of years rectangular Hotel Sheet pan 'pizza' was made daily in all the local bakeries after they baked the days bread. rectangular pans were space efficient and were used for other things.  they fit those large trayholder things on wheels, and were multi use.

 

the sauce was a bit different in each place.  you had to time you trip there to try it.  it was generally severed via a side door that went down to where the baking in the basement was done.

 

generations of N.End children inhaled the stuff on the way home from school. as did the various collections of "babushka's' gossiping in the very small local parks.  a standard feature of these 'parks' is they had a lot of cement. they always sold out.

 

Test Kitchen did an interesting show on rectangular 'pizza' not so long ago.  they talked about its strength's and weakness.

 

again, its always up to you to decided what you prefer.  much of this has to do w what you had when you were growing up.

 

having grown up  (   :huh:  )  you can study the issue further and might change your mind.


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#22 Shel_B

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:37 AM

Well, square cut pizza is not meant for walking and eating -- but you can pile pieces on top of each other to make a sandwich, but I don't think I would walk around with that.  Is portability now the determinant for pizza?  

 

I don't think the cut is a determinant, not at all.  But for some people, at least some of the time, portability is a factor.  Example:  Toots and I like to grab a slice at the take out window of one of our favorite places, sit on a nearby bench, and eat our slice while enjoying the nice weather and doing some people watching.  I believe that one of the great things about the "triangle cut," regardless of the style of pizza, is its portability.  To have to sit at a table and use a knife and fork to cut the pieces, or risk the gooey cheese and topping running down you hand, IMO, lessens the pizza-eating experience.  It's somewhat like an ice cream cone without the cone ....

 

Now, my feelings don't take away from the good taste offered by a square cut pie, or the enjoyment a few friends might share sitting around a table eating that pie, because there's certainly a time for that.  I just find that the options offered by the square cut pie are limiting, if not limited.


.... Shel


#23 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:51 AM

I love pizza because it brings out so many opinions -- I love the soggy crust of a good square cut -- especially those middle pieces with nothing but your own sheer will that is keeping them together -- I get portability -- but as far as eating the square cut with a fork and knife -- that isn't really necessary -- you can always fold it over.  All of this talk is making pizza the choice for lunch or dinner tonight for sure.


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#24 munchymom

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:17 AM

When I make pizza at home, I make it on a half sheet, so it's more of a square cut than a pie.

 

The problem I have with Chicago style pizza is that the crust is soggy due to there being too many toppings and too much sauce.

 

I like to make pizza on homemade focaccia that I bake about half way and then cover with sauce and toppings (usually pepperoni and cheese).

 

The cracker-like crusts are too thin, so the focaccia works well and reheats well.

 

If your Chicago style pizza has a soggy crust, whoever made it is doing it wrong. The cheese goes in first, on the bottom, then the toppings, then the sauce on top. The cheese insulates the crust from becoming soggy.


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#25 rotuts

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:23 AM

this is one of the things Test Kitchen did on the rectangular version.  on the 'uno's' DD(P)'s the cheese it on top of the sauce, then the pepperoni.

 

cant say how much sauce there really is.  crust good though.



#26 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:04 AM

I was referencing soggy middle pieces in thin crust.  Delicious.



#27 gfweb

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:39 AM

I was referencing soggy middle pieces in thin crust.  Delicious.

 

Soggy pizza?



#28 annabelle

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:45 AM

Soggy with the tears of the diner who was expecting real pizza.



#29 rotuts

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:55 AM

lot of Italian 'North Ends' in Oklahoma, AB?

 

:laugh:


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#30 Shel_B

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:04 PM

Soggy pizza?

 

Some people like it.  Every now and then I am craving something gooey and runny, like the middle slice of a Chicago square pie.  Sometimes even the crust, soggy or not, gets in the way, and then I make a little crustless "pizza."  I melt the cheese in the microwave, and add or mix in the toppings, and then sometimes a rewarm to soften or a quick broil to get a little skin.  A real bit of gooey heaven.


.... Shel