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supercheesewiz

Chicago Pizza

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Ok, i'm not so much a chicago pizza fan, but this weekend I went to the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder company. Boy was I impressed. They're pizza is more of a pot pie, and it has a good balance of sause and cheese. Their salads a great too, with two different dressings.

http://www.chicagopizzaandovengrinder.com/default.htm

check out the site, they have great photos!

Any other fav. chicago pizza joints out there?

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The ORIGINAL Lou Malnati's in Lincolnwood (or #2 n Elk Grove) and the ORIGINAL Uno location on 29 E. Ohio St (does it still exist in its original form now that the company has re-named itself?) . Everything else is just an imitation.

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Lou Malnati's and the ORIGINAL Uno location. Everything else is just an imitation.

I'm not much of a fan of the Chicago deep dish pizza. I did recently run into a great pie at Pizza D.O.C. They also have a simple salad of celery and granny smith apples with parmesan shavings and lemon juice that is killer.

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This is just my opinion, is that all the chicago pizza i've ever eaten has had way too high proportion of cheese to everything else. That's why I like this place, because it's a good balance. Anyway, like I said before this is more like pizza pot pie, than real chicago pizza. So maybe it's something entirely different.

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The ORIGINAL Lou Malnati's in Lincolnwood (or #2 n Elk Grove)  and the ORIGINAL Uno location on 29 E. Ohio St (does it still exist in its original form now that the company has re-named itself?) . Everything else is just an imitation.

Yes Uno (not to be confused with the "franchise" versions outside of Chicago) still exists and it's basically interchangeable with Due (on Huron, IIRC). They're a block away from each other and are both owned and operated by the same entity. IMO, those 2 and Malnati's are in a class by themselves. But, contrary to what Jason said, I find most Malnati locations to be about the same in quality--very high. Highland Park, Wilmette, etc. are all very good -- as good as Lincolnwood -- with excellent QC across all locations. Lincolnwood is the best -- and sometimes only -- place to sit down and have a deep dish. I'll bet that some fan of Gino's East will sing its praises but that place has always fallen a bit short in my estimation.

All that said, I'm more of a thin crust fan. Malnati's actually turns out an excellent one. It's not an East Coast style pie but excellent in it's own right; with a much shorter crust.

=R=

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I'll bet that some fan of Gino's East will sing its praises but that place has always fallen a bit short in my estimation.

Yeah, I'm in agreement with that as well.

I'm glad to hear the Malnati's expansion locations have good quality control -- FWIW, I've only been to the original location and the Elk Grove one.

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We get takeout from the Mt. Prospect location of Lou's and it's always good. I don't care for deep dish so we get one deep dish and one thin crust. For the thin crust I get garlic, mushrooms, double tomato sauce and while Weight Watchers is in effect I ask for the lower-fat mozzarella. It's very good.

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I'll bet that some fan of Gino's East will sing its praises but that place has always fallen a bit short in my estimation.

I agree that Gino's East falls a bit short -- but remember, it's not the ORIGINAL location, there's a reason "East" is in its name! The best deep-dish pizzas I've ever had were from the days when there was but the one Gino's on Rush Street.

Wow. I just realized that the "glory days" of the original Gino's were more than 25 years ago. Now I feel old...

Mark

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My first (because you always remember your first) was a bit much, a bit heavy, certainly more than a single girl could take, and from Gino's East. Someone should have warned me about getting the sausage crumbled. It's scary when it comes at you like that! I'm from New England!

Now that I am wiser, and know the value of the Elk Grove Lou's a couple miles from my domicile, there is no question where I'll end up when I want some deep dish action. And I will always wait for the butter crust.

But really, there's only so much Chicago Style my yankee upbringing will allow. And thin crust in Chicago is a whole other thread.

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So.... we've been here for nearly three weeks now.

We tried a thin crust from Art of Pizza - mediocre.

We tried deep dish from Lou Malnati's in Lincoln Park - mediocre - Michael disliked the sauce. I didn't mind the sauce, but found the sausage uninspired, and just wasn't blown away.

Tonight we ordered a deep dish sausage pie from Pequod's. The crust wasn't flaky enough, IMO. I liked the sauce, though it was heavy-handed. I loved the burnt cheese on the edges. The Pequod's salad was damn good (but that's another thread). This is getting closer, and we'll order again, but I'm still not feeling it.

Will we ever find something perfect?? Next up are Gino's and Uno or Due.

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Have you tried any of the new pizza places, like Spacca Napoli (Neopolitan) Grupo di Amici (Roman), PIzzeria D.O.C., or even the venerable Candlelite (basic thin crust, well-executed, but thankfully not the lame, foldable New York style)?

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We tried deep dish from Lou Malnati's in Lincoln Park - mediocre - Michael disliked the sauce. I didn't mind the sauce, but found the sausage uninspired, and just wasn't blown away.

Complete and total blasphemy! :biggrin:

Will we ever find something perfect?? Next up are Gino's and Uno or Due.

I'd be suprised if you liked any of these. I'm guessing it's simply a style issue and none of these are vastly different from Malnati's. I used to think Uno/Due ruled, but they've slipped, IMO. Gino's has never really scratched the itch for me.

I hope you'll keep us updated on your quest.

=R=

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I'm not much of a fan of the Chicago deep dish pizza.

Ah, but that's the best part! The contrast between thin, crisp, buttery crust and deep, gooey, cheesy center.

stuffed_side600.jpg

My favorite: Edwardo's stuffed pizza with pesto, sausage, mushrooms and garlic.

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Have you tried any of the new pizza places, like Spacca Napoli (Neopolitan) Grupo di Amici (Roman), PIzzeria D.O.C., or even the venerable Candlelite (basic thin crust, well-executed, but thankfully not the lame, foldable New York style)?

Went to Candlelite as it came highly recommended. It was ok and better than most thin crusts in Chicago, so I guess it would have to rank pretty high then. Have also been to Vito & Nick's, again better thin crust than what is around but not outstanding.

Pizza DOC always undercooks the center of my pizzas so I've never really been a fan. It has been some years and I'm usually one to give a place another try so I'll have to go.

I'm looking forward to trying Spacca Napoli.

I'm quite tired of the thin v thick which is better discussion, they both are very different animals. For thick I do not like the stuffed places like Giordano's or Edwardo's, As stated above the original Due's, Uno's are turning out great deep dish.

My favorite thin crust still is Zaffiro's in Milwaukee. Well worth the drive.

--

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Sweet Willie...get thee to Spacca Napoli!

We finally made it there this weekend. We arrived a little past 8:30 on Saturday night. We were told it would be a 35 minute wait, but we were seated in about 15 minutes. Had the prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella appetizer. The mozzarella was really outstanding. The prosciutto was just ok, a little lean for my taste. Pizzas were just as good as advertised. Mine was with sausage and broccoli rape. The fiance had a special with truffled cheese, truffle oil and porcini mushroom. The crust is clearly well beyond anything else you can get in town. I'm just happy a Chicago-style hater like myself now has some options, with Spacca Napoli clearly at the top of the list.

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I second the Spacca Napoli rec by Josh. They are open for lunch and you will find less busy there at that time. In the summer, when the wait is long, you will find the owner bringing out a sampling of their appetizers as snacks while you wait.

Pizza D.O.C. has gone downhill since it was CP'd (check please). The center used to come out right, but now it gets a little soggy. Perhaps something to do with it sitting on the counter a little too long before making it too our table.

Candlelight is great for a far north Chicago joint. They have a two-for-Tuesday special. Order two pizzas for the price of one - dining in only, I believe.

Pizanos in the river north and downtown locations are also tasty. Basically it is a Lou Malnati's thick crust pizza, made thin.

Caponie's on Harlem (and around Addison) makes it even thinner than Candlelight. Just plain good thin crust for the west side of Chicago. Used to go there a lot before Pizzeria D.O.C. and Spacca Napoli.

Anyone have a locations for the South Side?

------------

Spacca Napoli

1769 West Sunnyside

Chicago, IL 60640

773 878 2420

Pizza D.O.C.

2251 West Lawrence Avenue

Chicago, IL 60625

773 784 8777

Candlelight Restaurant

7452 North Western Avenue

Chicago, IL 60636

773 465 0087

Pizano's Pizza and Pasta

864 North State Street

Chicago, IL 60610

312 751 1766

Caponies Trattoria

3350 N. Harlem

Chicago, IL 60634

773 804 9024

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I found the post that I had made on LTH a year ago.

Spacca Napoli is just fantastic. Our pizza order was the Margherita and the Fungi. The pizza was cooked in something like 5 minutes. The crust had an irregular pattern of burn marks adding to the depth of flavor of the dough, which was chewy and yet crispy. I find the crust to be the best part of the pizza. As someone said upthread, I can eat the crust by itself. Good stuff.

I do hope this place keeps its standards high and the quality does not diminish as too many people flock to the pizzeria, or before it shows up in check please.

Some more photos for your pleasure.

The oven.

113515775_d29cc9d5d3_o.jpg

Prep station.

113515763_b6d62b2e55_o.jpg

Pizza Margherita.

113515749_5347698043_o.jpg

Pizza Fungi.

113515744_3bb360015c_o.jpg

Pizza Fungi, checking for thickness.

113515733_2331b562ec_o.jpg

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Of course, Chicago pizza is very subjective, as all foods are.

I've tried a lot of different pizzas, and my favorite is still Giordano's, for their stuffed, double-crust pizza. The body of the pizza has a nice balance between crust, cheese, tomatos, and added ingredients, and the edge crust is sublime. But some people leave that delicious edge crust over - go figure.

I still go to Lou Malnati's at times for their single-crust pan pizza, which is also very good, and preferred by my SO to Giordano's.

Recently we tried Pequod's for a change of pace. I didn't like it as much as Giordano's or Malnati's, because it has less emphasis on crust (to me, burnt cheese doesn't count as crust; crust is made from dough) and because the sauce was too strong in taste (theirs is like a tomato sauce you would put on spaghetti, rather than like canned tomatos), but my SO liked it more than the other two, primarily because of the sauce.

As for thin crust pizza, I've had a lot of different kinds, and none of them really does it for me. Whereas the best deep-dish pizzas strike a harmonious balance among their ingredients to produce a wonderful dish, to me the thin-crust versions are little more than bruschetta, i.e. little more than a few ingredients placed ONTO a bread crust without a whole lot of thought, rather than a single, unified dish created from multiple ingredients.

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I'm not sure either. I think the pizza at Quartino is ok, but I prefer SN. I would think the difference has to be what goes into the crust (I'm certainly no pizza expert so someone else should feel free to correct me).

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As for thin crust pizza, I've had a lot of different kinds, and none of them really does it for me.  Whereas the best deep-dish pizzas strike a harmonious balance among their ingredients to produce a wonderful dish, to me the thin-crust versions are little more than bruschetta, i.e. little more than a few ingredients placed ONTO a bread crust without a whole lot of thought, rather than a single, unified dish created from multiple ingredients.

What do you mean by thin crust? There's the cracker crisp style which you see at a lot of places (that I'm not really nuts about either), but then you have Neopolitan style like SN, which is an entirely different animal.

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What do you mean by thin crust?  There's the cracker crisp style which you see at a lot of places (that I'm not really nuts about either), but then you have Neopolitan style like SN, which is an entirely different animal.

I've had both, and my comments apply to both. And also to New York style, fold from the edge type thin crust pizza. I'll eat them when someone else is choosing where we go, but given the choice, I choose any of the Chicago deep-dish places over them. Again, strictly a matter of taste (de gustibus non est disputandum).


Edited by nsxtasy (log)

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What do you mean by thin crust?  There's the cracker crisp style which you see at a lot of places (that I'm not really nuts about either), but then you have Neopolitan style like SN, which is an entirely different animal.

I've had both, and my comments apply to both. And also to New York style, fold from the edge type thin crust pizza.

Heresy! :raz:

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I'm not sure either.  I think the pizza at Quartino is ok, but I prefer SN.  I would think the difference has to be what goes into the crust (I'm certainly no pizza expert so someone else should feel free to correct me).

I'm almost certain that SN uses Caputo 00 flour in their dough. There were several visible references to it in their restaurant, anyway.

=R=

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Bumping this thread because this summer I've decided to take on a bit of a pet project and try some deep dish pizza. Hailing from the NE, I've found I pretty much can't stand "pizza" across the rest of the country. Like bagels, pizza is really a NYC and Northern Jersey thing.

With this ideology, I've been quite skeptical of Chicago pizza. Thick crusts, lots of sauce and cheese, pretty much everything I hate in pizza. Still, I have an open palate, if not an entirely open mind, and will be hitting up some of the more talked about pizza stops this summer.

Tonight I stopped by a Giordano's location for their stuffed crust pizza. After waiting the requisite 30+ minutes for my pie, my server somewhat ceremoniously served the first piece. Melted cheese spilled forth. It was nearly theatric.

I must say I did enjoy it. It is not, however, pizza at all. Rather, it's a savory pie of cheese and, in my case, mushrooms with a tomato sauce topping. The crust, thankfully, was not soggy or greasy like in deep dish pizzas I've had in the past but firm and pastry-like, like a strong pie crust. While the experience was perhaps not an exceptional one, I can see the appeal. I was only able to eat half of a small, so that speaks to the overwhelming heaviness of this style of pizza.

After tax and tip, the pizza alone came to like $17. While this isn't really expensive in the big picture, it seems to be more expensive than its peers. It would be nice if they offered a smaller size, one that a solo diner could reasonably finish.

I tried to stop by Uno and Due the night before but couldn't wait for a table as I had plans for later. I will try one or both of those out before my time here up. The Malnati's place sounds good; I just have to find a location convenient to me.


Edited by BryanZ (log)

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