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Chicago Pizza


supercheesewiz
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BZ,

Not all Malnati's are created equal, I am not sure if there is a good one near the downtown area. There are variations in the "Chicago style" served at the various spots so the Giordano's version is different than others (I think Giordano's is fair). My old favorites were Due's and the original Gino's East (not the chain versions) .

Molto E

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Does anyone know if the the Malnati's in River North is good. It'd be most convenient to me. I certainly make no claims of being an expert and won't be even after trying out a few of these better known locations. I'm just trying to get a feel for the different styles.

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Does anyone know if the the Malnati's in River North is good.  It'd be most convenient to me.  I certainly make no claims of being an expert and won't be even after trying out a few of these better known locations.  I'm just trying to get a feel for the different styles.

The River North location is the only one I know. I'm a big fan. It's the buttery, cornmeal-dusted crust that sells it. I like Pizzano's on State as well, although in my memory, their sauce is sweeter than Lou's. Which, once again, Lou's! [Can't speak for any of the other ingredients, just give me cheese, please.)

eta: Another bravo for SN. When they opened, Jonathon said he was importing all of the pizza crust ingredients from Italy. And using less yeast than others used, iho. (Don't know him personally, he had stopped by to ask what we thought.)

Edited by hsm (log)
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Lived in the burbs for 16 years, city for the past 3. I have lived in streeterville (right downtown one block from navy pier), wrigley, and now on the border of lincoln park and old town

Fiance and I have tried a diff. pizza place every week or so this past year in search of the best. We give all places a fair shot and do not discriminate between thin, regular and deep dish. All locations, all options are fair game.

I have always been a bigger fan of the anything but deep dish variety. As of 2 months ago the best that we found (both the fiance and I were in agreement, and he tends to prefer deep dish) was Cafe Luigi on Clark a little north of Fullerton. Type? New York style...thin, huge, floppy pieces. The crust was all bubled up with air bubbles, so good.

HOWEVER, we did not end our search there (although yes we tended to order there every week since we love it so)....

Edwardos pizza on Halsted (I think) is the BEST ever, deep dish, so divine.

Me, the "non deep dish pizza lover", I now found a deep dish that I prefer (most of the time, depending on mood) over any other type of pizza, crust, restaurant, whatever....Edwardos kicks serious butt. Try it - please....

I get a small with black olives, mushrooms and spinich (spinich sometimes, sometimes not), fiance gets his own small with peperoni and sausage...

WE LOVE IT...although cafe luigi is still damn good.... try that too :)

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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Off the beaten path, very quirky, but I love it. Run by Burt, who looks like an aging ex-hippie, and who's been making pizza longer than many readers here have been alive. His style is maybe best described as a thinner version of deep dish. Excellent, fresh ingredients. He also offers take-out pizza, but his phone number is unlisted - you have to go in and get a takeout menu to get the phone number (or you may be able to find it on line if you're creative). If you do call, know that he'll be talking to you on a rotary phone.

Burt's Place

8541 N. Ferris (a side street, easy to miss)

Morton Grove

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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?

yeah chicago pizza and oven grinders is a 1.5 blocks away from out place...hehe. Love it! So has everyone that we have brought there...

So good, salad rocks, the flat bread appetizer you HAVE to get ( covered in olive oil and awesome blends of spices) you rip it apart with those you are dining with...rip eat, rip eat, etc....its paper thin and really big around :) Mmmm carbs with oily goodness :)

The pizza pot pies rock. I saw them featured on rachel rays travel food show in foor network. Saw EXACTLY how they're made....

Place toppings in a lil bowl (only choices are sausage or mushrooms (they use WHOLE button shrooms), ladle on sauce, place 3 slices of mozz or provolone cheese (cant remember which is was), on top goes the uncooked dough, pinch around bowl edges, in the oven it goes. That was it! Took em' like all of 13 seconds. Out it comes oh so yummy. All you choose is:

1.) sauce type :meat or marinara

2.) mushrooms, sausage, both, or neither

3.) white or wheat crust (yes you can choose wheat! And I have tried it - its good...yet the white of course is superior...come on peeps we are talking pizza here!

Mmmm... go with a companion or friends....share the salad appetizer and flat bread appetizer (both are HUGE musts, and both come family style - theyre meant to share)..........everyone get your own pizza pot pie (although I have been told by others that the grinders hold their own and they rock too).

Mmm....GO THERE.

Hell - I will meet you!

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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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. 

yeah chicago pizza and oven grinders is a 1.5 blocks away from out place...hehe. Love it! So has everyone that we have brought there...

So good, salad rocks, the flat bread appetizer you HAVE to get ( covered in olive oil and awesome blends of spices) you rip it apart with those you are dining with...rip eat, rip eat, etc....its paper thin and really big around :) Mmmm carbs with oily goodness :)

The pizza pot pies rock. I saw them featured on rachel rays travel food show in foor network. Saw EXACTLY how they're made....

I just relocated to Chicago and am half a block down from this place. There's a line out the door every night and Rebecca (my better half) and I assumed that there must be something to this line...something tasty at the end of it.

Unfortunately, that's far from the case.

We went and had the classic meat pot pie and the salami grinder to share. The pizza "pot pie" was just a mediocre crust filled with so-so meat spaghetti sauce (I'll give some credit to the whole mushrooms, but certainly not enough to distinguish the sauce) and /too much/ cheese. The "oven grinder" was a warm (not hot mind you, think sitting near the oven for a while, not in it) sub with thick slices of so-so salami (I'll admit that I'm a cured meat snob) with a ton of semi-melted flavorless provolone. On the side was a big pile of insipid partially-cooked green peppers.

Needless to say, we could not understand what the line was all about. Then we gave directions to some tourists on the bus who asked if we new where it was. We gave them directions and asked them how they knew about the place... "it was on the Rachel Ray show". No wonder.

-Dan

p.s. We did not try the rather tasty-looking flatbread app that most people seemed to be tucking in to. It did look good...and I might even go in and try one sometime... but it will not be a prelude to an entree in my case.

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I stopped by the River North outpost of Lou Malnati's this evening to try out its wares. I ordered a small pie with sausage and mushrooms. It was quite good, but short of Giordano's in my opinion. I like the drier, crustier nature of the Giordano's double crust pizza. The Malnati's version has less cheese and is more subtle in nature. Less gooey, with a lighter but somewhat less flavorful tomato sauce. The sausage was nice and meaty but lacking in seasoning and the mushrooms too sparse to add any significant umami. Certainly not bad--it wasn't greasy and was quite tasty overall--but it didn't quite reach the heights I was hoping for.

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I stopped by the River North outpost of Lou Malnati's this evening to try out its wares. It was quite good, but short of Giordano's in my opinion...but it didn't quite reach the heights I was hoping for.

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

I stopped by Due yesterday afternoon to sample the wares of this well-known pizza shop. I managed to grab a table without a wait, as I'd timed my visit to fall in between lunch and dinner hours. It seems that Due (and probably Uno, as they share the same menu) are about a dollar or so more expensive than its competitors.

The Due pizza seems to fall somewhere in between the Malnati's and Giordano's pies. The crust had more structural integrity and was crustier than Malnati's but lacked the consistent crunch of Girodano's. The sauce was not as fresh-tasting as Malnati's but not as concentrated and tomato-y as Giordano's I can accurately judge the fillings, as the pie I had a Due was filled with a wide variety of items.

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I second Spacca Napoli, especially the pie with the poached egg and fresh ricotta and arugula. I also like Piece - more like flatbread than pizza, but flavorful and good with good toppings (I like the clams and sausage.) Good beer, too.

I think deep-dish pizza is kind of disgusting. Sorry.

"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

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I stopped by Due yesterday afternoon to sample the wares of this well-known pizza shop.  I managed to grab a table without a wait, as I'd timed my visit to fall in between lunch and dinner hours.  It seems that Due (and probably Uno, as they share the same menu) are about a dollar or so more expensive than its competitors.

The Due pizza seems to fall somewhere in between the Malnati's and Giordano's pies.  The crust had more structural integrity and was crustier than Malnati's but lacked the consistent crunch of Girodano's.  The sauce was not as fresh-tasting as Malnati's but not as concentrated and tomato-y as Giordano's  I can accurately judge the fillings, as the pie I had a Due was filled with a wide variety of items.

as long as Due's is rated higher than Malnati's...RS, one day I will eat your third rated pie just to see :raz:

My last Due's was probably two years ago and it was at a lower level than I remembered but I would still take it over Giordano's. New York Times Editor Sam Sifton's "pizza cognition theory" - "the pizza you eat as a child is what you recognize as pizza for the rest of your life". For me that is Due's, I have eaten at the original Uno's a few times but growing up for whatever reason I gravitated toward Due's. I seem to remember liking Bacino's more than Giordano's, but I ordered those for delivery more often than dining at the respective restaurants.

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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  • 5 weeks later...

Quick question. Me and a friend stopped by a Pizzeria Uno out here in Philly in order to gain some perspective on what we might expect from the pies out in Chi town. On the menu it seemed to point out that the sauce for their deep dish pizza was "chunky style", meaning that there were literally chunks of crushed tomatoes in the sauce. I was not a fan of this style. Do all of the other authentic Chicago deep dish places use the "chunky" style sauce as well, or just Uno's?

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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Quick question. Me and a friend stopped by a Pizzeria Uno out here in Philly in order to gain some perspective on what we might expect from the pies out in Chi town.  On the menu it seemed to point out that the sauce for their deep dish pizza was "chunky style", meaning that there were literally chunks of crushed tomatoes in the sauce.  I was not a fan of this style.  Do all of the other authentic Chicago deep dish places use the "chunky" style sauce as well, or just Uno's?

My recollection is that many, but certainly not all, of the "big name" Chicago style pizza places have sauce that is chunkier than what you'd find on standard thin pizzas.

More importantly, though, the pizza served at the national Uno's chain is quite different and much worse than what you'll find at the original Uno's and Due's. I have never met anyone who liked the pizza at the national chain, much less someone who liked it after trying pizzas at any of the main places in Chicago.

I don't know the Philly market well enough to know if there are decent "Chicago style" pizza places there, but they do exist outside of Chicago.

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Quick question. Me and a friend stopped by a Pizzeria Uno out here in Philly in order to gain some perspective on what we might expect from the pies out in Chi town.  On the menu it seemed to point out that the sauce for their deep dish pizza was "chunky style", meaning that there were literally chunks of crushed tomatoes in the sauce.  I was not a fan of this style.  Do all of the other authentic Chicago deep dish places use the "chunky" style sauce as well, or just Uno's?

My recollection is that many, but certainly not all, of the "big name" Chicago style pizza places have sauce that is chunkier than what you'd find on standard thin pizzas.

More importantly, though, the pizza served at the national Uno's chain is quite different and much worse than what you'll find at the original Uno's and Due's. I have never met anyone who liked the pizza at the national chain, much less someone who liked it after trying pizzas at any of the main places in Chicago.

I don't know the Philly market well enough to know if there are decent "Chicago style" pizza places there, but they do exist outside of Chicago.

Yeah the Uno's out here sucks to the point that I figured it couldn't possibly be indicitive of the original. Philly is a slightly lacking pizza town. We certainly have some good stuff, but not true Chicago style places. I'm probably just gonna hit Geno's East or Lou Malnati's once I get out there, whichever one I come across first.

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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I'm surprised to see that Giordano's isn't getting more love. There are few things I enjoy more than a spinach, mushroom, & pepperoni stuffed pizza. They've got this great buttery crust that is just crispy enough- my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

When I'm looking to mix things up, Lou's is also an excellent choice. I haven't been to Chicago Pizza & Grinder, but after reading feedback here I feel like I it's worth looking into.

"In a perfect world, cooks who abuse fine cutlery would be locked in a pillory and pelted with McNuggets."

- Anthony Bourdain

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Quick question. Me and a friend stopped by a Pizzeria Uno out here in Philly in order to gain some perspective on what we might expect from the pies out in Chi town.  On the menu it seemed to point out that the sauce for their deep dish pizza was "chunky style", meaning that there were literally chunks of crushed tomatoes in the sauce.  I was not a fan of this style.  Do all of the other authentic Chicago deep dish places use the "chunky" style sauce as well, or just Uno's?

My recollection is that many, but certainly not all, of the "big name" Chicago style pizza places have sauce that is chunkier than what you'd find on standard thin pizzas.

More importantly, though, the pizza served at the national Uno's chain is quite different and much worse than what you'll find at the original Uno's and Due's. I have never met anyone who liked the pizza at the national chain, much less someone who liked it after trying pizzas at any of the main places in Chicago.

I don't know the Philly market well enough to know if there are decent "Chicago style" pizza places there, but they do exist outside of Chicago.

The product at the national chain Uno's bears no resemblance to the product at either the original Uno's or Due's. I would not waste at meal at the chain version of Uno's

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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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?

Other faves have been discussed - but I want to throw in another vote for "Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder" - they make the best anti-pasta, salad, Mediterranean Bread.... and as you said, the pizza is like nowhere else. The service of the pizza, a bowl full of fillings with the crust draping over the top - then turned over onto the plate.... mushrooms about an inch & a half diameter, big chunks of Italian sausage (but Cooked - not raw)..... We used to live a few blocks from there & went about twice a month. In fact, just about a week ago we were saying we need to go there.

The other interesting thing about it is that in the garage across the street is where the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" took place - what a claim to fame!! <G> :wink:

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I'm finally recovered from my hangover from my 4 whirlwind days in Chicago. What a town. As I expected, my trip quickly devolved from a somewhat structured plan of attack to an uncoordinated mess of spontaneous binge drinking.

Let me say that nothing supports spontaneous binge drinking like Chicago deep dish.

I managed to get pies from Giordano's and Due's. Both were good, but I liked the Due's pie better. Due's had more of a handmade feel to it, while Giordano's kind of felt like it came off of an assembly line. If that makes any sense. That probably sounds bad, but it was still a good pie.

I can completely understand the debate between all of the deep dish establishments and I wish I was able to try more of them. I came away with the feeling the Giordano's was a fine example of Chicago deep dish, but that there are much better places in town. Due's, in my opinion, was a step up, and it reached my preconcieved notion of what a true Chicago deep dish pie is supposed to be.

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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I managed to get pies from Giordano's and Due's.  Both were good, but I liked the Due's pie better.  Due's had more of a handmade feel to it, while Giordano's kind of felt like it came off of an assembly line.  If that makes any sense. That probably sounds bad, but it was still a good pie. 

I can completely understand the debate between all of the deep dish establishments and I wish I was able to try more of them.  I came away with the feeling the Giordano's was a fine example of Chicago deep dish, but that there are much better places in town. Due's, in my opinion, was a step up, and it reached my preconcieved notion of what a true Chicago deep dish pie is supposed to be.

Nice, thoughtful post. I kind of feel where you're coming from when you comment on Due's more handmade feel. With that said, I prefer Giordano's drier crust.

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...  With that said, I prefer Giordano's drier crust.

Bonus - I've just found a fellow cornmeal crust fan to deep dish with. :raz:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Did someone say South Side? (Death before Dishonor)

Barraco's

3701 W. 95th Street

Restaurant, Carry-Out, Catering and Delivery

HOURS Sun-Thurs. 11-Midnight Fri-Sat 11-2a.m.

708-424-8182

They also make there own pasta and sauces are basically made as needed. Waited tables here many moons ago. Friday Saturday and Sunday they employ about ten delivery drivers if that is any indication of what goes on.

Beggars

127th and Western Ave, Blue Island, IL 60406

708-385-1234

I guess you would call it NY style which I don't really like but theirs is addictive. You can order by the slice even for delivery which is really nice for groups. Guessing about 900 calories a slice for cheese and sausage. Don't have your cholesterol checked for a few days after, you'll break the equipment.

Palermo's

4849 W. 95th Street

Oak Lawn, IL

708-425-6262

The pizza sauce is slightly sweet and not a fav of mine but many people like it.

Waldo Cooneys Pizza

(773) 233-9781

2406 W 111th St

Chicago, IL 60655

Strictly takeout or delivery, this is what pizza tasted like in the 70's.

Fox's Beverly Restaurant

9956 S. Western Ave., Chicago

Tel: (773) 239-3212

Huh who knew the Irish could make pizza? Another excellent thin crust.

If you venture out to Barraco's try and get to Naple's Bakery I'm told it's like going to a bakery in Naples, Italy. Haven't been to Naples Italy but I have been to this bakery and will be back.

Locate close by Fox's Beverly Pub is an excellent seafood store called Dicola's

they will deep fry or grill your purchase if you like and there are a few extras available, lemon herb, couple of different batters, stuff like that.

North of Beggars in downtown Blue Island there are some nice Italian deli/grocery and another good bakery who's name escapes me.

I hope you guys are happy, now I have to go back to the South Side and spend money I don't have. :smile:

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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