On a fateful day in 1943, two ABCIs (American born confused Italians aka second/third-gen Italian descendants in Chicago. FYI this is an acronym I made up, I mean if there are ABCDs – American born confused desis, there’s gotta be ABCIs right? :P) opened Pizzeria Uno to create a type of Italian-American fusion pizza, adding a twist to their traditional thin-crust Neapolitan version. The ingredients were prepared in a circular pan, about three inches deep. The base of the pan was drizzled with olive oil, then topped with a thick bed of semolina and white flour, followed by a pound of mozzarella cheese, vegetables, and meat and finally a thin layer of chunky tomato sauce. Notice how they added the cheese first and add the tomato sauce. The UPSIDE DOWN pizza was then baked to prevent cheese from burning. (Genius!) The olive oil and flour blended to give the pizza a crunchy golden crust. The crust was pressed down with a dense layer of gooey and delicious mozzarella and sweet tomato sauce. Et voila, the deep-dish pizza was born and history was made. After Pizzeria Uno, many other local pizzerias mushroomed each adding their own distinct spin and style to the traditional deep-dish.
After an amazing pizza tour in 2011, I have been making a pizza pilgrimage nearly every year to Chicago. Listed below are the some of my favorite places to get a deep-dish fix.
Pequod’s pizza (5/5)
2016 (with Krishna)
The Pequod pies are baked in cast-iron pans lined with a smattering of mozzarella, so when the pizzas come out of the oven, they have a crispy, brown, caramelized cheese crust. I mean, wow! Pro-tip: Add garlic and jalapeno to the pizza in addition to whatever toppings you want. (Thanks for the recommendation Dennis!)
Gino’s East (4/5)
2014 (with Krishna and Sai)
Gino’s East pizza crusts are made of cornmeal, so the pizza is less greasy but still flavorful and delicious.
Lou Manatis (4.5/5)
2012 (with Deepesh and Tim)
Lou’s pies come with flaky, buttery crust and sweet vine-riped tomato sauce. The butter crust is so legit that the owners actually trademarked it – Buttercrust™.
2011 (with Deepesh, Nishant, Tavishi, Ming and Thomas)
Giordano’s pizza joints are dime a dozen in Chicago and a trustworthy place to the traditional deep-dish.
Chicago Pizza And Oven Grinder Company
Sometime in the future
The specialty at CPOG is their pot pies, and I’m dying to go back to Chicago to check this out.
Not all deep-dish pies are tossed the same and my point is why settle on one when you can have them all? Just make sure you book two seats on the way back home 😉
Have you had a deep-dish pizza before and what did you think? Is there a place you think I should visit on my next pizza-piligramage, if yes drop me a note 🙂