As for the double crust--I can only relate my experience from the Giordano's I go to where you can stand at the counter and watch the workers making the pizza, from sheeting to assembling. One guy sheets the dough twice, tosses it in the air across the room to an assembler, who drapes it into a pan, adds cheese, toppings, and a couple of ladles of sauce. No top crust. Maybe this isn't what other franchises do, but that's what this one does!
You're right--anyone not lucky enough to be in the Chicago area is mising out on a great pizza!
I just returned from a week-long vacation back home in the Chicago suburbs (we had pizza three times in 5 days!). I wasn't able to watch them make the pizza at Giordano's, but I very carefully analyzed the side profile of the cut pizza. There was, in order from bottom up: Crust, pepperoni, liberal layer of cheese, extremely
thin top-crust, very thin layer of cheese, sauce. This was the Glen Ellyn Giordano's on Roosevelt Road.
There definitely was a top-crust, though it was very, very thin and almost unnoticeable from the cheese layer above it. One clue was the fact that the cheese layer above it moved separately from the cheese below, with no toppings between. When I traced the line back to the side crust, I could see where the two crusts met, and found that this is what causes that great "splitting" along the top edge of their crust!
They use significantly less sauce than I remember, perhaps as little as half as much as I have been using. On the other hand, their cheese layer is thicker than what I have been making -- and OH SO TASTY. I need to find some Stella.
I took some pictures of the pizza, and I'll try to post them if they turned out okay. I'll be tweaking my own recipe this weekend for another attempt.
Has anyone experimented with real butter in the dough recipe? My dough never turns out quite as flaky/layered looking as real Giordano's.