Can someone give me a first hand account of an actual slice of Lou Malnati's Chicago Style Pizza. The picture I saw on Food TV looked like the bottom had an almost a corn bread appearance. Is it kind of greasy on the bottom? What about the taste?
New poster here, thought I'd chime in on my "description" of the good Chicago style pizzeria crusts. My ex girlfriend is from the Indiana side of Chicago, and I was able to try a few different pizza places when I would visit. Most memorable was Gino's East (downtown near Northwestern Univ.), I had ordered their largest deep dish with their signature sausage, green olives, ham, extra cheese, and I believe feta cheese. It was amazing...truly a "fork only" pizza. It was the first time I had this style pizza where the cheese was on the bottom, then toppings, then sauce dabbed on top. Dabbed is the key word here. Basically it seemed like a blend of crushed tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and seasonings.
I think the reason this pizza reheats so well (its better the next day cold if you can believe it), is that the juices of the toppings arent absorbed into the pizza sauce and diluted (as most puree style sauces would do in a traditional style pizza with the cheese on the top). Instead the different flavors are kept in layers (crust, cheese, topings, sauce). Since the bulk of the cheese is on the bottom of the pizza, the cheese doesnt get leathery like NY style cheese would.
When the Chicago style is reheated, the cheese melts again, but since it's on the bottom, the moisture hasn't been baked out of the cheese and it will retain it's flavor and melting properties.
The crust was great. It definately reminded me of a pie crust...with the heartyness of a biscuit, but the characteristics of a buttery, flakey croissant. People have thrown around the word "biscuit" here, and I believe that the key difference is that biscuits are just too dry and have no "personality" (if that makes sense). When Chicago style crust is reheated, it doesnt get all hot, then in-edibly hard, like NY style does. Theres not a big poof of crust to hold in that moisture that gets re-heated out, therefore the crust is very good reheated with Chicago style.
I worked for a pizza place in college (non Chicago style, convection oven, timed conveyor) and I'd gotten into a conversation regarding Chicago style crust with my boss (the owner), and he told me that he'd heard the Chicago style pizzeria crusts are refrigerated for a few days before using them, almost to the point where the crusts go bad (dry out). Also, I could swear I've heard that the crusts are somewhat precooked, then toppings added later. This also may just save time preparing the pizzas....or could be crap and untrue.
Anyhow, something magical happens when that cheese and crust are baked and fused together, and all the toppings' juices cook and blend together. The sauce on top adds a nice touch, but definately doesnt dominate the flavor. The crust comes up really high on the sides, kinda like a flakey crown. I find its easiest to eat with a knife and fork since the topping can get pretty high and arent pinned under the cheese like NY style pizza. Nothing worse than a huge lump of sausage and tomato fall in your lap because you tried to use your hands.
Anyhow, I live in Charlotte, NC now....we have an "Uno's Pizzaeria" chain restaurant downtown. It's pretty good, however I've not had the original Uno's so I cant compare it.
Hope my description helps,