Author Topic: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.  (Read 7973 times)

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Offline DKM

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2010, 09:32:13 PM »
OK, since I only had a few pictures, I thought what better than a video.

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Offline norma427

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2010, 09:43:42 PM »
OK, since I only had a few pictures, I thought what better than a video.



DKM,

That was a great video!  ;D  I could almost taste those delicious looking pies.  I really liked the music, also.

Thanks,

Norma
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Offline BTB

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2010, 10:45:45 AM »
OK, since I only had a few pictures, I thought what better than a video.


Great video.  Next best thing to being there. When they were dishing out the pieces of pizza on the video, I was saying "where's my piece?" 

Waiting for your evaluation later.  I've been to Malnati's and Uno's this summer and am anxious to visit some more great Chicago pizzerias myself. 
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« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 04:47:57 PM by BTB »

Offline DKM

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2010, 11:27:17 AM »
Thanks, I'll post my view on the three place in a day or so.  I'm doing a blog (Trains, pizza, and the City) on the whole trip print and will post the pizza part here.
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Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2010, 06:35:52 PM »
Congrats on saving the best till last.

Which location did you go to

Offline DKM

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2010, 08:53:07 PM »
Congrats on saving the best till last.

Which location did you go to

Gino's 162 East Superior Street
Uno 29 East Ohio Street
Malnati's 439 North Wells Street
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Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #46 on: July 13, 2010, 03:30:08 PM »
Good job going to Wells there is a newer one in the south loop that sucked pretty bad when I went last. 

(Eating cold lou's as I type) ha

Offline DKM

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2010, 11:54:10 PM »
Good job going to Wells there is a newer one in the south loop that sucked pretty bad when I went last. 


A mile for the hotel is what make it the best choice for us.  Loved the waiter there, he was a blast.
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Offline Aldo

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2010, 11:35:28 PM »
DKM, as displaced Chicago (Northside) native, I am so grateful for the home visit you shared!

I suggest next time you look at a few more places; really, there are way way WAY too many good places to visit.  You could live there 20 years, as I did, and still never get to them all!

As for Lou's, I prefer the Lincolnwood Malnati's -- I think it may be the flagship place, and I like its ambience.  Maybe next time you can get to that one, I bet you'll like it.

It looks like you picked good pan places.  I prefer stuffed, and if you want suggestions on that, I'll be glad to offer my faves.  But you did a great act of kindness sharing your visit with so many of us who miss our sweet home!

Offline DKM

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2010, 06:15:15 PM »
Clips from my blog about our trip (please ignore any gramar errors)

So we finally arrive in Chicago, take a taxi to the hotel and get our stuff in the room and immediately head out for pizza. Now it so happens that the hotel is a simple two blocks from a Gino’s East joint plus Gino’s has an agreement with local hotels for priority seating of out of town guests and a free order of breadsticks. So we walk to restaurant, give them our priority seating pass (which wasn’t really needed since it was only 4 pm and before the major rush) and once we are seated we give the waitress our free breadsticks coupon. William and Preston (11 & 10) decide to get the individual thin crust (1 cheese, 1 pepperoni) while Angel and I split a small deep dish sausage. Since we were so hungry, we had them bring everything out when they were done, not all at once. So the breadsticks came right out and went right down, very delicious. The boys’ thin crusts came out cut in squares and as a devoted father I tried a square of each. The overall pizza was good, but the crust a little hard for my taste. They also had a lot of cheese, and I mean a lot.

Now it was main event time, our deep dish was out and it was beautiful. Fulfilling all the stereotypes it was in a deep pan and had a thick crust. The dough is obviously allowed to rise in the pan after it is patted out. Lots of cheese and a sausage patty topped with a seasoned, crushed tomato sauce. It was like a dream come true. Yeah, it was that damn good. Angel and I quickly devoured the pizza and we knew then that our trip was worth it.

...

A quick history lesson: Pizzeria Uno is where Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza got started. Despite having the same corporate owners it is not the same pizza served at Uno Chicago Grill, the casual dining restaurant that evolved out of the Pizzeria Uno franchises.

Pizzeria Uno looks like a bar that just happens to serve deep dish pizza. It has a very limited menu and very limited seating. (Tip to travelers, a block away is Pizzeria Due, Uno’s sister restaurant with the same menu, same pizza, and more places to sit.) Like other deep dish places when you go put your name on the waiting list you can order your pizza. Drinks and other items wait until you are seated. So we are told it will be 20 minutes and I order a small half cheese, half pepperoni for the boys and small sausage for Angel and me. We get seated get our drinks and continue our wait (real deep dish pizza takes around 45 minutes to prepare and cook). So our pizzas come out and we are all in heaven. Uno’s pizza had a thick bottom crust with a thin pulled up edge. The tomato “sauce” was very chunky and not seasoned beyond some oregano and parmesan sprinkled on top. I have heard stories that the quality of the pizza at Uno has declined over the years, but as good as these were I find that hard to believe. There was nothing left once the four of us had completed our meal. We spent the rest of the evening again exploring the Magnificent Mile before returning and crashing again. The good news is we were getting a good cardio workout from all the walking.

...

If you have watched any Food Network shows where they had deep dish pizza then you know about Lou Malnati’s. Yet again, arriving before the main rush we got seated right away and were served some glasses of water. Heading towards dehydration we all quickly drank it down and I almost felt bad for our waiter as he came to get our drink order and all we wanted was water. He brought us a pitcher of ice water which gone by the time we were done with the meal. This time the boys ordered a medium thin crust half cheese, half pepperoni while Angel and I stayed with the small deep dish sausage. One difference here is Malnati’s offers a “butter crust” for about 75 cents more. From what I could get out of the waiter a seasoned butter is spread across the dough prior to topping. Honestly, I couldn’t tell if it made any real difference based on the other pizzas we had before. The pizzas came out with the thin in a pan similar to the deep dish, with traditionally cut pizza slices, a crisp bottom, but soft top. It certainly wasn’t like other Chicago thin crusts I had seen. Although thicker than the thin crust, this deep dish was the thinnest of the three we tried with a thin, pulled up edge. The tomato “sauce” was a lot like Uno’s but perhaps a little sweeter. Once more the four of us consumed almost everything in front of us and I learned from the three places that I don’t put nearly enough cheese on my homemade pizzas. When Angel asked which one we liked the best Preston answered, “All three were really good.” I can’t add to that.

If someone only had a chance to go to one place on a quick trip I would recommend Malnati’s as it was the best priced of the three and had a more “restaurant” feel to it.

...

On the whole, I’d say it was a great trip. How did the rest of the family feel about it? Well I wanted to go to Chicago and they came with me. By the end they were all talking about what we needed to do when we went next time. I’m all for that, there are a lot more pizza places that I need to try.
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Offline RSMBob

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2010, 12:53:58 AM »
DKM...great read. I can't believe you held yourself in check ordering small pizzas at each place! Yes, with just the non-thin crust places, there are probably another 5-10 that you could easliy work into your next trip and not be disappointed.

Two questions...where is it that you live, and can we read the rest? heck, I for one would like to follow your train blog as well!

Offline DKM

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2010, 05:31:12 PM »
The full blog is at http://theimperial1.blogspot.com/

Lou Malnati's actually linked to in on twitter/facebook

I live near Fort Worth, TX
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Offline rkelly

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2010, 04:52:12 PM »
Next time you are here, you have to try Giordano's. Excellent stuffed crust pizza. Not too far from Gino's is Al's Number One Beef. You have to go to the one Ontario or Taylor. Those two are the best.

Sorry to break in on a topic a month later. I am new to the forum. I guess I take for granted the availablity of great pizza everywhere in the chicago area. Even in the burbs! That is until I visit family members in other states and taste what qualifies for pizza there.

I loved reading your blog.

Offline DKM

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #53 on: August 20, 2010, 11:21:48 PM »
Thanks, it will probably be a couple of years, but Chicago is on our list to go back to and I plan to try more pizza places.
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Offline Aldo

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #54 on: November 10, 2010, 12:53:32 AM »
DKM et al, see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12256.0.html for a link to a story on the variety of pizzas in Chicago.  Lots of great places, not just the "Chicago style" we hear so much about.  They make so much more there!

Back when I lived there, on Broadway (or was it Clark or Halsted?) there was a little Nancy's pizza place.  Real small, maybe twenty feet wide for a storefront, probably less -- they had slices of spinach stuffed pizza to go.  It was my first exposure to stuffed pizza, and I loved it.  It hooked me.  Today, Nancy's website claims it invented the stuffed pie.  I urge you to check it out and see if it's still there -- a block toward the lake from the Century Mall.

Growing up there, I tried stuffed pies all over the city.  I once had a great pie in Bellwood at Gioacchino's, but Edwardo's was good, as was Bacino's, and Giordano's in Hyde park.  In short, too much great pizza, not enough lifetimes to eat it all -- in Chicago alone.  I urge you to explore, explore, explore!

Lots of great thin in Chicago as well (even lots of wood-fired oven pie places are popping up.)  As for "Chicago thin," I heard Aurelios in Homewood is legendary, decades old.  I also like Connie's thin, too, though it really isn't anything special.  It just hits the spot.  Carmen's in Evanston is (was?) OK as well, but for stuffed.

And of course, pan pizza at Lou Malnati's in Lincolnwood -- THAT'S the specific Malnati's to go to.  As to Uno and Due, compared to the other pies out there, IMHO, I think much ado about nothing describes them well.  Heck, the old "My Pie" (picture the "pi" symbol for the number 3.14...) on Clark (but sob sob now gone!) used to better Uno's or Due's as I recall.

But it's all a matter of preference.  Try it all -- lots of grea pizza of all kinds!

And don't forget Chicago dogs!  Next time you're there, get Chicago's own Vienna hot dogs -- Superdawg is a MUST stop-at.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 12:58:50 AM by Aldo »

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #55 on: November 10, 2010, 08:07:08 PM »
Hey Aldo, glad you had fun!

I live somewhere in between Superdawg and Lincolnwood how lucky am I?

I was recently at the new location, it took them 50 years but they did it! 

Superdawgs dog is different to the regular Vienna beef and it is worth going to one of the last car hop joints in the area. 

Here's a pic I took of Maurie Berman and his wife Flo out side of the original location.

I would also advise anyone going to Chicago to get an Italian beef from the Vienna beef factory cafe, sit along side the workers and eat what they eat and make. And yes also get a hot dog from there
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 08:09:38 PM by Mick.Chicago »

Offline BTB

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2010, 10:20:16 AM »
I get somewhat upset when I hear about Jeff Ruby's article in Chicago Magazine about Chicago's five best pizzas. I like the remark of one blogger (among many) who first responded when the article first came out last summer: "I can't believe how few of these pizzas are Chicago-style?  Was the judging panel from New York? As I said elsewhere, his Top Five Chicago Pizzas does not reflect one traditional kind of Chicago pizza (either deep dish or thin or cracker crust).  So in other words . . . five pizza places that are very late comers to the Chicago pizza scene that represents a style of pizza that is atypical or somewhat "foreign" to the metropolitan area . . . are better than the likes of the many great Chicago Style thin and thick crust pizzerias.  I guess people see things differently.

Here's a list of some of Chicago's great pizzas that I wrote up a year or two ago.  My opinion only, I realize.  I may alter it slightly if I wrote it again today, but it still reflects some great, great pizzerias that IMHO I don't often experience in my travels across this great country.  Realize, of course, that in a visit to Chicago like DKM did, it would be difficult to impossible to travel about the large metropolitan area to visit many of these pizzerias.  DKM was wise to limit his search area to the near River North area where some of the best places are at, rather than cabbing or driving about the big city.  See http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8295.msg72764.html#msg72764

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« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 03:27:40 AM by BTB »

Offline norma427

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2010, 12:03:54 PM »
BTB,

In your last post you referenced a link to the pizzerias you thought were the best.  It is interesting that you named Vito & Nick’s pizzeria as one of the best.  I don’t know if you saw or not the link Peter just referenced for a video taken at Vito & Nick’s pizzeria.  It shows they use milk in their dough.  This is where Peter posted the link to the video http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg117024.html#msg117024

Since they use milk in their dough, I wonder if it would be worth experimenting with milk in a dough to try and make a thin crust pizza like Vito & Nick’s.  Did you ever try milk in dough for a thin crust pizza?  Could you tell me how Vito & Nick’s thin crust tastes and if it is crunchy?

Norma
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Offline BTB

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2010, 12:35:34 PM »
Good question. This is kind of puzzling to me in that I thought I heard that use of milk in pizza dough mitigates against a crisp crust.  And Vito and Nick's -- one of Chicago's many great thin crust pizzas -- is often noted as being a crispy pie, near that of a "crackercrust."  Many rave about their crispy crust characteristic.    I've been to the great V& N on a number of occasions and generally experienced a great thin crust pizza that is tremendously flavorful and tasty.  But on an increasingly number of occasions, the crust hadn't been as crisp as I previously recalled, but instead softer and not so crackerlike.  That's why I often refer to their style as semi-cracker crust or even less. 

Since viewing the Guy Fieri television show filmed at V & N, I've been very bewildered about the  amount of milk that supposedly is added to their formulation.  In one way, I can't believe it -- even tho I've seen one of the owners adding milk to the crust mixture on TV.  Milk, I thought, works against making the crust crispy, but instead more softer, chewy and tenderer.  What's others' experience?  As it stands now, I am not big on adding milk into the crust formulation and wonder about its inclusion.  I've seen others (like Marc Malnati) send people off on wild goose chases with "misinformation" about formulations, oven temperatures, and recipes and wonder if that didn't happen here.  But who knows.  What do others' think?  Peter, how do you think milk affects the crispness factor in thin crust pizzas?

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« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 07:37:46 AM by BTB »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: It's official. I'm going to Chicago this summer.
« Reply #59 on: November 12, 2010, 03:09:21 PM »
Peter, how do you think milk affects the crispness factor in thin crust pizzas?

BTB,

I'm afraid if we get into a discussion of this topic here we will end up hijacking DKM's thread on Chicago-area pizza establishments. If someone wants to start a new thread on the topic at the appropriate time, that may be the best way to address the topic.

Peter