I finally had to join. This site is so informative, and has helped me so much, I just had to join and thank everyone.
Ok, so a little about myself...Born and raised in Chicago, in the 50's, through early 70's, I had the opportunity to form a real opinion of pizza. The funny thing is, it was always thin crust..I never even knew about Chicago Lou Malnati's style pizza until the late 60's. And even then, after trying it, I pretty much wasn't a fan. Forget any kind of NY style pizza. I called that kind of pizza, pizza bread. Grew up with a Shakey's right down the street, and spent lots of time there. Liked Barnaby's, but always had a thing for their burgers, so I didn't have too many Barnaby's pizzas, even though I thought they were good. Also there were just a lot of good Mom and Pop pizza joints.
Fast forward to the 70's through 2000, living just outside of Milwaukee, WI. Favorite pizza place, Balistreri's. We also had a little spot on Pewaukee Lake called Doc's Dockside, that made great thin cracker crust pizza.
With all the great pizza places, I never really got into making my own pizza, until the move...Here we are, in beautiful New Tampa, Florida. Moved here in 2001, and I can't find a decent pizza place anywhere down here. There is a place in Clermont, that some friends took us to, and it wasn't bad, but it's also a 2 hour ride from here. We had a chain that just opened, called Marco's pizza. They have a decent thin crust, and the sausage is really close to Chicago, but it is a chain, and as such, becomes pretty boring after a while. There is a place we tried once, down in Clearwater, only about a 40 minute ride, that tastes like the real thing. A place called Paul's Chicago pizza, and it was quite good. He also had Chicago style Hot Dogs, Italian beef on Gonnella bread that he has shipped in, and Tamales. It's just a little too far to drive on a regular basis.
Anyway, before I write a novel, I have spend hours and hours reading and rereading this website. Great stuff. I have been making pizza's almost every Saturday, Always trying for that perfect thin cracker style crust that we love so much. I think I'm getting close, and I'll start posting my adventures along with pictures to get some ideas on what I can do better.
Thanks for making this site.