Author Topic: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community  (Read 832 times)

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Offline ihavezippers

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Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« on: September 14, 2011, 06:10:50 PM »
I am going to Chicago in the near future, and of course that means pizza for every meal.  If I eat pizza for lunch and dinner every day (which I will do happily to the last bite), I have 7 meals I can devote to pizza.  I am a fan of deep-dish in particular.  

Obviously, I will be going to Giordano's, Lou Malnati's, and Gino's East.  The thing is, I have eaten at all of these fine establishments before, and I wonder if I am overlooking some other great deep dish places.  I have never tried Pizzeria Uno/Due's, so I think a visit is due this time...unless you suggest otherwise (the chain Pizzeria Uno Grill I have seen is terrible, so I am a little reluctant to go to a place under the same name again).  That still leaves 3 pizza experiences and I am without a clue as far as deep-dish is concerned.

One other restriction I should mention, I will be without a vehicle until the last day.  So for one of these meals, I will be able to drive outside of the city if necessary.  For everything else, I need to be able to get there and back to my hotel by cab (I am staying near Grant Park).

Looking through this part of the forum, I saw a mouth-watering review of Pat's Pizzeria.  Even though this is dark matter in the world of deep dish, I may go there if I can't find equally mouth-watering deep dish options.  Please help me out, I would like to stay consistently deep dish the whole trip and take advantage of something I can't get where I live (whereas, I can get thin-crust of fairly good quality pretty easily, making Pat's less appealing).

THANKS


Offline ihavezippers

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 06:38:11 PM »
BTW, I looked through the forum and unbelievably, I could not find a single thread devoted exclusively to Chicago Deep-Dish.  This is really a shame for such a great forum as this.  I offer up this thread to be that single repository of Chicago Deep-Dish knowledge.

I found two others that I probably should try:
Papa Del's - Champagin, IL
Louisa's Pizza - Crestwood, IL

I've heard about Papa Del's before.  Never heard about Louisa's, but seems to be well-liked here.  Champaign looks a little too far of a drive just to eat at Papa Del's, so my one out-of-Chicago pizza will probably be Louisa's...unless Papa Del's will change my life or something...

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 06:55:57 PM »
You probably searched an individual forum rather than the one devoted to deep dish  :-D


Here's a good topic to read.   

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10887.0.html

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 07:03:18 PM »
Peqouds is apparently good but I've never been.

Offline ihavezippers

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 07:38:47 PM »
I thought deep dish was devoted to recipes-discussion...not sure why this post got relocated to "Chitchat" when it is a request for recommendations of pizzerias. 

Thanks for forwarding the post Mick.Chicago, there are some good leads in there I can work with.  I see Pat's is also mentioned in that post. 

Offline ihavezippers

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 08:19:31 PM »
I miscalculated...one of the 7 is reserved for Arnie's in Lafayette, IN...if you've never been, it is probably the best pizza I have ever eaten (thin crust, extra greasy).  So, down to 6.  Please evaluate my choices (Mon and Tues lunch must be w/n walking distance of a conference I am attending, so not much in the way of selection).

-Sun dinner: Pequod's
-Mon lunch: Giordano's
-Mon dinner: Bacino's
-Tue lunch: Gino's East
-Tue dinner: Lou Malnati's
-Wed lunch: Louisa's (Crestwood, IL)
-Wed dinner: Arnie's (Lafayette, IN)

Nancy's was originally on the list before Bacino's, but Nancy's has some mediocre reviews on the Internet.

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 10:23:24 PM »
Which Lou's are you planning on going to? 

The original in Lincolnwood is worth the trek.  Which ever you go to I recommend getting the combination starter and I would also recommend the wings, they're quite good when they're made by the right person also the 'Malnati Salad' is worth munching on with the dried crumbled Volpi Salami being one of my favorite parts of going there.

DROOL!

Offline FrameAndCanvas

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 12:08:09 AM »
If you can make it to Homewood (South Suburbs) give Aurelios thin crust a try. Its unbelievably good.
I haven't had a bad deep dish in the city. I'm not picky though, its my favorite kind.

Offline ihavezippers

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 05:23:24 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  I am going to the North Wells Lou's since its walking distance to my hotel.  I have heard good things about Aurelios (I've heard it referred to as the "mothership"), but I don't think I will have time---I would also like to try Pat's too, but think this will have to be an all-deep dish experience.  I guess if I get sick of deep dish half way into the week, I'll give them a try.  I didn't know Papa Del's opens so early (10:30am), so looks like I will be able to eat there before my departing flight...back to 8 total pizza places on the trip.

Please give me your recommendation on whether I should eat at Gino's East (162 E Superior St location) or Pizano's (don't have the address now, but same neighborhood near State St/E Chestnut).  I've eaten at a suburb Gino's East before and wasn't really impressed---it could have been an off night, or maybe that particular Gino's isn't that good, but that pizza is probably the lowest rated authentic deep dish experience I've ever had.  I've heard good things about Pizano's, and this Pizano's is right across the street from the conference, but Gino's East definetely has a more famous reputation.

If you have any other deep dish recommendations, please let me know...there are still a couple weeks before I go, so plenty of time to change the current roster.  Thanks
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 05:26:26 PM by ihavezippers »

Offline BTB

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 10:56:48 AM »
IHZ, if I were visiting similar to what you indicate you'll be doing (or maybe past tense now), I'd be doing the same thing and go to all the great pizzerias in the Chicago area that I went to and loved during my many years of living there in the past.  Now I'm far away and only can get there for some great pizzas several times during the summers.
 
I would definitely put the original Uno's/Due's high on the list (slight preference for Due's).  They've went downhill from their glory days of long ago and when I used to frequently dine there before my classes at Loyola Law School a number of blocks away, but if lucky, one can still get a pretty good pizza there.  But for years, they were the King of Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza and it's where it all originated.  My advice to all -- stay away completely from the Uno's Chicago Grill where they attempt to clone an extremely poor copy of this style pizza.  The current original Uno's/Due's still attempts to duplicate (somewhat) the original great pizza that made them famous. 
 
There is a Pizano's in the downtown area just a block or two from the Grant Park area that is very good.  Giordano's is good, too, but their locations throughout the country are good, too, and consistent with that of those in Chicago so you can go to those instead.  While Pat's pizza does have deep dish on their menu, they are only good for their ultra thin crust pizza and all I know of never go there for deep dish style.  As I wrote in another thread, I suggest one go to Pat's for a small thin crust pizza and walk two blocks down the street and have a small Lou Malnati's pizza (see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8921.0.html).  And I'm not certain you can get a thin crust pizza as good as Pat's elsewheres, but who knows.  And you'll need to check if those locations are open for lunch first. 
 
I noted on a list of places that you may have tried.  I would leave Pequod's, Bacino's, and Gino's East off the list, but that just a personal choice.  I am unaware, too, of Arnie's.  Louisa's, of which I am too very familiar with (ex-Uno's cook), is NOT open for lunch on most days.  And I am totally unaware that there is a Papa Del's in the Chicago area.
 
BTW, where are you flying in from?  PM me if you'd like any other thoughts or opinions as I'm always happy to share my experiences with others.

P.S.  Suggest you utilize the Chicago Style section more.
 
                                                                                  --BTB


Offline BTB

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 12:09:29 PM »
Which Lou's are you planning on going to?  The original in Lincolnwood is worth the trek.  Which ever you go to I recommend getting the combination starter and I would also recommend the wings, they're quite good when they're made by the right person also the 'Malnati Salad' is worth munching on with the dried crumbled Volpi Salami being one of my favorite parts of going there. DROOL!
I absolutely, positively agree with Mick Chicago on this. Malnati's Original pizzeria in Lincolnwood, IL is just about the best pizzeria on the face of the planet.  But its hard to tell someone who is flying in from afar and staying in the Chicago loop or "near north" area to travel an hour or two through tough, metropolitan traffic far up north to their great, original Lincolnshire restaurant.  It is, though, the very best, but Malnati's other locations on Wells or near-north Lincoln Ave. are close to the great pizza that you can get at the original Malnati's in Lincolnwood.  Not as good . . . but close.
 
But I disagree with my good friend, Mick, about getting all the appetizers with chicken wings and salad and things.  I'd save myself for the best Chicago Style deep dish pizza on earth and wouldn't want to fill up with anything else.  Mick must have a big stomach, tho.  My only exception is to reserve a small spot for Malnati's great, great baked Chocolate Chip, Ice Cream, and Whipped Cream dessert.  It is . . . to die for!

"Chocolate Chip Pizza
A freshly baked chocolate chip cookie prepared in a deep-dish pizza pan, topped with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream. You won't believe how good this is!"

                                                                                      --BTB

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Need A Little Help from the Chicago Deep-Dish Community
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 03:45:17 PM »
BTB, If I was going on my own,  I would just get the Pie.  In a group, I'd get the fixings seen as it's about a buck a wing and it takes half an hour plus for the pie.   

I would also recommend calling ahead with the order if you know what you want.  We've done this before and had a hot pie in front of us within five minutes of sitting down.


 

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