Actually, AJ's is a slice operation that I helped Adam Peyton (the owner) develop. You can read about my new slice concept in PMQ Magazine (A New Approach to Pizza By the Slice). It was published about three years ago. AJ's is the third store to use this concept, that is different from all others. The first store opened in Bangkok, AJ's was the second, and the third was in San Antonio, TX (now defunct due to mismanagement). We use a well fermented dough, top shelf, whole milk Mozzarella cheese, all fresh prepared toppings, accompanied by a generous hepling of great, and friendly service. We use an open kitchen concept so customers can see the dough skins being passed through a sheeter to partially open them, and then hand tossed to full diameter (this method of opening results in a more uniform dough thickness), the pizzas must be baked on the Hex Disks from Lloyd Pans, and they must be baked in one of the new generation of air impingement ovens with a specially developed finger profile developed specifically for this application.
By the way, to answer your question of why do I like the Chicago style thin cracker crust, the answer is because I'm originally from Chicago, and that is the type of crust that I remember growing up with. In case you're wondering, there ain't anything crispy, except for the four corner pieces (party cut) of a Chicago cracker crust. But since the crispy corner pieces are everyones favorite pieces, and the first ones to go, I developed a process for making a Chicago style cracker crust that is crispy across the entire bottom. Now, I can REALLY enjoy my Chicago style cracker crust pizzas!
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor