Author Topic: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?  (Read 8019 times)

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Offline Mahoney

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1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« on: February 06, 2006, 08:06:44 PM »
I do love NY pizza because I grew up around it, but I want to get a pie of Chicago's best.  Any suggestions?


Offline gottabedapan

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2006, 08:33:07 PM »
If I can only make it to one place when I'm in Chicago, it's Giordano's; if I can make it to a second, it's Gino's East; third stop is either Home Run Inn or Malnati's. (BTW, wherever you eat, make sure you leave room in your luggage allowance for a couple of take-n-bake pies. :) )

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2006, 08:46:46 PM »
Bob,

Does this mean you are going off of your low-glycemic diet? As best I can tell, the Chicago deep-dish pies don't ordinarily use stone ground whole wheat crusts ;D. Whatever you do, I hope you will report back to us on what you liked or didn't like.

Peter

Offline Mahoney

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006, 08:49:46 PM »
My new philosophy - low glycemic is for bores  ;D  Bring on the refined stuff.

Offline buzz

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2006, 12:10:30 PM »
Giordano's, definitely.

Offline foodblogger

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2006, 12:22:24 PM »
I would try 3 places in no particular order:

1)  Uno's in downtown Chicago.  Eat there and then eat at one of the Uno's Chicago Grille.  Notice the difference.  It is hard to argue against trying the original deep dish pizza place.
2)  Giordano's in downtown Chicago.  Its on the north side of the water tower, real easy to find.  Get a stuffed spinach and cheese.
3)  Gino's East in downtown Chicago.  Again, as much as the quality has changed since changing locations, it is hard to argue that you shouldn't at least try a legendary pizza.

If I could only eat at one of those places I would probably go with Gino's, simply because it was my favorite when I lived there.

Offline djryan1194

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2006, 02:00:48 PM »
I'm a Malnati's fan through and through.  I agree with others that Gino's East quality has declined over the years.  If you go to Gino's, you do have to eat at the one downtown.  If you choose Malnati's, the pizza is pretty much the same at the downtown location as it is in the suburbs.

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2006, 02:47:34 PM »
Where will you be situated? North, south, west?
I can give you suggestions based on that.

Offline peckman

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2006, 03:48:40 AM »
I think you have to go to Giordano's.  The reason being is that you can sample versions of 2 of the 3 major pizza styles of Chicago, that being stuffed and thin crust.  The stuffed is pretty much the standard bearer and the thin is pretty good. 

The pizza served at Uno/Due and Gino's are what I call tourist pizza.    Their style is considered "Chicago style" but it is not the kind of pizza you would get in 98% of the pizza places in Chicagoland.   Don't get me wrong, it is good, just not what most people eat.


Offline Perk

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2006, 07:49:56 AM »
On the travel channel, the VP sales of Gino's East Debbie Frank says that they worked out a deal with  Hotels in Chicago Area that a traveler can get a priority seating pass.  This will help the person who is in Chicago for a day move in front of the line and skip the long wait.

So if your staying at a hotel ask if they offer a Gino's East Priority Seating Pass
-Dave
Jacksonville Fl.

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2006, 08:22:25 AM »
Palermo's on West 63rd Street(sweet sauce)
Vito and Nick's on South Pulaski (paper thin)
Giordano's for stuffed only
Father and Son on North Milwaukee (thin)
Home Run Inn on West 31st Street

Maybe some North siders can help out. ;D

Offline foodblogger

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2006, 02:28:56 PM »
I have to defend Uno's and Gino's a bit here.  They aren't now what they used to be, but they are very important historically to Chicago Deep Dish pizza.  Deep dish was invented at UNO's for Pete's sake.  You simply cannot talk about Chicago style deep dish without mentioning Uno's and Gino's.  And there is absolutely NO WAY that you can simply dismiss them as 'tourist pizza'.  I say this as someone who was born in Chicago.  I know how everyone who lives in the burbs loves to tell everyone they meet that they live in Chicago, but rest assured, it says CHICAGO on my birth certificate.  ;D

I agree that Giordano's has probably the best stuffed that I have had in Chicago, but come on.  Lou Malnati's?  Its suburb pizza.  Its for people who live in the burbs and don't want to go to the trouble to drive in to Uno's.   ;)
At least Gino's is its own deep dish.  Granted all they really did was take Uno's dough and add yellow food coloring to it, but hey, at least they did something different.

Leaving Uno's out of a pizza trip to Chicago is like leaving Lombardi's out of a pizza trip to New York.  Say what you want about decline in quality etc. but the historical importance alone is enough to check it out.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2006, 02:38:17 PM by foodblogger »

Offline chiguy

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2006, 10:57:48 PM »
 Hi Mahoney,
 Here is a link to a post i gave a few months back on downtown deep dish locations.
 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1905.msg.16882.html#msg16882

 I also would like any travelers coming through Midway Airport to know that there is a brand new GIORDANOS on 63rd & Cicero 4 blocks south of the terminal. If you have a few hours it will take 10 minutes to shoot over there. I believe they opened this location after they closed the original on 63rd and Kedzie.          Chiguy

Offline djryan1194

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2006, 05:05:23 PM »
My birth certificate reads "Chicago" as well.  Not Schaumburg, Naperville, or Palatine.  Lou's makes a great pizza.  So does Uno's and Gino's.  I was born at Wesley Memorial Hospital (now Northwestern University Hosp) and my Dad got Gino's to go right next door on Superior while my mother was in labor.  So I am well versed on the history just as you.  Lou's is delicious and anything but a "suburb" pizza.

Offline foodblogger

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2006, 08:33:49 AM »
Quote
I was born at Wesley Memorial Hospital (now Northwestern University Hosp) and my Dad got Gino's to go right next door on Superior while my mother was in labor.

I was born in the exact same building!  I was delivered by an OB GYN and later rotated on his service when I was in medical school there.  I was amazed because he actually remembered my mother, but he said that me being on his service made him feel old.  Ha!  Shortly after I was born they built the Prentice Women's hospital, which is now closed.  I haven't been there in a while but I heard they tore down Wesley to build the new women's hospital.  I think Northwestern is also responsible for tearing down the original Gino's building to build an office building but I could again be wrong.

Quote
Lou's is delicious and anything but a "suburb" pizza.

That was supposed to be tongue in cheek, certainly not meant to offend.  I only ate Lou's once when I took a trip to Naperville to play golf.  It was a very good pie, and from my memory was very similar to Uno's, only a little better.  Still, you just can't throw Uno's out the window.  Deep Dish originated at Uno's.

Offline bearfootie

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2006, 11:46:00 PM »
I recently moved from the Chicago area to the Montana area( far west side of MT) after 30 years there, and have been eating pizza at least twice a week at the well known establishments. 1st on my list is Lous, Uno's used to be tied, but the last 4 times I went to the city (last year) the recipe for the crust is definitely different. Seems like they adopted their satellite stores' recipe. Then Ginos next, (downtown is best.) Giordanos and Edwardos remind me of each other, but not a heavy enough crust for me. But definitely a fine pie. Just lighter. I'm a purist and don't eat my pizza with any other ingredients so I can really taste the crust, cheese and sauce/tomatoes. Thanks to DKM I have made a Lou like pizza that is really, really, close. I suppose, in a pinch, I could order "Lou To Go" but with the pay cut taken moving here there isn't to much frivolity allowed! Finding this site is truly fantastic!

Offline djryan1194

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2006, 07:27:29 AM »
foodblogger:

Naaa, I wasn't upset either... Chicagoans are definetly passionate about their pizza!! :)  That's what's so cool about it!  I think its all a win win no matter where you go.  How weird that you were born in the same hospital!!  I was so sad when Gino's moved from that location.  It was always an old family story/tradition for me.  I've been stuck here in Ohio for the past 8 years, horribly separated from the best pizza on the planet...  :(


Offline djryan1194

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2006, 07:30:02 AM »

That was supposed to be tongue in cheek, certainly not meant to offend.  I only ate Lou's once when I took a trip to Naperville to play golf.  It was a very good pie, and from my memory was very similar to Uno's, only a little better.  Still, you just can't throw Uno's out the window.  Deep Dish originated at Uno's.


Actually, I wouldn't throw Uno's, or Gino's or any of them out the window.  Heck, being here in Ohio, if someone threw one out onto the street, I'd probably pick it up and eat it!!!   :D

Offline bearfootie

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2006, 03:51:36 PM »
djryan:

I'd be right there with ya scrapin' the pizza off the sidewalk! Might be a little obsessive about this pizza thing, ya think?

Offline Navin Johnson

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2006, 09:52:08 AM »
When I lived in Chicago (only one year while in grad school at Northwestern) my favorites were Leona's for thin crust and Giordano's for Chicago style.  In the past I've also enjoyed pizza from Exchequer Pub (more down by shopping area by/on Michigan).


Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2006, 01:46:14 PM »
Foodblogger:
You got it right about Gino's - They ain't what they used to be.  My kids live in Chicago and we went to visit yesterday.  I had to go to Gino's (MY LONG TIME FAVORITE) after reading this post last week.  Pete-zza would keel over and die if he saw these two pies.  After his careful calculations about thickness, you have to understand something about this place.  Science don't live here.  This time the crust was thick as corn muffins and there was enough sauce for several pizzas.  The joint on Wells is so damn big (not to mention the idiots standing outside in the 10 degree weather) it's hard to comprehend how they manage to get these pies out in the first place.
Quality control sucks.  The pies aren't baked long enough to crisp up the edges.  The place seems to be a victim of its own success. It reminds me Fat Elvis just gong through the motions, handing out sweaty scarves.
Next trip, I'm seeking out the thin pizzas.

Offline chiguy

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2006, 02:08:33 PM »
 Hi Pizza Police,
 That is such a shame about Gino's, the place really use to make a great tasting pie. I think this is the problem with all these pizza joints that branch out, they seem to really lose quality and consistency. I think the key to getting a great pie is too figure out which location the owner's still hang out at. There is a good chance the pizza will be alot better quality.    Chiguy

Offline foodblogger

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2006, 02:46:53 PM »
Pizzapolice,
Disturbing news to say the least.  It is sad that they are having so many problems now.  The last time I ate there was 2001.  My suggestion to people who want to eat at Gino's is to not try doing it at night or on the weekend.  I just don't have the patience anymore to stand in line for something for an hour and a half.  Then you wait for the waiter to come, then you wait an hour for the pizza etc.  When they were located on Superior street I used to know a bunch of the waiters, so they would just let me right in no matter how long the line was.  All of those people have since moved on so I am sure I would be standing on line like a chob.  The other trick I used to do if none of my friends was working was to just say I wanted to go to the bar.  I'd walk right in, order a beer and sooner or later they would ask me if I wanted a pizza.  I got to be fairly good friends with one of the bartenders who was a GIANT Samoan.  I really miss the experience on Superior street.  It was in a little brownstone looking building and somehow seemed a lot more authentic.  Oh well, its gone now.

From my experience with Gino's, their pizzas are pretty sub par when they are very busy.  Sounds like your experience confirms it.

Quote
It reminds me Fat Elvis just gong through the motions, handing out sweaty scarves.

A very poignant statement indeed.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2006, 02:50:22 PM by foodblogger »

Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2006, 05:50:26 PM »
Superior St. was the best.  Parking right across the street and the smell of pizza hits you right away.  Once inside, I always went to the lower level, it was so cozy.  Almost like you (and the rest of the city) were in on a big secret.
Well, at least I can make one like I remember at home.
Chiguy, Hook me up with some GOOD places.  It doesn't matter where.  One kid lives by sox park and the other is in Wrigleyville.  Go Cubs.

Offline djryan1194

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Re: 1 Sunday in Chicago - where to eat?
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2006, 07:10:58 PM »
I'm on a visit now to the big city.  Toured Chicago today with my kids.  We had Lou Malnati's our first night here.  Pizza was horrible.  So so sad.  The crust was very bready and thick.  Very disappointing!

We went downtown today and ate at the original Uno's on Ohio.  It was amazing.  Its been a good 5 years or so since I ate there, but we had a really really good pizza.  The crust was way better than Lou's.  I've officially converted.

I also managed to buy one of their used, seasoned pans!  So I'm all set to start the experimentation process once I'm back home in Ohio!

Go Cubs!!  Next year is here!