I grew up in the Chicagoland area (the Calumet Region, to be exact) and had Aurelio's many times throughout the years. I now live in the American South, aka Pizza Wasteland, so when I go visit my folks back home, I eat pizza daily or twice daily. Over Xmas, I had Aurelio's five times in a week (among other places...heh).
Anyway, one of the times was at the Homewood location. I peeked into the kitchen and saw a giant row of double-deck ovens. Must have been at least 6 or 8 of these stacks (i.e., 12-16 decks), minimum. I did not see a conveyor belt anywhere. That's not to say they don't have one, but I'd peg their deck oven capacity at 200 pies/hr.
They definitely use cutter pans or the like (which others have confirmed in this thread). The bottom of the crust reminded me very much of how deep dish gets that oily, uneven surface-of-the-moon look to it. I studied it on premises, and it didn't hit me until I got home and made some deep dish and looked at the bottom of the crust on it, too. It had the exact same look!
So has anyone tried a dough formulation with success yet? I've seen a few thrown around but none are definitive. I am almost wondering if their dough shares some other qualities with deep dish, like the butter BBH mentioned. I gotta believe the overall oil content is pretty high. What else? Is it possible they do a very short knead? It doesn't have the same qualities as a usual Chicago thin yet doesn't cross over into the oily flakiness of HRI, for example. I highly doubt buttermilk, though; the sourness I've experienced there seems more like a result of yeast fermentation.
Has anyone ever tried a short knead (ala deep dish) for a thin crust? If so, how did it turn out.
Finally, I have read through this whole thread many times throughout its history (LOOONGtime lurker here, folks! ;-)), and I gotta say that there is no way any of these exotic things mentioned for the sauce are in there. No OJ, no honey, no pureed pimentos or red peppers. First of all, this place was founded in the 50s by a dude named Joe. There is no pretension here. Secondly, it's just not practical or cost effective to use those wacky ingredients. Finally, it just doesn't taste like it. I'm thinking sugar and some herbs.
Anyway, I guess that's it for now.