I'm not offended...I just do NOT believe Burt had much to do with "Chicago Style" pizza. But, then again I only lived in Chicago for most of my life and ate mostly thin crust or cracker crust pizza's. How anyone can possibly think that thick crust pizza defines "Chicago Pizza" is beyond me. Thick crust came along LONG after thin crust in Chicago. What defines "Chicago" pizza is the sausage (I lived in the 'back of the yards') and the thin crispy crust. When someone asks me what the difference between Chicago pizza and New York pizza is...I simply say, if you can fold it in half without it (crust) breaking than it ain't from Chicago!
Hey! I was born near 47th & Damen, grandpa lived on 43rd & Wood, Back of the Yards represent!
That said, when I think of pizza, like you, I think of thin crust first. That was what I grew up with. Our family moved a little west when I was 4, so it was Chesdan's, Falco's, Just-a-Pizza, and occasionally Palermo's. When I grew older, Vito and Nicks became (and still is) my standard bearer for a great Chicago pizza.
However, I do think Burt has made his mark on the Chicago pizza landscape, and his style of pies are a varient of Chicago deep dish. Like vbc
, I sometimes call it "modern Chicago deep dish" or think of it as a cross between Detroit-style and Chicago-style pan pizzas. But I do think it's a subset of deep dish Chicago pizza that has more in common with the original styles of deep dish than the 70s stuffed variations (Gioradanos, Edwardo's, Nancy's) do.
Regardless, the world is better with more styles of pizza. I don't believe that any pizza is better than no pizza. There are terrible pizzas out there. But every style I've been able to find a version I love (well, not so sure about St. Louis provel pizza. Give me time.)