Note after the fact: It would seem that saps submitted his post as I was writing mine. Hence the overlap and redundancy in our comments. Glad to see we are of similar minds.
Originally posted by wanderingjew
I'm amazed at how many people want to claim that their own regional cuisine are for tourists...I'm sorry I don't buy any of it.
I worked for a company for over 10 years whose home office was in suburban Chicago- Northbrook. I knew many locals through work who loved Deep Dish Pizza- they weren't tourists, they were born and bread Chicagoans.
WJ, please understand that when I refer to my beloved Chicago Pizza in the Pan as "tourist food", I am speaking only of certain and specific outlets for same. Pizza in the Pan is
a Chicago specialty. However some of our more visible spots (Uno's, Due's, Gino's) have become tourist destinations, lessening their local appeal and, in some cases overall quality.
There are still plenty of neighborhood joints that make an exceptional version of Chicago Style Pizza. They just don't get the same press as the big boys located much closer to the downtown hotels.
As for the argument that the "real" Chicago pizza is a thin cracker crust; well, okay, I guess there has been thin crust pizza in this town a lot longer than the pan style. But so what. That style has been around almost everywhere
a lot longer. How is it defined as "Chicago Style"?
On the other hand, "Pizza in the Pan" has been documented as a Chicago invention; created by Ike Sewell, founder and original owner of Uno's Pizzeria. The fact that it started here, and could only be found here for decades is what makes it Chicago Style.