Real Chicago Pizza

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Tommy2dogs
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2004/07/13 09:20:31 (permalink)

Real Chicago Pizza

I grew up in the Chicago area and lived ther for over 40 years before relocating to the Dallas/Ft.Worth area several years ago.(Talk about culture shock) I was in my 20's before I ever even heard of deep dish pizza. Real Chicago pizza has always been and still is thin crust(not cracker thin) round, cut in squares with a slightly sweet sauce. For every deep dish pizza place,( most of who are chains now) there are a least a hundred neighborhood pizza places seving this type of pizza. TV shows continue to perpetuate the myth that Chicgo Pizza is Deep Dish. Any comments
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    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/13 11:18:09 (permalink)
    Well, I just think a lot of places all over the country serve the thin crust pizza, and how it is cut (squares or wedges) doesn't really (imho) affect the overall style of the pizza.

    I do think that Chicago stuffed and deep dish styles are very uniquely identifiable with Chicago, and that's why what you see as a "myth" is very real to me and probably many others.

    Let me also say that I don't think it's a bad thing that Chicago style pizza is identified in this manner. I am also similarly sure I can get a hot dog in anywhere in Chicago that isn't topped with a pickle spear and/or tomatoes (et al), but I wouldn't identify this dog as a chicago style dog.

    I hope this "outside of chicago" view of thing helps to some extent....
    #2
    BTB
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/25 13:59:54 (permalink)
    I get irritated when I watch those television shows that grossly misrepresent what Chicago pizza is. The vast, vast majority of Chicago pizzerias serve thin crust, not deep dish and the other varieties (stuffed, etc.). Although I love Lou Malnati's and Uno's and Gino's, the thin crust pizzas like Chesdan's, Fox's, Home Run Inn, Bill's and many others remain my favorites. But someone watching those TV shows from other parts of the country will never really know what real Chicago pizza truly is because of the deceptive representation about Chicago style pizza.
    #3
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/26 08:33:35 (permalink)
    *shrug* thin crust is everywhere.

    It's in Chicago only, more or less, that you get the extensive representation of the stuffed and deep dish pizza. Fortunately, we have a good stuffed pizza here in Cincinnati courtesty of Mio's, but most areas don't have real deep dish or stuffed pizza.
    #4
    BTB
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/26 21:01:52 (permalink)
    TJ, I don't know what the "shrug" is for. I hope that you don't think all thin crust pizza is the same. The thin crust pizza that exists at most Chicago pizza parlors is something very special, each very different, and tastes like nothing that passes for pizza outside of the Chicago metropolitan area, including eastern or NY style. Chicago pizza should not be represented as exclusively or even predominantly thick or deep dish or stuffed pizza. That is not true. Thick pizza styles are a distinct minority in Chicago. Do you think the viewers of those TV shows understand that?
    #5
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/27 08:19:03 (permalink)
    No, I don't....and even being a reader here, I don't completely understand it either.

    You say that the thin crust pizzas in Chicago are different than the thin crust pizas anywhere else. Let's say I accept that for the sake of this thread. I'd still say that purely in structural terms, you lay down a crust, top it with sauce, then cheese and toppings. A stuffed or deep dish pizza is structurally different, and this structure is typically attributed to Chicago.

    Aside from structure, if you laid a Chicago thin crust pizza on a table amidst other thin crust pizzas from around the country, would you necessarily be able to pick out the chicago thin pizza on the basis of appearance only? Perhaps you would. Would an outsider?

    Now, that said, I don't see how this is a bad thing.

    I would liken this complaint, if I can call it that albeit that's probably too strong a term, to me complaining that people think we here in Cincinnati have no other chili besides what is known as Cincinnati Chili. Frankly, when I make chili, it is far thicker and chunkier, and far more tomato based, without even a hint of cinnamon or chocolate. But I understand that it is the way in which Cincinnati chili is different than it is anywhere else that grants it the reputation (both good and bad) that it has.
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    Theedge
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/27 11:32:06 (permalink)
    If I were a 70 year old greasy fellow named Dino Pizzarelli who cooked pizza for the last 50 years in Chicago, and then moved to Minnesota, would my pizza be as good as if I were still in Chicago? Or is it something in the air and water?
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/27 12:25:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Theedge

    If I were a 70 year old greasy fellow named Dino Pizzarelli who cooked pizza for the last 50 years in Chicago, and then moved to Minnesota, would my pizza be as good as if I were still in Chicago? Or is it something in the air and water?



    That would depend on whether you had your lutefisk shipped from Chicago or bought it from a local supplier.
    #8
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/27 12:41:52 (permalink)
    On a similar note, I categorically deny that there is any truth to the rumour that Cincinnati-style chili contains lutefisk, even in trace amounts.

    But I digress. Back to the pizza talk.
    #9
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/07/27 13:04:53 (permalink)
    Are you kidding. I was in a Skyline near Columbus yesterday when the lutefisk shipment was delivered. It's great in the 12-way.
    #10
    mtb
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/26 01:17:57 (permalink)
    I am glad to find that I was not the only one that thought a Chicago style pizza was thin crust. I lived there for about 20 years and my parents lived there for close to 70 years and deep dish pie crusted pizza was never ordered by us. We just had a disagreement with my husband's sister because she saw something on tv that said Chicago had the deep dish style. My husband also worked for a pizza place that is nation wide and their Chicago cut was to cut the pizza into squares. That is my memory of Chicago pizzas.
    #11
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/26 01:28:25 (permalink)
    It would appear that if you grew up in Chicago, Chicago style pizza is thin crust; and that if you did not grow up in Chicago, Chicago style pizza is deep dish and/or stuffed.

    Mr Stern grew up in Chicago -- maybe he'll chime in on this?
    #12
    jeepguy
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/26 10:13:10 (permalink)
    Chicago pizza is identified by Deep Dish pizza not thin crust.
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    kland01s
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/27 11:26:59 (permalink)
    I don't know, I've lived all my life ( nearly 60 yrs) in the Chicago area and I never had a deep dish pizza until the 70's when some one took me to Uno's (original one) as a special trip. Every pizza I ever had before that was thin crust, red sauce and then toppings and that's still what I see. If you want deep dish you go to an Uno's or Nancy's.
    #14
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/28 17:59:40 (permalink)

    Just returned from a week in Chicago. Took a few pictures. These are two Chicago Thin Crust Pizza's enjoyed at Pizano's on N. State Street. One in fron is Pepperoni in the rear my favorite Anchovie and peppers.
    #15
    danimal15
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 10:18:09 (permalink)
    There is definitely a Chicago-style thin-crust pizza, like the ones pictured above. However, I've lived my entire life here (33 years) and I've always felt the most representative "Chicago style" pizza is the kind found at Giordano's, Lou Malnati's and Uno.
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    hatteras04
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 10:39:16 (permalink)
    OK, now that there is a picture of one online, I will agree with what TJ Jackson said earlier. There is nothing particularly distinctive about that pizza where one could just look at it and say, "that pizza is from Chicago." Sure it is cut into squares but every non-chain pizza I've ordered in Columbus, OH is cut the exact same way. That pizza could be from one of a thousand places. And that doesn't mean it isn't good, I'm sure it's delicious. It just means it is not unique to one area. Now if there was a picture of a pie from Gino's or Uno's, you could easily say, "that's from Chicago" or someone is trying to copy one from Chicago. It's a unique item and the area of the country where it was originaly done and done best is in Chicago.
    #17
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 11:06:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by hatteras04

    OK, now that there is a picture of one online, I will agree with what TJ Jackson said earlier. There is nothing particularly distinctive about that pizza where one could just look at it and say, "that pizza is from Chicago." Sure it is cut into squares but every non-chain pizza I've ordered in Columbus, OH is cut the exact same way. That pizza could be from one of a thousand places. And that doesn't mean it isn't good, I'm sure it's delicious. It just means it is not unique to one area. Now if there was a picture of a pie from Gino's or Uno's, you could easily say, "that's from Chicago" or someone is trying to copy one from Chicago. It's a unique item and the area of the country where it was originaly done and done best is in Chicago.


    Using that logic, I have to wonder what is unique about NewYork Pizza. Thin cut in Large Triangles? You can even get that in Texas
    #18
    tiki
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 12:04:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tommy2dogs
    Using that logic, I have to wonder what is unique about NewYork Pizza. Thin cut in Large Triangles? You can even get that in Texas


    Actually--though im not from NY-id say the biggest difference between Texas and NY pizza is that NY pizza IS GOOD! most NY pizza makers LOVE pizza---and from what ive seen--most Texas---and most other states too--love the money they get for it! Basically the difference between pizzas on the east coast is minimal and the difference between them and pizza made in MOST of the country is QUALITY!--I fing that occasiaonally you can find good pizza ANYWHERE--ie here in Oklahoma there is ONE small chain worth eating at--the rest are tomato paste and cardboard! Over all Chicago is the one area that is the exception to this rule and both styles are good!---but ive had square cut thin crust pizza on the east coast too---the difference?---square cut at the table----the Slice on the go!!!!-true road food!--as in the walking lunch! The slice is perfect for eating STANDING UP with no utensils rather then seated!This is not easily done with deep dish either!
    #19
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 12:26:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by hatteras04

    Now if there was a picture of a pie from Gino's or Uno's, you could easily say, "that's from Chicago" or someone is trying to copy one from Chicago.
    Like this?

    or this?

    #20
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 13:38:24 (permalink)
    My final comments before leaving this thread forever.

    Tiki of course NY Pizza is excellent and most in Dallas is inedible. My point is from a picture you can't tell the difference from other thin crust pizzas cut in large triangles just like Chicago thin crust looks the same as some others.

    My point in starting this thread was to encourage folks visiting Chicago to try Chicago neighborhood Pizza Places, because the pizza is excellent and very different from other thin crust styles like NY or New Haven
    Don't just head straight for the Deep Dish chains.

    Of course I realize that Chicago is Deep Dish Pizza and vice Versa.

    The fact is most Deep Dish Places are Chains, Gino's, Uno, Lou Malnati, Giardono's Nancy's Connie's etc.

    Deep Dish Pizza is excellent

    However the fact is Thin crust pizza is far more prevalent in the Chicago area than Deep dish.

    Try it You'll like it.
    #21
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 15:22:10 (permalink)
    Cracker thin crust pizza is my favorite.

    Chicagostyledog
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    Eating some fine thin crust pizzas in Racine, Milwaukee, and Plymouth
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    UncleVic
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 16:11:00 (permalink)
    I prefer the thin or regular crust pizzas... Non of that Deep Dish all dough style pie.. Did'nt the deep dish become known (or created?) in the '70s anyways? I remember everyone making a big deal about it...
    #23
    tiki
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/11/29 18:19:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tommy2dogs

    My final comments before leaving this thread forever.

    Tiki of course NY Pizza is excellent and most in Dallas is inedible. My point is from a picture you can't tell the difference from other thin crust pizzas cut in large triangles just like Chicago thin crust looks the same as some others.

    My point in starting this thread was to encourage folks visiting Chicago to try Chicago neighborhood Pizza Places, because the pizza is excellent and very different from other thin crust styles like NY or New Haven
    Don't just head straight for the Deep Dish chains.

    Of course I realize that Chicago is Deep Dish Pizza and vice Versa.

    The fact is most Deep Dish Places are Chains, Gino's, Uno, Lou Malnati, Giardono's Nancy's Connie's etc.

    Deep Dish Pizza is excellent

    However the fact is Thin crust pizza is far more prevalent in the Chicago area than Deep dish.

    Try it You'll like it.


    I have---and i like GOOD pizza no matter where or which style!!!---but i must admit---thin crust-brick oven fired-easy on the sauce-and LOTS of anchovies!!!!!Heaven!---and i got that in Chicago too!
    #24
    danimal15
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/12/06 16:41:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by hatteras04

    OK, now that there is a picture of one online, I will agree with what TJ Jackson said earlier. There is nothing particularly distinctive about that pizza where one could just look at it and say, "that pizza is from Chicago." Sure it is cut into squares but every non-chain pizza I've ordered in Columbus, OH is cut the exact same way. That pizza could be from one of a thousand places. And that doesn't mean it isn't good, I'm sure it's delicious. It just means it is not unique to one area. Now if there was a picture of a pie from Gino's or Uno's, you could easily say, "that's from Chicago" or someone is trying to copy one from Chicago. It's a unique item and the area of the country where it was originaly done and done best is in Chicago.


    I couldn't agree more!
    #25
    drew
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2004/12/11 21:59:36 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tommy2dogs

    I grew up in the Chicago area and lived ther for over 40 years before relocating to the Dallas/Ft.Worth area several years ago.(Talk about culture shock) I was in my 20's before I ever even heard of deep dish pizza. Real Chicago pizza has always been and still is thin crust(not cracker thin) round, cut in squares with a slightly sweet sauce. For every deep dish pizza place,( most of who are chains now) there are a least a hundred neighborhood pizza places seving this type of pizza. TV shows continue to perpetuate the myth that Chicgo Pizza is Deep Dish. Any comments

    I agree Tommy. I'm a native Chicagoan, and here's my take on Chicago pizza:

    Chicago pizza is more about quality than whether it's thick or thin...I love them both. Like you said, the thin crust should have a sweet taste, and mozzarella cheese, and a fair amount of each. You may not recognize it by its appearence, but it's certianly distinguishable by its taste. And you haven't tasted Chicago-style pizza unless you've had pizza in Chicago. Pizzeria Uno's is second rate.

    When you're in Chicago, people order the 'right' toppings on their pizza as well. Sausage is the staple meat. People outside of Chicago seem to not like sausage, and that's because they haven't had good sausage. You won't find the typical 'breakfast sausage' on pizza in Chicago..it's real italian sausage with Italian seasonings. If you don't see fennel seeds, they probably didn't do it right (the same can probably be said for the sauce).

    That said, you can order what you want on pizza, as long as it's on this list (I personally just like sausage and onions):

    sausage
    green peppers
    onions
    mushrooms
    anchoves
    olives

    Pepperoni is acceptable only if the sausage is no good. That's what I order when I'm not in Chicago because the sausage is crap. You should also have shakers of crushed red pepper and parmasan cheese at your table, and perhaps oregano as well.

    ham, bacon, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, hamburger, chicken, meat lovers, four cheese...etc. are all unacceptable. They don't belong on pizza. You order any of these and people will know immediately that you've never eaten a good pizza.

    My favorite deep dish pizza is Gino's East, and that's probably your prototypical 'Chicago-style' pizza. It's excellent. Nancy's I like as well. There's also a place called 'Beggar's Pizza' that I really like. They do something a bit different by putting ricotta cheese in their deep dish...excellent! As far as thin crust, there are many that I love (I'm from the south side). Home Run Inn, Aurelio's, Fox's, to name a few.

    Drew
    #26
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2005/04/03 13:34:44 (permalink)
    An article for non believers.
    http://www.suntimes.com/output/food/foo-news-pizza30.html
    #27
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2005/04/03 18:18:16 (permalink)
    Err...
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tommy2dogs

    My final comments before leaving this thread forever.

    ...snip snip snip...

    quote:
    Originally posted by Tommy2dogs

    An article for non believers.
    http://www.suntimes.com/output/food/foo-news-pizza30.html

    How exactly DO you define "final" and "forever"?
    #28
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2005/04/03 18:56:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    Err...

    quote:
    Originally posted by Tommy2dogs

    My final comments before leaving this thread forever.

    ...snip snip snip...

    quote:
    Originally posted by Tommy2dogs

    An article for non believers.
    http://www.suntimes.com/output/food/foo-news-pizza30.html

    How exactly DO you define "final" and "forever"?


    As always TJ your right on top of things. UP Yours! Hopefully no definition is needed!
    #29
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Real Chicago Pizza 2005/04/03 19:57:42 (permalink)
    Nice, very nice.

    You have a nice day too.
    #30
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