If you are not new to House of Skip you know that my companion and I are connoisseurs of tomato pie and are die hard DeLorenzo's fans. We've tried other local pizza places and agree we like tomato pie better than "pizza" and while we think other joints do a good job, DeLorenzo's will always be #1 to us.
So, while in Chicago we felt it was our duty to try deep dish. We can't claim tomato pie is king without trying the competition.
The verdict? Well, let's talk about it.
There are various places in Chicago to get "deep dish" there are probably as many local arguments there as there are on the East Coast about who is better or who is the originator. Well, according to most Pizzeria Uno (now known as the chain bar/restaurant Uno) was the original deep dish pizza place in Chicago but another just as famous and possibly disputed as doing it better is Lou Malnati's. After much research and contemplation, my companion and I decided on Malnati's.
We had shopped some of the places near our hotel on the Gold Coast and were getting ready to hit the Magnificent Mile and so we thought we'd stop for lunch at Lou's. We were seated and found that the interior did remind us of Uno's, which means that maybe they were trying to copy the original. We started with an antipasto salad since we were pretty hungry. It was a nice salad, it came out in a serving dish and our waiter kindly served our first plate for us each. The lettuce was chopped small, it was full of tomatoes, salami, cheese, pepperoncini, onion, olives and my personal favorite, giardiniera (spicy, pickled veggies).
We enjoyed our salad and then the main event arrived, we had ordered a small (9'inch) with black olives. This size was perfect for us because it gave us both 2 decent sized pieces. The sauce-yummy, the crust-thick and chewy, the cheese- too much. Now, you may have been able to guess (although I did keep an open mind) that I do still prefer a thin crust. The deep dish crust is tasty, but as a personal preference, and my companion agrees, we like that crispy cracker think crust of tomato pie. The sauce was fantastic, nice chunky pieces of tomato, Italian seasonings, garlic, it was definitely good. I could have done with less cheese, but I know that is also a personal preference and that many people look for and enjoy that long draw of cheese that comes off when you bite into a piece of cheese pizza. But, that is one more reason I prefer tomato pie, I like think crust, good sauce and little cheese. And for me, Chicago deep dish only delivered on sauce.
This is only the opinion of Skip and her trusty dining companion. If you like cheese and thick crust, fly to Chicago and grab a seat a Lou Malnati's, you'll love it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my lunch, but my heart will always belong to tomato pie.