Chicago: Battle of the Pizzas

Since the beginning of time, New Yorkers have been making enemies. We pride ourselves at being the best for many things. We think we have the best baseball and football team, looking at New England with disgust. Then there is the delis, the bagels, the cupcakes, our building architectures, EVERYTHING.

And ever since I took my first bite into a New York slice of pizza, I knew there was probably a pizza out there trying to compete with us for the best pizza. And indeed there was. This time, it was Chicago and their deep dish pizza. I swear everyone I have met from Chicago is always raving about how AMAZING the deep dish pizza is and how the New York slice pales in comparison.

So I knew my first meal in Chicago had to be this deep dish pizza. I had to fulfill my curiosity. I wanted to be able to mediate both sides. After all, most people, true Americans, will fight to the grave without actually knowing what the other side is experiencing. And I thought, let the place be somewhat classic. Not the best or most highly rated. But well-known and reliable. And I will compare it with some place like Joe’s in the west village.

Gino’s East

After walking into the cheesy looking Gino’s with giant pizza slices paste like cardboard around the building, I walked into the bar, sat down, ordered an ice tea and was told that my deep dish would take 45 minutes to be done. Of course I said sure, but in my head I was like WTF! Are you kidding me?! I haven’t eaten anything since that moldy egg sandwich I had at the deli this morning. And thats like 6 hours ago. I’m freaking starving here. Like dying. And all I want is to try this god forsaken pizza that your people have been raving about for ages and I have to freaking wait an hour for this crap?! Fine…

So i waited. and waited. Wrote my will just in case I passed out and die while waiting. And yes, Jenny you get my cookwares so that you can adequately prepare a fabulous meal for your David. The TV and macbook i want them buried with me. And complete seasons of Friends and Top Chef.

And after 45 miserable minutes, a pan of pizza came. The kind of pan that reminded me of pizza hut back in singapore. The kind of crap pizza that I forced myself to eat to satisfy my craving for the pizzas back in New York. It did look glorious in a certain sense. Like a giant pie. Thich and tall crust. With rich red tomato sauce.

Pan of Deep dish pizza

The first slice was cut out for me. I was pretty awestruck by how tall the crust was. I knew it was called deep dish, but i never really understood why it was call deep dish until i saw the crust. In my head, I thought it was like a puffy Sicilian slice.

And of course I dived into it like the hyenas from Lion King. I tried a go with my hands, but it seemed too big and fragile… so after 10 seconds of what should i do… I picked up the knife and fork and started going at it. The thick layer of classic tomato sauce with a nice flat sausage and chewy mozzarella. Delicious. It was exactly what I thought it would taste like – if i made my own version at home.

Not that this is an insult. But it just tasted classic. Simple. Easy. With average tasting ingredients. I mean I did somewhat enjoy the pizza. It was very filling. Bursting with great summer tomato flavors. But to be honest, it was nothing special. The fact that I had to wait for 45 minutes for something that tasted so average made it worse. Also take into account that I was famish then. And at those moments, eating anything average would easily be elevated to food orgasm stage. But this was not the case for the deep dish pizza. Perhaps I just wasn’t fond of how doughy and floury the crusted taste. Or how soggy the bottom was.

If there was a new york slice or a chicago deep dish placed in front of me, I would definitely still go for the new york. Even if I was starving and knew that the chicago would be more filling. At least, I can stuff my face into it immediately with my fingers. Instead of waiting 45 freaking minutes and to eat it with fork and knife.

Call me bias. Call me a stubborn new yorker. I hereby declare NEW YORK SLICE FOR THE WIN!

At least I’m not ignorant.

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