My Chicago deep dish pizza experience

Posted on February 25, 2012

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Chicago's Lou Manalti's Pizzeria

One of the things I have significantly decreased with my change of professions are my travels out of Canada.  Whenever I get a reason to travel within reasonable cost, I pounce on it with an enthusiasm of a kid inside a candy store.  This past long weekend was Ontario’s Family day weekend.  When my good friend Tere invited me to tag along with them to Chicago, I said yes without giving it much thought.

Having only three days to squeeze in a very long drive and do a quick run-around the city of Chicago, we opt to take Chicago’s CityPass, giving fast track entry to 5 popular tourist destinations.  Travelling with kids, it is always best to avoid long lines and that was reason enough to secure this convenience.  The Citypass included entry to Chicago’s Adler’s Planetarium, Snedd’s Aquarium, John Hancock Observatory and Chicago’s Skydeck.  Almost all of what we intended to visit was within walking distance from the hotel we stayed.   That was a comfort too since it seems Chicago charge skyrocketing parking fees wherever you go around the downtown area.

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If you know me well enough, no matter how busy I get, I still find time to research what good food a new city could give me.  I took the time to read reviews what was Chicago’s best deep dish pizza and I find there were three must-see’s.  With only such a short time in Chicago, we enjoyed only one.  Sunday night that weekend, we visited Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, close to the John Hancock Observatory.  We take our server’s advise and go for the restaurant’s best seller, the Chicago Classic.  I read the description on the menu and I find that this pizza is laden with lean sausage, vine-ripened tomato sauce, loads of cheese and their famous buttercrust.  Reading it, I can almost taste the potential of how amazing this pizza could be.  Another thing I found while reading reviews about Chicago deep dish pizzas is how it takes a long time to bake.  Having that in mind, we ordered Calamari Frittas and Lasagna to share while we wait.

The calamari’s arrived in no time. Even if I am perfectly happy about how tender and the perfectly cooked the calamari was, I gush more with how that salsa complimented the calamari.  If there was a way to bring home a bottle of that salsa, I probably will take it.  The lasagna was equally satisfying, having a good balance between tartness and sweetness with its meat sauce.

A few minutes after we wiped out the appetizers, our massive pizza arrives.  Just by the look of it, I could tell how good it is.  The cheese held on, increasing in length as the server pulls one slice and plates it.  I take pictures as fast as I could as I was anxious to dig in and have my fill of pizza.  I take my first bite and the most noteworthy to mention is how the crust is indeed buttery and ends in a crunchy note.  I am amazed of how a crust could be so flaky with all the thick layer of cheese and tomato sauce on top of it.  Lou Malnati’s pizza certainly amazed me.  If there was a way to always have this as a constant indulgence, I will be a regular.  Eating this pizza was certainly a highlight of my impromptu Chicago visit.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria (River North) on Urbanspoon

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