Best Chicago Pizza
Like pizza? Of course you know there's a wide variety of pizza out there. From thin crinkly sparsely-topped frozen dough frisbees to lusciously luxurious crusts loaded from edge-to-edge with freshly cut organic ingredients, there's a pie for every taste and every event. The Best Chicago Pizza has long been a subject of heated debate from Wrigley Field to Comiskey Park. Chicago denizens with generations of history in the Windy City argue with their transplanted neighbors from Transylvania Kentucky over the relative merits of pineapple toppings versus traditional pepperoni. These disputes may never be settled.
It's the Crust, Stupid.
Chicago Style pizza separates itself from the pizza pack with a prodigious platter of doughy pie. Crust high enough to repel invading Mongol Hordes encloses cheese and sauce. Firm flaky crust provides a wading pool for plentiful toppings ranging from shrimp to pineapple to black olives. Had Troy been ensconced in a Chicago Style crust, Agamemnon and Menelaus would have secured a copy of the recipe and sailed home without a fight, their Trojan Horse reconceived as an immense pitcher of iced tea.
Pah! Delivery guarantees a cooling amalgam of virtually unrecognizable pizza components. Opt for a table-side presentation to preserve the chef's original intent; bubbly overheated cheese, warmly inviting crust, and tomato sauce only recently escaped from the kitchen. Don't risk the damages concomitant with bumpy rides in 1997 mini-vans. Irreparable harm will befall your pie. Any variance from horizontal rearranges toppings and shifts cheese distribution in such a way that even a Chicago bears Super Bowl party risks ruination.
A better idea; pick a table, sit down, and argue with your friends over toppings. Debate the merits of extra cheese versus an order of bread sticks. Place your order, then watch the game over your date's left shoulder. Make eye contact periodically.
Certainly an elementary construction consisting of cheese and sauce passes muster. Massive volumes of crust, sliced mozzarella, and chunky tomato sauce gets the job done. Elementary components will satisfy. However, legendary Chicago stockyards loom large; carefully consider pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, bacon, and even ham. It's all good.
Console yourself with healthy-sounding adjuncts including pineapple, green and black olives, onions, green peppers, and artichokes. Cholesterol won't be canceled, but you may fill up faster and have more leftovers for breakfast.
Fork or Fingers?
The best Chicago Style pizzas obligate utensils. Cutting the first piece provides a challenge worthy of a Food Network Iron Chef, or at least Rachel Ray. It's not a cut as much as a hopeful suggestion; toppings, cheese, and chunky sauce sludge out of the chasm left by the hijacked slice. Everyone around the table gets to pick at the avalanche of goodness. Hopefully the slice recipient receives residue worthy of the true value of the pie.
Can you pick it up, apply serious biting action, then return the uneaten goodness back to your plate while avoiding topping sharing with your napkin, shirt, shoes, and neighboring tables? Probably not, but no one expects you to, Dig in with a knife and fork, Slice, scrape, and stab. The World's Best Pizza is not finger food. Don't miss any cheesey residue scattered around the edge of the plate.